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Old 12-12-2016, 06:08 PM
tsterling tsterling is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Coupeville WA USA
Posts: 254
Default Lindsay AirGraver® Mini Stone Holder Review

Here’s a quick report on the new AirGraver® Mini Stone Holder available from Steve Lindsay.

As I’ve come to expect from Lindsay products, it was beautifully machined and knurled, very convenient to use. I mike’d the diameter of the end tube that fits into the airgraver, and at 0.130 inches is just a hair larger than 1/8 inch in diameter. This gave it a nice, tight fit in my Nitro G20. The holder fits several different sizes of the ceramic superstones, and the holder is hollow all the way through so it can accommodate the entire length of the stones.

Lindsay recommends 6,000 to 10,000 strokes per minute and the standard or light pistons, but I just loaded it into my Nitro G20 (tungsten piston) since that’s the handpiece I use for sculpting/stippling and similar operations, because it is foot controlled and I can hold it like a pencil - easier on my hand.

I thought up a simple test to put it through its paces, and gave it a go. I have to say I was very impressed. I chucked up a 180 grit, 0.5 mm x 0.5 mm ceramic superstone and this puppy ate through mild steel without a pause or falter. Within a minute, I could see a definite depression, and feel it with my finger as well. My initial attempt to create a rectangular spot worked fairly well, but didn't give me the sharp edges I was hoping for, so I designed a more realistic test for an engraved item. I engraved four rectangles on a 1018 mild steel plate, and tested each of the four grits of stones I have - 180, 300, 600 and 1200. Each rectangle is about 1 x 0.5 inches, and took longer to engrave than completely stone each interior. I was able to completely fill the interior, without ever going past the engraved outlines. The device allows excellent control while easily cutting the metal far better than I could with similar stones in a pencil hand holder.

Above, you can see two photos of the test piece. The angled sort-of-rectangular spot on the right hand side is my first attempt with the 180 grit stone. The other rectangles are labeled with the grit of the stone used. Only in the small rectangles on the left did I use the stones like they should be used by starting with the coarsest grit followed by successive grits at 90 degrees to the previous scratches - I've labeled the successive grits on the left. Even the 1200-only grit rectangle on the far right did a good job of erasing most of the surface manufacturing defects of the steel (you can see the original steel surface outside the rectangles - I didn’t do much in the way of surface prep beyond Scotchbrite to shine away a little rust).

A few tips:

1. I had a piece of 300 grit superstone tip break off during use, and a small section peel up from the tip when I continued to use it. I think this was caused by a manufacturing flaw in the ceramic. But, it brought to mind a strategy to use these to best effect without damaging the stone. When using the holder, I held it at about a 45 degree angle to the surface of the metal, and as you might imagine, the stone wore away at the tip at that angle. I suggest when the wear starts to approach the top surface of the stone, to turn the stone over 180 degrees (top stone surface becomes bottom surface). In other words, don’t allow a sharp edge to occur on the top of the stone where the ceramic fibers might peel away. Turn it over before that happens and eliminate the possibility of the top ceramic fibers of the stone peeling away.

2. I was a little concerned about the stones eventually wearing away the interior of the split collet, so I would suggest opening it up so the stones slide in and out with little contact to the collet, then tighten down the collar.

3. When trying to stay within the confines of engraved lines, it’s much easier to see what’s happening in front of the stone. What’s happening behind the stone is more difficult to control, so when stoning an area start a little ways inside the area and proceed forward, then turn the engraving around and approach the original start area from the other direction.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with, nor compensation from Lindsay Engraving, other than loving their products.

Final judgement: An excellent piece of equipment, fast cutting, very controllable, easy to use. It’s going to see a lot of use in my studio. I like it so well that I got one and a selection of stones for my daughter for Christmas - shh, don’t tell her. I tell my students that everything in the engraving world is priced in hundreds, so at $49 this is a real bargain!

Best of Luck!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg stone_holder3.jpg (116.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Lindsay_Airgraver_Mini_Stone_Holder_Test.jpg (72.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg stone_holder.jpg (41.3 KB, 0 views)
Tom Sterling
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