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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Elgin, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Bleile View Post
    In looking at the picture of your chisels, they look about the size of die sinker's chisels. What kind of steel are they made from and is sharpening as critical as it it is for metal engraving? Also in the picture of you and the carved angel, you have some kind of bag on your head as a hat. What is the story behind that? It seems like I have seen pictures of Italian carvers wearing those bags.
    For limestone, I mostly use tempered steel, but I do use carbide tipped chisels for the rough-out and heavy work. For marble I use mostly carbide. The tempered steel is generally simple water-hardening tool steel, 1020 if I recall correctly. I'm not sure how long the carbide tipped tools have been around, but at least since the 1940's. The pneumatic hammer was invented in the early 1880's, but I still use the wooden mallet (limestone) and soft iron hammer (marble) for some things. When you are comfortable with both H&C and pneumatic it gives more flexibility. The chisels themselves are the same for hand and pneumatic, just a different shape to the back of the shank.

    The hat is because otherwise you get stone dust in your hair, so any carver who lacks the patented Sam-Master-Engraver-Hairdo™ needs something to cover it. Some use berets, or baseball caps, or bandanas. The Italian tradition is a newspaper hat- it's cheap, light weight (so your head doesn't get hot in warm weather), and many of the highly political Italian carvers would carefully select a newspaper and fold it so it displayed a headline which made a point. A good hat lasts a few weeks or more. I'll generally wear a newspaper in the summer, a cap in the cooler weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Bleile View Post
    Do the carvers have a guild or assocation like FEGA to promote the art?
    Yes, we have the Stonecarvers Guild, but it's small we've been struggling to get the momentum going so that we can pull together and really promote the art and the trade.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Castle Valley, UT in the Red Rock country
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    Walter, is it easy to tell granite from marble? And how? I know nothing of stone.
    TOS
    (The Other Sam)

    FEGA LIFE
    ACGG LIFE
    Guns, Guitars and Old Cars
    A.I.E.

    Cravingravin=a chronic malady that afflicts some of the world's nicest people...TOS

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Elgin, IL
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    There are a few of the exotic marbles and granites which get misclassified and misidentified, but in general they're easy to tell apart... at least for those of us in the field. I guess it's like telling stainless and titanium apart, or brass and copper. You pick up on the differences pretty quickly.

    However, while I can tell them apart at 50 paces, I'm not sure how to verbally explain the difference.

    Visit a marble yard; large countertop shops will let you walk through their warehouse area and look at the slabs. Ask a few questions, and in a few minutes you'll get a feel for the difference.

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