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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
March 20, 2019, 07:35:43 am
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Copper burs for use with diamond slurry

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Author Topic: Copper burs for use with diamond slurry  (Read 322 times)
samaeljaxon
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« on: October 17, 2015, 07:25:37 pm »

I've been looking for some good copper burs to use with different grits of diamond powder and mineral oil, but I haven't found exactly what I needed. I was wondering what was used in that video that's on here from YouTube, where the guy uses an olive oil diamond slurry to carve out a replica of an ancient Greek cameo/carving of a scarab.

That's the method I really want to try out next since these diamond burs and water/oil aren't working the best for me. I'd appreciate any input. Thank you guys.

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Debbie K
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 08:39:31 pm »

Sam:

We make them ourselves. I use brass rather than copper, since I already had some brass rod. I got mine at a hobby shop, the kind that sells models. It is made by K & S and is sold on Amazon, too.

Since I didn't have a lathe, I made a holder out of a 2x4 and 1x4 for my foredom, fashioned a steady rest, used my hand held gravers and files and made 7 identical bits. I have 6 different grades of grit, but you wear out the 100 and 200 grit burs really quickly. I should have made 8.

The great thing is that you can make any shape you find useful instead of being stuck with what you get in the packs. I'm showing a picture of the holder, the set-up is for carving with a water drip, but you get the idea. There's a slit cut in the top of the 2x4 which goes down into the holder for the handset, and a hole drilled above that hole with a carriage bolt through it so it can be tightened to hold the handset. I don't show a steady rest, but you can figure that out.

I put a little oil on the piece I'm carving and put a little diamond powder in that oil and then turn on the tool. The diamond and oil will get flung off, but if you work slowly enough you can "chase" it around the piece. The diamond also imbeds in the metal. The slurry will be black.

I find it more useful to carve with the commercial bits which I have up to 600 grit, and then start polishing/carving with 600, then 1200, 3000 and finally 8000. Woodcraft sells this set http://www.woodcraft.com/product/149386/diamond-tip-carving-burr-set-120-piece.aspx which is fairly decent.

That link you were on is full of great advice from lots of people about what to use and how. Read the Carving section links; they're really instructive.

Debbie K



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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 09:57:15 pm »

So you use K & S brass rods? How do you get them shaped into those wider, disk-like shapes? Thank you for that great bit of info there. :]
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 10:13:16 pm »

Also, is there a good way to get the copper tip onto a thinner, steel rod? Those look like they're soldered or welded onto a different kind of metal.
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Debbie K
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2015, 10:33:55 pm »

Silver solder will solder copper or brass to steel. Jeweler's supplies like Rio Grande sell it; I'd opt for medium or hard. You'll need a propane torch to solder.

You can cut the copper or brass out of sheet and solder them to mandrels.

I did shaping with files and gravers.

Debbie K
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2015, 10:38:10 pm »

 You can solder copper washers together and then shape them after mounting on a mandrel for larger sizes. Copper grounding rod wound and soldered and then shaped has been used as well.
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2015, 12:08:32 am »

Thanks a bunch guys. Do you guys by chance know how I could make my own rubber or felt polishing burs as well? I'm having a hard time finding some without grit already on it for a decent price.
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bobby1
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2015, 07:04:33 am »

You can get felt sheets at McMaster Carr and use a gasket punch to cut out the circles for polishing wheels.
Bob
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2015, 01:24:59 pm »

Thanks, Bobby. McMaster-Carr is really what I've been looking for for these types of things. Does anybody know where I can get some good quality gravers? I was looking at the GRS gravers and they seem to be the quality I'm looking for, but I wanted to know if you guys knew of a better deal for cutting and shaping these brass burs.
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Debbie K
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2015, 07:07:00 pm »

Do you have access to a metal lathe? I only used gravers because that's what I had. The lathe is safer and the bits are held in a holder; ever so much safer.

I have Muller and GRS gravers, seem the same to me. I primarily used the onglette, as I was making concave bits. Files work great for flat and convex shapes.

Thanks, Bob, for the tip. I don't buy many felt wheels because they're so expensive; I'm going to look into this.

Debbie K
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2015, 01:37:39 pm »

No, unfortunately I don't have access to a lathe, but I did go ahead and pick up some of the GRS gravers since the reviews on them were pretty good. Thanks a bunch!
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