A Simple Oil Rock is Transformed Into Fine Jewelry
Denise, my wife of 36 years has jewelry making in her blood. She has been a fine jeweler for 23 years an has had her business Taylor Jewelry Design in Eldorado ,Ark for 19 yrs . Denise is really a gold smith a fabricator and a problem solver in gold. She uses the latest of equipment in her work, from a laser welder to a cnc type engraving machine . In her store she creates the finest jewelry, the oil rock featured in this story in only one example. She carves wax models for lost wax casting, from just a photo or ideas from a customer‘s mind for high end work . I always think, „How impossible is that“ , in fact we have a running joke that the „difficult“ she does immediately, the „impossible“ takes a little longer.
An Oil Rock and a Bosch Angle Grinder: An Unlikely Pair
One day, one of her long time customers brought her an oil rock that he wanted mounted. This customer that has always bought fine jewelry, but wanted this oil shale rock done up special. The shale oil rock was mined from a dry well that he had invested in . He wanted a piece made for his wife in remembrance of the dry hole . In our part of the country, Haynesville shell drilling is a big deal. He simply wanted to use the oil rock as is, but Denise had other ideas .
She wanted to show off the beautiful patina and veins that this particular rock had. To do so thought, we had to cut into it and expose its inner beauty. Using a Bosch angle grinder (AG50-11VS 5“ variable speed angle grinder) fitted with a granite , stone blade . The Bosch Angle Grinder made easy an accurate work of cutting the rock.
Using a Bosch MX30 OMT to Finish the Job
The Bosch MX30 oscillating tool fitted with a diamond blade was used to removed the scratches and leveled the surface quickly and easily . This step just sets up the steps for diamond pads to follow . I’m sure I will be called upon again for other jobs now that Denise has seen how quickly my end came together .
Shown are dry diamond pads 50 grit to 3000 . These are used in steps to remove scratches an to get to a high polish . The video below shows how easy it was to get a gleaming finish using the right pads.
Creating the Final Oil Rock Jewelry
Denise came up with an idea to create a bezel in gold around the stone with a vine across it. In the vine she would mount a stone. She did this by shaping Wax wire around the natural contour of the stone . This wax bezel will be placed in investment which is a liquid refractory casting material that encapsulates around the model an hardens.
The flask was then placed in a burn out oven . Where the wax is burned out leaving just a cavity . When the flask is up to temperature it is then placed into a centrifuge . The metal is then melted an poured into centrifuge an released slinging the gold into the flask . More info on this process can be found on youtube or google . .
Shown below is the casting out of the investment . Ready to be cut off and polished .
The Finished Piece
So a Bosch Angle Grinder, an OMT and my wife’s amazing sense of art, made this beautiful piece come together nicely. Proving that power tools need not only be relegated to the jobsite, some can even produce amazing results on smaller (in scale) projects.