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Sawing matched bookends
Sawing matched bookends will be simple once you know a few basics. It is important to have the saw arbor level to get good results. (Apply shims under the legs to level the saw if necessary.) Study your rock and decide what pattern, shape, etc. will be the best choice for your bookends. For instance, if using petrified wood, do you want the growth rings, or the grain to show on the polished face? 1. Make a slab cut for a face on your rock. If you have a large rock, see note below. 2. Use a carpenters level and draw a saw line down the center of the flat face of the rock. This centerline will mark the division for a matched set of bookends. 3. Draw another line at the base of the bookends at a 90 degree angel from the center line. This will be the saw line for the base of the bookends. 4. Orient your rock with the cut face down on the vise/carriage. Make sure the center line at the top of the rock is lined up with the blade of the saw. With the use of a straight edge, check to see the extension of the center line is parallel to the saw blade. 5. Proceed to slab the center line which will divide the rock into a matched pair of bookends. 6. Orient the pair of halves for the final slab cut for the base of the bookends. Place the halves on the saw carriage, face down, with the halves separated with a piece of plywood. Check if this marked base line is parallel with the saw blade. Use your carpenters level to be sure the saw blade and the plywood is at right angles exactly. The halves should be even and lined up to match the designs on the face of the set. Use wedges, if necessary, when clamping the halves into the vise to keep them from moving during this last cut. 7. When you have them aligned properly, slab through for completion of the base and final cut. 8. Clean, then polish your bookends. Note: If your rock is large enough, you can make two sets of bookends from a single rock. Make the first slab cut for a face in the middle of your rock, then repeat the steps above for both halves. When ready to lap your bookends, the weight of the stone/bookend on the lap should be evenly distributed on the lap for proper sanding and polishing, especially Brazil agates, which are heavy on one end of the bookend and light on the other end due to the tapering of the stone. Uneven pressure of a stone on the lap will give unsatisfactory results unless weight is added to the lighter end of the bookend.
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