If you use water to cool your work/reduce dust as I do, you need to contain the splashes as much as possible – otherwise you and your workshop will end up a wet, muddy mess!
The answer is to use a splash box, which can easily be made from a 10 or 20 litre plastic drum – I picked-up mine from a beach in NZ at a great price! A word of warning though – if the drum is closed you should make sure it is properly rinsed out before cutting it open – you just have no idea what it could have contained, whether or not there is still a label.
There are other ways of producing the same effect of course – proprietary equipment has elegantly formed metal or Perspex boxes for instance. But so long as the splashes are more-or-less restrained, it doesn’t matter how you do it.
On top of that you might consider wearing a full-length plastic raincoat and Wellington boots, and a scarf of some sort around your neck if the raincoat isn’t tight-enough to stop water running down your neck & chest.
Lighting is important – make sure you can see what is happening to your stone – I have toyed with the idea of rigging up a waterproof light inside my splash boxes, but haven’t got around to it yet. I make-do instead with good external lighting and make sure my seat height is adjusted to allow a good view of what is going on.
Following are some pictures of my splash boxes – I have several for different rests & tools.
Pictures 3 & 4 (above) – here is my 5 litre splash box with an expandable rubber drum and a flexible diamond grinding belt fitted. On this splash box the side slot is necessary because clearances are tight and it facilitates the easy removal of the tools. I feed in the water through a nipple in the top via Loc-Line modules, which feeds a cloth pad to evenly wet the whole width of the diamond belt. I’m not completely happy with the speed of wear of the cloth when using coarse belts so if you have a better suggestion for the pad material, please drop me a line!
These are my solutions. There are sure to be better ones around and I’d love to hear/see what works for you. I’ll happily include them in a future blog.
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On this page I intend to add monthly updates on aspects of jade carving. I also plan to invite more experienced carvers to offer a "master-class" on a particular subject of their choice. With this I hope to enthuse both the novice and the expert in this ancient and beautiful art-form/craft. And comments are welcome!