Working with Jade stone

Hi everyone,

In Hong Kong and thinking about buying some jade. Has anyone tried carving it yet?

Also, if I buy thin enough jade… Do you think it might be possible to actually cut it?

Tnx a bunch!

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I’ve got some jade, but have not thought about trying to etch it in the laser. The piece of jade I have is very rough cut (not polished), so I don’t think it will etch well.

As for cutting jade, I don’t expect the Glowforge will be able to cut stone.


Engrave, and score, yes. Cut? Depends on the composition, and the threshold of number of passes you consider to still be “cutting” and not “engraving so much it breaks into parts”.

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No, not at all :slightly_frowning_face: Even engraving it can be hit or miss. Generally speaking, stone isn’t burnt away like wood or other fibrous material, it’s “chipped” away in little tiny fragments. You may be able to engrave into the stone, but I don’t believe you’ll be able to “carve” is at all.

Having carved and cut jade, I learned first hand why it is referee to as a stone of spirit. There are many things that will scratch jade, but scratch is not carve or cut. You could grind a similar stone to powder with the energy expended to just grind the jade a bit.

The higher the speed of your grinding wheels the greater that difference will be. It is my understanding that there is a fibrous fine content that acts a bit like fiberglass resisting the cutting .

Of particular note, the Celadon porcelains were originally a kind of fake jade with the key issue in the very finest ones is a very controlled cooling cycle that emulated that very fine structure.


Amazing info, as always in this greatest of forums… I guess I value the manual labor of the Chinese with jade even more now :slight_smile:

Will pass on this project, thanks a lot!