On our honeymoon, my wife and I found some beautiful volcano rocks in Hawaii and decided to make something special out of them. We liked the idea of turning them into jewelry and figured out how to set diamond shaped crystals into the rock. On our 1 year anniversary (July 1st), I’m making a new set with rocks we found in the desert.
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Step 1: Setup the Area
Using a dremel for the first time can be a bit intimidating but it is actually a very hands off and safe process. It is still a good idea to wear your protective gear including a mask, safety glasses and cut resistant gloves.
Mount your dremel into the dremel stand and make sure your vice can sit underneath it. Insert the pointiest dremel bit you have and make sure it lowers down to the vice when the move the lever on the stand.
Step 2: Clamp the Rock
Securely clamp your rock in the vice and make sure the face you are going to dremel is as level as you can make it (otherwise the bit may travel while you drill). With softer rocks, be careful not to clamp too hard or you may break the rock.
With the dremel off, lower and raise the dremel using the lever to make sure it is going to drill at the right spot.
Step 3: Drill the Holes
For harder rocks or for drilling all the way through, it's a good idea to submerge the rock in water while drilling. This keeps it cool so you don't break the rock or the bit. For softer rocks or shallow cuts like this one, you can drill straight into the rock without water.
Set the dremel to high speed and use very light pressure to make the holes. Drill for about 3-5 seconds at a time and lift the bit off the rock to let it cool down. Keep doing this until the have the desired size hole in the rock.
Step 4: Set the Gems and Bail
I prefer to use UV set glue since it bonds super well to the rock’s surface and gives you some time to position the gems in the holes.
Carefully put a small amount of glue in the bottom of the hole and use tweezers to set the gem. Make sure it's sitting correctly then use the UV light to cure the glue. It is supposed to cure in 5 seconds but I like to give it about 45 and wave it around a bit.
To mount the bail (the top thingy), you may have to bend the silver to make it form to your rock well. Use the same method to put the glue on the rock then position the bail where you want it. Cure it with the UV light and then check to make sure everything is firmly in place!
Step 5: Clean the Surface and Finish!
There may be some areas where the UV glue has spilled out but it can easily be scratched off and cleaned up with tweezers. Thanks for reading and enjoy!
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This is an entry in the
Stone Concrete and Cement Contest