How do I dop a heat sensitive stone with super glue?
I use red/brown wax for dopping almost all of my stones. It is faster, simpler and just more economical in the long run. I suggest that anybody that facets learn how to dop with wax.
I do use super glue for dopping heat sensitive rough and for re-dopping the occasional stone that comes loose from my wax dopping.
Note on using glue: I tend to use super glue on small stones too. It is dificult to get small (under 4mm) stones dopped with wax, at least for me.
A couple more notes… Some people make a wax impression or a wax flat on the dop to glue the stone to. I personally have found that it is not necessary. But like anything else in faceting there are many ways to do something. I will show you what works for me and you figure it out from there.
Be sure and clean the stone and dop well to remove finger oil and other dirt that may cause a poor glue bond. I clean them with alcohol before glueing.
There are a couple of reasons I do not bother using wax and super glue together (with the exception of re-dopping a stone that has come off the dop).
The first reason is that if you are gluing the stone to the wax, then the glue bond is only as strong as the wax/bond. I think that super glue to the dop is an inherantly stronger joint than super glue/wax/dop. One less joint to go wrong.
Also just gluing to the dop is a lot faster and I personally find it trouble free… stronger and most of all easy.
Here are a couple of articles that are related to this subject you should read.
There is a super glue solvent that I use for undopping stones when they are finished. When cutting a heat sensitive stone and dopping with super glue you will need the solvent to undop the stone when transferring and when you are finished for cleaning the glue off the stone.
I use and recommend the thicker style super glue and I like to use the accelerator for the super glue. It really helps the glue set up faster and makes things easier.
Note 1: The accelerator will also help you glue yourself to things faster too, so be careful.
Below are pictures of a piece of cherry Opal (from Mexico).
Top left: A piece of Cherry Opal, there is a flaw at about 11 o’clock in this piece of rough. Because of the flaw I have to cut this Opal on the end. The flaw down towards the pavilion where it will be cut off/out.
Top right: Flat spot ground on the end of this Opal for placement of the dop.
Above: Flat spot ground on the end of this Opal and a Tourmaline dop. A Tourmaline dop is a specialty dop that is long and narrow, made especially for rectangular rough. Tourmaline crystals are often in a long narrow shape, hence the name.
Top left: Applying a pump/spray of the super glue accelerator.
Note 2: You can use a Q-Tip or a brush to paint a little accelerator on the stone. I use the pump spray and the tweezers… In a well ventilated area. I use tweezers because if you get any of the accelerator on your fingers. Well you glue yourself to something even faster than normal.
Top right: Applying a couple drops of the super glue onto the dop.
Note 3: You need to work fairly fast, so be sure and have everything within easy reach and orientated correctly, so you do not need to fumble around.
Stick the stone and dop together. You will notice that the glue does start to set up but it will not be fast. This is ideal because it gives you a little time to adjust the stone. I find the glue quite slow with out the accelerator.
Note 4: When I apply the accelerator to the stone it dries fast. The accelerator is generally evaporated by the time I stick the dop/glue and stone together. The accelerator still works a little bit (after it is dry), and helps the stone stick. But not fast… The more accelerator the faster the glue sets. So keep this in mind.
After I have glued the stone and the dop together, depending on how much accelerator (how wet) you had on the stone.
The glue joint maybe still weak/not dried (I prefer this see Note 4). I spray the joint with a squirt or two of accelerator, this will set the glue joint almost immediately. Be sure you have the stone on the dop how you want it before using the accelerator on the glue joint.