Saturday, 17 November 2018

Working With Petrified Wood

Last summer, my friend and fellow lapidary Glenn Cook from Arizona gave me some beautiful slabs of petrified wood from his "stash". I would tell you the extent of said "stash" but you'd never believe me. Let's just say it's... significant!

Anyway, Glenn cuts thick slabs and this one is about 11 mm. I was originally going to make a pendant and Vickie created a shape so I cut the slab and did a rough grind on the shape. Here's what it looked like.

Since it was too heavy, I thought I would try a little experiment to save me a lot of grinding. Could I actually cut this into two ovals without using a vise? First step was to draw a guide line.

Those of you with sharp eyes will notice that my line wasn't exactly straight but I knew that if I cut on the top side of the line on the left and ended up in the middle of the line on the right it would be perfect. Since I would be feeding the stone by hand, I decided to use my thin MK trim saw blade to give myself a little more margin for error. I carefully started to feed the stone into the blade and here's my result.

The thick piece on the left is now about 6 mm and I will now do a bevel around the edge on the good side and grind it smooth. If it is still too heavy, I'll grind a bit off the back. The one on the left is a shade under 4 mm.Again, sharp eyes will notice that there is now a shape defined on the right. That's the guitar pick that I'm going to make Vickie for our 48th anniversary in a few weeks. I'm thinking I might drill a little hole in it so she can wear it as well as use it as a pick.

Stay tuned for the final result!

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