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Baz

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Hi all - bit of a story with this carving

My wife is passionate about transferring the indigenous Long-fin Eel (Tuna) from the high country lakes to a place below the Hydro Dams, where they can resume their migration to the Sea so that they can complete their life cycle.

 

It's her birthday next month, so I thought I'd try and make something appropriate for her.

As usual, I started out with a firm (I thought) idea of how it was going to turn out.

 

The only thing that remained constant was the Eel.

 

The carving now shows the Eel on her journey from the mountains to sea.

If you look carefully at the carving, you may find:-

Aoraki (Mt Cook) my wife's sacred mountain, white water draining into a high country lake, two Eels, the three dams that cannot be traversed by the Eels, the Sea and a Salmon moving upstream as the Eel swims downstream.

The back is just a whimsical thought I had - in other words it just seemed to be right.

 

The piece of beef bone used, was given to me by my Cousin after her dog had finished with it and as I definitely do not like bleaching the bone, I am always eager to see the different colours which are revealed - I am particularly pleased with this one.

 

As always, I welcome any and all comments critical or otherwise - I stand in awe of some of the work being done by others on this forum

 

post-2930-0-89699600-1336817716.jpg post-2930-0-35720900-1336817732.jpg

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Thanks Guys - might try the salted water trick next time and see what happens :wacko:

Quick question - I heard/read somewhere that Brasso works well on bone. Anyone tried it?

I'm curious to know if it stains the bone at all, or just polishes it.

One thing I did notice (after I posted the photos) is the amount of crud? remaining in the grooves.

Tried sanding it out but can't get in there easily to polish it out.

I was wondering if Brasso on a rag wrapped around a toothpick would do the trick - bit loath to try it on this piece and as I don't have any other carving on the go would like to know if anyone else has experience with this method.

Eagerly awaiting any comments on this :unsure:

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I use a wheel with a white polishing compound. People would probably advise you not to use a wheel as they're a bit risky. I think I've lost 3 carvings in the early days. But I'm now pretty savy when it comes to what to do and what NOT to do, to safely polish your carving. It's pretty much the only techniques I know. Maybe wait for some 'safer' advice if you don't like living on the edge, lol. There's always a touch of residue on the piece after polishing. I use a toothpick to clean it out.

 

Good luck, Gareth

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Hi Baz

I suggest using tools similar to the dremel 403, 404 & 405 to get into the deep grooves. You can try Dremels polishing paste - art 421.

The polishing paste that I used to use was made up from titanium dioxide (a white powder used in paint and canvas shoe cleaners) mixed with dishwasher detergent. It washes off easily after use. It gives gold a teriffic shine!

I now have a variety consisting of different grits - pink, green & white - made by Tork Craft that seem to work.

When I was in practice the lab use Brasso for polishing dentures - worked well.

A toothpick used in the Dremel works well for cleaning and polishing some grooves.

Toothy

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That is a very nice design!

To polish the pieces i make, i use diffrent kind of polishpowders mixed with oil, so i can chose from different colours. Red, green blue etc. Depending on the material it gives a nice shine in that colour.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have started using Eucryl tooth polish powder which works really well i cover the carving with it then rub between my finger and thumb for about 10 mins then use a buffing wheel on a dremel to polish off. Smells of mint too.

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Hi Garry

I'd be interested to see the difference in finishes between your method and mine.

I just rub between thumb and fingers while reading or watching TV - don't even have to worry about buffing with the Dremel

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Hi Baz, i use various grits down to 1200 to polish then use Eucryl just to get an extra shine, i use the dremel mainly to get residues out of fine detail not really for polishing. I will post acouple of examples later to see the difference of before eucryl and after but it might not be too obvious on photo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Dan

As I might have mentioned before, not having access to a bench buffer and being a bit loathe to use the buffing wheel on my Dremel, I use various grades of sandpaper finishing up with 1200 grit. Then I just keep the piece in my pocket and rub it between thumb and fingers. Watching the idiot box and/or reading is another good time to do this (in fact any spare time when you have at least one hand free is a good time). You'd be very surprised at the level of polish achieved in a relatively short period of time. A toothpick in the Dremel (used carefully or you'll leave burn marks) will take care of any deepish grooves etc.

Hi Janel

Many thanks for this Forum by the way.

I have used toothpaste but had a problem with the deeper grooves. It does give a good finish but I think it comes down to personal choices.

I do intend to try Brasso when I get the chance, I understand that gives good results as well - will keep you all posted.

Billy has a couple of good posts as well on this subject (He da Man as far as I'm concerned for bone carving)

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toothpaste makes sense.that reminds me of when i was reading somewhere where a turner was making miniture vases and he uses a electric toothbrush with the the vibrating head and he velcros tiny sanding discs on the head. then he can sand small areas with the sandpaper perhaps that can be used with alot of these carvings.

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Working on the finish by hand with the sandpaper grits going up in number, down in particle size is the most sure and careful way when working with detailed carvings. Power tools are fast and not easy to focus on specific points or areas on a carving, and if there happens to be a single grain that is scratching rather removing scratches, you have a lot of backing up to do once you discover the problem.

 

I lobby for hand tools over power once you have gone beyond roughing in a piece. After all of the work and care getting a piece to the point of finishing, it is not worth hurrying up the process because of impatience to get on to the next project. That is exactly when one needs to call upon the greatest patience of all, to sand, or sharp edge scrape, and check, and repeat, until the desired surface finish is achieved.

 

Janel

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In regards to the toothpaste, I've actually used toothpaste before it was Arm and Hammer low abrasive and it was great! I actually use it on a regular basis, but only after sanding 150-2000 grit... I like to use a buffing pad before I use the toothpaste as well. It really does work wonders surprisingly..

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while turning i have been shown a trick that helps to prevent deep scratches. if it works well on soft wood then it should work on bone or stone. (only eperimenting will find out) http://www.woodturne...sc_holders?Args= these padded disc holders give a soft back to the sandpaper so it can contour around the surface a piece of wood more. these fit into a holder that rotates as the lathe rotates so it tends to blend and sand at the same time. but they can be mounted in a drill/ powered carving tool. dont know how well it would work especial on something this small but they are easy to make. so you can make them as small as you wanted. you just need carpet padding, velcro and a nut and bolt. cut the head off the bolt and grind smooth. drill a hole the size of you nut in the wood. glue the nut into a block of wood. glue the padding on the front. then you glue velcro on the padding. screw the bolt onto your paddes sanding surface and mount in your favorite tool. while turning at 4000 rpms the sand paper tends to leave lines across the wood with this spinning on the wood it blends the scratches into a uniform sanding and the progresion of sand paper blends it total smooth. might be difficult to do this with pendents or what not but with a larger sculpture it might work at lease for more open areas in details ya you would have to go to hand sanding.

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