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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
January 21, 2019, 10:12:23 am
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Desert ironwood

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Author Topic: Desert ironwood  (Read 220 times)
Redwilder
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« on: September 05, 2015, 11:56:27 pm »

Not sure if this fits in this section or not (not even rock related). I bought a gallon bag of old desert ironwood pieces at our club's gems how this spring. Liked the odd shaped pieces and how I've seen it turn out in other people's work. As I understand, it can be a pain to work. Does anyone have any experience in cutting, grinding, shaping, staining or polishing of this wood? Any pics of finished projects or jewerly where it's been used?
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 08:31:28 am »

Do you mean this stuff ?



I cut it on a table saw with a carbide tipped blade. Cut the teardrop shape on a scroll saw, attached it to a dop stick & worked it the rest of the way on my Genie with water to keep down the dust. To put a gloss on it, I used paste furniture wax. That's been many years ago and it still has a nice shine to it.

This is a beautiful wood as it is, with golden undertones that look almost metalic. I didn't think it needed staining, but I suppose any good anniliine die would work.

If you work Ironwood dry, wear a mask. the dust is toxic and can cause lung problems.
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 08:57:12 am »

Because it is very hard, it works easily with hand tools.  Files and sandpaper will take it down very quickly.  It can be taken to a soft glow with fine sandpaper alone.  Wax will make it shine.  I've never used water, but I do wear a mask.  Never heard that it was toxic before.  Thanks for the tip.
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