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mother of pearl (Read 193 times)
 
brent ashcraft
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mother of pearl
Nov 15th, 2017 at 2:59pm
 
I bought a number of abalone shells at an auction for nothing (not a common item here in Missouri).  Can I grind them up and use for a filler material, or would it be too hard?

Brent Ashcraft
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Ed Weber
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Wilton, California, USA
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Re: mother of pearl
Reply #1 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 4:09pm
 
It's up to you if you want to grind them into powder, if you do, you will most likely loose some the luster. It really all depends on your needs. Filling a natural void or crack (usually ground or flaked) or using it for inlay (solid)
There are a couple of decent YouTube videos on cutting the pieces out of a whole shell. This is a somewhat common practice for luthiers (fret markers, etc.)
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« Last Edit: Nov 15th, 2017 at 4:09pm by Ed Weber »  
 
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Tony Rozendaal
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East Troy, WI, Wisconsin, USA
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Re: mother of pearl
Reply #2 - Nov 16th, 2017 at 8:29am
 
Also, be advised, some people consider abalone dust to be toxic so if you do this use caution. Do a Google search for 'abalone toxicity' - there are varying opinions on how toxic it is, but it is considered to be toxic.
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Ed Weber
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Re: mother of pearl
Reply #3 - Nov 16th, 2017 at 9:15am
 
If possible, it's best to work with it in some type of water bath or totally submerged to contain the fine dust particles. I know this isn't always feasible so please use the proper safety precautions when grinding, sanding or cutting.
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Mike Nathal
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Strongsville, Ohio, USA
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Re: mother of pearl
Reply #4 - Nov 16th, 2017 at 1:13pm
 
I saw a demonstration at the Ohio Turning 2017 symposium last month.  The crushed mother of pearl had some iridescence that made it different than the turquoise that the demonstrator also used.  You can buy it commercially.  I am not sure which vendor he used but PeachTree does show it on their website
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brent ashcraft
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Re: mother of pearl
Reply #5 - Nov 17th, 2017 at 9:22am
 
Thanks!  I will give it a try the next time I need to fill a void.

Brent Ashcraft
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Gary Hostetter
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Re: mother of pearl
Reply #6 - Nov 17th, 2017 at 10:15am
 
Brent...
Here is a company that I have used for sixty years and you can purchase just about any mineral or shell in solid or crushed form...

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