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Chip or Channel Inlay Work Applications

Chip Inlay: 
To convert any gem materials into smaller chips or pieces for chip inlay, place rock into a small zip-lock plastic bag and hit with hammer on concrete slab.  Protect your eyes.
You will need pieces of gem material of all sizes so don't break gem material into pieces that are too tiny to use later.
Softer  materials like turquoise and malachite require much less force to break them into smaller pieces. 
Material offered here is hard enough to work and polish into quality finished pieces. 

Prepare your metal work that you will set your stone chips into.  I always use sterling silver 3 dimensional castings prepared using lost wax techniques.

Mix your two-part epoxy and blend in tempra powder of an appropriate color.  Use just enough tempra so it will opaque when it is dry.
Pick individual gem pieces using a tweezers  set them into epoxy glue mixture in the spaces or channels in the metalwork 
I always color the epoxy with black tempra powder for a consistent background color.

If you don't color the glue, you will be able to see inner surface of the metal behind your stones when finished.
Your glue set time will be about 20 minutes at a normal room temperature so don't mix too much glue at one time. 
With experience, you will be able to complete 3-6 pieces of jewelry per batch of glue depending on their size.  If working on a large piece, you might set stones into that one piece only.

Always mix epoxy on a paper or cardboard surface.  If you mix epoxy on a plastic or metal surface it will not set up.  I don't know why, but it never would set for for me.

Grind your work smooth with your grinder the next day.  Sand and polish.  Typically your work will end up perfectly  flat with the stone chips accenting the metal work.

Channel Inlay:
  Use your diamond saw to cut pieces approximately the a size needed to fit into any channel.  Use your grinder to get a perfect fit. 

Epoxy the  rocks cut into channels of your created metalwork.  Let the epoxy cure completely. 

Grind the piece flat so the metal of your creation shows between the stonework.  Polish the piece.  Done. 

If you prefer a more advanced application, cut each stone to fit into the channels and polished each stone as a separate cabochon.

Polish the metalwork first, then glue your stones into place. Done.

Images are mineral to enlarge

$100 orders will receive a free sample of Epoxy 330 to get you started.


Crocidolite, polished

Griqualand, Koega, Namibia

Priced at: $ 25 for a 200 gram parcel

Gold Crocidolite, unpolished

with sharp edges where tight fits are required

Griqualand, Koega, Namibia

Priced at: $ 20 for a 200 gram parcel




Priced at: $ 30 for a 200 gram parcel

This a mixture of  small slabs and pieces useful for inlay work.  You will find pieces almost ready to set into channels.  This is quite good material as it is dense and polishes with a mirror finish. 

Lapis Lazuli


Small slabs and chips for inlay work.  This is not gem grade, but you can select the pieces you wish to use.  It is very good for inlay work . Many pieces will cut deep blue stones.  It polishes well and is loaded with pyrites which indicates you are getting genuine lapis.

Priced at: $ 30 for a 200 gram parcel



This is small slabs and pieces for inlay work.  All the material is stabilized turquoise so it is well adapted to whatever you wish to do with it.  Crush it, grind it, it usually polishes well.

It consists of blue and green turquoise originally from  New Mexico and Nevada.  It was already mixed together when I received this material as "scrap" from German cutting houses over 25 years ago.

Priced at: $ 25 for a 200 gram parcel




This a mixture of  small slabs and pieces useful for inlay work or cutting small cabochons

Priced at $ 30 for a 200 gram parcel




Fine quality hard material with contrasting bands of reddish-brown and white

I don't know how this material would do if crushed.  I always used it to cut custom cabochons or as custom cut pieces in inlay work

Priced at $ 30 for a 200 gram parcel

Chevron Amethyst


These are crystals which were tumbled to remove their sharp edges

Priced at $ 30 for a 200 gram parcel


Nephrite slices

This material makes cutting nephrite cabs and inlays easy.  This material is smaller than what is sold in the rough rock catalog

Source of material unknown
Small pieces with largest dimension under 1"

Priced at: $ 30 for a 200 gram parcel

Multicolor Rough Crystal & White Potch Opal

 Coober Pedy, South Australia

Priced at: $ 100 for a 100 gram parcel; $ 50 for a 50 gram parcel; $ 25 for a 25 gram parcel

longitudinal slice

Petrified Palmwood

Louisiana, USA

Solid material containing  preserved vascular bundles in a contrasting color from the matrix; material usually contains no voids or holes; my research has identified more than 75 colors in Louisiana Palm;  it polishes to a mirror finish

Available here only as  slices

For palmwood cutting material so you can cut your own slices go to the rough rock catalog

Slices are excellent for cabochons or channel inlay giving the pattern of bird feathers, etc.

5 mm thick slices: $ 5 for 1 sq. in.
 7 mm thick slices:  $ 10 for 1 sq. in.

For slices containing black palm, as in the upper photo, the cost is 10x regular palm price, as it is extremely rare

cross section slice

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