I enjoy working with paper; I use a steel burnisher and a bone folder to make crisp folds. I wanted to add some odd shape burnishers to my tool box. Making some out of stone (agate) fits the bill. Having a few agates lying around, I made different sizes and shapes. This is what I wanted to share in this instructables.
Step 1: Sliced Potatoes
Agates that I use can be found in Michigan. I tell people to look for a stone that looks like a potatoe. You can hold them up to a strong light to see what is inside as far as patterns. For this application of making burnishers, I can use almost any part of the agate. Agates are very hard and polish to a very smooth finish. I use a large diamond saw to cut the agate into slabs.
Step 2: Cutting down the slabs to a smaller size
Then I cut the slaps down on a smaller diamond saw.
The closer I get to the sizes I want, the less I have to do on the grinders.
I am cutting the slabs to be under 2 inches square, so they can fit comfortably in my palm of my hand.
Step 3: Grinding and Polishing
I start by using an 80 grit diamond wheel (with lots of water) to shape the small slab.
I focus on just a few edges that I want to use for burnishing.
The other edges I smooth for comfort. So there is a lot of stopping to see how it feels in my hand.
I move from one grit wheel to another, till I get to an 1200 grit polish wheel.
The final treatment is using Cerium polishing wheel, just on the burnish edge for final smooth finish.
Step 4: Adding a wood handle
With one of the agates, I added a 3/8 inch diameter by 3 ¾ inch long wood handle.
A 7/16 inch diameter brass ferrule was added.
I put a small drop of all purpose glue on the stone, then used pliers to close the brass ferrule around the agate.
Pictured is my quick holding fixture for gluing.