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 It's great as a historical reference and to learn the basic steps to turning alabaster!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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