First, I started with a small slab of petrified wood. I used a Sharpie to mark the circle that I wanted for the outer ring of my cab.
Then I took it to the saw and cut as much of the bulk from outside the circle as I felt safe doing. I'm still a little nervouse about getting my fingers too close.
Then I took it to the first of the polishing wheels. I think it is more of a grinding wheel. I rounded off all of the sharp edges and corners. Then I turned it against the wheel to get the cab circular (since I was making a round cabochon). I made sure to grind everything off as close to the circle that I had drawn on the back as I could. Then I rounded the front face to make it look like an overstuffed pillow.
Using the second wheel took out most of the scratches from the first wheel. Or that's what they said it did. I really didn't see much difference until I rinsed it off. It kinda looks cool.
Now this is a polishing wheel. Look at it shine. All I had to do was to keep it moving all over the wheel until I didn't hear it making hard grinding noises.
The second polishing wheel (I don't care if the name is right or not. Those first wheels didn't polish) sure did make it sparkle. I just did the same thing with this one as I did with all the others. All you have to do is to keep spinning the stone against the wheel until it sounds done.
By the third wheel, I was having trouble seeing the grains of the 'wood' when I took it into the sun. There was too much reflection. I thought it already looked great. I was in for a surprise later on.
Wheel four. It really is turning into so much more than I had imagined.
The proverbial Fifth Wheel. It made a little froth when I was polishing. I can really start to see my mistakes. But that's ok. This is just the second cab I have made. It's not going to be perfect, but it is still pretty.
And now a finished cabochon. I know what I did wrong. I can fix that on my next one. I showed it to all my friends. I made it. Even with the flat top and the not quite round edges, it is something that a piece of rock and I set out to do. It is an accomplishment that I can be proud of.