Mounting Your Own Crystals

These instructions will show you how to make nicely mounted crystals just like the ones in the old crystal radios. Materials needed are:
-Minerals to mount, such as galena or iron pyrite
-Solder or Woods metal
-Mold for the mounts
-Soldering iron

You can make the mold by drilling a 7/16 inch hold in a piece of any material that will withstand the head of the molten solder. Some mounts are 1/2 inch. I use 1/4 inch thick acrylic and Woods metal that melts at 158 degrees F. I drill the 7/16 inch hole and then smooth and slightly bevel the inside edges of hole with sandpaper so the crystal will push out the bottom smoothly.
Although some users don't agree, I think the high temperatures necessary to melt solder diminish the sensitivity of the crystal.
I use another piece of acrylic underneath as a base plate clamped together so that the 2 pieces can be separated and the crystal pushed out the bottom of the mold when cool.

Break off a piece of mineral the size you want. I use wire cutters. It is best to test the crystal and find the best surface to leave facing upwards.

Next, melt some of your mounting metal in the hole about 2/3 full. Remember, the crystal will take up some room so don't fill it up all the way or it will uverflow when you put the rock in.

Then while the metal is still liquid, drop the rock on to the surface, keeping the best surface pointing upwards.

The rock will tend to float up so you have to hold it down while the metal cools and hardens.
When it is cool, separate the mold from the base plate and push the mounted crystal out the bottom.
Be careful, it will be HOT at first, epsecially if you use solder.

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