Because this is a building project it comes without saying that you will run into some snags along the way. True to form this project has had a snag. Let us hope that it is the last. The mill where the raw stone is being cut to size and from where it will be carved had a breakdown with the machine that cuts the large pieces of stone into smaller pieces of stone. This machine is, in essence, a large band saw that is run with water to keep the temperature of the stone/blade down and eliminate the excessive amounts of dust that would be created. The mill had to have the new parts shipped in so that it could be repaired. Those parts came in early this week and, I am happy to say, WE ARE BACK UP AND RUNNING.
The stone-cutting machine with its new parts.
I went to visit the mill yesterday while they were cutting our stone down to size. The whole operation is very interesting to watch. Once they have the stone cut down to a manageable size they move it to another machine that will either cut the stone to its finished shape or be used to prep the stone for hand carving by removing any excess material. If the finished shape of the stone is not a complex detail this machine will do all of the carving. This machine is basically a large key cutting machine, and so they make a template, or negative, of the stone and, voila, you have an exact replica of the stone that you are replacing. Most modern stone carving outfits use machines to do the majority of the work, although there are some craftsmen out there that still do it the old-fashioned way, by hand.
More to come later…but for now I say good day.