Alabaster is a close grained form of gypsum, a Hydrous Calcium Sulfate
O ), that is colorless when pure but becomes opaque upon heating.
Also known as Mexican Onyx, Onyx Marble or Oriental Alabaster.
It comes in differing colors from white trough yellow to green, brown and pink but maybe dyed and heat-treated to imitate marble, used throughout the ages for carving and turning into many objects from vases and statues to kitchen utensils.
Due to its relative softness it maybe sanded or even carved with woodworking tools, although a greater angle on the cutting edges would slow the blunting effect of the stone.
Sanding with increasingly finer grit and ultimately cutting with a car cutting compounds will bring the Alabaster up to the required gloss level.
Gluing this stone is best done with an Epoxy Glue, such as
T-88 this can be colored to match the Translucency and color of the piece.
I normally mix the colors, polyester colors or pigments, in one part of the glue, set a side for the job.
From this I take a small amount, which I mix with the second part of the glue to see how the color works out, this gives me enough glue of the same color for this job.
Making up de right amount, for each gluing session.
Sometimes I make more than one color so that the overall gluing blends in better.
The excess glue can be wiped of with a cloth or kitchen paper dampened with methylated spirits or, upon drying, can be cut of with knife or chisel and then sanded down.
Gluing breaks is the same as above, with the understanding that the breaks edges should be clean.
I find a rub with methylated spirits, removes loose grit and creates a more acceptable surface for the epoxy.
Check the fit of the break, before gluing, as internal stresses released upon breaking can alter the shape of the individual pieces.
Sometimes the removal of a little in the center of the break can lessen the visual effect of the break.
Using masking tape to hold the pieces in place during drying. Irregular shaped Items are often easier put in the best position for gluing in sand, but ensure that no sand contaminates the glue.
Holes or missing chips can be filled with the same glue, it can be mixed with powdered Alabaster which is obtained by drilling in an obscure area.
Masking tape, strategically placed on edges or over holes, helps to prevent the glue from running out.
Polishing is done with sandpaper changing to finer grits until say 800 wet & dry, after which a rubbing with steel wool and wax often completes the job.
A higher shine can be effected either by lacquering, French polishing or rubbing with car polish.