For the back side, you'll only be working with the 6 lines to the left of center.
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Set your guide bar at the first line to the left of center and, pulling toward you, carve your channel. Move the guide bar one line over and repeat. Continue until all 6 lines have been created. Unlike the back, the lines on the two opposite sides do not go all the way through edge to edge. They connect to the back lines, however they stop. Adjust the guard so that it is 2. This time you'll plunge the piece onto the bit and then draw towards yourself. To do the other side, you'll need to flip the piece over and use the 6 lines on the other side of the table.
Continue, as you did on the first side until all six lines are cut. It's much easier to create your lines for the remaining three stones if you first fabricate a template. I used a scrap piece of board to create a 'french curve' that would assist me in making the lines and used my scroll saw to cut it out. The pattern is simple; For the fire stone, the lines are 5" long and have two waves.
I started by drawing a line dividing a 5" piece of board half way down its length. I then drew a line dividing its width into two 2. Then using a large round object, I created a wave form with one 2. I then split my board down this wave and smoothed it on the bench sander. For the air and water stones, they are essentially the same wave but reversed. I repeated the process I used for the fire stone, however I divided it into 1. Splitting it down the wave gave me two mirrored pieces which would work for the air and water stones respectively.
To create the water stone you need the pattern half that rises on the left and falls on the right. As with the earth stone, the lines on the back go edge to edge however the on the sides they stop. Trusting in my ability to make straight lines, the old fashioned way, I simply marked the position of the line and created them manually, drawing towards me on the cut.
If you intend on freehanding it, as I did, then the process is simple. Mark 6 lines on the bottom of the stone, using your template, spaced. When you create the sides, pay attention to the rise and fall of the wave and adjust your pattern accordingly. The line should wave fluidly around the stone stopping short of the front edge on each side exactly. The process for making the air stone is identical to the water stone, with the exception that the wave flows in the opposite direction, and the lines are at the bottom of the stone.
If you figure out how to clamp this odd shape down and use your template as a guide, feel free to let me know in the comments. My lines turned out as good as I could have hoped, but it can be a bit nerve racking doing them freehand. The fire stone is unique, in that its the only stone that doesn't have 6 lines per side and that its lines are vertical. My guess is that, since they were using polystyrene to make the props for the movie, there was a concern about them being to fragile with too much design work on it. As such, the movie version had 5 lines on the back of the stone, and 4 on each opposing side.
To create the lines, measure exactly half the stone at 5" and draw a line all the way around. This is the topmost stop point for your lines. Next, using your template make your wave in the same direction that you see in image 2, spacing them. Again, carefully draw your router toward yourself and trace the contour of the lines, plunging to start the cut at the top. To refine your lines, you can wrap a piece of sandpaper around a dowel or pen and use it to smooth the contours of the lines, however I found it faster and more effective to use my dremel with a conveniently sized stone bit.
I just simply traced all of my lines I created with the router, smoothing any bumps that may have occurred while freehanding the stones. For the cracking, I switched to a micro wood sculpting bit in my dremel and started to carve lines using a bit of chaos. Now, for mine, I didn't follow the movie precisely, copying every single crack and pit in the stones, but rather opted to freehand my pattern. If you did want a more screen accurate pattern, they do follow a bit of a formula.
If your lines get covered during painting, don't worry. You can use a screwdriver the trace them, while the paint is still curing, to ensure they stand out better. After you've cleaned the edges of your grooves, and created your cracking pattern it's a good idea to give your stones a final sanding. Because we'll be using a stone textured paint, you don't have to worry about sanding with too fine a grit. If you don't have a drill press, don't worry, this can be done quite easily with a cordless drill.
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Measuring from the center of each. You should now have the center of your stone. Use a nail set and mark it. You'll need to secure your stone in a clamp or vise as the width of the bit will cause it to buck otherwise. Once your stone is clamped into your drill press, drill down. For my stone texture, I used Rustoleum stone accents in a tan color.
Its very difficult to get into narrow spaces with this paint, so I recommend first painting the stones inverted, letting them dry a bit, then painting them again from the top down. It took two full coats of paint to finish the stones which ended up being two full cans, so it was fortunate that they were on sale. Once your paint is sufficiently dry, I recommend going over your stones with some grit sandpaper, with very light strokes. You only want to tame down any excessive bumps the paint leaves behind and not reduce it to bare wood.
For my detail work, I used my airbrush and some basic acrylic paints. The colors I used were brown, tan, black and orange. Brown was used inside the grooves to darken them and give them contrast, with small shades down the stone. The black I used around the base of the stones, and around their centers where they would be held by dirty hands. I then gave them an overall light blast with the orange to make them look a bit more like desert sand, then the tan, to blend it all together.
You don't have to use these exact colors as aging things is an art form unto itself.
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These are just my suggestions as to what I found worked best for me. That's it. Next time you have a dinner party, you can set some mood lighting with your element stone candles that will have your guests asking questions. I put my stones outside near my star gazing bench so that I can have a bit of dim light as I look up at the sky.
I first saw something about these awesome candle holders on Facebook. I accidentally clicked out. I personally am not gifted in the whole art department. I do however love the movie Fifth Element , to the point I have considered naming my first born daughter Lilu. Will you or someone make these to purchase?
Did anyone ever end up making these through the other molds and casts? Are these available for purchase in any way shape or form?? Like some of the comments in here have already suggested, I'm going to make these into a mould and cast them in concrete. Can add a yellow pigment to the cement to get the right colour without painting. I absolutely adore what you've done! Not only making these one of my all-time favorite movies!
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My father was a master ecclesiastical wood carver you would have loved him! But other than his actual workbench which is in about 40 pieces and a set of his carving tools, I have no way to do myself so I find myself in line with the others wondering if you are interested and available to make another set for purchase? My son 18 would be over the moon for these and I would love to surprise him with a set. Please let me know it you're at all interested and I would be happy to pay you up front or whatever you would need!
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I'll try to find a way to PM you Thanks so much! You're amazing!!! I believe you can buy the single bit online. BTW, these bits work fine with a hand drill and are more stable then a spade bit. This "stones" were more challenging then I thought to cut out on the table saw, but turned out great in the end. My son will love his Christmas present!! Reply 3 years ago. I'm glad they worked out for you.
Post a pic so I can see them. Here are the finished stones after my wife did her magic with acrylic paints to make them look aged, weathered and work! Reply 2 years ago. Very nice work. Good steady routing lines. I think your cracking turned out better than mine. I was going for extreme subtly to mesh with the movie, but I love the accented cracking. I couldn't have done any of this without your fine craftsmanship and great instructions!
Merry Christmas! Hi BobG Your stones look amazing! I am a designer in S. CA and specialize in Organic Design. May I ask what Wood did you use? Hi, I'm happy you like them. I used a 4X4 length of Fir. The actual size is of course 3. The router work was pretty easy, but I had a hard time getting the table saw measurements to work out. I experimented with some scrap 4x4 first until I got it to work out.
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