Lapidary at the Bench

Course Description

About this course

This class is geared towards the jeweler who wants custom cut stones but may not have a large lapidary machine to make them. Over two days, learn to cut, alter, refashion and customize cabochon stones with tools from your bench! Take ordinary, damaged, or chipped cabochons to extraordinary without the need for a full lapidary studio. Stones can be re-worked to suit specific needs using a flex shaft and hand tools. Demonstrations include methods for reshaping, carving into, and drilling through stones using tools that any one can find or already has at their bench. There will also be the opportunity to cut from a rough slab so that students can have more control over size and shape. Bring your scratched, broken, and badly cut stones to turn them into something new!

Meet the Instructor

David Baird

David Baird has been making jewelry for nearly four decades. He received his bachelor's degree at the Evergreen State College, and his MFA from The School of the American Craftsman at Rochester Institute of Technology. He also has a GG (Graduate Gemology certificate) from the GIA.

David sells his work nationally and has taught classes and workshops for at least 30 years around New England including Metalwerx, DeCordova Museum School, and Lexington Arts and Crafts Center. More recently he has been developing specialized jigs to make bench processes easier for his students. The Directed Open Studio courses at Metalwerx are led by David because of his vast knowledge about the many facets of metalworking.

Over the past 15 years, David has expanded his repertoire to include lapidary cabbing and carving. He now devotes his time between two studios, both lapidary and jewelry, taking on commissions by request. His studio is located at the Waltham Mill Buildings, near Metalwerx where still he teaches regularly.

Materials & Tools 

There is a $75 materials fee for this workshop that is payable upon registration and includes the following:

  • 50-piece Diamond Carver Set - 220 Grit
  • Diamond core drill
  • Diamond disk (saw blade for flex shaft)
  • Diamond paste in grits: 325, 600, 3k, 14k, 50k
  • Solid felt wheels for each of the diamond paste grits
  • Bristle brushes, medium (5) and stiff (5)
  • Sandpaper mix pack - 1/2 sheet each of 220, 320, 400, 600, 1500
  • Super Glue and some other miscellaneous consumables for the process to be used in class
Students should bring 
  • Scratched, broken, and badly cut cabochon stones and 2 - 3 beads that are about 10mm
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Pen and notebook
  • Ultra fine-point Sharpie marker



Materials Cost



David Baird


February 17 -18, 2018


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


2 days

Basic and above
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