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cutting abalone shells

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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tommy7

New Member
Oct 15, 2004
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Hey Guys, (that includes girls too, no offence meant)

I am making a new gun and want to adorn her tender sides w/ shapes cut out of abalone shells. I know that abalone is toxic, when cutting/grinding care must be taken not to breathe the dust. My question is what is the best method to cut the shell?

Thanks in Advance! Tommy
 

Alison

Offline
Mar 6, 2004
1,898
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0
One from the girls then ;)
How about one of those electric ceramic tile saws that you can hire or buy in hardware stores?
Love to see pics of this when its done :)
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
How about not destroying more shells from our ocean and using another material?

sea shell lamps

Shell Auction


Algoa Bay

Phillippines shells


Amongst about 410,00 sites to buy shells... imagine how the ocean is being raped of shells for decorative purposes. I do eat shellfish, I admit, but would never buy a shell in a shop as i believe there are more shells fished for decoration rather than for consumption..
 

tommy7

New Member
Oct 15, 2004
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Thank you sweety (Alison not Island_sands ;)

Alsion I will try renting a tile saw and let you know. Thank you very much again!!

Island -sands, Island-sands, tsstsstss, How about asking me where my ablone shells are coming from before getting on the proverbial soap-box to beat someone you never met over the head?
You are "staff" here????
 

miles

BORN WILD!!!
Supporter
Jun 13, 2003
1,486
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Hiya

I can just see the scenario................ "No sir, Mr. Fisheries Inspector, I wasn't illegally taking out abalone, i just want their shells!!!!":D :D :D

Seriously though, most of our dive spots have a plethora of abalone shells, remanants of the poachers activities. Would love to see the finished gun.

Tommy7, please post some photo's. Pretty sure that the gun will look wicked!!!! Good cammo too!!!!:D :D :D

Regards
miles
 

tommy7

New Member
Oct 15, 2004
13
1
0
67
HELLO MILES, ;)

Actually the shells have been decorating my garden for the past several years. I took them legally under the close watch of 100 DFG agents doing their job at Van Damme Park in Ft. Bragg, Ca.
Anyway I love the way they look in my garden but plan to use one to adorn my gun. I doubt if I have the talent to do what I have in mind (No, I know I don't have the talent!) I would love to carve a pair of mermaids, or killer wales.
On another note, I have on my mantle an ablone shell with a natural design of a "swan on a lake".....if someone will tell me how and where to post a pic, I wouldn't mind sharing if there was interest to see it?
Tommy
 
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fuzz

Hawaiian transplant...
Sep 9, 2002
995
73
0
43
Island Sands, I admire you taking a stance on those who rape the oceans for pretty shells; however, in Tommy's defense - this is not one of those cases.

Abalone up here in NorCal are highly sought as table fare. Divers flock to this stretch of coast to get their allotted 3 abs a day limit. Having undergone such treks, tommy wants to make use of the byproducts of these tasty mollusks - something I've been wondering about for a couple years as my box of shells has slowly grown.

I've tried sledgehammering one into workable pieces, then dremelling it... though my artistic skills made my tuna look more like a manatee :( Soon after, I was told about the dangers of shell residue & have been scared to attempt anything since.

A friend suggested an acrylic box with glove hands that extend within - similar to isolation boxes in controlled substance rooms. Sounds like a viable option, but a lot of work. I'm sure there are other alternatives out there, so I'm also eager to hear them :D



p.s., tommy, you can attatch pictures to your post as long as they're within a reasonable size.
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
212
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all ya gotta do is ask.

Abalone-wise, here's the 411...

First off, you want to find the area of the mother of pearl that you want to use, taking into consideration it's thickness relative to the intended use- you don't want a piece a half inch thick for an inlay unless you really like grinding... :crutch

Melt some wax over the piece you want or over the entire inside of the shell- the purty part.

In a place that it won't matter, like out on the sidewalk of someone else's place ;) splash some Muriatic acid that you picked up from a pool supply place and step back while it fizzes. Do it again. And again.

Now hose the shell off and whip out your trusty angle grider with a very coarse disc. Wear a no bullshit respirator, goggles and then ask someone else to do it for you a half a block down wind. The important thing here is to do nice even passes over the shell realizing that the shell is in no way even in thickness so be cool and take a good gander at how things are going, often.

Once you've busted through the grunge outer layer and you're into the pearl, change to a finer grit and if you have a D.A. or an orbital sander, smoooth.

Once the thing is to your liking thickness-wise, put the shell in some boiling water to remove the wax, bust loose the piece you want and do the shaping and final final with a Dremel tool in a no bullshit well ventilated area where the wind is blowing the stuff away from you and over to the neighbor's yappy dog dish. :head

To the gun, trace out the design and go real shallow with the hobby blade and glue with some 5 minute or 2 ton epoxy and wonder why the balance of your gun just went to Hell. :waterwork

And thanks for sending those pics of your other gun, Tommy :hmm tick, tick, tick.
 
Last edited:
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tommy7

New Member
Oct 15, 2004
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Fuzz,
Thanks for clarifying things for me (although I would have loved to explain 1st hand if only asked) ;(

Sven,
Is there anything you "Don't" know?? You are a big help and I'll be heading to my pool supply store soon! Now if I am to understand you (I'm to wait until the wind is blowing in the direction of the "bad neighbor's house before I start?)
O.K. Got It, Tommy
PS. Thanks Again!
 

T Ash

Freak on a Leash
Sep 29, 2004
56
2
0
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Hey tommy, how about using a Dremel tool? They have some very fine cutting wheels. I've used one to cut old bits of shells iI picked up on the beachand it worked well. Just have to go slow and keep it wet. At least that is what worked best for me.
 

rigdvr

Not Available in Stores
May 28, 2002
1,317
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Originally posted by T Ash
Just have to go slow and keep it wet. At least that is what worked best for me.

I'll leave this one for Sven....:cool:
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
Abalone up here in NorCal are highly sought as table fare. Divers flock to this stretch of coast to get their allotted 3 abs a day limit. Having undergone such treks, tommy wants to make use of the byproducts of these tasty mollusks - something I've been wondering about for a couple years as my box of shells has slowly grown.

Thank Fuzz... was unaware of that... if its a by-product of controlled fishing then it's different story..

i had visions of a freediver pulling up shells for the pure purpose of decorating his gun.

I am feeling a bit sore about shells at the moment... the resort we are building over here has a few bits and pieces that for me are just horrendous.. like a whole bar with a mother of pearl top counter. :head :head


Island -sands, Island-sands, tsstsstss, How about asking me where my ablone shells are coming from before getting on the proverbial soap-box to beat someone you never met over the head?
You are "staff" here????

Yes Tommy, i am "staff" here.. which doesn't prevent me from getting on a soap box from time to time... Staff just means that i write articles for the website, i don't have any "authority" as such and I am allowed to have an opinion.
I am normally quite a chilled out person. Ask anyone here... sorry if i offended you.

safe gunning
Sara-Lise
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
PS. Thanks for the unsigned bad karma. I guess it was from you Tommy. Not to worry, I am a big girl. :)
 

tommy7

New Member
Oct 15, 2004
13
1
0
67
PS. Thanks for the unsigned bad karma. I guess it was from you Tommy. Not to worry, I am a big girl.

Island-sand, there you go again, No I didn't leave you bad karma.
I am actually a very nice guy ;)........ I have nothing against you per sei. I think that you might learn to ask me for an explanation before you make an assumption that I did something wrong.
Sara-Lise, you remind me of a straight forward person, I like that in a person ;)... Be Cool, Tommy
Ps. tell me how to post Karma and I will post a Good one
 
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island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
I think that you might learn to ask me for an explanation before you make an assumption that I did something wrong.



lol... my fiance' complains of the same thing. :eek:
 

T Ash

Freak on a Leash
Sep 29, 2004
56
2
0
52
Rgdvr, I left myself wide open on that one. Didn't hit me until I re-read my post. Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!
 

Angus49

New Member
Oct 8, 2007
1
0
0
Re: all ya gotta do is ask.

I recently go some abalone shells and i'm not experienced in cutting them to use as an inlay material for a guitar i'm building. Do you have any advice or can you recommend any sites that would help?? I need to be able to cut the shells into flat sheets


Abalone-wise, here's the 411...

First off, you want to find the area of the mother of pearl that you want to use, taking into consideration it's thickness relative to the intended use- you don't want a piece a half inch thick for an inlay unless you really like grinding... :crutch

Melt some wax over the piece you want or over the entire inside of the shell- the purty part.

In a place that it won't matter, like out on the sidewalk of someone else's place ;) splash some Muriatic acid that you picked up from a pool supply place and step back while it fizzes. Do it again. And again.

Now hose the shell off and whip out your trusty angle grider with a very coarse disc. Wear a no bullshit respirator, goggles and then ask someone else to do it for you a half a block down wind. The important thing here is to do nice even passes over the shell realizing that the shell is in no way even in thickness so be cool and take a good gander at how things are going, often.

Once you've busted through the grunge outer layer and you're into the pearl, change to a finer grit and if you have a D.A. or an orbital sander, smoooth.

Once the thing is to your liking thickness-wise, put the shell in some boiling water to remove the wax, bust loose the piece you want and do the shaping and final final with a Dremel tool in a no bullshit well ventilated area where the wind is blowing the stuff away from you and over to the neighbor's yappy dog dish. :head

To the gun, trace out the design and go real shallow with the hobby blade and glue with some 5 minute or 2 ton epoxy and wonder why the balance of your gun just went to Hell. :waterwork

And thanks for sending those pics of your other gun, Tommy :hmm tick, tick, tick.
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
212
0
61
For sticking into/on a guitar, a real shell is going to be a bear to deal with.

For your intended use, I'd go do an online search for inlay tape or veneers.. I've seen abalone and pua shell done this way, most specifically from Lauren Yater of Yater Surfboard fame in Santa Barbara, CA. Go to the Yellow Pages and look for Yater or Beach House and ask them for the source of the veneers, and then me know as well.
 
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