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Before you go. Too much pressure or a slip with the scraper either stops the lathe, knocks the piece off supplie faceplate or breaks the stone. Wooden rim segments are applied with cyanoacrylate glue. By: Rachel Mork If you want to design your own craft supplies lathe tools crack carving patternsyou will want to take a good look at existing patterns before creatin You will feel them and hear them; they will take the edge right off your tool, sometimes making sparks as they do so.

Below: Turning procedures are much the same as for scraping cuts in wood. I use a Makita dust collector, with its intake nozzle mounted near the tool rest.

This clears the air and helps keep the dust out of the headstock bearings. In addition to breathing problems, the dust can dry out your skin severely, so I wear latex gloves. Of course, wear a face shield: These are rocks, not wood chips, that will be flying off the lathe. I recommend steel-toe shoes, because the rocks are quite a bit heavier than wood, and if you turn enough of them, you will inevitably drop one off the lathe. The last time this happened to me, the LB. Attaching alabaster to the lathe - I usually start with a pin chuck from the rim side, then proceed as shown in the photos on the facing page.

The only unusual gadget I use is a device to center and clamp the preturned wood base to the piece. It is a simple stub with the proper Morse taper for the tailstock on one end and threads for a faceplate on the other end.

This avoids turning a mortise and tenon to center the bowl on the base. You can also adapt other chucking systems to alabaster. You can grind a flat on what will be the base of the piece with a belt sander, glue on a preturned wood base, glue or, for small pieces, double-tape a waste block to this base and screw a faceplate to the waste block.

Or, you can grind a flat on the rim side, tape it to a faceplate, turn the outside, then glue on a base and waste block as before. Use whichever method seems most comfortable to you.

Turning techniques - You must rely on a fairly gentle touch as you turn, because alabaster isn't flexible. The rotational energy of the lathe must be absorbed by the tool, the tool rest and your hands, or by the scraping away of the stone's surface. Too much pressure or a slip with the scraper either stops the lathe, knocks the piece off the faceplate or breaks the stone. You will likely find two additional crystals in alabaster: quartz and selenite. Quartz crystals are very hard and may be as large as a pencil eraser or as small as a grain of sand.

You will feel them and hear them; they will take the edge right off your tool, sometimes making sparks as they do so. If you run into quartz, stop and dig it out.

My "quartz digger" is simply a concrete nail with a piece of wood for a handle. Selenite is another crystalline form of gypsum. It usually is found on the outside of the rocks and looks similar to mica. You can cut selenite, and if it runs deep in to the rock, it can yield spectacular results. But, selenite crystals usually separate from the rest of the piece, so keep filling with Hot Stuff as you turn, as this will sometimes keep the crystals in place. If you decide to permanently attach a wood base or rim to the alabaster, the Hot Stuff glue makes a good permanent bond.

Whenever one of my joints has failed there has always been a layer of alabaster left attached to the wood, indicating the stone, not the glue, as the weak link. Just remember: The wood will move as its moisture content changes; the stone will not. With wood pieces as small as the rims on these bowls, wood movement doesn't seem a problem; with the larger pieces, it can be.

After the piece is turned, finish all surfaces of the base with a moisture-sealing finish. Finishing alabaster - I first sand the surface with 36 grit for rougher shaping, working up through micron sandpaper available from The Luthier's Mercantile, Box Moore Lane, Healdsburg, Calif. I use all the sandpaper dry. My favorite finish is paste wax, but you might prefer lacquer or the traditional oil finishes commonly applied to wood turnings. College, Ft.

Collins Colo. Stan Jones, the owner, says that the company deals mostly be the ton, and small pieces suitable for turning are, in effect, waste that may or may not be available at any given time. You may have to wait six weeks to two months for delivery of a small order.

I suggest you start with a lb. Drill cores of 2 in. Here again, if you want lbs. A speedier yet more expensive route is to order from a specialty supplier. Sculpture House 30 E. New york N. You might be able to obtain the rock from local sculptors or sculpture-supply houses as well: Alabaster is a very popular carving stone.

Here in the West, you can often find alabaster at rock shops along the highway. If they don't have it, they probably know who does. Another approach is to become a prospector.

Look for places on the map with names like Alabaster, Gypsum or Plasterville. Gypsum, the main component of Sheetrock, is fairly common, and where there is gypsum there will be alabaster. By asking around, you can usually get permission to dig it. The question is whether or not it will be solid enough and large enough to be useful.

Here's how to test: You want a piece that gives off a good ring when struck. Pick the piece up and give it a sharp tap. My favorite tapper is a wooden-handle rigging axe, which is a framing hammer that combines a typical hammerhead with a hatchet face instead of a claw.

A solid piece will have a clear clink Craft Supplies Lathe Tools Quotes or a ring. If you get the sound of an indistinct "thud," look for fractures and break off anything that looks loose, or try holding the piece differently, then tap again.

With a lb. One final caution about finishes: Your bowls must be purely decorative or at least reserved for the storage of dry goods, because alabaster dissolves in water.

How quickly? Well, a few drops of water on a waxed alabaster surface probably won't make marks, but I once filled a bowl with water and the liquid noticeably etched the surface in half an hour. Obviously, if there is a fracture in the piece where water can seep through, things will only get worse. To avoid this kind of damage, I sometimes lacquer the inside surface, especially on enclosed shapes.

I don't especially like the look or feel of the lacquer, but it is hard to see inside these enclosed vessels anyway. I also think that with enclosed shapes it is more likely that someone down the line will l put water in them. In those cases, lacquering should work fine, unless a possible natural fracture in the stone eventually causes the lacquer to check. One of the best rules when beginning to work with alabaster is that if at first you don't succeed, keep trying.

Half of these are due to excessive concentrations of quartz or structural problems with the stone, and half are just my mistakes.

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