Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rio Grande

Rio Grande is having a huge sale with hundreds of items at reduced prices. Instead of working on jewelry making, I've been spending a lot of time going through page after page of sale items trying to find things that would be nice to have. I make a long list of things and then begin to ask myself, "Do I really need that?" It becomes a little agonizing at times trying to pare down the list to something manageable budget wise. I did put in an order for some items. Then later, after placing the order, I discover that I missed ordering a couple things that I really did need. Ah, me!

Anyway, I did do a little more experimenting with faux bone. If you want to try the material out, you will need Robert's special saw blade and some kind of tool to trim off the crumbs left from sawing. Robert has a special tool for that. You can get by with a sharp triangular scraper. I've found that a coarse cut file works well as a preliminary tool to clean up the sides of any straight edge piece. A belt sander also works well. When the material is cut, filed or sanded, it does create a lot of crumbs. Not so much dust as crumbs. You need an old tooth brush, or something similar, to clean out the teeth on files. A vacuum cleaner attached to the belt sander is helpful or you'll have crumbs flying everywhere. Keeping a waste basket nearby to clean files over, or under, between your knees when sawing will help keep the crumb horde under control.

The material is easy to drill, and will take a center punch divot quite well. As with metal, the drill bit can skate around, so make the divot before drilling.


  1. I keep a couple of post-it note pads on my bench. One is for raw materials, the other for tools/supplies. I add wants/needs as I work. That way when I order, instead of getting sucked into window shopping, I get what I really need. Sometimes it's easy to forget the little stuff, like flexshaft mandrels or polishing paper or whatever.

    Of course, i love to window shop, too!

  2. Great idea, John! Thanks for commenting.