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How to cut round disc shapes, 1"-2+" from abalone shell or any seashell? Answered

I know there are hole cutter for different things, but they have a drill bit in the center. I don't want a hole in the center. I see seashell disc all over, but wonder how they are cut. I do know that they must be cut in water to avoid inhaling the toxic shell dust, so a rechargeable drill is a must.

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Toga_Dan (author)2017-05-27

When I want to use a hole saw with no center drill, I first cut a circle from a scrap of wood, then use that scrap as a jig, clamping it to the main piece. The hole saw can now be used without the center bit without going wonky.

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rickharris (author)2017-05-23

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=abalo...

Personally I have used a jewelers saw to cut the shell. Most commercial discs will be cut with a hole cutter or a laser.

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Kiteman (author)rickharris2017-05-25

You can cut shells with a laser??

[Adds to "to do" list....]

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rickharris (author)Kiteman2017-05-25

I understand so. Something I read on the interweb somewhere.

This isn't the original site I saw. But yes it seems you can.

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Kiteman (author)rickharris2017-05-26

Hmm... 100W laser...

Might be hard with my 40W, but at least I don't have to disable the safeties to do it...

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iceng (author)2017-05-23

There are many drill press with lube nozzles and fluid catchers.

Just anchor the shell with wax used for stone forming and polish..

Remove the center drill and start at low speed until a track is established.

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iceng (author)iceng2017-05-23

A Lubricating Drill Press note the drain in the lower left...

You need to click the pic to see the whole image !

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steveastrouk (author)2017-05-23

There are plenty of hole saws with no pilot bit. Get a cheap diamond one

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Downunder35m (author)2017-05-23

Use a fine diamond cutter as used for making pipe or cable holes in tiles.
Remove or shorten the center drill so it is out of the way and won't drill into your shell.
Tape or glue the shell in your prefered position onto a rigid surface in a tub or similar so you can cover with water, as an alternative you can use running water as well.
Best to use a drill press as from now on you need to be precise without sideway movements.
Lower the cutter until it touches the shell - it won't be a flat match so you really need to make sure the cutter is steady.
Without any real pressure let it grind through the shell.
If you want to avoid bad chips on the other side consider filling the shell with wax first.

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