Lapidary 101: Dopping Your Preform. Using Wax to Effectively Dop a Stone and Prepare it for Cabbing!

Thanks for tuning in to Lapidary 101! In this video I’ll show you how to effectively dop your preform onto a dowel rod in preparation for cabbing, and I’m using a cool piece of petrified dinosaur bone as the example. In my previous lapidary tutorials I showed you how to shape a cab with your hands, and as I explain in this video, that method became too taxing on my hands and joints, so I tried out dopping and discovered I really like it! It is also much easier on my body physically and allows for a more consistent shaping and polishing if done correctly.

I’ll show you some tricks I use to ensure a solid join of your dop stick to your preform so it won’t fall off during the cabbing process (at least not normally.. there will always be some that break off now and then and need to be re-dopped).

Dopping allows you to use a round stick to maneuver your cabochon while shaping and polishing it, and being able to roll it in your hands to keep it constantly moving is a big benefit and helps produce a great polish. In this video I’m only showing you how to dop your stone, and in a follow up video I will demonstrate my current technique I use to actually cab a preform on my Diamond Pacific Genie machine, so stay tuned for that!

I hope this helps and encourages you to give dopping a try! The dop pot I have is a $35 dollar item you can buy online, and the wax I use is premium green lapidary wax that you can find on and other online stores, or maybe at your local rock or jewelry shop. I get my dowel rods from the hardware store (Lowe’s to be exact) and they are super inexpensive. I cut them with wire cutters and flatten the ends with my rawhide hammer to maximize surface contact.

Thanks for tuning in, please subscribe to my channel if this video has been helpful! And make sure to check out the rest of my Lapidary 101 series for tips on how to use a slab saw, trim saw, and how to cab by hand if that’s still your preferred method.

Follow along with my artistic pursuits on Instagram, my two pages are @Eckel.Lapidary and @SeanEckel.Jewelry, and also check out my band that I play bass and guitar with, Moodlite! @MoodliteMusic

See my available jewelry on Etsy at .

All music in this video created by me.

Cheers, and happy creating!

You May Also Like