I sell some creative things from time to time and of course that includes several sets of engraved runestones. I get asked quite a lot how I make them, so I decided to write a detailed tutorial on engraving runestones. I also did a video demonstration. You can find it at the end of this blog post.
You need a proper tool to engrave your stones. I always use my Proxxon Drill (available here*) and the corresponding Flexshaft (available here*) with very small diamond point bits (available here*). I already raved about my Proxxon Drill in my last entry, but I can’t stress enough how much of a difference a high quality tool makes. I bought a cheap tool when I first tried engraving things, and it was okay. But if you want precision and durability, you should invest in quality. You won’t be dissapointed!
And now about engraving Runestones:
You can engrave various hard materials. For my runestones I use glass, pebble stones, ceramic, semi-precious stones and terra cotta. The only requirement is, that your tool is powerful enough.
It likely won’t work with little engraving pens. – The ones you use to draw patterns into glass. Those tools only scratch the surface of the material, but they are not capable to groove hard materials.
In this tutorial I used my Proxxon Drill and the Flexishaft with a very small diamond point drill (5/64-Inch). The stones pictured above are made of tinted glass.
Prepare a glass of water and cover your work space with a soft but firm piece of towel.
Engraving is dusty! I protect myself with gloves and immerse the stones in water before I beginstart. The dust stays on the wet surface of the stone and the outcome is cleaner.
Work with low to no pressure in the beginning. Otherwise your drill will just slip off. Let the tool do all the work. Just carefully outline the desired pattern.
If you want to engrave a complicate pattern, you can draw it on with a permanent marker and engrave over it. If there is some residue left from the marker once you are finished, you can remove it with some rubbing alcohol. Be sure to test the rubbing alcohol beforehand on the material. If you have finished outlining the Rune, you can begin to deepen the groove carefully. Moove your point drill from side to side. Use minimal pressure.
Once the grooves are so deep that you won’t slide off so easily with your drill, you can start to add more pressure. Deepen the grooves with a back and forth movement of the drill.
Always keep moving! If you stay too long in one position, you’ll get ugly dents.
Clean your stone with water from time to time to examine the grooves and make small adjustments where they are needed.
You can leave your engraved stones like that, or you can varnish them. If you want to do the latter you should clean the stones from all dust and grease residue.
I like to varnish my runestones with Metallic Paint (available here*) but you could also use nail varnish or a permanent marker.
And this is the finished set of runestones! 🙂 You can use them for rune magic or as decoration.
*This blog post contains affiliate links. You can read all about them on my disclosure page. Link >>