Alabaster

Alabaster, a crystalline form of Gypsum, is mined from quarries in many places in the world. This soft stone is good for working on the lathe and for carving. It can be turned using standard HSS tools and carbide tools which stay sharp longer.

Alabaster is not known to be topic so although it's dusty turning a good dust mask and dust collection are all that you need to have a good work environment.

Turned alabaster vessels are beautiful vessels and these tutorials will help you to understand if this is something that you'd like to do!

 

Turning an Alabaster Bowl using a Pin ChuckTurning an Alabaster Bowl using a Pin Chuck
By: Jim Davies
In this photo tutorial, Jim Davies shows us how he mounts a large piece of alabaster in preparation for turning it. Then he takes us through each step showing the process of turning the stone. It's amazing that the steps are not much different than you would follow with wood, but of course, there is no grain and no movement.

This document is very detailed which is good for beginners and might be enough to convince you to try one yourself!

 

Turn an Alabaster BowlTurn an Alabaster Bowl
By: George Westbrook
In this project, George gives us an overview of how he prepares his alabaster blanks, mounts them on the lathe and ultimately turns it. It will give you an good glimpse at the process!

 

Alabaster on the LatheAlabaster on the Lathe
By: Max Krimmel
This is the original Fine Woodworking article about Alabaster turning from 1989 that brought Max's work to attention. It's great as a historical reference and to learn the basic steps to turning alabaster!

 

Lathe Turned Alabaster Vessels - Part IIILathe Turned Alabaster Vessels - Part III
By: Max Krimmel
In this last part of the 3 part project, Max shows how to do the final sanding and finishing of the alabaster vessel. He also shows how to finish the base and then how he photographs his pieces!

 

Lathe Turned Alabaster Vessels - Part IILathe Turned Alabaster Vessels - Part II
By: Max Krimmel
In this part 2 of 3 article, Max shows you how to make the base, hollow out the vessel, adding a segmented rim and then giving the vessel it's final shaping!

 

Lathe Turned Alabaster Vessels - Part ILathe Turned Alabaster Vessels - Part I
By: Max Krimmel
In this part 1 of 3 article, Max Krimmel shows you how to select, prepare and mount your alabaster blank onto the lathe. He also discusses how to rough out the blank to get it to a rounded state.

 

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Square Mini Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tool

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This Square Carbide Mini Turning Tool from Rockler features a replaceable and rotatable cutter that eliminates the hassle and downtime of sharpening. Simply rotate the carbide cutter for a fresh, sharp edge, and replace it once all available edges have grown dull. The solid carbide cutter also stays sharp for longer when compared with steel, giving you a much longer useful life. Shaft features a flattened back for stability when using the tool rest. The handles are made of solid ash encased with a thick, molded rubber end for an enhanced grip and reduced fatigue.

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Starter Pen Turning Kit

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This kit contains all the essential tooling you need to start turning custom pens. It includes three pen blank species (bloodwood, bubinga and olivewood), three gold-plated Slimline Twist Pen Hardware Kits, a 7mm mandrel with knurled nut and #2 Morse Taper, 7mm bushings, a 7mm Brad Point Drill Bit, a 1 oz. bottle of CA Glue, a Pen Mill Kit for truing up all mating surfaces and a storage case with 28 adjustable compartments. The Pen Mill includes four pilot shaft sizes for a wide range of pen types.

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Rockler Four-Piece Cheese Knife Turning Kit

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The cheese cutters are made from food-grade 304 stainless steel and attached to the handles which you turn. The kit includes 1/4-20 threaded inserts. The cheese cutters themselves are dishwasher safe; the handles are easily removed for this purpose.

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GVS Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator with 2 Bonus Filters, Small/Medium

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These Elipse P100 Half-Mask Respirators from GVS are designed to protect against dust particles, metal fumes, mists, oil and water vapors, and even some micro-organisms. Each mask includes two low-profile filters, which permit a wide field of view, and won't interfere with safety glasses and sanding shields. The filters are easily interchangeable, and replacement filters are readily available.

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Uvex Bionic Face Shield with Clear Polycarbonate Visor and Anti-Fog/Hard Coat

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Shell offers built-in chin protection and extended top-of-head coverage. Highly adjustable headgear tilts visor nearer or farther from face depending on preference and application. Comfortable cell foam on back of headgear. Breathable, removable, washable headband. Comfortably worn with most goggles and respirators.

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Push stick with ergonomic handle has embedded magnet for easy storage on your saw. Ideal for table saw and router table use. Angled push blocks feature ultra-grippy Bench Cookie pad material. They are great for jointer and router table applications. Table featherboard assists in holding stock against the fence while sawing or routing and helps to reduce kickback. It fits standard 3/4" x 3/8" miter slots found on table saws and router tables, and features expandable miter track bars for maximum holding power.

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