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Posted by Robert Simonoff  
Robert Simonoff July 11, 2009 02:52AM
Hi all, we need a bit of help dopping for faceting. Let me preface by saying that I am hoping to find a simple starter technique. In searching the web, I have found some techniques that are long and involved - hoping there is something simpler.

We did 2 stones using super glue. In both cases the stone fell off the dop at one point. So we are trying black wax. We have a dop pot and the wax. So, how does one exactly do this? I can see you melt the wax in the pot, heat the stone, dip the dop in, and stick it to the stone. But do you push the dop down so there is basically no wax between the dop and stone or leave a cushion?

We have a transfer block (facetron) so how do you transfer? Dip the cone dop in the wax, quickly set it in the block and push them together? This skips heating the half faceted stone.

I understand that removing the dop can be done by heating. But how do you remove the wax from the stone once done. I have tried on a practice stone and there is a good film of black wax still on it.

Finally, can someone possibly help with what may have gone wrong with the super glue? It seems some people, using simply glue have success and others don't.

Ian Merkel July 11, 2009 03:34AM
I have green hard wax from Rio Grande. I polish the back fo the stone fist, dop the stone. After I am done, I use a knife to scrape the wax off the back. The wax typically flakes off cause of its hardness.

Good luck!
Ray Hill July 12, 2009 10:29AM
If you put the stone in the freezer , that is if it is robust enough to not be bothered, and take it out and you just pop the wax off the stone...really easily. re the failure with super glue...if there is even the slightest bit of oil or grease or dirt, then the bond can fail, so a super clean stone is essential for epoxies of any kind for a strong enough bond that won't fail when you least want to ... if you take the book GEM CUTTING by John Sinkankas out of the library, if you do not own it, it explains in simple language the whole process of wax dopping.. Good luck.
Alessio Piccioni July 13, 2009 10:17AM
Hi Jessica, first, in necessary to know the heat sensibility of stone. Some "gem" like tourmalines sometime are heat sensibility and is possible crack. So be carefull. Generally quartz,beril,tourmaline,garnet have no problem.

For dopping you do so: take the gem with your fingers, heat slowly rough gem and wax(black or green as you like) when gem are warm put some warm wax on gem on table side, heat the dop and the wax, when are both warm put some wax on dop, so dopping the gem, if necessary heat dop,gem, and wax. When are all cool you can cut. When you polish the gem you make attention, sometimes polish can heat stone and wax, when wax comes warm you can loose the angle facet.

When you finish to polish gem facet, you do another times the first dopping. Take the gem with your fingers, heat the gem culet and wax, when are both warm put some wax on gem culet. Put dop with gem on transfer, heating a "new" dop( for example " V " form dop) and wax, when are both warm, put some wax on dop, put it on transfer and push together. So heat the "new" dop, because is necessary for heat the wax on dop and the wax on gem.

When are all cool, heat a first dop( for example on table gem), so very slowly you can take off the wax with knife, and start to faceting the crown.
When you finish to polish the crown heat the dop and take the gem. When are cool for take off the wax you can use knife or if the gem are soft you can use a alcool or acetone. Generally i use acetone for all stone because after 3 minutes make clean from wax.

For soft gem is necessary use epoxsy glue or other cool glue

p.s. Sorry for my bad english.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2009 02:58PM by Alessio Piccioni.
Anonymous User July 15, 2009 12:27AM

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2009 03:11AM by Wizard Of The Stone.
Robert Simonoff July 17, 2009 02:46AM
Thanks everyone for all the input. We learned a lot! Here is what I have

Our mistakes (assuming I average all the different approaches I heard about) with the super glue:

1) We did not carefully clean the stone and dop with alcohol before glueing
2) Possibly during transfer, pushed the stone too far into the cone, meaning there was very little glue holding things together
3) We MAY (and I mean may) have pulled the stone out slightly form the cone after pushing in - allowing air in.

As for the black wax dopping - wow. The number of varieties of approaches are incredible. And our mistakes were numerous. I think the dop pot, while I have heard some people use it causes far to omany problems and prevents a lot of helpful techniques. So, again I took a lot of different people's advice and the result is an almost complete stone (#3). The crown need polishing and the table needs doing. But everything is holding together. I think our mistakes here were

1) The recommended technique to heat the stone was to leave it on the edge of the dop pot for a minute. I tried it again today and the stone didn't even warm! So, this approach did not get the stone warm enough to accept the wax!

2) The dop put rim did not heat the dop stick enough either so the dop stick did not accept the wax very well (maybe I was too impatient here).

In either case I went out and got a propane torch and everything went very smoothly from there! We have a newly wax dopped stone, mostly faceted already.
Anonymous User July 18, 2009 08:07PM

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2009 03:11AM by Wizard Of The Stone.
Jim Colony April 13, 2010 07:13PM

The way to dop with wax that works for me is the article by Jeff Gram:

Jeff Gram also has a lot of other useful articles about transferring stones and faceting in general and it's all pretty accurate information as far as I am concerned.
It does take practice, but once you know what to look for it will work easily for you. And there are no shortcuts, your stone will end up falling off.
Also, do not use superglue to dop heat sensitive stones. Superglue does not stick well to polished surfaces. Use a 2 part epoxy - I use 330 Epoxy. It holds stones much better.

For more articles you can look at:

Jeff Gram died unexpectedly last summer, but his website is still up for useful information.
At this point you've probably figured out a lot of yopur problems, but if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask me.

Hope this helps,

Jim C.
Anonymous User April 13, 2010 11:53PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2010 06:23PM by Wizard Stone.
Ray Hill August 22, 2010 08:01PM
Jim was right on the money about super glue being less than optimal compared to the 330 epoxy...
BUT there are other reasons...the biggest is that super glue has no appreciable strength when stressed at an angle to the glue joint which is basically what is happening with facetting and grinding...even 330 has problems as most resins will with a shiny surface and that is why most glues say for you to rough up the surface for better adherance...but nowadays, the chemists have been reworking the epoxy glue formulae and making different glues for different if you search the shelves at the store for glues made for glass then these are more likely to be able to withstand the rigours of cutting and yet still adhere to a shiny surface...the other advice is to go slow and with minimal pressure. This allows you to cut more accurately and with less chances for overcutting and less chances for you to lose the stone from the dop. They will all eventually dissolve in acetone, so removal shouldn't be a problem
Jamey Swisher August 24, 2010 03:40AM
Gorilla Super Glue works awesome! Much better then any "glue" I have tried, even HotStuff green and yellow!

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Gerald Wells June 18, 2012 04:20AM
For faceting I have found that brown dop wax to be a favorite. It gives you a tight, heat resistant bond that should hold up well for all faceting jobs. You can find it at They also carry stick shellac (melts at 176 degrees F. and desolves in alcahol). You can also get Diamond Dop, (melts at 175 deg. F) but is expensive. I started using brown wax more than 40 years ago with an old MDR machine and have used it since. It works best for me and I have used every color and type of material that I could find.
To transfer a stone from one dop to another, I wet a strip of cloth and wrap it around the dop that I want to maintain contact with before I heat the stone. I reverse the strip as needed. Its quick and clean.
Just make sure that the stone is clean, don't heat the stone too much, use dop wax only 3 or 4 times, then discard it. Don't grind or polish too long or with too much preasure and use enough liquid to keep the stone cool. You will learn something with each stone you try. Good luck,
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