Instructables

How to carve a rune stone to decorate your yard/garden

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Picture of How to carve a rune stone to decorate your yard/garden
About a thousand years ago plus or minus five hundred years, rune stones where being carved all over Europe.  With a little bit, OK a whole bunch of patience and tenacity you can have one for your garden or a greeting card for a close friend who will really appreciate the gift after they have to move it a couple of times.  This is my first "Instructables" so bear with me, here we go
 
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Step 1: Tools

Picture of Tools
I've got a lot of tools that I reserve specifically for stone carving, but the truth is all you really need is a really big nail, a file to sharpen it with and maybe a big hammer and a small hammer, but lets look at the optimal stuff, the important thing is just start carving.

Step 1 Part 1  The tools

The tools pictured here represent approximately one fourth of those in my stone working kit, it’s ironic that out of more then 100 tools the majority of the work will be accomplished with only two, my light sledge and heavy point. In detailed free sculpture all of them might very well be used

 

Step 2: Minimum Tools

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If you want to buy some stone carving tools this is all I recommend at first, a 1 lb or 1/2 kilo hammer and a medium center point chisel, there's lots of sources for both online, I like "Sculpture House"  I got my "Baby" sledge on Okinawa a long time ago and I have no idea if you can still get them.

Step 3: Historical Tools

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Historical tools for stone carving in Northern Europe were pretty simple so you don't need to spend a lot of money, start out simple and add as you need to, and you can always use more hammers, there's always something that needs hammering.

The top most chisel phots were proveded to me by Sandy Sempel, from the "Frojel Gotlandica" site

Step 4: The Center Point

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ideatrunk3 months ago

Terrific Instructable! Love the article at the end, did you write that? Tried to get away from rocks for lighter weight mediums, but at last they picked me. :0

Rune Cutter (author)  ideatrunk3 months ago

Thank you. Yes, I wrote that last bit.

neutron72 years ago
What does it say?
Rune Cutter (author)  neutron71 year ago
It says many things,but the jest of it all is it better to haa brave soul than to trust a sharp sword, it was a gift to an old friend war buddy) so some of it is personal
tinker2343 years ago
wow hey could i use a block of stone and carve qutes into it using stamps i make withat i crush in to the stone
Rune Cutter (author)  tinker2343 years ago
Sorry this took so long to answer.

It would depend on a number of things, the type of stone, the type of stamps, the hammer and your ability.

Rocks are cheep, start out with one that is relatively soft and give it a try.
its okay i am sorry about the bad spelling thank you
I am astounded by your wonderful craftsmanship! I would love to have this talent.. Thank you (=
Rune Cutter (author)  Dea della Luna3 years ago
You are welcome. I don't believe there is anything special about my work, I think everyone can do it, you just have to pick a starting point and then go.

My first carvings were pretty simple affairs and then I expanded over several years and confined myself to simple tools and ancient means.

But thank you for taking time to complement me and my work.
djsc4 years ago
hi, lovely work. I found a piece of slate years ago that is almost perfectly cuboid, about the size of a paperback book; have you ever worked something that small and would you use different tools and techniques to do so?
Rune Cutter (author)  djsc3 years ago
Hi djsc,

Yes I've worked that small, although it's been a while and I don't have pictures.

Mostly you use abrasive techniques with rifler files, you can do indirect percussion (hammer and chisel) but it requires very fine tuned hammer skills.

A Dasco scratch awl can be used with a 3 oz (or so) hammer as a center point chisel.

Find yourself something else to experiment on, something that you don't have any attachment to and practice, you'll know when your ready for intricate work
"experiment on, something that you don't have any attachment to"
that's good counsel, I would be inclined to try a dremel tool as well.
thanks for the advice.
Rune Cutter (author)  djsc3 years ago
Dremels are great tools, but I haven't had a lot of luck with them on slate. Slate also comes in many hardness' so it's difficult to advise.

It's my favorite stone for flat carving or even low relief and readily available all over the word
meismeems4 years ago
Yay!!! I love videos!!! You're the best, RC!
meismeems4 years ago
I'm quite the beginner when it comes to reading runes, but unless my eyes are deceiving me, do you have some runes upsidedown and/or backwards, RC? or perhaps you're lefthanded?
Rune Cutter (author)  meismeems4 years ago
When it comes to tool use I'm ambi, this particular stones start from the central dragon or lindisorms head and are written left to right and flipped, as they transition they orient on the dragon not the stone or the readers perspective, their also in old norse and start "Tyd Du Runora, Ratt Latt Rista. . . ."  which is "You read these runes!  Right let carve them. . . ."  Expect a basic rune carving vid from me next week.

RC
jaysbob4 years ago
first little attempt at runic carving. pretty pleased for what amounted to an hour or so's work with a nail and hammer and a free rock I found in the yard. makes me appreciate the work that goes into anything larger.
Clipboard01.jpg
Rune Cutter (author)  jaysbob4 years ago
Outstanding! Did you document it for your own instructable?  Nice pattern, good color!
ha no more documentation than what's there. hoping to get out this weekend and pick up some larger stones and a chisel or two. if anything worthwhile comes of that project I'll be sure to post results!
Rune Cutter (author)  jaysbob4 years ago
I've got a new camera, planning on doing something next week, maybe a vid
Robot Lover4 years ago
your rune crafting level must be 99.
Rune Cutter (author)  Robot Lover4 years ago
Not sure what ""99" means but I've been doing this for a long time,  I do 30 other "runeforms" besides Eldar Runor, Lawrence Lo is the man though his total knowledge level on paleolinguistics is off the chart.
mine is only 35
Rune Cutter (author)  Robot Lover4 years ago
35 of dead language is still substantial
Im training to 50 so i get 3 runes per essence.
Rune Cutter (author)  Robot Lover4 years ago
I'm not sure I follow that but OK,  I started out just wanting to carve my name and now I do about 20 different forms and speak a bit of Old Norse,
*sigh*
it's a video game
sadly what most kids think of when they hear the word "rune"
Rune Cutter (author)  corey_caffeine4 years ago
I see now, Thanks for the assist
meismeems4 years ago
RC, your 'ibles are wonderful....I have a few questions, however. One, how did you come up with your design, and two, how did you 'sign' your piece, saying that it was made by you?

Also, are there rune symbols for numbers, such as what one would put on a runestone for someone who has passed on?
Rune Cutter (author)  meismeems4 years ago
There are designs associated with certain time periods and places as well as artist, the style that I settled on was carved in Uppsala in the 11th Century by a artist who went by "Oepir"  Which means "Big Mouth", I like the complexity and the fluidness.
Rune Cutter (author)  meismeems4 years ago
There are numbers attributed but the sources are a bit suspect for the earlier forms, that I try to do, when I want to write a year, I encode it into the artwork.  So if I wanted to sat 2010 I would count 20 runes in and then decorate that rune in a particular way, then if I wanted to say 10 I would count 10 more runes and use the decoration again.  The Norse callender doesn't translate well so it's best to stay to the Gregorian for specific dates but if you tern then in to numbers you can incode them the same way as above.

"Ristari"  means he who cut these runes, so you would say "Meismeems Ristari"
zeke344 years ago
 Your work is amazing. I have only one question. Do you know how to translate English into those runes? I recently hand-carved a couple of walking sticks and I want to carve a few phrases into them.
Rune Cutter (author)  zeke344 years ago
Try this one Zeke
Old Norse Blessing.PNG
Rune Cutter (author)  zeke344 years ago
Yes I can and if I can't I probably know someone who can, do you want a specific time period and place or in "The Old Runes" Elda Runor?
 The runes that you use in this project would be fine. Elder Futhark right? I think I saw them called that in another instructable. Anyway I'll private message you what I want exactly in a day or two. I have to look over the sticks to figure out what phrase should be carved.
Goodhart4 years ago
Hey, this is very nice. 

I have one suggestion only:   when you do get around to doing the "make your own paint for runestones ible";  PLEASE  put a link to this instructable in it,  and (since you can always edit this) link that one from here.  It will make finding them so much easier. 

I understand about the "different medias" concept too that one explores to find their niche`  for when I was much younger (and able to swing a 30 lb or heavier sledge) I did a little smithy work too (iron), and later switched to wood, and finally pyrography (wood burning).   This would be something interesting to try too; and now I have some insight as to how to get started on it.....thank you.   
 
bucklipe4 years ago
I would like to see each of your present steps broken into smaller ones. Either that or label each of the pictures with an A, B, etc...
bucklipe4 years ago
I would recommend breaking this step up into more steps. It is difficult to go back and forth from the text to the picture and keep track of which one is which.
NutandBolt4 years ago
Your creations are amazing, you are very talented. Not bad for your first instrucables. I would like to try this one day in smaller version for my garden. Hope to see part II how to make the paint, as you said I don't want to use paint that will peel off after some time
 
Rune Cutter (author)  NutandBolt4 years ago
Thank you, You are very kind.  Acrylics work well also.  The test of time will tell on the liseed based paints, the longest I've had one exposed is 3 years, the rest are typically kept inside
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