Q:

What is a lapidary machine?

A:

A lapidary machine is comprised of a motor and a spinning abrasive disc or belt and is used in producing gemstones. Available in flat and vertical styles, it is also known as a "cabbing" machine.

After raw material is cut to a rough shape using a slab saw, a lapping machine with discs of progressively finer cutting grit is used in shaping and polishing the gems. The discs of a flat lapping machine must be changed from step to step. Vertical machines are often comprised of multiple wheels, each containing a different grit. Lapping machines can be used to make stones with half-domed shapes, known as cabochons, or faceted gems, such as diamonds.


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