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Fit & Finish Fit and Finish = the difference in "good art" and "fine art." Join in, as we discuss the fine art of finish and embellishment.

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  #1  
Old 03-01-2017, 09:40 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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how much is to heavy

just got back from the Dominican Republic and brought back some Larimar which is an awesome looking rock and only found in the Dominican Republic, it is used to make jewelry, my question is would it be to heavy for handle material, maybe I could incorporate some wood along with the rock, just looking for some advise.

Thanks Carl
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:19 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Carl, what is your experience in lapidary?

Larimar is fairly soft as it ranges about 4 to 5 on the MOHS scale. Quartz is 7. A half inch to one inch spacer on a hidden tang knife wouldn't be too heavy. Try cutting it with a hacksaw (4-5 hard it will cut) and sand with wet-dry SC sandpaper and if it polishes out easily (it should) you should be ok to use on a knife. 4 to 5 mohs is a fairly soft stone so you want it protected in the knife. I use that vulcanized spacer material on recon stone or fossilized wood. On hard 7 hard fossilized wood I have to sand the handle with SC belts. I also have SC discs too for my disc sander.

Here is a nice link explaining about it.
http://www.gemselect.com/gem-info/la...rimar-info.php

I used to collect gemstones. I used to hand polish fluorite with fine grit sand paper to a fine polish and fluorite is 4 hard. There are lots of guys here who are jewelers too. I'm surprised no one answered you yet.

Last edited by jimmontg; 03-02-2017 at 12:23 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:21 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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Thanks for the reply Jim, I think I will be making scales with the larimar, thinking about 1/4 inch thick should do the trick.

Carl
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:12 PM
damon damon is offline
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how big of a knife?
1/4" might be a bit thick. 1/8"-3/16" bonded to some spacer material should be thick enough.

id also suggest both front and rear bolsters to protect the stone.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:13 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Talking 3/8 to 1/2" is good too, less cutting.

Happy to help Carl, just remember it is rock and though a softer one it is brittle. If you have some blue G10 1/32 thick and some white 1/32 spacer material it will really set the Larimar off with white-blue-white spacers. Or whatever colors you think goes with the Laramar you have as it does vary some. Something I will add, though I have not personally done it. If you have a wood band saw with 14-16 TPI blade it should cut it as well as a hacksaw, same for a slow speed steel cutting band saw, just use the finer teeth. I use a jeweler's saw on harder stone as Damon said for some. Here is a link to his work as he is very good and knows his business better than I do.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/oiseaumetalarts/

Carl, are you thinking of using it as scales on a full tang? If you are, you must protect the front and rear from drops. It will shatter. Use guard/bolsters front and back. No peening pins and tightening too hard screws like corby or loveless bolts on the stone, snug is best and use clear caulking for gluing it to the tang, cleans with vinegar. Spacer between the bolster and Larimar and a spacer on the tang. I've done both, hidden tang is safer and easier. But I do not know your skill level so do what you think best.

Larimar is softer than Desert ironwood or African Blackwood believe it or not, just more brittle, fiber through silicate is the difference. That's why the link said it can be as hard as 6 if it is more fibrous and if the Larimar is more fibrous then it will be less brittle, like rebar in cement.

You can make the whole handle out of it, but it will just be for show. I could make the most beautiful knife handles from some gemstones, but they are brittle and will break. I'm trying to get some striped malachite and blue azurite right now myself and found it at Sheffield Knife supply in blocks 1.25x1.5x5" sizes I want, but reconstituted stone, which is not real gem stone, but pretty is pretty, just hope she doesn't have an evil temper.LOL
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2017, 01:18 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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Damon, I think you are right the 3/16 might be better and yes I will be using brass bolsters up front and in the back. Thanks for the info Jim, never thought about the clear sealant and my plans are to use wood pins, and the knife will be a display knife, thanks for all the info on the larimar, now I know its much more than just a pretty rock. Going to practice my polishing skills a little before I start lol.

Carl
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:51 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Good luck Carl, I use walnut pins and natural color micarta pins sometimes. Wooden 1/8" dowel pins are at many hardware and every wood store. Again good luck.
The clear sealant is a shock absorbing glue so to speak. Once it sets up it is not hard as a rock like most epoxies and glues are. A very small shock absorber.

Again good luck and practice with a small piece first. I never had it in my collection, but should be a good stone to work with from my study of it.
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awesome, back, belts, blade, bolsters, brass, cutting, fixed blade, handle, handle material, hidden, hidden tang, knife, make, making, material, pins, sand, sander, scale, scales, spacer, stone, tang, wood


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