What are Gemstone Dopping Techniques?

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 operating again 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 is a drag).

Novice gem cutters who want to facet gemstones need to master their dopping techniques as soon as possible.

Dopping Techniques for Cabochon Cutting

Materials

The most common dopping technique for cabbing requires a selection of dowels of varying sizes and wax as a dopping compound.

Dopping wax is essentially the same as sealing wax, although it’s often mixed with other ingredients to…