Monday, April 30, 2012

Stone Work

Life is full of surprises and challenges.
These stones were dug out of our property. Rubble, too rounded and misshapen for much use I thought. I stored them for using in rock gardens and hardcore under foundations and floor.

This stone comes from a quarry close enough I can hear guys working. I felt I could not make a attractive wall with it because of my lack of skill and/or lack of tools.

I didn't pursue working with stone. (other than occasional retaining wall with mortar), but fate sometimes opens paths .

When we started to do groined (cross) vaults without shuttering or ribs I couldn't figure out how to cut the groin pieces so that they locked in. I couldn't get from pictures of finished groin vaults. In my web searches I came upon a discussion list "Contractor Talk", and specifically the masonry section. I asked a question about the cut in the groin, and although I didn't get my answer I discovered a forum that opened my eyes to the skill with rock masonry, a group willing to give advice and encouragement.

I would look with awe on the dry stack brick work done by the masons and posted there. I was intimidated with their skill.

Despite the insecurity I posted about the big cross vault. Some in this group were now in awe of that building. I started to get a few doubts about the premise: " I can't do rock work".

Next I start to get to know individuals , resulting with Matt Sevigny suggesting which tools I should purchase mail order from the USA, hand carried by my sister's family in June. They are carbide tipped and $60-100 a piece.

Sister's Family cancels the trip.

I am in hardware store buying roofing tar and as I know now what a stone chisel looks like (kinda) I notice some chisels way up on the wall in display. So I buy this for $5:

I have no idea what it is for , or if any good. So I send pic to Matt. Matt being the guy he is quickly tells me indeed it is a stone chisel and has hardened tip, not carbide but, and goes on to say.

"I think you will do great with those chisels. In fact, it may be the mire economic choice right now. Once you are comfortable cutting stone with a cold chisel, a carbide will be like a saw in your hands. Not really but you get my drift."

So I run outside and score a line on a stone, start working:

And all of a sudden it breaks in straight cut! Perfect enough for me. Made my day.

I didn't want to tempt fate and do more that day. So on May day 2012 while working on another project (Did I ever mention I jump and multi task?) I couldn't resist and went to bang some more to make better flag stones .
I have a habit of telling long stories to make a point. Usually dismal failure at making the point.

The point is we are going to work more with stone and make tighter and tighter joints until we can approach this work. I doubt I personally can reach that level but maybe someone else will.
Check this one.

1 comment:

  1. Looking good Erik! Keep it up.I cant wait to see your brick work mixed with some stone work.

    That quote were I said 'mire'.....that's another "smart"phone spelling error.