Gemstone Dopping Techniques
What Are Gemstone Dopping Techniques?
Gemstone dopping is attaching a piece of rough gem to a stick. Regardless of the materials used, the adhesive that attaches the rough to the stick is called the dopping compound. The stick is called a dop stick or dop. Dopping gives the gem cutter greater control over the cutting process. (At the very least, it helps keep your fingers away from the abrasives).
There are gemstone dopping techniques for the two main branches of the lapidary arts. In gemstone faceting, the dop stick is placed in a machine which allows for precision control of angles, rotation, and depth of cut. Dopping for cabochon cutting is fairly simple and less precise and critical. For example, if the adhesive bond should break while cutting a cab, you can Super Glue it back to the dop stick and be back in operation in minutes. However, if a stone should come off the adhesive on the dop while faceting, it would be a very different story. You would either have to re-apply the stone to the dop with the exact orientation as before (which is nearly impossible) or recut the stone to a new orientation (which …