Hey, sounds fun to make your own agate burnisher (s). Of course, I
have never seen one - but have some observations that I wanted to add
to the discussion.
I experimented with using some of my wax tools and they worked fine.
The wax tool that has an elongated cup with a balled area behind it
(to hold the heat) - worked pretty well. Another one that proved to
be useful was a broken dental tool that I just sanded and polished the
end to a nice rounded shape - and it is very useful. I regularly buff
the metal surface of the tools - including the regular burnishers - to
help prevent any tearing of the foil while burnishing. They all seem
to come in handy - but am discovering my favorites.
I would think that one of the clinchers in determining the shape
would be to have enough length in the handle portion to keep the hand
away from the hot plate burner or heat source. I think this is one
reason why I like the dental tools - better than my “real” burnishers.
I like Dr. Dule’s idea. It would be neat to have a curved handle
maybe in metal to connect the stone to and then wood at the end - to
keep the hand cool. In my dreams! But it would be a great project to
make the tool after knowing what would work best for our individual
needs and setup.
The shape of the burnisher tip in agate could possibly be determined
by the work you are doing - what how large and what type of surface
are you adhering the gold to. I would make a few - if there was
enough raw material . . . one that was something like a metal
burnisher and maybe a smaller more rounded pointed tip (does that make
sense?) for touching up particular areas that might bubble later and
the intial tacking down. And of course i have never seen or held an
agate burnisher - so, this is definitely a contribution of info that
may not be applicable! Just that I love the technique and sounds
great to be able to cut your own tool from stone.
Look forward to hearing back on the results of your efforts, John,
and how you like using the agate for this purpose.