Join the Lapidary Club!
Nature has given the Southwest many colorful rocks. Join the Lapidary club and learn how to cut, polish and create beautiful things with these rocks. Any Sun City West rec card holder can join the club.
To join, stop in the Lapidary shop, and sign up for a beginner’s class. When you take the beginner’s class, you will purchase the necessary items to create a pendant and a bolo. The items will include an apron, safety glasses, stones, polishing supplies and other items. The purchase price also includes the first years dues. The class will take four afternoons. During the class you will receive instructions on how to safely use most of the equipment in the shop. When you complete the class you will be given a temporary badge and can come in anytime the shop is open to work on stones. Permanent club status requires some volunteer time which will be explained during the class.
The following is covered in the beginner’s class, which everyone must take before using any equipment.
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES
Introductory Class steps below
You use the Rock Saw to cut a stone into ¼ Inch slabs
Using a template, a desired shape (square, oval, round, etc.) is drawn onto the slab.
The Diamond Trim Saw is used to roughly cut around the design.
Two different grinder wheels are used to get the stone into the right shape to fit the setting
The next step is to dop (glue) a stick on the rock to make it easier to work.
Using the grinder wheels, the stone (cab/cabochons) is shaped into a rounded top.
Using two different grit belts, supplied, the stone (cab) is polished.
Next, using a grit, supplied, and water buff/polish the stone.
The final step uses a polishing wheel and Zam , supplied, to buff the stone to a beautiful shine.
The stone and stick are placed into the freezer which separates the stone and stick in a few minutes.
The last step is to glue the stone into the settings (pendant and bolo which are supplied in the beginner’s kit).