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Aussie Jade Fish Hook Carving

michael B

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I have been very busy over the last month in my stainless fab business, but I always have time to carve some Aussie gemstone, in this case a piece of blueish green nephrite jade from my region of Tamworth NSW AUS, showing some of the steps involved, this is my first carving with my new air pencil grinder- polisher, awesome tool,recommended to me by a carver on this forum.


The sequence of the attachments are















Cheers michael B :)












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Really good-looking hook and really pretty jade. Your photos do a really good job showing the steps one goes through to cut and polish rock.


For you and all other stone carvers on the forum, I got an interesting piece of advice a while ago regarding carving jade and like-hardness stones. When you need to do any really tiny detail work and the rotary tools are inappropriate, you can make a tiny chisel out of tungsten carbide drill stock. I had some around that I had broken and I used my diamond files and wheels to shape and polish them. I found that they work as well as diamond scibes and if they chip, it's a simple matter to reshape them.


My husband and I have been doing more remodeling lately, I haven't been doing too much carving. Have a piece that for some reason I just can't finish, nothing seems right. Will post it if I ever get done.




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Thanks Debbie, the carbides sound interesting, this piece of nephrite was a challenge to smooth and polish, it is quite hard around 6.5, but had a bit of trouble with orange peel on the inner, I have ordered some cheap diamond exp drum belts that I will cut up and use on the inner to try to get rid of this, the final polish was on linde A, diamond would not polish it.


Cheers michael B

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Nice hook michael B. I feel I must shift the focus of this thread slightly to address one of the posts.

Debbie K; What exactly are you doing with those tiny carbide chisels you've made? Are you using them as scribes? I can't see how they could be used to chisel material from a piece of jade or a stone of like hardness.

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The tungsten carbide has a hardness of approximately 8, the jade is usually around 7, give or take .5. So it's harder than the jade. You can use it to refine tiny details. For example, I carve lots of faces and some of them are as small as 1/2 inch. The circular diamond bits can only do so much, sometimes you need to sharpen lines and do a little undercutting. The tungsten carbide and diamond scribes enable you to do this. You are basically scratching a line and then deepening it, it takes a long time but the only alternative to them is to use dress-maker pins, oil and diamond powder. The pins tend to flex (bend) and you don't have very good control over them in a rotary tool. I've also used razor blades (or exacto knife blades) with the diamond powder and oil.


I wouldn't try the tungsten carbide on any transparent stone, unless it was really soft. Too much danger of cracking. But the jades and jaspers and some agates are pretty tough, and I wouldn't worry about trying them. I've personally only used it on jade and agate.


I'll try anything once. I've tried polishing with unorthodox things, such as Zam and tripoli. They really work on some stones, just as the rubberized polishing points do. I've used sandpaper, emery boards, etc. Each rock is a different challenge.


Hope this answers your question and we'll get back to Michael's really nice carving.


Debbie K

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