When I am setting a stone that needs to be cushioned I cut a
piece of sheet cork. It provides a nice give, doesn't rot or swell
if it gets wet, and is environmentally friendly.
You don't mean to infer that sawdust is not environmentally
friendly, do you?
Only by comparison as a commercial endeavor. IMHO cork is one of the
great undervalued materials. It doesn't swell if it gets wet, it is
not only compressible but resilient. When placed under a fragile
stone it will give if pressure is placed on a stone and will the
return to a snug fit, even after a hundred years. Wine bottle corks
don't actually swell (perceptivly) from water absorption, they
compress and then return.
Cork has many uses in in a workshop. The hand rest for my engravers
block is cork. I have cork flooring in front of the machines that I
stand up to use. I glue cork to the bottom of items that I don't
want to slide around (it has a higher friction coefficient than
rubber or leather, even when wet or greasy). I use cork floor tiles
for vibration absorption and there is a cork tile under my chairs to
keep my feet warm when I work bare footed. I place a sheet of cork
(which I purchased at an arts & crafts store) under my carving arbor
so that if (OK, when) I drop a stone it has a nice soft water
resistant landing zone. I have a set of custom scrapers and diamond
points that are all "corked" so that I don't skewer myself anymore.
I use cork for gasket material for volatile liquids. I'm sure I'm
missing some opportunities, but it's great stuff. It is also one of
the most environmentally friendly substances known. The trees aren't
cut down, almost 100% of the harvest is used, and I believe the cork
tree was the reason for the first environmental protection laws ever
written. If all that isn't enough to convert you into a rabid
corkophile, cork is credited for saving the life of Alexander the
Seriously, when I get the time/money to finally put flooring in my
workshop, it will be cork flooring. We have it in parts of our house
and it is amazing.
Gryphon Song Creations
Signet rings and custom gem carvings