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Carving stones


Dear Listmates I wonder if any of you ever worked with precious, semi
precious stones or murbles etc to make miniture sculptures (for
jewellery making or home decorations)?

Do you use 4x or 5x milling machines?

Can you lead me to the direct source of about the related
carving machinaries?

Many thanks in advance…


Hello, I carve stones like black onyx, blue chalcedony, sugilite to
use in my jewellery. But I am sure you can carve stones for little
statues also. You can see the machine (at least some part of it) in
my web site where I showed how to carve a sugilite.

I will be in London in the beginning of November for almost 15 days.
I have been in London before so I know the historical sites and
shopping areas a little. But what I would like to know is; are there
rough stone shops where I can get some large pieces of transparent
rough stones like garnets, ametrine, amethyst, beryls (except
emerald) etc. at resonable prices? Kind regards from Turkey, Oya


I carve a wide variety of stones in a number of styles. I am
currently working on my first 3D figurine, but I have done basso
relief. I am currently using entry level tools while saving up for a
"Carver’s Machine" by Ron Wilson (805-528-5645), a modified Buffalo
dental drill originally designed by Thomas McPhee (my personal
favorite living gem carver. You can see some of his work at the GANA
(Gem Artists of North America) website,
as well as some other fantastic glyptic artists.) I use a fixed
arbor which started life as a grinder from Harbor Freight (around
$50) with the wheel removed and a Jacobs chuck ($15) attached to one
end (watch out for the other end). It is not as true as I would like
but I can get pretty impressive detail out of it (most of my pieces
are under 1 1/2"). I also use a Turbo-Carver although I am not as excited about
recommending them as I used to be. I think they are great for
part-time work and the company is constantly reworking them to
address technical problems but I keep wearing them out just ahead of
the curve. I have purchased 2 in the last 2 years and have broken my
latest already. The new model looks like it has solved the issues
that killed this one, but I’ve said that before and at around $200 a
throw I’m ready to move up to the big time. If you’re trying out gem
carving or starting with low capital I recommend the Turbo-Carver as
a good start. The new model has a direct water feed system that
should greatly extend it’s lifespan beyond my personal experience.

In another posting I also mentioned that I purchase dental burrs
from SmartPractice They sell a burr
called the “MFS Diamonds #201” that is the best teeny tiny bur I
have ever used. They run about $30 for a pack of 3 but are worth
more than that to me. Any one else have recommendations for tiny
work? I like carving reverse inaglio in gemstones which are likely
to be small to start with. If you are carving a cabachon you now are
working under a magnifying lens, literally. Well, every year since
age 8 I’ve have optometrists tell me that I am going blind, at least
I’ll have fun getting there.

Epaul Fischer
Gryphon Song Creations