In my website I have put some for gem carving and the
materials to use.
I found a lot on Oya’s website, but it was a little difficult to get
around, to me. There’s been a few things posted on this thread, but
most seem to be assuming what is meant by “Carving gemstones”.
That’s my first question, “What do you mean by carving?” It’s no
different from sculpture or wood carving, in the end. You can do
wood carving with a chain saw, or you can do it with microscopic
chisels, it all depends on what you mean by carving.
Rough to fine to finish, as in all things. First you need saws to
cut up your rough, then you’ll need larger wheels to blank out your
shapes, whatever they may be. As some others have said, you can do a
certain amount of carving with the corners of large grinding wheels.
If you want to do something more like relief carving or sculpture,
then you’ll likely want small wheels and points. Oya shows something
like 100 on his site - it all depends on what your needs and
preferences are, and those are things you accumulate over time, just
like files and burs at the bench…
For sanding and polishing, again, you do whatever does the job. You
can use standard sanding disks if they fit, and if they don’t you
use whatever DOES fit. Carvers tend to make their own sanders -
wooden wheels, dowels, skewers. Even toothpicks work better than you
might think. All of which are charged with compound or grit.
I used to do a lot of it - after I got my blank cut, I’d work with
my flex shaft over a Cool-Whip container. That’s any wide, flexible
container you can get your hand into. Flexible so it doesn’t trash
your hand as you work.
It all depends on what you mean by carving - cameo cutters use
little tiny tools and little tiny sanding wheels…