This Instructable delves into creating glowing stone bases, the joy of basic soapstone carving combined with easy to use waterproof LED cocktail lighting. No soldering, circuit boards, wiring or code necessary. Just pop in the water proof LED into your cored stone base and GLOW!!!
Who hasn't wanted to create glowing stone?
This ible will show you how to create backlit stone that glows! Also, basic stone coring & carving with a drill, dremel, files and sandpaper will be explored.
It can be used as a base to illuminate crystals, glass, lucite, plastics or anything you can imagine!
2. Water Proof LED cocktail light
3. Clear Silicone Caulk
2. Diamond or Carbide Coring Bit
4. Small diamond abrasive Bit
Step 1: Match the Coring Bit Size With LED Cocktail Light Dimensions
Match the coring bit size with LED cocktail light dimensions.
An easy way to be sure & double check dimensions is to see how the LED fits into the coring bit.
This ensures that there will be enough wiggle room to fit the LED into the soapstone later on.
Core stone using a drill with coring bit.
Step 2: Match the Diamond Grinding Bit With the Raised LED As Accurately As Possible
Match the diamond grinding bit with the raised LED as accurately as possible.
Use the dremel and matched diamond grinding bit to grind center LED hole & clean up coring on the soapstone.
Step 3: Double Check Coring and Grinding for a Good Fit
Check to be sure that the coring & grinding was successful as far as how the LED fits into the stone.
Fortunately Soapstone is very forgiving, easy to carve, file & shape.
Marble and especially Granite are less so.. if you are carving by hand use soapstone or alabaster.
Granite is tough stuff but if you have access to cnc's or a pressure cutter, it can be an option as well... and is far more durable than soapstone and it takes a good polish.
Check out Gordon Kirkwood's super cool Ible on how to create backlit granite carvings with a cnc/ pressure cutter. It explores fabrication & shaping techniques, gauge of stone, light transmission and opacity. And is an outstanding Instructable especially if you have access to that grade of equipment!
Wet the stone ahead of time before and watch the way it dries.
It will dry slowest near/ around weak points in the stone. That way carving mishaps can be avoided ahead of time.
Stone Sculptors through the ages & modern day stoneworkers use this trick all the time to avoid fiascos and plan the shaping & sculpting of raw stone accordingly, knowing weak points & the nature of a stone really does help!
( I've sculpted and polished granite until i could see my own reflection.)
Alright enough of my stone sculptor babbling.
Be sure the LED fits snugly into the soapstone. Use a bit of clear silicone caulk to secure the LED or leave it loose for easy change outs... either way works depending on specific application.
Step 4: Pop in the LED, Assemble, Flip Over and Savor the Glow!
Now just flip your new luminous stone base over and savor the Glow!!!
It's time for the fun part.
Exploring all kinds of materials and things to illuminate with your newly made Glowstone base!
Crystals, glass, lucite, polyurethane... anything clear or opaque with the right light transmission will shine from the light core of the Glowstone base.
I may be either carving and sculpting some shaped glowstones or finding things to illuminate and will try and update this Ible soon. Maybe a glowing octopus?! :)
ENJOY the GLOW!!!
Cheers and ever onwards!
Step 5: Savor the Glow and ENJOY!!!
Go forth, explore and find as many things as possible to Illuminate and Enjoy!!!