10 DIY Cabochon Machines by RTH Community Members

It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to begin making beautiful designer cabochons on your own. A little creativity and a lot of inspiration, tutorials and advice from the RTH Forum community can get you started on a whole new and exciting new direction in the lapidary arts.

There is much debate in the lapidary hobby regarding what constitutes a proper cabochon, but for our purpose here a cabochon is a polished stone with a dome on top and a flat backside, suitable for making into wearable jewelry. There are many methods for grinding and polishing cabochons into their final shape, ranging from rotating wheels, to flat surfaces charged with abrasive grit, to very expensive automated machines that can create cabochons from start to finish.

The most common method used by the RTH forum community for creating cabochons is a motorized device using abrasive wheels that range from shape grinding (80-120 grit), to polishing (3,000 – 50,000 grit). What follows are links to actual posts by members of the RTH community as they embarked on making and using their own DIY home made cabochon making wheeled units.

Please feel free to ask the builders any questions you may have, or start your own project thread and maybe it will end up featured here!

1. Homemade 10 Wheel, Under $150!

The fact that RTH member @zarguy was able to build this beautiful ten wheel combination grinder polisher cabochon making machine for under $150 is truly amazing and should be an inspiration to anyone thinking about building their own machine. The ten wheel configuration gives the user much flexibility and wheel options over the factory built machines, and even eliminates the need for a second machine to house the grinding wheels.

Check out the full 10 wheel under $150 build on the RTH Forum

2. Walt’s Cabber

Beloved member Walt, who goes by @manofglass on the forum built this amazingly compact machine that proves the successful creation of cabochons does not require an enormous amount of space. Walt’s machine utilizes two hard grinding wheels and four soft diamond finishing and polishing wheels with water fed directly to each wheel through creative use of copper and brass fittings and valves.

Check out the full Walt’s Cabber build on the RTH Forum

3. Homemade Lapidary Machine

RTH member @elitami built this awesome cabochon grinder polisher combination with grinding wheels on the left and soft diamond polishing wheels on the right taking full advantage of water delivery directly to each wheel with large valve handles which is great for wet hands. The crafty use of one-piece plastic jug materials for water containment makes for less of a chance of leaks and adds to the overall longevity. The shaft arrangement which is open on both ends makes changing or rearranging wheels a breeze.

Check out the full Homemade Lapidary Machine build on the RTH Forum

4. Expanded the Home Built Grinder

RTH member @nik recently expanded his home built lapidary grinder to a ten wheel beauty featuring a highly versatile rubber expansion wheel on the left which uses various grit belts, easily changed out in a matter of seconds. As if that wasn’t enough, Nik added another drum and a flat disk plate on the right side and outside of the water enclosure so it will remain dry. The versatility of this lapidary machine is insane when you start to add up how many different grit and polishing combinations can be employed on a single unit.

Check out the full Expanded the Home Built Grinder on the RTH Forum

5. Cabzilla the Cab Machine

With eight 8″ wheels and a highly versatile dry drum on the right size, this beast was home built by RTH member @warrena and it lives up to it’s Cabzilla moniker in both size and performance. Warren made efficient use of a direct to wheel water delivery using an overhead PVC pipe with individual needle valves and a surprisingly compact enclosure design should keep the lapidary artist nice and dry.

Check out the full Cabzilla Cab Machine on the RTH Forum

6. Jeannie’s Cab Machine

RTH member Scott @nrg built this practical and functional six wheel cabochon machine for his lovely Jeannie and it was an instant success. Scott creatively used the original spouts on the waterproof enclosures for a much needed pan draining mechanism and located the motor under the table where it will stay nice and dry.

Check out the full Jeannie’s Cab Machine build on the RTH Forum

7. Homemade Cab Machine

A solid DIY cabbing machine entry by RTH member @leviathan21. One of the most unique catch pan drain operations that we have seen, fully integrated and functional as draining occurs directly in a five gallon bucket in which sediment settling can occur.

Check out the full Homemade Cabochon Machine build on the RTH Forum

8. Wall of Arbors

This wall of arbors approach by RTH member @cobbledstones might get the award for the most creative approach in a DIY rock grinding polishing setup. Sitting in a comfortable chair at just the right height promises to save a lot of wear and tear on the back and legs as opposed to the more typical stand up machines.

Check out the full Wall of Arbors build the RTH Forum

9. Homemade Wooded Spool Lap or Polishing Bat

RTH member @mirkaba created this old school grooved wood polishing bat not seen in the lapidary hobbies quite as often as before. Same basic concept as modern cabochon polishing on wheels except it’s done try and polishes are applied to the stone before it is brought in contact with the spinning wood.

Check out the full Homemade Wooded Spool Lap build on the RTH Forum

10. Homemade Cab Machine

The creativity of RTH member @spicerm is on full display with this visually beautiful cabochon grinding polishing machine. This member really went all in with a beautiful paint job to seal and protect the metal components, frame and belt cover which will reduce rust and add longevity to the machine build.

Check out the full Homemade Cab Machine build on the RTH Forum

Thanks for visiting our 10 DIY Cabochon Machines page. Be sure to visit our complete collection of DIY Projects by the community members of the Rock Tumbling Hobby Forum!