How to Cut Jade Stones

Jade can be carved into animal shapes.
Jade can be carved into animal shapes. (Image: Jade turtle close up image by Da Vynci from Fotolia.com)

In China, a two-person toothless manual saw of iron has been used to cut slabs of jade for centuries. For smaller projects such as cutting a piece of raw jade into smaller pieces for carving, a power tool is often used. Jade is a very hard stone, especially when it's high-quality, and it requires a special type of cutting blade.

Things You'll Need

  • Mini band saw
  • Diamond mini band saw blade
  • Cloth
  • Band lubricant or cooking spray
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Safety gloves
  • Slab of jade
  • Push stick

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Install a diamond blade onto the band saw and make sure it is on properly before cutting. Refer to the saw's manual for specific instructions.

Tension the band by turning on the machine and slowly turning the tensioner screw until the band starts to jiggle slightly. Slowing start turning the screw in the other direction just until the band moves smoothly again. Tighten it one more half-turn. Turn off the saw.

Lubricate the blade by rubbing a cloth moistened with blade lubricant or cooking spray along each side of the blade. Manually turn the blade to lubricate the whole thing.

Put on the safety glasses, dust mask and safety gloves. Lay the slab of jade on the flat surface of the band saw. The flattest side should be down, if it's a raw slab of jade. Make sure the push stick is within reach.

Turn on the saw. Pressing down on the slab of jade, slowly push it into the diamond blade, cutting it in a straight line. When the jade has been about two-thirds cut, push the rest of the way with the push stick to protect your fingers from getting cut.

Detension the blade by loosening the turn screw when cutting is finished.

References

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