Lapidary Tips: DIY Inexpensive Lapidary Grinder

Silverandstone's Blog

This blog describes how you can build an inexpensive diamond lapidary grinder that will economically handle a lot of grinding tasks that should never be done on diamond wheels. Any lapidarist quickly learns that using diamond grinding wheels is expensive because diamond coatings are thin and wear off relatively fast.

It’s necessary to use expensive grinding wheels when the stone surface requires minimal scratches and is being prepared for sanding and polishing. But here are some grinding tasks where scratches are not an issue and they can be done on the grinder described in this blog: 

  • Removing saw tabs from the corner of slabs
  • Grinding away opaque skin from agates to expose features
  • Shaping rough so it fits slab saw vices
  • Squaring rough to enable a usable first cut slab
  • Removing any unwanted matrix from rough stones 

Diamond wheel coatings are only a few microns thick. Compare this with masonry…

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