Abalone shells are used for jewellery making as well as for inlays in wood crafts and musical instruments. Cutting the shell can be slightly challenging. The most important thing to remember is that the shell dust is toxic to breathe, therefore, the use of a dust mask while cutting shells is imperative. Cutting shells is not any different than cutting most other materials as long as you select the proper tools for the job.
Cut the shell with the side cutter if you have larger amounts of shell to remove, and the work doesn't need to be detailed. Nip off the excess shell with the cutters.
Cut the shell with the piercing saw if the work is detailed. Be sure to select a narrow blade and cut slowly. Cutting corners carefully is a must if you do not wish to break either the shell or the saw blade.
Sand any rough edges.
Things you need
- Side cutter or piercing saw with a diamond blade