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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
March 20, 2019, 07:06:25 am
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Carving obsidian

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Author Topic: Carving obsidian  (Read 1264 times)
AgateMan713
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« on: October 09, 2015, 09:52:48 pm »

I think this is the proper area to post this.

I have a couple nice hunks of mahogany obsidian that I am thinking about cutting and carving/ sanding, I have a lortone 6" wetsaw combo machine which will be My cutting and sanding station, I also have a dremel tool with the flexible shaft attachment that I plan on using, I am wondering if I should be worried about micro particals of obsidian making their way into My body since they are so sharp. Obviously a full face shield would be a good idea when sanding and cutting but is there anything else I should be looking for safety wise?

thanks for your time Guys
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Debbie K
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 10:09:30 pm »

You need to carve any stone wet. Some people use a drip system, I do when I'm carving large things with large bits. But when I'm doing smaller things, I mostly just dip the stone in a small pan of water. As long as you have mud, you're okay. The moment it looks dry, dip it or drip it.

I have found that grinding the obsidian on the larger wheels is the most dangerous time; large pieces fly off and cut you. My sphere maker friend always wore nitrile gloves; they're flimsy enough to tear off your hand and not pull your hand into the wheels but thick enough to give you some protection.

YES, wear goggles. I was subsidizing an eye doctor for a while when I didn't. I mostly wear optivisors which protect me well enough as most of what I do is small. I do wear goggles when grinding on the large diamond wheels.

I don't worry too much about the mud; just clean it up when I'm through. Some folks wear masks while doing any of this type of work; I just can't bear them. I've broken my nose so many times the pressure gives me horrible headaches. Silicosis is really serious, but since most of what I work on is so small and always wet, I'm not overly concerned.

Debbie K
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AgateMan713
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 10:22:48 pm »

biggest wheel I have is a 2.5" expandable wheel on my lortone combo saw so I don't think ill have much to worry about as far as working larger pieces since I have limited working space. having gone through welding/ automotive school I always wear safety glasses or a face shield when grinding/ working on anything that throws particles. just don't want to mess up my dremel wet carving lol
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Debbie K
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2015, 07:09:42 am »

You won't, as long as you use the flexible shaft. I've gone through 3 Dremels and it's the switches that wear out. The water doesn't effect the handpiece that much; just wipe it down when you're done.

By the way, I don't use so much water that I'm flinging it around the room; just enough to have no dust. I do splash up the desk I work on pretty good; that's why I finally hung a shower curtain up on the back part of my desk.

Debbie K
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AgateMan713
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2015, 01:27:06 pm »

thaks for the tip!
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2015, 10:10:56 pm »

So how bad can you get cut with this? I actually have some silver sheen obsidian I was going to carve up soon and I've never messed with obsidian before. Should I wear long sleeves?
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Debbie K
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2015, 10:40:56 pm »

I have only had chips hit me when doing large, bulk removal on either a super grinder or a 80 grit hard diamond wheel. The 100 grit hard wheel didn't throw large enough chips to cut me, and I've never had any cuts from stone chips while carving with the Foredom.

I have, however, run a few of the diamond burs into myself enough to do some damage. I've also had rocks break and cut me on occasion. This doesn't worry me too much as I'm a former wood carver and that's just part of carving.

I also got my hand caught in a rock grinder between a rock and the bottom of the pan and nearly lost my middle finger. The grinder is much more dangerous than a Foredom ever could be.

Debbie K
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2015, 12:12:01 am »

Oh my god...I'm sorry. I'll definitely be more careful with my 80 grit diamond wheel and watch my fingers more carefully when using the wheels.
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