Transferring Heat Sensitive Stone to New Dop

Jeff R Graham shares his opinion on gem topics in Just Ask Jeff.See his answers to How do I transfer a heat sensitive stone with super glue to a new dop?

5 Minute Read

Transferring Heat Sensitive Stone to New Dop

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.

Here are a couple of articles that are related to this subject you should read first:

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.

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.

Super glue and accelerator

Super glue solvent

When cutting a heat sensitive stone and dopping with super glue you will need the solvent to undop the stone during 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.

Cherry Opal ready to be transferredCherry Opal ready to be transferred

Above: Are pictures of a piece of cherry Opal (from Mexico) that has been faceted on the pavilion and is ready to be transferred to another dop so the crown can be cut.

Putting super glue on the dopSuper glue and dop stuck together

Above Left: Put a couple drops of super glue on the dop. Be careful and not use too much, you do not want the glue to run down the dop and cause problems (like gluing the dop to the transfer fixture).

Above Right: Slide the stone/old dop and the new dop with the super glue together.

Super glue accelerator being applied to the stoneBoth dops glued to the stone

Top left: Applying a pump/spray of the super glue accelerator to the new glue joint.

Top right: Out of the transfer fixture, the new dop is glued and the stone, the old one is still attached.

Note 1: You may notice that I use the accelerator on the stone before dopping (when I initially dop a new stone). But when transferring you do not need to, the stone is attached to the previous dop and cannot get away from you. Just squirt a little bit of accelerator on the super glue joint after transferring and gluing the new glue joint (sliding the stone and new dop/glue together).

Super glue and accelerator

Left: The stone and the two dops are all glued together… The old dop/crown and the new dop/pavilion.

Here is the big question. How to get the old dop/glue joint off. There is a couple of ways to do this, they both work well and it is really (usually) just a matter of which method you prefer.

Method #1 - Getting the old dop/glue joint off. Get a paper towel and wrap it around the stone and dop so that the new glue joint is protected. The paper towel will absorb and keep any solvent from touching the new glue joint. This method is a little slower and can be a bit safer if you are working on a very heat sensitive piece of faceting rough.

Wrapping the new glue joint and dop with a paper towelApplying a drop of solvent to glue joint

Above Left: Wrapping the new glue joint and dop with a paper towel to protect it from any solvent that might spill over where it should not touch (new glue joint).

Above Right: After wrapping the new dop/glue joint to protect it, put a couple of drops of super glue solvent on the old glue joint/dop and let it sit a while. Sometimes it takes a while and more than one application of the solvent.

Method #2 - Getting the old dop/glue joint off. Get a wet (water) paper towel and wrap it around the stone and dop so that the new glue joint is protected. The wet paper towel will absorb and keep heat from glue joint and the heat sensitive rough. This method is a lot faster, and the method I use but care must be taken if you are working on a very heat sensitive piece of faceting rough. Do not over heat the dop.

Applying torch to dop

Left: Wrap a wet (not dripping but almost) paper towel around the new dop and glue joint. Be sure that you have it wrapped around the stone snugly, so that there is good contact on the stone.

Carefully apply heat (I use a Blaizer hand torch) to the very end of the dop. Be sure and point the torch away from the stone (like the picture). It does not take a lot of heat so be careful, just use enough heat to do the job. It usually only takes a few seconds. The dop will just fall off basically. It is hot, but the heat is confined to the dop, the stone with the wet paper towel will be cool.

Note 2: Be very sure that you have a clean work bench and all the solvent and super glue put away before using the torch. The glue, solvent, and accelerator is Flammable.

Stone on new dop after transfer

Left: The stone after transferring… Notice there is still some super glue on the top of the stone where the old dop was.

The left over glue is no problem it will just cut off when the crown is cut. To remove the finished stone from this dop when it is done. I would just soak it in a little bit of super glue solvent. You need to soake the stone in solvent to get all the residual glue off of the stone anyway.


Jeff R. Graham

The late Jeff Graham was a prolific faceter, creator of many original faceting designs, and the author of several highly-regarded instructional faceting books such as Gram Faceting Designs.

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