Introduction: DIY Basin/birdbath From Stone

Picture of DIY Basin/birdbath From Stone

Start by finding the rock you want to use for your basin/birdbath. make sure it does not have obvious cracks as that will be where your project breaks later in construction.

Step 1: Marking Your Bowl

Picture of Marking Your Bowl

Use chalk or a scribe to mark the outside edge of the bowl you will be creating

Step 2: Right Tools for the Job.

Picture of Right Tools for the Job.

Start this project bu using an angle grinder (in this case 115mm grinder) fitted with a wet and dry stone cutting diamond edge steel blade to cut the stone along the chalk or scribe line you drew on the rock to permanently mark it. In addition to the grinder you will need a strong thin stone chisel and reliable hammer. Please make sure you have a good pair of safety glasses as the stone shards (granite in my case) are as sharp as glass and can easily blind you if it ends up in your eyes.

Step 3: Cutting and Removing Rock to Make the Bowl.

Picture of Cutting and Removing Rock to Make the Bowl.

Once you have cut the outline of your bowl, start cutting lines as deep as the blade will go in the rock within the outline you created. Shallower at the edges and deeper towards the middle. Using your hammer and chisel knock these slats of stone out (wear your safety glasses here).

Once an entire layer has been removed, repeat the process but cut diagonally to the previous cuts and chisel them out.

It's dusty work, as you can see. a Dust mask or hasmat mask is a good idea.

Step 4: Smoothing and Finishing the Bowl.

Picture of Smoothing and Finishing the Bowl.

Once you have removed the bulk material from the rock and reached the depth you desire its time to smooth the bowl.

using the same diamond edge steel blade start smoothing the rough break and chisel marks left by the tools.

It remains a dusty job,and should only be attempted outside.

If you happen to own a wet stone grinder attachment this step will go quickly. (I don't so i did it with the diamond blade)

keep going until you are satisfied with the smoothness.

Step 5: Finished Product.

Picture of Finished Product.

This item is a birdbath but if a basin is required a 40-50mm stone hole saw can be used to drill a drain hole for the bowl.

Happy cutting and creating.

Comments

KellyCraig made it! (author)2016-01-26

Here are some of the accessories you can use on a "variable speed" grinder (others run too fast).

The grind stones only run about ten bucks. They are threaded and just spin onto your grinder's left handed threads.

A complete set of polishing pads can be expensive, but they last a long time, if you use them right and buy the ones that are used with water, which reduces wear by removing debris the pads cut off and by cooling them.

The diamond cutting head can be picked up at big box stores and other places. They are good for leveling large areas. The stone shown in the picture was fairly flat and this made quick work of finishing the leveling, without wearing down my diamond pads.

nengelbrecht (author)KellyCraig2016-01-27

awesome! thank you, the grinding stone heads are scarce as hens teeth in South Africa, i can however get the granite polishing pads an different grits and solid steel diamond concrete smoothing attachments that weigh about 5lbs, this might be too heavy for my grinder but i will make a plan.

KellyCraig (author)nengelbrecht2016-01-28

One of the things I do is rig a 1/4" line to run from my garden hose, through a common valve sold for such hoses.

The 1/4" hose is small enough it fits through my fingers and can be held, without great effort, to direct the water on the blade or polishing pads. After doing it a little bit, it becomes so second nature you don't think about it, unless you notice a dry spot when your mind wandered.

KellyCraig (author)nengelbrecht2016-01-28

Sounds like it's time for you to get into the import business. ;)

nengelbrecht (author)2016-01-27

I also made these from the bulk rock i chipped out...

KellyCraig (author)nengelbrecht2016-01-28

That's just too fun.

haltenfelder (author)2016-01-24

dust mask? An artist needs to feel/breath the material he is working with to get that "connection" :-)

If by connection you mean get Silicosis...
I can't even enjoy knintknapping anymore without worrying about it. That said, nice work. I'm thinking nice pound in the corner of the yard that doubles as a chicken waterer. Now what where those fish that eat the misquito larva called...

If you are managing to breath stone chips from knapping, I think you are doing it wrong :-) But you are definitely right, the picture of dusty nose means you've been breathing the stuff... and even with the eye protection keeping you safe from chips (a GOOD thing), consider a full face shield. the dust may not blind you, but it can still be a major eye irritant. Personally, the last time I did any granite sculpting, I borrowed the old man's full-face, power ventilated, hepa filtered welding helmet(and used a clear poly carbonate lens).

A nice heavy mist of water will help keep the airborne grinding dust to a minimum. Better still, if you can, flood the cut with water, and use air tools (electric angle grinders, of the variety we are likely to own, do NOT like getting wet).

Call me paranoid if you want, but I prefer to use bottled oxygen for welding, not because I need it for breathing.

When you knap, besides the larger flakes, there are always fine particulates that get airborne. In the days of flintlock rifles, the poor slob hired to knap the flints would get sicosis with two to three years.

KellyCraig (author)2016-01-26

Now, go get a grinding stone, a backing pad and some polishing pads (the type that need water lubrication and cooling last far longer than dry pads). Of course, you can also invest in the heads they use to smooth concrete and such.

The big grinding stones only run about seven to ten bucks and can even be used to round over edges on granite tile.

Dump these on a variable speed grinder and run them at low speed and you'll have all sorts of fun. I have some basalt rocks I polished out in the drive and they're almost like a dark brown obsidian.

KellyCraig (author)2016-01-24

Where in the hell is your dust mask?

I play with granite using a variable speed grinder for my cutter and to run my router bits and polishing heads. Most of what I do is with water, which is nasty enough (much of the water gets vaporized and carries dust with it).

All that aside, nice job.

cryodog60 (author)2016-01-24

Really nice. I've been looking for something like this. I have a large rock or should I say boulder that I wanted to build a fire pit in it. It measures about 6' across and is about 30" thick. It takes a backhoe to move it. I might try this method. The only issue that I might have is that it is chert, very similar to flint hard as hell. We shall see. Who knows, maybe I do an Instructable about that effort.

nengelbrecht (author)cryodog602016-01-24

a note on what you want to do. make sure your rock is heat resistant... i am not familiar with that type of rock as we do not have Flint rock in South Africa or don't have it in large enough quantities for me to have ever come across it. Slate we have a lot of, but that stuff explodes if exposed to high heat... so phone your geological society and ask the right questions.

cryodog60 (author)nengelbrecht2016-01-24

Thank you for the comment. Take care.

cybergod (author)2016-01-24

Love your work. An interesting little idea. Might just try it. I do love your Japanese Safety Boots as well ? (no offence meant for Japanese people, it is just an Aussie bit of humour).

nengelbrecht (author)cybergod2016-01-24

lol no worries mate

nengelbrecht (author)2016-01-24

I added a suggestion of dust mask for the dust created...

KLethal (author)2016-01-24

nice job!! How long did it take to make it ?

nengelbrecht (author)KLethal2016-01-24

takes about 4 solid hours to complete, given the rock is not too hard or you have a large grinder.

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