View Full Version : Pinning through stone

01-19-2003, 09:10 AM
Hello everyone!

I'm working on building a small stockman style folder and have decied that I would like to use turquoise for the scales. However, the center pivot pin needs to go through the scales.

I'm concerned with breaking the scales when I peen that center pivot rod. Is there anyway to prevent that from happening?

I figured that I could always counter sink the center pin into the liner and then grind it flush. But that would leave the turquise with nothing but the epoxy holding the turquoise on. Would that be sufficient?

Any help would be most appreciated.


Mark H.

Ray Rogers
01-19-2003, 10:00 AM

I use screws in my liner locks and don't do much pinning but I do use a lot of turquoise. My guess is that the answer to peening turquiose is very, very carefully and be prepared to make that scale several times before you get one that holds together. But, that's only a guess.

Still, I can say that the epoxy alone will not hold the scale, never does on any kind of knife that gets used. What I would do, I think, would be to secure the pin with epoxy and not peen it. If you use a really good epoxy like the K&G or Acraglass epoxies that should work fine.

Maybe you should take a scrap of turquoise and practice trying to peen a pin in it. Then you'll know how far you can push the stone before it breaks and you may be able to peen it after all....

01-19-2003, 11:25 AM
I use a lot of stone on stake knives and small utility knives. I have never had a scale come loose, I rough the metal up with a new 36 grit and the stone also, then pin, if you try to pien the pin you will brake the Turquoise. make the hole a little oversize so you have a place for the epoxy, a slide fit is needed. The epoxy that I use is called 220 in the lapidary field, you can find it at
Rio Grande 1 800 545 6566 if you don't have a cataloger you need one. Gib

Jamey Saunders
01-19-2003, 08:27 PM

Maybe you could try a pin spinner? This would create domed heads on the pin, without having to hammer on your turquoise.

If you don't want domed heads, you could probably use an arbor press to expand the pin. You would have more control than with a ball-peen hammer, and you'd be less likely to accidentally hit and shatter your handles.

01-20-2003, 11:01 AM
Any suggestions or pointers for drilling the pin hole through the turquoise? Should I drill before shaping, or rough shape and drill, or fine shape and dril? What kind of blade/drill would be best for this type of work (slow speed/fast speed, carbide bits or masonry?)

Mark H

Jamey Saunders
01-20-2003, 11:07 AM

One more question: Is this real, solid turquoise or the reconstituted variety like TKS or Sheffield's sells? The reconstituted stuff drills pretty easily (at least Lapis Lazuli does). I don't have a clue about solid stuff. Maybe you could try a Google search for "lapidary" to get the answer to the drilling question.

01-20-2003, 06:51 PM
a common drill will work fine, don't run it very fast and use light pressure, go slow recon stone is very heat sensitive, it turns white when too hot. Gib

01-21-2003, 07:25 AM
Both the natural stone and the recon. are fairly easy to drill. Both are also heat sensitive (talking turquoise here). You can quite easily control the heat by keeping the material wet. Tap water is fine. Two ways I do this (based on size and shape):
1- take some cheap modeling clay and build a little ring dam aroun the premarked spot and fill half-full with water. Set the bit point against the stone (no pressure) before you turn on the drill.
Use a slight "bump and lift" pressure to allow the water access to flush and cool. NEVER bear down. Use great care on the final break through as this is where it usually breaks. You can prevent this by temporarily gluing to a solid backing.
2- glue the stone to a good solid backing (say marble) and set the whole thing in a tray of water, then drill with the same technique. Just make sure you can hold the material solidily. No movement allowed!
You can use super glue or epoxy to hold the stone and release by soaking in acetone (water will eventually release the super glue but slower).
Note: Never used acetone on recon so test a piece first.
Recommend using carbide drill bits even on turq. as they cut cleaner. Diamond bits will do but they tend to make a sloppy hole.
As is preached in the lapidary business "keep it wet and go slow".
Good luck.
Carl Rx

03-11-2005, 11:43 AM
Carl's info was right-on. Only thing I would add is to try a diamond core drill rather than a regular twist drill. This is for cutting the real turquoise - not needed for the recon stuff.

A core drill is a small tube with diamonds on the tip to do the cutting. You can buy small diameter ones through lapidary supply catalogs like Rio Grande <>. Lasco Diamond and Diamond Pacific are also good suppliers.

Again, build a little dam around the hole and keep the drill wet. Clamp the part down on a drill press and use a "woodpecker" action, up-down, to keep the hole clean and wet.

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