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Turning Stone

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Oldflyer2

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This was my first attempt at turning stone.

The Urn body is made of Italian soapstone. The base and lid is walnut and the top rim is maple. The handle on the lid is African Blackwood.

This piece is approx 5 1/2in dia and approx 6 1/2in tall. It weighs 5 lbs.

The finish is sanding sealer wiped off whilst wet and repeated 3 times. It then has a coat of automtive wax.





Tom
 

PowerTool

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Very nice - what tools did you use to turn the stone ? (i.e. is soapstone soft enough to use HSS chisels?)

Andrew
 

Oldflyer2

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Hi Andrew,

Yes, soapstone is quite soft and I mostly used a regular 3/8 spindle gouge on it. The inside was mainly done with a round nosed scraper.

You do have to take your time because if the stone gets too hot it will crack.

The most important part of the whole thing is a mask of some sort. You must keep this dust out of your lungs. I don't do a lot of stone because of this factor alone.

Tom
 

Unlucky Alf

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Very nice Tom. I love the contrasting materials.

Please excuse a couple of newbie questions but how do you mount the stone? and how often do you find that you need to sharpen when turning soapstone?

Simon.
 

Oldflyer2

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Hi Simon

In this case, the wood and the stone were glued together in the rough. I use a chuck on the lathe so I made the mounting hole in what is now the top. Did the rough turning and also while it was on the lathe, used a forstner bit in Jacobs chuck in the tailstock. Made the other mounting indent and turned everything around and finished the outside and inside.

For other stone turnings, I just mount the stone to a piece of wood and mount on a faceplate. Torn as usual and part of when done.

As for sharpening the tools, only once until I was finished. Soapstone is so soft, you could actually use your fingernail ... but it would hurt ... go ahead, ask me how I know that.

I use Titebond or TitebondII glue. Think you call it PVA. The stone surface has to be smooth as does the wood. I use 80 grit sandpaper for that so there is some "tooth" there for the glue to grip.
Tom
 

Unlucky Alf

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Tom,

Thanks for that I didn't realise that PVA would grip well enough on stone, I had thought that it would require some form of construction adhesive.

you could actually use your fingernail ... but it would hurt ... go ahead, ask me how I know that.
Go on then, I hope this story doesn't involve fingernails parting company with fingers.

-----------
Simon
 

Oldflyer2

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Hi Alf,

No, nothing as bad as that. I was sanding another piece and couldn't figure out why I kept getting a groove on the piece and my finger was getting sore. Looked at the sore finger ... it had been overhanging the sandpaper and under the nail was filled with stone!

Don't do that anymore! Cut me fingernails more often.

Tom
 
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