Wednesday, April 2, 2014

DIY Stone Tablets

Why use faux materials when crafting an actual stone tablet is relatively easy?

Andrew Wishart brings us the results of his stone carving efforts.  You can't get much more realistic than actually scribing a design into real stone.  Slate is relatively soft and, as he points out, takes well to both manual and rotary carving.
So, the first actual stone item I've made -  done just before the Elder Sign below, since this one didn't actually need the dremel given how soft slate is.  Softer than I remembered actually, I knew you could leave white lines on it easily, didn't realise how easy it was to properly carve into it though.  Neat.  That said the dremel came in useful for the writing/markings on the reverse because the sheer number would have taken much longer than the few minutes it did. 


Ring and Raven said...

In terms of how soft it is I carved the face of it alternating between the dremel for some bits and the cheap diamond drill bit removed from the dremel, and a spare Stanley knife blade - it needed remarkably little pressure. As said the reverse was done entirely with the dremel for speed.

I will warn though that slate tends to flake around any engraved corners, particularly if you make a small enclosed shape like the little triangles that are part of the symbols.

The whole thing, plus an Elder Sign engraved in a much harder pebble, probably took about an hour, maybe less? That includes deciding what I was going to do with it though, and I wasn't consistently working on it the whole time.

CoastConFan said...

I hadn’t thought about slate carvings in years. It is pretty soft and you can cut some interesting figures with just a sharp iron nail as a tool if you have nothing else. When I visited the Hittite capital of Hattusas in Turkey, the local village children produced some interesting works of art for sale or trade. Some were copies of existing Hittite carvings and others were absolute fantasies but still interesting works. I purchased a number of both types from the kids and had nice gifts to send people. Now that I am thinking about carving something if I had just the right stone. Thanks for the reminder!

Phil said...

Probably a dumb question, but where does one find good pieces of natural shaped slate? Or should I just go to the big box store, grab a paving slab, take it home and drop it?

As for the etching, are we talking just standard Dremel bits?

Ring and Raven said...

That's a good question, to be honest I picked up a few slabs from the ground years ago. Smashing a made slab would... Probably produce something similar? I would imagine so but I can't be certain.

I also found (again years ago) Some smooth thick pieces with rounded edges on beaches - see my latest update for one I carved. The right sort of beach would also be a good place to find the more jagged slate as well, but only some would have that.

As for the dremel bits, I got the cheapest set of diamond ones I could find on Amazon, but I would imagine ordinary bits would work just as well on slate given a metal nail would work nicely.