The ultimate jewelers guide: the illustrated reference of techniques, tools & materials
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A wide array of design styles and the consistent high level of detail in the projects will appeal to a range of woodworkers. What do you get when an accomplished woodworker and senior editor of Fine Woodworking magazine sets himself the challenge of designing and building one box a week for a solid year? You get 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks, a book dedicated to making relatively simple—yet gracefully elegant—boxes that woodworkers of all skill levels will be eager to build.
Readers will begin by learning the fundamental box-making techniques that are applicable to almost every box in the book:. Following that, Kenney reveals some universal design principles that can be used as guidance as readers develop their own design aesthetic. And then, of course, the book transitions to the 52 boxes themselves.
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PDF Instructions. The technique consists of dropping in facets at the corner ribs. This nicely rounded off the plan view into something more nearly representing a circle.
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It was an 8-sided circle to be sure, but a more circular configuration nonetheless. Again, it is not difficult to guess why the single cut represented the next step.
The explanation lies in the physical properties of the diamond itself. An easy cutting grain lies diagonal to each rib. If a bruter rubs two diamond ribs diagonal to each other, he is following the soft grain on each crystal. It would not have taken all that much experimentation to determine that four additional corner facets could be dropped in on both the pavilion and the crown portions of the crystal. In contemporary cutting, these corner facets are the same width as the bezel facets and the angles of all eight pavilion facets are 41 degrees.
In ancient times, the corner facets were generally narrower than the original sides and no knowledge of appreciation of angles was evident. First in importance was the work of Louis de Berquen, of Bruges, Flanders. Generally acknowledged as the Father of Modern Diamond Cutting, he is best known for his introduction, about , of absolute symmetry, improvements in the polishing process, and the development of the pendeloque shape.
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He is also credited with the development of the horizontally mounted metal grinding wheel, known in diamond parlance as a skeif. It is doubtful if he actually developed the wheel. What he unquestionably did do for the first time, was to cover the metal wheel with diamond dust suspended in oil. The oil, of course, kept the diamond particles on the rotating wheel rather than allow centrifugal force to sling them away.
This led to extraordinary advances in polishing technology and control of the cut stones. Because of the great leap in polishing excellence, historians also gave him credit for the wheel itself. This is highly questionable. It is much more likely that this invention occurred in India where diamond working originated. De Berquen certainly made improvements on the wheel. He also used it to far better advantage than heretofore. Indians, though, had been using such flat turning surfaces for centuries.
This was a classical pendeloque shape.
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Entrusted by Charles Le Temeraire, Duke of Burgundy, with three large rough diamonds in , de Berquen responded with a revolutionary level of shape, design, and cutting excellence known as the Sancy design. The impact on the French court on the brilliant, imaginative cuts, was such that all of France and Europe soon began demanding brilliant diamonds.
Without a doubt, the age of the diamond had truly arrived. Refinements, as could be expected, were to come along later. It should be recognized that de Berquen, however brilliant his cutting breakthrough, was not concentrating on brilliance and optics at the time. This design ambition was totally successful. Success though, still wrested payment in kind. The historically famous Sancy Diamond may have represented a true break away from everything that had gone on before, but it is a cut stone that is really too thin to display maximum brilliance as the cut is repeated on both sides.
Notice that the corners are merely truncated. They are not the same width as the main or bezel facets. This gives the de Berguen cut a blocky or chunky appearance, a shape known better today as a square emerald. The truly important contribution involved the appearance of triangular break facets on both the crown and pavilion. These helped control and discipline the light. In the absence of theory that would explain what was occurring internally, the break facets improved scintillation by a quantum leap.
Little wonder that society responded so favorably to this innovation. Cutting the Sancy on both sides, though, demonstrated that the bottom of a gemstone could provide interesting optical effects.