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Need Help - Dop Stick Wax Won't Stick

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Author Topic: Need Help - Dop Stick Wax Won't Stick  (Read 9333 times)
castocreations
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« on: February 25, 2008, 09:54:15 am »

So...I'm a total newbie when it comes to cutting stones so I have no real idea what I'm talking about.

But my grandfather is an old pro (and old...80) who has done this for decades. However he hasn't done it in a few years so he's trying to get back in the swing of things by teaching me. The problem is that the stupid dop stick wax won't stick to the damn stones.

I ordered new wax and he cleaned out his little melter thingy and we tried again on Saturday but again it didn't work.

We are drying and warming the stone, and he even roughed up the back a little to see if it would help. The wax is new. He cannot understand what the problem is as he's never had anything like this happen before.

Any ideas? Are there other newer techniques for holding stones to grind / polish them down?
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Taogem
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 05:53:24 pm »

Hey, welcome to the forum castocreations!

I just got my first dop pot and it took me a little bit of playing to finally get it to work out every time now.

It can be a little different for some people. For myself, what is working great is this:

I use a propane torch to really warm up the stone and the dop. I use metal dops...

The torch also does a great job burning off any oil that might be on it too.

When I first saw the wax texture after melting, I was a little concerned that it was not melting enough. I was using the brown wax when I started. Nothing wrong with the brown, and have switched to the green only  because that is what the store had.

So..., After heating up the stone and dop really warm. Almost too warm to touch... I then dip the dop into the wax and wrap a significant amount around the dop. It won't stay on for long because it is pretty warm and wants to fall off the dop. So I have to move quickly to get it to the cab.

Between the hot dop and the fairly hot stone, the wax will actually melt more on the dop than it was in the dop pot.

I then just sort of work it easily. As it cools I am forming it around the dop and getting as much if not all of the stone covered with wax. I also press fairly hard on the wax against the stone as it cools. I don't know for sure, but pressing on the wax as it cools seems to help it adhere even better to the stone.

Here are a few pics..... I am sure this is not a whole lot different than your grandfather is doing, but thought would post it any way.....

For me..... heating up the stone nice and almost hot as well as the dop works best for me. Of course we have to be careful with some stones that will crack if over heated..... Trial and error  :)

Sorry some of the pics are blurred...... Not sure why.... The final pic could have been a much better example.... I usually completely cover the back of the stone with the wax. Not partially like this picture.













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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 10:30:21 pm »

Taogem, great photographs on using dop wax. I use green which I find better for stones, brown is more for faceting (spelling?). I warm up my stones first by putting them in fine sand warmed up on a small hot plate pan (about 5 minutes) then put on a liberal amount of wax on you stick. I then pick up the stone using this mass and transfer it to a flat surface where I push the stick down, make sure the stick is centered on the stone in both directions, then and flatten out the wax and check the stick to stone is squared. I have not used super glue yet but understand it works great. Use either a nail or cross-point screw (wood or sheet metal type). To remove the finished cab use a small propane torch to heat the lower porting to loosen the glue. Will post a photograph tomorrow of a set-up someone gave me. 
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 02:29:51 pm »

Hi there castocreations,

Been a while and had not heard back if you had success with your dopping process.

How is it going for you?

Would love to see a cab or two!
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CMan
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 12:31:20 pm »

I started roughly a month ago with Cabochon. I was taught to dop with a nail and super glue.
Well after a few times I decided to try wax from a dop pot with light bulbs to warm stone and wax.
Wax I used was a dark green brownish tone.
There are a few different colors for different applications. I don't want to add links just Google Dop Wax.

I decided to make use of my little alcohol lamp at home.
I retrieved from our recycle bin a B&M baked bean can and a Tuna can.
I removed all labels and cut a long circle in the side of can. This allows the alcohol to slide inside under the Tuna can.  Add a few knife slash's for air vents in the side or use an awl.

I mounted the Tuna can with  Loctite super gel let it stand roughly 24 hours.
I warmed a pan for Cabs. I place a little wax on cab in pan. Then I placed the  wooden dowels in tuna wax area. Stir wax and try to circle it around dowel then place  dowel on wax of cab that is in the warmed pan sitting on a wood cutting board.
Don't over heat your cabs.
Be sure you protect your area for fire and injury's use caution.

I do use a small plastic nut container that is filled with ice frozen to wet my fingers.
I find that I don't have to be fancy with my wax around the dowel.

My cabs seem to hold fine for my preformed cabs.
This picture was taken day after wax was solid state.
Those cabs had no problems of coming off dop sticks.
When finished I place them in ice box or cooled ice water. Backs of cabs are much cleaner to me then Super Glues.
It seems like no wax is really wasted reused add a little new.


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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2009, 02:14:52 pm »

Here's my method. I use an alcohol lamp (most are made of glass but this one is from a dental supply so it is metal) to heat my stone and the dop on the stick.

I hold the stone lightly and I hold the stone up to the side of the flame. Don't hold it above the flame because the flame will go around the stone and burn you. Filp the stone back and forth so you heat both sides. Heat it until it is uncomfortable to hold your finger on the flat surface. Keep holding the stone lightly on the edges.

With your other hand heat the dop wax on the stick. Rotate the dop stick to heat all the sides until the wax just starts to turn liquid. Don't hold it in the flame so long that it turns flamy and drippy.
Apply the dop stick to the back of the cab.

Reheat the stone/dop stick combination to get the wax to flow onto the stone and to reheat the stone. Shape the wax against the stone with your fingers. Remember to wet your fingers before and during the shaping process.

Set the dopped stone aside to cool naturally. Do not plunge the hot dopped stone in cold water. You could fracture the stone.
I prefer this method because it is quick, you dont have to wait for the dop pot to warm up and it is a cheap setup. There is a little discomfort holding the heated stone lightly by the edges but its bearable, at least for me. This has been my method for a few decades so far. I tried the super glue method when the glue first came out but between the glue pulling a significant divot out of the back of an expensive Opal or the flammability, odor and time required to soak the dopped stone in solvents to get the cab loose I rejected that method.
Bob
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 05:03:50 pm »

I had the same problem a while back. Everyone was great and gave me solutions to try.  I found that the reason my dop stick was'nt sticking was that I need to clean the slab more. I thought I got all or most of the saw oil off the slab, but I did'nt. I really scrub the slab or preform even more now.  Eric.
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2009, 12:11:24 am »

OK, new/old debate.

*Wax is recyclable, glues are not.

What are the pros and cons of either use?

In my opinion,
*Wax has a higher degree of "not sticking to the darn stone" as posted in this thread as the original question.
 This I believe has three points of failure,
1: not enough heat which can come from both ones environment, and technique,
2: not cleaned thoroughly of oil as Ajo notes, also part of technique
3: humidity, I’ve noticed in the dry season, cabs stick well, and when the monsoons come in, they don’t.
 Wax generally has use for a hobbyist, and production cutter. But it does take time to figure out ones technique I feel, and then you can still have problems. I only use wax for small stones, or a stone I am afraid I will have a problem with it in any way to its mounting. That could be a soft stone, or brittle stone.

*Glues are, in my opinion easier to use, and about the same cost. However, glues also require a little, getting used to. But it may be easier in most cases with less stone failure when cutting. That's about all there is for glue. It’s faster to in my opinion when production cutting. Just as messy as wax I think.

I perfer cutting without a dopstick at all either. But there are limits there when cutting high domes, or inner sharp angles.
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Neural
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 09:45:18 pm »

my 2 cents (which I think are posted elsewhere on this forum too :) )

I use methods similar to the ones posted, but I have an additional step that has worked like a charm to the point that there are times when I have to go to extremes to get the stones unstuck.
It should be noted that I primarily work with opals, which usually are smaller when it comes to overall cabochon size, but I've had solid success with other types of material as well (jade, sodalite, obsidien, jasper, etc.)

I purchased a couple of shelac sticks from Arrowhead Lapidary Supply (though I'm sure you can get them in various places).  I then shave off some flakes from one of the sticks into a small glass container.  I pour some denatured alcohol into the container as well, and let the shelac disolve in that.  The mixture is not an exact science, and as time passes you will find the alcohol evaporates (if you don't have a container with an air tight lid).  For me, I like to have the mix such that it is a nice light amber color.

Anyway, to make a long story (or tutorial) even longer, here's the rest of it:
I use a dop pot (like the one pictured in the post by Taogem).  I set my stones on the broad part of the white surface to heat up (but I don't leave them there very long as it is quite warm).  I place the stones such that the "back" (where I want the wax to stick) is facing up.  While the stone is warming, I dob on a bit of the shelac solution.  As the stone warms, the alcohol will evaporate and leave a nice tacky layer of shelac.  I then drop the dop stick into the wax (or if I have one with wax on it already, I heat it up with the alcohol lamp).  With hot goey wax, I apply the dopstick to the back of the stone, then shape the wax to the back of the stone with my fingers (not while it's on the dop pot.  once the wax meets the rock, you can generally pick up the rock and turn the stick over and start mooshing around with your fingers). 
Please note: the wax will be hot.  You can A) lick your fingers to prevent the wax from sticking to your skin.  B) keep a small dish or such with some water in it to use instead of licking, or C) just deal with the pain should the wax stick (this is my personal choice, not because I'm "manly" or anything, but because I'm lazy and don't have space for a dish of water, and am not interested in taking off my dust mask just to dop a stone.)

Pictures and additional long windedness regarding dopping stones can be found here: http://gemstone.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,1839.0.html

Hope this helps. :)
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 12:27:40 am »



Hope this helps. :)


It sure does... 

Thanks !  :)
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Kwheeler
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 03:13:05 am »

The tip about stick Shellac is well worth listening to, Neural.  I've been using it for a little while, now, and my biggest problem is getting stones OFF the dopstick...lol.  On a side note, does anyone have any special tips for getting the dop wax off your sticks so you can reuse the sticks and the wax?  I got a good deal on a couple pounds of wax, so I'm just freezing the sticks and cracking the wax off over the trash bin at the moment, but would like to be a little more economical in the future.  Thanks for any help.

Kristopher
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Bluesssman
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 09:29:33 am »

I use a pair of large wire cutters to remove the wax from the dop sticks. I do it over a large plastic bowl so to catch the flying pieces. Works really well for me...


Gary
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 11:43:03 am »

RE dop wax:   freezing is good, over large container is good - how about freezing and cracking it off over a large container?

or maybe just reuse the dop stick as is - that is what I do.

Gregor
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 12:44:14 pm »

I thoroughly clean the polished cab/dop stick by scrubbing the polish off with a brush and then placing it in an ultrasonic cleaner for a few seconds. By keeping the polish from contaminating the dop wax I can reuse the dop sticks nearly forever. I very rarely need to remove the wax from the stick. To remove the cab I just set the dopped cab and stick, cab faced down, on a shelf in the freezer compartment in my small refrigerator for about 4 to 5 minutes. When I pick the stick up the cab usually falls off (sometimes on the floor if I'm not careful).
Bob
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Neural
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2010, 01:50:43 pm »

An important note about dop pots.

This Christmas I was given one of the new Inland dop pots as a gift.  I can say that it works great, however there is a bit of a difference that I've noticed which is vital.

The old style dop pot (as has been seen in pictures here) has that larger white surface to place stones on.  With opals, I generally placed them closer to the edge.  They would still get hot, but the heat from the surface of the dop pot wasn't as intense.

The new Inland dop pot has a rim on it that they supposedly designed in for setting stones on.  While I'm sure this will work for a number of stone types, I believe, personally, that it is *too* hot.  I've not seen any cracking on my opals, yet, but with the older dop pot, I generally did not get an outright burning sensation from the top side of the stone I was dopping when I placed my index finger on it to position it on the wax.  This issue has caused me great concern, and I'm actually now considering going back to the old dop pot.
Opals can take a lot of heat, but the issue is that the surface *may* be hot enough that the temperature difference between a room temperature stone and the heat of the dop pot rim might cause a stone to crack.

I am guessing that this may be similar with other stones such as Obsidian.
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2010, 05:19:03 pm »

Neural,
I use a different dop wax for Opals. It is called Don's Dop. It is very sticky and it melts at a lower temperature. You don't heat the opal very much either. I use an alcohol lamp to heat the dop wax ( already on the dop stick) and hold the Opal in my fingers near the flame. When the wax gets soft and slightly starts to flow I stick them together and reheat the cab/dop in the flame a little to get the wax to flow against the cab. Before touching the heated wax dip your fingers in a container of soapy water and shape the wax against the cab. You must have soap (I use cheap liquid dish hand washing soap) or the hot wax WILL stick to your fingers. The cab doesn't need to be heated nearly as much with this dop wax as with the green stuff. I've been using this stuff for 25 years or so and haven't cracked an Opal yet.
To remove the cab from the dop stick I gently heat the wax (not the cab) and when the wax gets soft, I dip a single edge razor blade in the soapy water and slice the cab away from the stick.
 Here are some photos of the wax.


Some teaser photos of a 16 gram piece of Australian Opal that I've had for 25 years and haven't decided yet what to make with it. Really, I'm not a procrastinator, am I???????
Bob

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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2010, 05:41:27 pm »

Bob:  Good info.  Didn't know there was a lower melt point wax available.

I need to be clear that I'm not blaming the Inland dop station for any cracks that I've had.  I've not had any crack on me yet.  I'm just wanting to let others know ahead of time because it is something to watch for.

That piece of opal rough is beautiful, and a nice size too!  You'll get a nice cut from that one.  :D
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2010, 06:07:30 pm »

Dang Bob:) Create one of your heirloom looking pieces with it.
I know you are wonderful designer Bob. YOu have much talent but what about making something like this with it?
http://www.langantiques.com/category/120/4/item/120-91-3/
or this one:
http://www.langantiques.com/victorian-period/mid-victorian/
or this one Bobby, opal looks so good with black jet:)
http://www.morninggloryjewelry.com/images/copied/imagesLZ/Victorian/vict29426.jpg
I am merely planting seeds in your fertile imagination Bob. My motive is to see something beautiful:)
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 11:52:42 pm »

Sara,
Those are some really spectacular pieces. My second favorite jewelry style is Victorian with their significant attention to detail. My mostess favorite is Art Noveau with the natural flowing lines and often use of Opal.  I'll have to mull all of these choices over. How long do I have? Can I keep up my torrid pace on this Opal rough or do I get to  slow down a bit and think it over?
Bob
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 06:46:28 am »

I know what you are capable of and it was me that wanted you to hurry up. LOL
I tried to find an art deco piece with opal and jet too but I couldnt find one. I will leave the final choice up to you. I know you wont disappoint us:) LOL
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2010, 06:35:08 am »

This was both enlightening and very useful!

Thank you all very much for all these useful hints and tips!

Although there were a few that actually came close to the solution, it was never really touched on and this I learned from a person who has been in the lapidary world going on or about {better said} 35 years. I have used his method which he said was not only logical but when you think about it just made too much sense.

My spouse and I are fairly new at lapidary and yet, every time we have cabbed a piece\stone we used the same dowel's with the same wax on several cabochons that we have worked on and so far it has worked every time, never mattered whether the weather was humidly hot, rainy or otherwise and if done right will wield a secure hold.

First after you have already ground the piece to where you are sure you can no longer comfortably hold the piece\stone any more take your rubbing alcohol, {we use isopropyl 50% by volume} and thoroughly clean the area that is going to be joined, with the alcohol {this takes off all the oils that you deposited while grinding} and set the piece\stone on the side.

After the alcohol has done its thing and evaporated, get the piece\stone and whisk it over an open flame a few times to warm it up {a Bic lighter should do the trick}, get the dowel\stick and either apply the wax or adhesive you work with.

{WARNING--- DO NOT WHISK PIECE\STONE OVER OPEN FLAME WHILE THE ALCOHOL IS STILL WET ON PIECE\STONE! MAKE SURE IT IS COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE PROCEEDING, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO FLAMMABLES NEAR ANY OPEN FLAME OR BEFORE STRIKING ANY FLINT THAT WOULD CAUSE A FLAMED ACTION\REACTION! ALWAYS KEEP ALL FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS AT A SAFE DISTANCE FROM ANY OPEN FLAME! ENCLOSED VEHICLES\LAMPS EXCLUDED.} This can never be stressed enough!

In using wax I like to get the wax to an almost runny state before applying it to the piece, after pressing it firmly into position.

{With a scribe or small dowel that is only used for this purpose} gently but firmly hold the top of the piece\stone with the index finger and the dowel firmly in hand, first make sure that the piece\stone is perpendicular\squared to the piece\stone {or the piece\stone is as flat and level to the dowel as can possibly be}

Gently butter the wax from the dowel to the piece\stone in an curved upward motion. {If this is a large dowel and piece combination} I put it upside down on a folded cloth which has just been rung out very well from being soaked in hot water, helps keep the large piece\stone warm while buttering.

Let stand upside down until both the piece\stone and wax have cooled and set up or if you have {little patience left by this time} run it under near room temperature water, {almost cool} to the touch.

Hope this long winded message helped!


AC
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« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2010, 09:33:55 pm »

Welcome aboard AC..

Thanks for this !
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 12:12:12 am »

what they all said plus at the last second I like to supermelt the wax on the dop stick in the flame of an alcohol lamp and then it is very sticky and sticks quite well.
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 12:33:52 pm »

Hi Everyone,

I just got in this thread today so I'm going to explain how I dope my stones. A lot of what ya'll do I do the same, here are some differences.

One has asked how do you get the stones off the sticks? When I am at that junction I go to my alcohol lamp and holding the stone over the flame till it gets a little more than warm. Holding the dope stick tightly in one hand I grasp the od/stone and twist it, if you're right handed & holding stick in right hand turn stone c'clockwise with left hand, otherwise a left handed person will turn it clockwise. Why these directions, it's a natural motion. If the wax doesn't let go keep warming it up and trying till it does.
Some people hold stick in both hands and push on stone with thumbs. Do not push stone with thumbs if you are holding the stick with both hands using the stick as a fulcrum. The stone can sometimes break if the wax is not soft enough.
I can get the wax to let loose and all I have to do for the next stone is to reheat the wax and repeat the mounting process.

Over time the wax will crack away from the stick, I use wood dowels, so one will have to start all over. I generally remelt my old wax and reuse it.

Also I have a piece of sheet metal 1/16" thick by 6" by 24" which I dope over. When I first start warming the wax on the stick I get it real soft but not dripping. I have the metal at the edge of my cabinet top. Holding the soft wax and stick somewhere aroung a 30/45 degree angle, stick end towards the floor, just roll the stick along the metal edge to get a sort of cone shape to the wax. Holding the stick vertical, with wax end down, blot the wax on the metal plate. Doing this will give you a flat surface which is perpendicular to the stick, continue on to dope the stone.

I don't have any photos for now but if someone wants any I'll get the wife to help me take some.

Don
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2011, 05:30:17 pm »

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeew WOW now im dizzzzzzzzzeeeeee  yippie, {Giggling uncontrollably}  darned it, almost got high reading how you "dope stones and sticks" lol! So Don, just how stoned do those stones & sticks get after ya "dope" them up ura {giggles?}

I just had a great laugh, yippie I know it had to be typo's but had to say that I got a good laugh outta your posting!

Besides that it was a great post and thank you for the info!!!!



Sincerely,



LC1

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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2011, 06:23:51 pm »

Hi Don.......Have you ever tried sticking your dopped cabs in the freezer. In an hour or so they usually just fall off the sticks or pop off with small pressure. I usually leave 5 or 6 dop sticks in my tuna can wax melter all the time. If I take some out I replace them.  As the dop wax heats so do the sticks that are immersed in it. Just drip/twist off any excess and stick it on the heated cab. There is always wax on the sticks whether they are in the pot or cold in storage.
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2011, 08:48:51 pm »

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeew WOW now im dizzzzzzzzzeeeeee  yippie, {Giggling uncontrollably}  darned it, almost got high reading how you "dope stones and sticks" lol! So Don, just how stoned do those stones & sticks get after ya "dope" them up ura {giggles?}

I just had a great laugh, yippie I know it had to be typo's but had to say that I got a good laugh outta your posting!

Besides that it was a great post and thank you for the info!!!!



Sincerely,



LC1



If you are here to make fun or spelling corrections at the expense of others then you are at the wrong forum.
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2011, 09:15:51 pm »


Bob, you say you leave 4 or 5 in you melter all the time...you don't keep the was hot all the time do you?  I have yet to use dop wax and stix but I need to get started.

tks
TOG
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« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2011, 12:40:26 am »

Hey Gary...........I only turn it on when I need it. The wax and sticks heat up together. My heater is a bean pot plate from Goodwill with a large tuna can for the wax. Works great. I keep a bag full of dop sticks with the wax from the previous cabs still on them. The wax gets recycled. I really did a number on my fingers before I got dop wax. bricks
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« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2011, 07:44:26 pm »


Bob, I did also on the only cab I have tried.   Didn't realize it until it was too late.  I have a hot plate made for dop was so I will grab the next tuna can and try your idea.

tks    ura

TOG
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« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2011, 07:25:23 am »

Hi Don.......Have you ever tried sticking your dopped cabs in the freezer. In an hour or so they usually just fall off the sticks or pop off with small pressure. I usually leave 5 or 6 dop sticks in my tuna can wax melter all the time. If I take some out I replace them.  As the dop wax heats so do the sticks that are immersed in it. Just drip/twist off any excess and stick it on the heated cab. There is always wax on the sticks whether they are in the pot or cold in storage.

Bob, I tried the freezer method of removing the stones and it worked super.

Thanks,

Don
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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2011, 07:35:54 am »

I also use the freezer method to remove the cab from the dopstick but I place the cab directly on the floor of the freezer with the dopstick pointing up. It only takes about 5 minutes for the cab to separate, but be very careful because if you reach in and grab the dopstick  and lift it up sometimes the cab sticks to it briefly enough to come flying out and fall on the floor and break. I always lift the dopstick up and place my hand under the cab to catch it.
Bob
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2011, 07:46:09 am »

I also use the freezer method to remove the cab from the dopstick but I place the cab directly on the floor of the freezer with the dopstick pointing up. It only takes about 5 minutes for the cab to separate, but be very careful because if you reach in and grab the dopstick  and lift it up sometimes the cab sticks to it briefly enough to come flying out and fall on the floor and break. I always lift the dopstick up and place my hand under the cab to catch it.
Bob

Bob,

I placed mine on the botton in the freezer and checked within 10 minutes and it came off or was off when I picked it up and I was totally surprised. Nice to have an extra frig in the garage for this quick method.

Will be using this method from now on.

Don

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« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2011, 04:37:31 pm »

Hi

I have always used an electric dop pot for all of my non heat sensitive stones, I too use the green wax most of the time. I have found the slabs must be free of saw oil and (clean)and must be warm or the wax will not stick. Make sure your wax is fresh and has not been overheated ( left in the pot for hours and hours ) turn off the pot if your not using it. Also if you find a kind of dry green residue in the very bottom of your dop pots it has always been a signal to me to replace the wax. My dop pot has about a two inch deep well and holds about a stick of wax.

As far as removing stones, here is a trick. Let the stone cool off if it is warm or hot from dopping or maybe polishing.  Pop it in the freezer compartment of you refrigerator I always put dop and stone in a plastic container the stones tend to fall of easily and you  dont want to loose them in some inaccessible part of the freezer. Mostly they just fall off after about ten minutes or need a little push off the stick

For wax residue left on the stone after the freezer trick I usually wipe it off with acetone be sure to keep the acetone away from open flames for you folks that use an alcohol lamp to dop.

Hope this helps.
                                               
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« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2011, 02:48:53 pm »

I got so sick and tired of this problem that I have taken to learning to cab without dopping. It is a bit more of a challenge, especially when it comes to getting flat spots out. The initial problem was grinding off my thumb and fingers, but over time they have toughened up a bit and occasionally they actually do hit the grinding surface. I used to be afraid of that, but not anymore. Of course, if I have my wishes come through and some day get a faceting machine I definitely will have to learn to keep the stone on the stick. I've heard from a few folks that they use epoxy for this.
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« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2011, 02:55:03 pm »

   super glue gel from the 99 cent store has been working well for me
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« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2011, 05:48:30 pm »

   super glue gel from the 99 cent store has been working well for me

Jon, does the freezer method of removal work?

TOG  (I am sure the answer is here somewhere but the lazy bug bit the crap out of me)
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« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2011, 06:23:22 pm »

   super glue gel from the 99 cent store has been working well for me

Jon, does the freezer method of removal work?

TOG  (I am sure the answer is here somewhere but the lazy bug bit the crap out of me)

I've been using Super Glue (SG) for a long time now.  I prefer the watery type, but then again I've never tried the jelly.  To dop a stone I use flat head framing nails I've sanded smooth and flat - probably the 8~10 penny size - then I cut a piece of paper 1/4~3/8" square or so (the cheaper the paper the better) - a drop of SG on the nail head to pick up the paper then a drop on the back of the stone where I want it to stick.  It usually sets up in about 10 seconds and I'm ready to go.

There are three ways I remove the nail from the back: 1 - If I know (believe) the stone is solid I simply snap it off while holding the stone firmly around the head of the nail;  2- Using my torch I'll heat the nail - away from the stone - until the glue is liquid and slides off easily; and  3 - I use the freezer to cool a stone then snap the stone off - this is my least favored.

The heating of the nail works well even with softer stones like turquoise, serpentine and malachite......

The paper between the nail and the stone sheers much easier than just the nail to the stone.  Scrape off the left over paper & glue with an Xacto knife and you're rocking.............to set the stone..........  yes .....it works good for me.....just another option in a field with so-many-options.................... bricks
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« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2011, 06:55:49 pm »

    the crazy glue gel releases easily with acetone after 10 mins....but if you used epoxy 330 to fill some gaps on your cabs, don't use the acetone =)  or you'll be refilling them
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2011, 07:26:16 pm »

   super glue gel from the 99 cent store has been working well for me

Jon, does the freezer method of removal work?

TOG  (I am sure the answer is here somewhere but the lazy bug bit the crap out of me)

To dop a stone I use flat head framing nails I've sanded smooth and flat - probably the 8~10 penny size - then I cut a piece of paper 1/4~3/8" square or so (the cheaper the paper the better) - a drop of SG on the nail head to pick up the paper then a drop on the back of the stone where I want it to stick.  It usually sets up in about 10 seconds and I'm ready to go.



I have not tried the paper !  I can see how that would help a lot for removing without damaging the back of a cab.

I also use the exact same super glue/nail techique now, and also much prefer the torch over freezer.
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2011, 07:57:00 pm »

I love the freezer with the dop wax. I use the dop wax due to most of my cabs are rather large and the wax method is easier for me....... yippie

Don
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« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2011, 10:25:17 pm »

Thanks for the superglue tips. I have some Gorilla Glue brand superglue. I am going to try that tomorrow and I hope it will work. I am also glad that I misread the instructions for releasing the stone the first time. Experience tells me that if you heat the stone with a torch that it will turn black and sometimes goes all the way through and turns black on the other side. Heating the nail makes much more sense. I never thought that the glue would penetrate through the paper.
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« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2011, 11:57:04 am »

I have always used paper between the stone and metal ( nail ) dop sticks.  The paper seems to aid in removal by allowing solvent ( acetone, etc. ) to wick in between the dop stick and stone. This is especially true with metal dop sticks.

As a mute testament, sitting in a jar of solvent for five years I have a very fine 6x8 Opal cab stuck to the end of a finish nail with just epoxy between the opal and the nail. Both the back of the Opal and the nail were ground flat on a 600 mesh disk before gluing the dop stick on. To  say I got a good bond is an understatement. I have used paper in between ever since and have gotten them all off with little trouble.

For a solvent jar I like one of those tall glass jars that stuffed green olives come in. I keep about an inch of Acetone in the bottom and the tall jar provides plenty of room for the dop stick be it wood or metal.
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« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2011, 02:04:40 pm »

Won't the acetone ruin some types of stone?
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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2011, 11:05:12 am »

I mostly use this cold epoxy dop with opal solids both precious fire opal and common types . Do not use acetone on doublets or triplets or any other type of assembled stones.

 That said I would not use the acetone soak on any turquoise that I knew or thought was treated with any of the many plastic resins that have been used. Some dyes might also be soluble . I still just hot dop my turquoise  with regular dop waxes and remove them in the freezer. Ive never lost one.
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« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2011, 10:38:41 pm »

For me I use the black wax. Melts a little Quicker. I put my cabs on a hot plate to get  those sweet things warm. The was melts in a pot. Let might sticks warm in the dop pot with the wax. I bring out a blob with the stick and put it on the back side of the cab. I use my hand torch and heat up the wax justttttt until the wax flows. When its right it wont release until you put it in the freezer.  clapper
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« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2013, 03:06:51 pm »

A type of dop stick I have used for quite a few years, I used to use nails, point cut off to be safe, then I came across a cheap screwdriver set ( the type with detachable ends) I use the box spanner ends, the photo below should make it clear, I use E-6000 and sometimes green jem superglue (industrial)
And a bit off topic if the photo works! a pic of our double decker system for cabbing machines, very handy when space is in short supply


* 09-02-2013 001.JPG (161.32 KB, 640x480 - viewed 25 times.)

* 09-02-2013 002.JPG (162.43 KB, 640x480 - viewed 12 times.)
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« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2013, 04:36:27 pm »


I like that idea with the screwdriver drivers and the socket end drivers ??  E6000 ---and it comes off does it?  In the freezer??
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« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2013, 01:50:16 pm »


I like that idea with the screwdriver drivers and the socket end drivers ??  E6000 ---and it comes off does it?  In the freezer??
E6000 comes off with a sharp blade, but a bit of freezing helps if there is a problem or hold the metal bit in a pair of pliers and apply a bit of heat, the stone will drop off.
Forgot to mention you can use the scewdriver handle it give a really comfy grip particularly when doing the polishing stages.
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« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2013, 11:52:33 pm »

There where a lot of post and I did not read em all. So I may be redundant here. 
I normally don't use a dop stick, but if I have to on small stones.....
The trick I have learned is not the sticking but the removing. If you throw your stone in the freezer for 5 minutes or so they just pop right off with little wax left on... And little to no chance of the stone breaking.
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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2013, 02:57:21 am »

I have been using this Inland dop station for a few months now, does work ok but it would be better with a temp control, don,t think its quite hot enough for most stones, great flat sections to pre heat both stone and stick, I make my own stainless dops, being a stainless fabricator I have heaps of scrap lying around, I tig weld the ends on, I think dops give heaps better control.
Stainless works great, I rough it with scotch brite they only come off in the freezer, the small stainless rod is 8mm and the large one is 3/4 tube.


* Dop station.jpg (111.11 KB, 783x549 - viewed 5 times.)
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« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2013, 09:59:35 am »

  All my work is done by holding the stones with my fingers.   I have worked with Wello opals smaller than the size of my baby finger nail and ended up with a .05 Caret stone.  It is not a easy task doing this but it was the way I learned when I started beveling glass.  I have experimented using a furniture shellac stick and it seems to work ok.  Sometimes the stones do loosen up and fling across the room , but that happens anyways.  Every method has its pluses it's what method works the best for you that matters the most.  I've seen a lot of work done by many people on this forum and seen some very beautiful stones.  What ever method you use is what you should stay with.  Experimenting is part of learning new methods and fine tuning your ability to produce fine looking cabochons.  Everybody on this forum wants to produce the finest quality cabs as possible.  Thanks to all the people that post great information so that others may learn the craft from the eyes of others.  That why we are here!!
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« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2015, 05:32:53 pm »

My machine is set up in an Unheated garage - I've had trouble loosing stones from green wax when the temp of the water gets close to freezing. I'm going to try the superglue method. I also thought a wax with a low melting point might work in the cold temps - does anyone know a source for Don's Dop wax? A Google search came up empty.

Thanks!

-Jeremy
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« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2015, 08:58:22 pm »

My machine is set up in an Unheated garage - I've had trouble loosing stones from green wax when the temp of the water gets close to freezing. I'm going to try the superglue method. I also thought a wax with a low melting point might work in the cold temps - does anyone know a source for Don's Dop wax? A Google search came up empty.

Thanks!

-Jeremy

I don't know about Don's Dop wax but I have a cool garage (thankfully not freezing) and I lose stones too. I have had good success with elmers glue to stick stones back on wax. You have to give it a full day to cure but I have not had one come off in the water of the cabbing machine. It does come off easily after soaking in water for 24 hrs. Not the quick solution, but it does not require super glue and solvent.
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« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2015, 05:00:27 pm »

I tried out superglue on nails and I'm a convert! 5 cabs tonight and none lost - even with ice forming on my grinding wheel. I used 2" roofing nails, sanded the heads flat, cleaned them and the stones with acetone and then placed a tiny square of tissue paper on the stones. Put a drop of super glue on the nail, then pressed it hard on the stone for 20 seconds. I grabbed the nail with a jeweler's hand vise and it gave really great control.

Haven't tried to take them off yet, but so far so good!

-Jeremy
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« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2015, 04:59:20 am »

Update - superglue held up great through cabbing. No luck getting stones off with heat, but an overnight soak in acetone and they popped right off.

-Jeremy
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« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2015, 01:43:32 pm »

Dopping stones is one of my achilles heels. Thanks for all the advice that has been posted.
One querry - do you keep the stone on the dop stick till after the final polishing stages?
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« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2015, 03:16:02 pm »

Certainly,.....
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« Reply #58 on: May 01, 2015, 12:53:36 pm »

i inherited some wax in a metal measuring cup, and failed over and over again for it to work.
a couple of weeks ago i was watching youtube videos to figure this thing out…. alas, some old man said, "temp. of about 160 degree F…. don't let it boil or it will lose it's properties'
i dumped the old, put in some new,   started to do the stick stickem' thing when the wax was only slightly melted, not liquid… more like a taffy…i made sure the rock was warm, slammed them together and now i am having the problem of getting them off nicely…. they really stick good.
paul
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« Reply #59 on: May 06, 2015, 05:30:43 am »

i inherited some wax in a metal measuring cup, and failed over and over again for it to work.
a couple of weeks ago i was watching youtube videos to figure this thing out…. alas, some old man said, "temp. of about 160 degree F…. don't let it boil or it will lose it's properties'
i dumped the old, put in some new,   started to do the stick stickem' thing when the wax was only slightly melted, not liquid… more like a taffy…i made sure the rock was warm, slammed them together and now i am having the problem of getting them off nicely…. they really stick good.
paul

Place the mounted cabs in the freezer for about 12 to 20 minutes. Be careful when removing them from freezer some will fall right off.
Don
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« Reply #60 on: May 13, 2015, 09:49:24 am »

I use wooden sticks in the classes at William Holland School where I teach. In order that the wood is totally dry, I ask my students to warm the stick and the stone on the top of the dop pot. Then, I teach them to carefully use their fingers to spread as much of the wax over the back of the stone as possible without going over the edges. Wish that I could say that this works all of the time but it does not and students occasionally have to go back and re dop. I have heard that adding bees wax to wax that has been in the pot a long time will help.
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« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2015, 12:31:31 pm »

I keep 4 or 5 dop sticks (dowels) in my can of wax. When the wax melts just pull them out and attach to the heated cab. Then replace with waxed dowels from the last batch. Be sure to clean the polish from the wax and stick before remelting. The wax on the sticks keeps replenishing the wax in the pot. Eventually you have to add fresh wax but not very often.
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