The Turn-Me-Over Stone




About: Frivolous Engineering is the end result of a hobby that got out of hand.

The Turn-Me-Over Stone is suitable as a garden ornament, a paper-weight, or an April Fools' Day gag.

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Step 1: Background

I got this idea from my dad a LONG time ago. Where he got it from is anybody's guess but the idea has been kicking around for a while.

He originally made his Turn-Me-Over Stone using a felt pen but since I have a laser cutter I've used that to engrave the text onto the stone.

Step 2: Selecting Your Stone

If you're going to laser-engrave your stone you'll want to select a stone that's relatively flat because a laser-engraver has a focal plane that needs to be observed.

The next consideration is the smoother and more polished the stone, the better it tends to turn out.

Mechanically tumbled and polished stones work great. Flat sliced & polished are the best.

You'll also want to pick a rock or stone that is dark in color because the text engraving tends to come out lighter than the un-engraved surface of the rock.

Amethyst works great, but you most likely need to buy this mineral from a gem shop because it's not something commonly found everywhere.

Step 3: Laser Engraving Your Stone

Set the focus on your laser cutter appropriately. If you have more than one lens with your laser cutter, choose the longest one because it will have a larger depth of field to handle any variations in the flatness of the stone.

Power & speed settings will depend on the type of rock that you're engraving. I've found that you can over-do things so if you can test your settings on an identical type of rock before you laser the one you actually want, that's the best thing to do.

Also, you can always run the laser several times and get a better engraving if you don't move the rock.

A piece of window putty, or Plasticine can be used as a base to hold the stone in place, and keep it level.

Step 4: What's on the Other Side of the Stone????

You'll just have to watch the video to find out!

Step 5: Update: Dollar Store Bag-O-Stones Work Great!

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

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Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

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    15 Discussions


    2 years ago

    You can also make it say:

    "Please turn me over"

    and on the other side

    "You just took orders from a rock"


    3 years ago

    Hi there

    I am looking for some guidance on how to make a crystal pendant similar to the ones in the photos I have attached (or even with smoother stones). I am just wondering how / what machine I could use to do this myself?

    Thanks very much!

    1 reply

    Probably done with a laser engraver. I hesitate to recommend any specific brand of low cost engravers but just about any/all of them can do this. Besides buying an engraver, there are hacker/maker spaces that have them available for people to use. Settings to use depend on the particular laser you're using, and usually some trial and error is needed to get the perfect setting.

    Not sure why you're not seeing it, heynepps. It's embedded in the page, and there's two links pointing to it.


    3 years ago

    I would've written "please turn me over" again on the other side. Lol...see how many people keep turning it over repeatedly ;)

    2 replies

    If I had done that, I'd still be in my shop turning the stone over and never would have gotten around to finishing the instructable!


    3 years ago

    It would be more useful if there a link to the video.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    I have an iPhone & I see the video.