Carving on sandstone with the X-Carve

Is anyone doing any cutting or engraving with rough cut sandstone and brick?

I didn’t see anything but I’m new to the forum so I’ll check some more. Thanks anyway

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I have cut marble so I would think that sandstone would be easy, but it may not be able to hold the same amount of detail

Thanks Allen. I just ordered the X-Carve 1000 and look forward to finding diversified materials. I would think once familiar with the machine and software it should be easy to try almost anything.

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Will do

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I was really surprised by how well the marble cut, I used a .125 endmill for roughing and a 60 deg vbit for the detail pass and the V-Carve software to create the toolpaths.

I was able to find 4x4x1/4 inch marble tiles at my local flooring store for about 30 cents each. They also has discontinued 12x12 marble tiles for under $3 each.

This is the 4x4 tile


Thank gives me some kind of idea of what this will do. I may get back with you on forum about speed and depth etc. when the time comes. Thank you very much for the response.

I think you’ll want to be careful with Sandstone since it is a siliceous rock (contains a lot of silica). Dust control should be a concern. Silicosis is nothing to mess around with.

Here. Too many nonsense answers. The forum is sounding like a #$% rally recently. P.S. You should never work in a sandstone quarry without a mask… but with an x-carve and the stone available to you, I think you are safe from Silicosis. Stone Carving


I’m sure that you wear a respirator when using certain solvents and paints. And you would be covered head to toe in a suit if you were removing asbestos. And most of us use dust collection and enclosures when milling wood to help clean up and keep dust levels down so that we can actually breathe in our own shops. Many professionals even use air scrubbing systems in their shops to keep particulate counts low.

Those are things that we do to protect our lungs and our health. We do them because we understand the problems and hazards and we try to mitigate them.

Why is silica dust any different? Breathing in silica dust is a real medical concern, and you really shouldn’t breathe it in if you can avoid it. Is a tiny bit of dust going to hurt you? No. But a certain level of exposure can result in long-term health issues. If you’re going to be generating a significant amount of silica dust, which I’d bet is unavoidable if you’re milling a silica-rich rock, then you really would be stupid not to take some level of precaution. Wear a respirator at least.

But if you’d rather get right to the source, then take a clear glass from your cupboard, then crush it into a super fine powder such that the particles float in a light breeze, and then go ahead and breathe that in. Because that’s what silica dust is.

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There are vast resources available online regarding occupational exposure levels for different substances. Some substances are very hazardous at low levels, some are only of concern to those working full-time in those environments.

Yes, silicosis is a thing, and industrial exposure has caused significant problems (for example people using silicon dioxide grinding wheels all day), however you generally don’t see people stressing about every possible source (deserts, sandhills, beaches etc).

Many types of fine particulate matter can be particularly hazardous - paints, plastics resins and synthetic ‘glass’, manufactured wood products such as MDF, even some naturally occurring woods).

The general rule of thumb is to avoid dust wherever possible. And just as importantly, look up what you’re working with and see if it’s hazardous.


Thanks to both replies on the sandstone. I know where the caution comes from working with the stone, same goes for drywall…goes with the territory. Never hurts to err on the side of caution though. Thanks guys.

I tried many types of sedimentary type stone - some paritcularly loose and particulate rock did carve but was very rough. Slate works well too but you have to be careful if you are profiling (cutting out a shape), because the flakes will separate and the top of your carving will pop right off. Also, it takes a while to carve a flat surface in the stone. I usually flatten a square in the stone and then take it to the grinder to complete the flat. Putting it back on your x-carve perfectly flat is challenging. I found using 1/8" x 2" aluminum bar with holes drilled in the middle makes great clamps. Put an edge on your stone, the other edge on the wasteboard and screw through a hole. The aluminum bends. Repeat on the other side, then adjust as necessary. I have a spray bottle of water and just spritz tiny amounts on the surface of the stone, wiping away the excess on the wasteboard. I have also carved without water.

I am using regular engraving bits for detail work. And SUPER cheap diamond bits for flattening, hogging out material and drilling. Stick with 80-100 grit for this work. Sets like this provide endless experimentation for less than $10.

I use, and my employees use, full face respirator masks with fine particulate filters and hoods. This takes away any danger of inhaling the dust. Friend from Desert Storm said the dust is so fine over there it’s like a face powder, can’t imagine.

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Fwiw, marble carves really well with carbide v bits. I use one with replaceable tips, but the stone is easier to carve than some woods. Also surprisingly little mess.

That looks great. I can see a lot of uses in the stones I will be working on. Thanks for the response and the picture.