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View Full Version : Experiment: Using Turquoise Stone as a Rosette



sequoia
10-13-2016, 04:49 PM
I'm building an ukulele for a vegan who requires that the uke contain no animal products. This means no bone, no hide glue and no shell. I decided to try a stone inlayed rosette using turquoise. I've never done this before and decided to experiment before I tried on one of my nice tops and used an old mahogany top. It actually turned out quite well and was relatively easy. This is a method people without access to shell or beginners might want to try. Easy if you can cut a circular rosette channel. You could even use rocks from your backyard or something off the beach.

First of all was to get some turquoise so I went down to the local hippy Beads and Seeds store and got seven little pieces of turquoise; total cost $7. Then I made a stone crusher from pieces of threaded pipe with end caps. With a hammer I was able to crush up the stones.

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The resultant "powder":

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I lined the outsides and insides of the routed out rosette channel with two black pieces of thin purfling. This is optional, but I figured it would give a nicer line. Now a very important step: Seal the wood with at least two coats of dilute shellac. This prevents the glue from staining your top or running up the grain line (bad!). I then glued in the purfling using CA glue and accelerator while holding the purfling tight against the sides of the channel. Easy.

Next I added the pulverized stone with small chunks to the channel created by the purfling. Fill up until it is a little proud of the top. Flood with very thin CA glue and wait 10 minutes.

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Sand out with an orbital sander and done.

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With a shellac wash:

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Very quick and easy. Total cost in turquoise: $2 bucks.

DPO
10-13-2016, 05:54 PM
Nice idea. I guess you could use almost anything, sky's the limit.

Michael Smith
10-13-2016, 06:08 PM
That is basicly what recon stone is. They add dyes and fine powders to the resin and that helps. But there isn't any reason you can't make your own recon stone. Like you did or in blocks.

sequoia
10-13-2016, 07:31 PM
I guess you could use almost anything, sky's the limit.

I was even thinking of using my father's cremated remains (cremains). However, I don't think this would qualify as "vegan" would it? Definitely animal. My dad would just love the idea.

Patrick Madsen
10-13-2016, 09:18 PM
We used to make pottery urns for cremated remains using a bit of their ash for the glaze used.

Dan Gleibitz
10-13-2016, 11:00 PM
Looks good to me. I'm going to try powdered metal and CA glue for my next inlay project.

printer2
10-14-2016, 02:02 AM
Thought of this idea when I met a guy who turns pens out of all kinds of crazy looking wood. Was thinking of using his turnings. I was also thinking of using a diamond blade to cut rock to inlay but never thought of pulverizing it. Might look interesting with a piece of rock inlayed in a corner and the rest ground up rock.

Timbuck
10-14-2016, 02:19 AM
It's sand and cement time then :)

Jim Hanks
10-14-2016, 04:56 AM
I was even thinking of using my father's cremated remains (cremains). However, I don't think this would qualify as "vegan" would it? Definitely animal. My dad would just love the idea.

Seriously? :confused: I think most people would be pretty weirded out by that for a client uke. Maybe for an "heirloom", if it would be meaningful to you and your dad. Still seems kinda "creepy" somehow but maybe that's just me.

ETA: but I do like how the turquoise turned out.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-14-2016, 07:13 AM
you can buy pre cut/radiused rosette recon stone (in turquoise). Nothing animal about that stuff as its real stone glued with an epoxy base.

ksquine
10-14-2016, 07:49 AM
Nice look. Add a diamond ring for a little extra bling next time :p

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-14-2016, 10:20 AM
I've seen some pretty cool rosettes using fiberglass poured into the channel. You can dye (they use surfboard resin dyes here) it a couple of different contrasting colors and drop it into the channel and use a toothpick to swirl the colors together.

pahu
10-23-2016, 10:00 AM
"Sand out with an orbital sander and done."
How easy is it to sand the stone(without over-doing it on the wood top)?

Dougf
10-23-2016, 01:58 PM
I've used turquoise or malachite sand for the last six or so of my builds. I also been using turquoise cabochons for the fret markers, half-spheres with the flat side up. Not real shiny, but I think it looks good, at least it matches the rosette.

sequoia
10-23-2016, 05:38 PM
"Sand out with an orbital sander and done."
How easy is it to sand the stone(without over-doing it on the wood top)?

It was surprisingly easy. Much softer in fact than sanding shell like ab or MOP down flush. What you are sanding is mostly CA glue with some powder in it. Also, your rosette channel is going to be cut in when the top is relatively thick at 0.125 or so, so there is a lot of meat there.