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Old 08-17-2019, 01:11 AM
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Default How does one shape amber



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Just starting to explore the subject. No exact research yet. Sought to avail myself of any knowledge here.

Amber nuggets of all shapes and sizes, mostly smooth but some odd shaped.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:25 AM
ajole ajole is offline
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Think plastic. Cut with a fine thin saw, sand with fine sandpaper, polish with toothpaste or rouge. You can sculpt it with very sharp tools, slowly, not like whittling wood.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:35 AM
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I was thinking something along that line too. I am aware it is soft, a petrified sap millions of years old. I have a variable speed dremel with all the attachements. Sanding tubes, soft polishing pads. Can use it at low rpm or fast.

Would that be good to use? Or does amber have some unknown quirk that would render a dremel not appropriate?
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:35 AM
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And thank you for chiming in.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:40 AM
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Id say you are on the right track.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:44 AM
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Great! I hate the thought of sanding some of that ancient material away tho.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:00 PM
Hammerstrike Hammerstrike is offline
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A good way to look at it is that it goes back to the earth where it began the process.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:00 PM
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Do some research on "lapidary" to learn some methods of shaping and polishing stone, which is what Amber is once it's fossilized.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:09 PM
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Amber is very compatiable with turquoise of all colors and the red corals and natural shell. I think it would be nice to combine some with some turquoise I have. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:09 AM
randolphrowzeebragg randolphrowzeebragg is offline
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I've seen craftspeople shape and polish it with a Dremel or other kind of rotary die grinder. You can buy kits with bits that cut, grind and polish.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:44 PM
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I have a dremel kit and another one I had put back but found today rooting through the storage. A Ryobi model with dozens and dozens of tips and doodads. Like Christmas finding something forgotten.

I'm thinking a little light carving on the surface, nothing deep. Just to give extra interest. I have successfully carved hardwood with one to create a pattern. Took a very steady elbow.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:30 PM
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All sanding and polishing must be done slowly. Amber will overheat fairly easily and start melting. Makes a mess. No high rpms with any tools.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:43 PM
francessanne francessanne is offline
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polishing, yes, reshaping? i dunno...if it s just for jewelry, you might want to look at wrapped gemstones.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:49 PM
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Howdy all Fellow Rock hounds. Not to hijack this thread but can I drill rocks like turquoise and jasper with my cheap Harbor Freight drill press if I use the right drill bits? and if so, what bits do you recommend and at what speed. Thank you kindly...
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:50 PM
Rural Buckeye Guy Rural Buckeye Guy is offline
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Warm it in hot but not boiling or steaming water for a few minutes.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesman60 View Post
Howdy all Fellow Rock hounds. Not to hijack this thread but can I drill rocks like turquoise and jasper with my cheap Harbor Freight drill press if I use the right drill bits? and if so, what bits do you recommend and at what speed. Thank you kindly...
Hope you get an answer because now I want a Harbor Freight drill press.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:05 PM
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Read once that the way to tell amber from plastic is to get a pin hot and ever so slightly prick the stone in an inconspicuous place. If it smells like sap or pine it's real, if like burning plastic thats what it is.
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