Re-dopping a Stone
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.
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.
Here are a couple of articles that are related to this subject you should read:
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. It is embarrassing to ask for help when you need to get unstuck from whatever you have glued yourself to (I have found that girlfriends sometimes require bribing).
Yes, you will glue yourself to something sooner or later. There is a super glue solvent that I use for undopping stones when they are finished. But we will not be needing it in this example.
Below are pictures of a piece of Tourmaline, and the dop it came off of. Look closely you can see the exact impressions of the shape of the stone in the wax. This impression left in the wax that is left over when the stone comes off is very helpful in aliening the stone back on the dop. Handle the wax and dop carefully so you do not damage the wax impression left on the dop.
Careful handling is particularly important if you have cut/faceted the stone before it comes off the dop. Because if you do not get it lined up correctly you will lose rough when re-cutting. Instead of starting where you were when the stone originally came off the dop and saving your previous cutting/facets.
By the way. This is a classic “cold joint”. I did not get the wax/stone warm enough in the initial dopping process to make the wax bond to the stone properly.
Look at the rough you want top re-dop from all sides, and examine the dop/wax impression carefully. You can carefully (so you do not damage the wax impression) fit them back together so you can see how they fit.
Note 2: It is important that you lay the dop and the stone down carefully so that you have the alignment (how they fit together) set correctly. By this I mean that they are sitting on the work table so you can just pick them back up and put them together. No fumbling around trying to get them realigned. This is important because the glue sets up pretty fast.
Above left picture. I use a shot/pump of the super glue accelerator on the piece of rough, before redopping.
Note 3: 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.
You will notice that the accelerator seems to evaporate fast, this is not a real problem, even after it seems dry it is still there and will work. But it is a good idea to work fair quickly.
Above right picture. Put a couple drops of super glue on the wax/dop. You may notice that the glue absorbs into the wax slightly, this is no problem and it’s actually a good thing because it will add some strength.
Once the accelerator is on the stone and the glue is on the dop, carefully line them up to each other and stick them together. It will only take a few seconds for the super glue to bond.
Note 4: I usually spray a shot or two of the accelerator around the joint after I have stuck the dop and the stone back together. It sets the glue faster and I think it makes a better joint.
It does not take long for the glue to make a bond, but it is a good idea to give the stone/dop a few minutes before you start cutting again.
Note 5: While I am giving the stone/dop a few minutes to harden I usually and go wash my hands with soap and warm water. I just think it is a good idea.
You will find that this method works well and it’s very handy to have super glue and accelerator around. I find that I seldom use them but when that occasional stone comes off the dop. Well when you need it you usually really need it, and it is really nice to just glue it and go. Super glue can really be a stone saver. Here is the finished stone. I did not lose any yield. The super glue enabled me to get the stone back on the dop quite accurately.