How do you secure a small shell to carve?

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Forum topic by Josh posted 08-28-2013 06:25 PM 1938 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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103 posts in 2991 days

08-28-2013 06:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving carving tool question

I just got back from a trip to the Bahamas and with us we brought a couple really ugly looking Conch shells (ugly because the outer shell is not pretty but the inside is the beautiful pink you’d see with most conch shells). I’ve looked online and found some real cool things you can do with them by cutting the shell into pieces and then carving, like make jewelry or even christmas ornaments. I love this idea but how do you secure a small piece of shell well enough to use a dremel to carve? Is there a special type of vice? Do you just glue it to something? Anyone have any ideas on how to carve these things safely?

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

9 replies so far

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103 posts in 2991 days

#1 posted 08-28-2013 06:30 PM

Here’s about the only thing I can find on the subject.

Makeing Conch shell beads

Making a Conch shell pendandt

I’d love to make something like this
or This

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

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928 posts in 2042 days

#2 posted 08-28-2013 07:02 PM

Use a hot glue gun for temporary holding.

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4030 posts in 2939 days

#3 posted 08-28-2013 07:11 PM

In jewelry work we usually use shellac as an adhesive for carving tiny or hard to hold pieces.
The shellac we use comes in stick form, about 3/4” square, and 4” long and is green in color.
It is used by melting a puddle onto a dowel handle, or a plate we can grip in the engraving vise.
Then you just embed the article to be engraved in the puddle. It will solidify very quickly.
To remove the part we just drop it into alcohol and it dissolves the shellac.

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103 posts in 2991 days

#4 posted 08-29-2013 03:18 PM

thanks for the reply, would buying burn in shellac from woodcraft be the same thing youre talking about?

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

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117063 posts in 3545 days

#5 posted 08-29-2013 03:36 PM

Another vote for hot glue.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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4030 posts in 2939 days

#6 posted 08-29-2013 03:51 PM

I’m not sure of the WoodCraft product.

Here is a link to one of my suppliers.
Apparently you could use the flake product as well.

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1118 posts in 3094 days

#7 posted 08-30-2013 08:27 PM

For really small cavings, i use industrial strength double stick tape… flat, on a board, and gummed into a ball for irregular shapes. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View hairy's profile


2661 posts in 3501 days

#8 posted 09-10-2013 03:42 PM

Italy is famous for conch shell cameos. What they do is amazing.
I bought my wife a cameo pendant and a complete carved shell when I was there.

Bahama conch shells aren’t much to look at, but the conch sure taste good.

-- My reality check bounced...

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18 posts in 1721 days

#9 posted 09-11-2013 05:00 AM

Ya.This is real.Its look beautiful.


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