Sculpture

Tools

Having had no training whatsoever the tools I use for cutting and shaping the marble are those I have found by trial and error to be the most efficient.

Currently the tools are as follows:

  • Large angle grinder using cutting disks from 120mm to 300mm.
  • Small angle grinder using cutting disks from 50mm to 120mm.
  • Small angle grinder using a Velcro sanding pad with various grit grade sanding disks and buffing pad.
  • Electric drill using various small grinding wheels directly in the chuck or via a flexible chuck extension.
  • Electric hammer drill with various chisels.
  • Air powered chisel set.
  • Air powered mini-grinder.
  • Air powered drill.
  • Small hand hammer.
  • Small chisel.
  • Various grades of sanding paper, usually the waterproof type used by car repairers, from grit gauge 80 to 1250.

I would say that 80% of the work I do on each piece is with angle grinders, the only time I resort to electric, air powered or manual chisel work is if I can't get the angle grinder in. Detailed work is usually done with small grinding wheels in an electric drill or if I can't get the drill itself in I use a flexible chuck extension.

The curved blade of an angle grinder disc makes it relatively easy to form the curves on sculptures of animals and people. I found that hammer and chisel cutting involves much more risk especially when cutting close to delicate parts. Large sections of marble are cut away using the technique of making chequer board cuts with the angle grinder and then breaking off the pieces with a hammer and chisel.

Safety Equipment

Most of the time it's possible to work with the angle grinders with the safety guards fitted, however for some work the guards have to be removed. A grinding disc is not quite the same as an exposed wood cutting saw, nevertheless a degree of extra care is required when using an unguarded angle grinder.

Basic safety equipment includes:

  • Dust mask.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Plastic coated fabric gloves.
  • Large electric extractor fan.

 

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