Soapstone Pendants

Soapstone has an appearance similar to marble, although it is extremely soft. The talc in soapstone gives the smooth feeling of rubbing a piece of dry soap; thus the name "Soapstone" was derived. It can be carved with conventional woodworking tools and using Wet 'n' Dry Sandpaper, a highly polished finish can be achieved with ease. Soapstone can be finished with oil, varnish, beeswax polish or even with clear shoe polish. Always use a dust mask (or respirator) and saftey goggles when carving the stone.
Pendants are possibly one of the easiest things to carve and very suitable for younger students. Create beautiful and uniques pieces of jewellery which will be treasrued forever. Great gift idea with a handmade touch!

 Exploration: Soapstone

TIP! As demonstrated in this exploration, Soapstone can be carved, shaped and polished in water to minimise dust. Change water between stages to avoid scratching surface.
Use a bench hook when carving, and always wear safety goggles and a dust mask.
Step One
Cut the raw Soapstone with a Coping Saw approximately to the size and thickness of your desired object. 
Step Two
Use a soft lead pencil to mark out your design. If necessary, add a centre line to maintain symmetry and even shaping. 
Step Three: Shaping
Use a Rasp to define the main shape. Take off any sharp points and round off the edges with the rasp or rifflers.
Step Four
To remove large areas, cut slices across stone and then chisel away.
Step Five: Creating Holes
Use either a hand drill or a lino tool (V or U) to carve holes. Leave enough distance from the hole to the edge to maintain strength (approx.2-3 times the hole's diameter). 
Step Six
Starting with a course sandpaper (80 grit), remove scratches and marks. Work your way up through the sand paper grades to refine the surface. 
Step Seven
After using a 360 grit sandpaper, all scratches should be removed. Use a 600 grit paper for the final polishing. 
Step Eight
Once dry, apply a coat of oil, shellac, wax polish or beeswax to the object. Polish with a clean cloth to gloss up the surface. 
Step Nine
A highly polished finish can be achieved with ease. 

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