Mastering the Cabochon Cut

Free form Cabochon

The Mitchelton and Districts Gem Club has opened up a new workshop session to cater for the number of members wishing to use the facilities. The new session is from 9am to noon on a Saturday morning, as the club is on a limit of seven members who can use the workshop machinery in a work session. To ensure the club does not exceed the number of members per session, members need to book into a session prior to coming to the workshop.

The club is still operating the Thursday morning session from 9am to noon, as well as 1pm to 4pm on a Saturday. 

Recently, new members joined the club who came from Chile, Japan and Switzerland. They are amazed at the variety of cutting material that is so freely available in Australia. Several of the Swiss family members accompanied the GEm Club on their recent trip to Chinchilla in search of petrified wood.

The Mitchelton and Districts Gem Club teaches all new members how to cut a cabochon and once they have mastered this they can make variations to the standard shape in the stones they cut. There are double cabochons, fancy cabochons, free form cabochons and the shapes are varied. With the use of plastic and metal templates these various shapes of cabochons are possible.

Thunder-Egg Agate from North QLD

The hardest part of fancy cabochons is shaping, grinding, and sanding inside curves. It takes a while for a new member to achieve these shapes without a mistake happening. By attaching a cabochon blank to a dop stick (various size of dowel) the control of shaping the stone  is made easier. Cabochon blanks are generally attached to dop sticks by using sealing wax. To remove the stone when completed it is a matter of placing the stone and dop stick in the freezer section of a fridge for about fifteen minutes.

More details about the Mitchelton and Districts Gem Club can be found on their website at or Facebook Page: Mitchelton and District Gem Club Inc.

If you would like to have a chat to someone regarding the hobby, please do not hesitate to contact John on 3351 1038 or Lloyd on 3351 2093.

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