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Wood has been a valuable natural fuel resource for centuries and it continues to be in some parts of the world. Contributed in varied forms to our day-to-day necessities, it has proven itself one of the most productive biological reserves.
Even after decaying for millions of years in high pressure and temperature constraints, it gives us another most important substance that is, coal. This all happens in an oxygen-rich environment. Then what will happen if there’s no oxygen for decay? Let’s find out.
Deprived of oxygen, the plant elements are turned into Petrified wood. A sort of wood fossil. So, the question arises is “What exactly is petrified wood”? You see here the word petrified doesn’t stand for “scary”, I mean woods can be scary if you visit them during the night, but we are talking about the dead ones. Petrified is a Latin origin word root petro which means “rock” or “stones”.
Petrification / per mineralization is a process by which the formation of this fossil takes place. When plant material, especially the woody stem buried by sediments and protected against decay by some organisms with a no-oxygen environment, turns to a rock hard material after millions of years. This is what we call petrified wood in the true sense.
Now many of you are thriving with an interest to know, how can a wood turn into a rock hard entity? In a sorted sense, when organic matter in it eventually breaks down because of lack of oxygen then the elements like silica, copper, manganese etc. fill their locale and crystallize within it, forming a stone-hard structure called petrified wood.
The element which will crystalline within it will decide the colour that fossil is going to have. They often have a colourful appearance, mostly quartz and this is why they are used in jewellery making but in a limited manner.
They are not extremely rare yet valuable to scientific researchers and can easily be found in silica-rich areas. Places like Arizona, Colorado, South and North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming are all rich for these incredible petrified forests. One of the major tasks we came across is its cutting procedure. Simple Woodcutting and moulding are lenient and manageable and you can find more of them at CutTheWood.com.
Now let’s begin with the step-by-step tutorial on how to cut the petrified wood. There are many techniques to do it and many tools we can use. As it is silica-quartz we simply can’t expect it to cut through from an axe it something just like that. But CutTheWood.com provides you with one of the most convenient ways to do it. If you want to get satisfactory results then you need to follow overall project guidelines appropriately. Let’s begin!
What you will need to follow this tutorial?
● Petrified wood
● Diamond Cutting Blade
● A Wet Saw
● Black semi-permanent marker
● Grit Pad
You can find different ways to cut petrified wood. It’s rock hard so the kind of tool you will choose does matter a lot. You have to be well aware of all the instructions and consequences of using any equipment on your Petrified wood piece. PSI water jets are also commonly used for this process but they make this procedure more complicated and you need expertise for it.
Step-by-step guide on how to cut petrified wood
Step 1: Mark your wood piece that needs to be cut
You need to mark boundaries, where you want your chosen wood piece to be cut. This looks like an extra step in this guide but this has an important role to play.
When you mark your wood, you will have a precise idea for when you opt for cutting it. It will give you the exact cut and piece you expected.
Step 2: Clamp your petrified wood piece
This petrified wood piece needs to be clamped in one place properly for an even cut. If it’s not clamped appropriately then it will constantly move throughout the procedure and that will make it harder to cut and it can harm the operator.
Clamp your specified wooden piece in place according to the layout of your saw which you are using to assure it’s even cutting.
Step 3: Operate your Rock cutter
This is the backbone of this procedure. You need to fit your diamond saw blade into your rock cutter to get it cut. Why a diamond blade? We are using it because it is the hardest known element and can cut any other rock hard material without itself breaking into pieces.
You need to operate your wet saw with it making sure that the water pump is operational. If it will not pump the water adequately then the machine will eventually stop working.
A wet saw is used as it can accommodate the thickness and size of your petrified wood. If the diameter of your petrified wood piece is greater than 12 inches, then you will need custom-made motorized saws. Otherwise, you can use large-scale rock cutters fitted with diamond blades.
Step 4: The final tinge
For a finishing tinge, you can polish it using a finer grit pad. You may opt for the finest grip pad to add more lustre to your petrified wood piece. The higher the grit number will be the higher it will give a shiny finish.
You can rub your grit onto the wood until you get favourable results out of it.
This procedure can be harder than you thought it could be. There are several majors to keep in mind while working on petrified wood.
As you know it’s a rock hard stick-in-the-mud and as we mentioned that it needs heavy, sharp and hard tools to cut it. The proper maintenance of these tools is indeed a major task.
The blades are extra sharp and the slightest mistake can lead to a severe injury of a lifetime and who wants it? No one, exactly and that’s why some say “precautions are better than mishappenings”.
The grit produced while cutting petrified wood proved to be harmful to live beings, mostly us humans because who else is operating on it?
We need to protect our eyes from this grit, wearing eye masks will help you in that.
If you don’t clamp your wooden piece but instead hold it with your hands, you definitely need to wear hand gloves. As they don’t provide one hundred per cent safety, you need to be well conscious at the same time.
There’s no need to be fast and furious, things like this take time. Even a small sample of it can take hours of cutting.
This set-up that is used to cut the petrified wood is a bit expensive and would require high maintenance from time to time as it’s made of diamond cut saws.
It doesn’t cover up much space but it will require a considerable amount of work and time.
After the procedure finishes off, you may have a nice cut piece but not the shiny and lustrous one as used in pieces of jewellery and others. You can find them in varied forms commonly known as rainbow wood, quartz, chalcedony, agate and opal etc.
If you followed the overall project guidelines every then and now you’re considering it to use as a jewellery piece. You might also consider the Polishing process of this wood to give it more detail. CutTheWood.com will provide you with some great and detailed ideas about wood polishing stuff so don’t forget to check it out.
A small piece of it doesn’t worth more but the high quality and polished have a huge price tag on them. It is useful in various aspects such as tabletops, jewellery and as it is water-resistant it can find various uses there.
Petrified wood takes millions of years to form so we can’t undo it to normal wood but just to an extent. Here’s an interesting fact: There’s “Petrified Wood Park and Museum” located in lemon, South Dakota. You will find more than 100 sculptures mostly made of petrified wood and was first opened in 1933.
Petrified wood is known for its many properties and for people who are believers in spirituality this is undoubtedly an extremely important element.
Its literal meaning is “wood turned into stone” and then mainly composed of quartz. Therefore, it is believed that it has healing properties. It can be beneficial to the skeletal system, to your skin and unbelievably also said to help with Alzheimer, arthritis and osteoporosis. Isn’t it amazing to know that a single piece of wood can be used in these ways to treat all these diseases? It is, only if you believe it.
As it takes millions of years to form, some say that it holds earthly energies. Those energies tend to calm your nerves and control fear, pain and anxiety in you just like medication.