This is how I made a set of four carved sandstone candle holders out of some stone that was left over after our fence was rebuilt after a big storm.
The full story behind the set can be found here.
Step 1: Cut the Stone to Length
After deciding on a design the next stage is to set to work and actually turn the design into reality. The first step to achieve this was to rough cut the sandstone to the right length. This was done using nothing more than a standard $8 300mm rod saw.
Details about the Rod Saw can be found here
Step 2: Grind the Ends Flat
Once the stone is roughly the right size, the next stage is to tidy up the ends so that they are flat. To do this I used a grinding bit with my Dremel High Speed Rotary Tool. The aim of doing this is to allow you to accurately mark out the design that is to be carved out.
Step 3: Mark Out the Design
Mark out your design. To do this I used a high speed diamond bit with my Dremel but you could also use a marking pencil if you have one handy.
Step 4: Start the Carving Process
The next job is to get out the rod saw again and remove as much waste material as possible. I did this by making a series of cuts that allowed me to snap out the resulting columns of waste rock. I could theoretically have done this using a diamond blade on the Dremel but to be honest I found it easier to use the hand saw.
Step 5: Grind Out the Design
Now that the bulk of the waste material has been removed the next step is to go back to the Dremel using a course Silicone Carbide grinding wheel to tidy up the shape of the cut surfaces.
Step 6: Finnish the Surfaces
Moving on from the rough grinding, I then changed to a finer Aluminum Oxide grinding stone to tidy up the surfaces and make sure all of the angles and curves were nice and smooth.
Step 7: Inlay the Top and Bottom
As I’d now finished work on the body of the piece, it was now time to inlay the top and bottom. The top inlay is there to hold the tea light candle and the one in the base is there to allow the addition of a felt base to protect any delicate surfaces that the piece may be sat on. To do this I started with a course grinding wheel and finished off with a fine grinding stone to ensure that all of the edges and angles were straight.
Step 8: Add Felt to the Base of Each Piece
Give the set a good wash to remove any dust before add the felt base. The felt I used for the base was found in a local hardware shop in the floor protection section. It comes in a sheet that allows you to cut the pieces to the exact size required and has a sticky coating on one side so it’s easy to use.
Step 9: The Finished Set
Once all of the pieces have been made using these techniques the set is complete and ready for use.