Friday, April 16, 2010

Polishing Ground Marble

Hi. This is my first post here so be gentle if I get off on the wrong foot.
I am a flint knapper and make stone arrowheads, spear points, knife blades etc. Recently, I began mounting some of my stone knife blades in cultured marble handles. Once I've ground the handle to shape with a wet bench grinder and 80 grit diamond wheel, it has of course lost all it's shine and is scratched like you wouldn't believe. Currently, I use a finer grit diamond wheel to take out the major scratches and then begin hand sanding the handles with sandpaper. In the end, I am using 2000 grit wet paper.
Some marble has a respectable finish and some are rough as can be with no shine at all.


I have searched high and low for some sort of wet/dry sanding/polishing tool that I can use on these handles. Hand sanding is very time consuming. The handles range in size from 5" long x 1-1/4" wide x 3/4" thick down to smaller pieces. As you can imagine, a 4" wet grinder would eat the ends off my fingers since I have to hold the piece in my hand while sanding it. Since most of the handles have multiple contours, I need something small and flexible. Some sort of bench grinder set-up would be ideal but I haven't found anything like that.


Other than lithic rock, I am pretty much in the dark about working stone (and this is all cultured marble anyway). I am not interested in attaining a commercial shine on the knife handles but I do want then to be smooth and have a nice luster. Are you aware of any method I can use to polish these knife handles? And if so, a source for the materials?

Thank you very much for any assistance you may offer.

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