How do I Use a Dremel for Jewelry to Shape Semiprecious Stones?

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Any variety of stone can be shaped with a dremel.
Any variety of stone can be shaped with a dremel. (Image: jewelry display image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

To turn rough semi-precious stones into lovely jewels that are ready for polishing and setting, the only tool you need is a dremel. Because a dremel rotary tool has multiple heads which can be changed effortlessly, you can use a dremel for jewelry to shape semi-precious stones and then use the same dremel with a different head to polish the stone. While it may take some practice to get comfortable with the dremel, once you have the hang of things, your jewelry-making process will speed up.

Things You'll Need

  • Dremel rotary tool
  • Silicon carbide grinding stones of desired size and shape
  • Semi-precious stones
  • Handheld spring clamp or vise
  • Felt polishing cone, if desired

Attach a silicon carbide grinding stone to the end of your dremel to prepare it for shaping. There are various sizes and shapes of grinding stones, so use the one that best suits the size of your stone and whether you want to shape a wide or narrow portion on the stone.

Place your semi-precious stone either in a hand-held spring clamp or a table-mounted vise with the portion of the stone you want to shape sticking out.

Turn the dremel on and run the grinding stone over the edge of your semi-precious stone back and forth, applying a light amount of pressure. Continue to run the dremel back and forth using more or less pressure as needed to shape the stone.

Turn off the dremel and readjust the semi-precious stone in the clamp or vise as needed to work another side or angle of the stone. Continue to work the dremel along the stone and its various sides to shape it as needed.

Change the head from the grinding stone to a felt polishing cone, if desired. Polish the stone using the dremel along all of the sides you shaped to smooth the edges and remove small burrs from the edges.

References

  • “Chic Metal: Modern Metal Jewelry to Make at Home”; Victoria Tillotson; 2009
  • “How to Start a Home-Based Jewelry Making Business” Maire Loughran; 2009
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