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Recon Stone- How To, And Other Tips And Tricks

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Many of you have questions about recon stone.

This is an intermediate to advanced material to work with.

Recon stone is real semiprecious stone of various types that is crushed into powdered form, and mixed with epoxies. There are about 15-20 types on the market, maybe more or less.

The result is a brick of material that looks a lot like the real stone.

In some cases the appearance is better than others. Malachite looks just like real stone Malachite, Leopard jasper still needs a lot of work!

The workability of the different types varies greatly with each type. Malachite , obsidian, and some other of the brownish dark stones seem to be very dense, and cut very easily, moderately clean, and don't break too easily during cutting. All the recon stones fray at least a little the edges when cut, and form a powder. Stone types such as turquoise, gaspeit, and some of the lighter ones (although sugalite- purple- and lapis- dark blue, are both very brittle) can either snap during cutting, or just from your finger pressure during cutting if your holding them down too hard. Many times using just a 03 blade can break them during cutting.

Recon stone is available from a few dealers. Some (one place as of this writing) thickness it to inlay standards- .06 or so, and the others sell it mainly for knife handle work in slabs at 1/8th inch thickness the minimum.

Thicknessing it can be done with a thickness drill press system, or a mini thickness sander used for model shipbuilding. It is better to work with it at a thickness of about .07 or .08", due to how fragile it is at times.

Recon stone engraves easily, and is very colorful. It adds color to your inlays that just doesn't exist anywhere else in nature. It's a semiprecious material as well; therefore retaining the qualities most like to see in inlay- regarding using exquisite materials in their art.

Thin or fragile areas in your pattern need to be cut one edge first- then reinforced/glued by the surrounding material, then finish cut, then patterned out for working. This method prevents breaking fragile parts as the surrounding media already supports them.

Good luck!

Craig Lavin


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From the 'Abalone from Ebay' thread...

I do have one problem and that's recon stone. Masecraft only sell bloody great blocks of it (well, they seem massive for an amatuer like me) and Rescue Pearl don't seem to want to sell to :D as they don't reply to my mails.

Anyone else i can try...Craig, help !

Help would be appreciated as buying it in the UK works out to around $32 / oz


Edited by Batfink
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Give the girls at Rescue a chance.

I don't know when you sent your e-mail, but they typically are slow on the response, and they are getting ready for the A.S.I.A symposium now.

Just keep trying to contact them. They will most likely ship.

Craig L.

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I don't believe so, and It wouldn't work well that way. You have way, way more control over your cutting than any routing. The materials used for inlay are often way harder than most woods, and even if woods are used in the inlay itself you have the ability to sand and file to shape. When you route that's all there is. Any mistakes and it's filler, or in this case a mis-shaped inlay.


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No problem :D

I'm off to the Associtaion of Stringed Instrument Artisans symposium in Maryland. If any of you are going I'll see you there. Back in a week.

I still may be able to post from my PDA if they have a wireless hookup.

Craig L.

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Can you buy the crushed stone and mix into epoxy yourself? You could then just pour the material into your cuts.

The short answer is yes, most jewelry supply outfits carry crushed stone for inlay. The correct answer is closer to what Clavin said. What you would end up with is more like concrete with chunks of stone rather than the recon which for the most part tries to look like the real thing. Crushed rock inlay is not as easy as it sounds. I would rather cut and set a whole rock any day rather than fight the mix.

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