Gem Dopping with CA Glue

Cyanoacrylate glue or commonly referred to as CA glue has been used more and more in the recent past in gemstone cutting and faceting. You too can enjoy its incredible qualities when dealing with your lapidary stones. Here is how it is used and how you can do it.

lapidary supplies

The glue makes gem dopping easy and efficient. By quickly creating a strong bond between your gemstone and the dop, it makes the cabbing process easy. It replaces your need for wax that requires the heating. CA glue, therefore, makes the process not only easier for you but also efficient regarding quality and time consumption.

By now you are eager to know how you can do it by yourself. It is a simple procedure, and with the right skill, your work can be boosted. But first, here are a couple of basics before the process.


When shopping for your lapidary supplies, include CA glue, and you will never regret it. This super glue works perfectly with most lapidary stones, however; it works best for ruby, jade, and sapphire. The dop you will need to use is stainless steel or brass. Aluminum dops are not suitable for the procedure because aluminum oxidizes quickly creating a layer that prevents the formation of a stable bond.

ca glue

How to use CA Glue

1. Pavilion:

Once you have your stone carving supplies ready, its time to get working. The first step is to do faceting. Because the glue can work well with finer finishes, using a smooth saw or 600-disc is okay for you. You can also use the 170/200 disc which is quicker.

2. Dop Preparation:

The next step is to prepare your dop which could be brass or stainless steel. Make sure it is ready and fit in the dop holder perfectly

3. Cleaning:

You will need to clean the dop and gemstone. The best cleaning agent is ethyl alcohol. In case you are wondering why; it is because the other cleaning agents do leave a film that weakens the bond.

4. CA Glue Application:

It is time to apply your cyanoacrylate glue on the dop now. Apply a single drop of the glue on the end of the dop which is more than enough to cover that surface.

5. Joining the Stone and Dop:

Now, with the stone in one hand and the dop on top in the other, bring them together gradually, turning or twisting the dop until you can feel some resistance. Turn them over now so that the stone can be on top. By now the bond has been formed, and so you can release the lapidary stone. Gently rotate them so that the excess glue forms a fillet around your gemstone increasing the connection strength.

6. Dop Holder Setup

Now set the assembled stone and dop in the dop holder, and you are ready to process your gem.


Now you understand why everyone is shifting towards CA glue. You can go ahead and utilize it too by purchasing at Just be careful because your fingers can get glued to the dop. If it gets on your fingers, soak the fingers in fingernail polish remover.