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Mort Furd
07-23-2003, 08:35 AM
Where can I find information on how to acutally cut sandstone from a quarry? I've googled all over the place, but can't seem to find what I need.

My wife and I are thing of building a wood burning fireplace in our living room. This will be more like a big brick oven connected to the chimney with a stove pipe. We originally planned to put a wood burning stove in, but we've pretty much changed our minds. This kind of thing is fairly normal over here, so we're not that strange for doing it this way.

We'll build the thing itself from fire brick, with air channels and forced air heating and forced ventilation. Figuring the proper air openings and stuff to work best with our chimney might be fun, but I don't expect too much trouble there.

The biggest thing is, though, that we would like to finish the thing in mortared sandstone.

My wife's family owns an old sandstone quarry that hasn't been worked in at least sixty years. Her great grandfather and (I think) his brother made building stones and grave stones up until sometime in the twenties, and I think it used some what up until WWII.

So, while we have access to a quarry, we don't have the people who know how to do it anymore. I've got time right now (I'm looking for a new job,) so that I could go out and cut rock and haul it home - if I just knew how.

Any suggestions?

Philster
07-23-2003, 08:44 AM
You probably want to google on the national trade association of stone quarriers. THe UK's came up on my first search, for example. And this one looks promising.

http://nma.org/newsroom/press_00/100900c.shtml

There are associations that are for people who quarry gravel and sand, and for those who quarry stone, like granite, etc.

These folks (a national trade org) are probably your link to experts who can tell you what you are getting into, or where to find info resources.

Phlosphr
07-23-2003, 08:50 AM
Where do you live? I have a concrete cutter and with a nice Diamond Bladetm it'll go right through sand stone.

Or go to the renta-center for construction. Pick up a large 18inch concrete cutter and rock chisel. Or Air hammer. If you get some nice 2 to 3 inch chuncks off a good clean surface you can shape them later. I'll come over and do it in trade for some sand stone :) All I have around my house to cut up is Granite. Waaay tougher to cut than sandstone.

How lucky to have access to your very own quarry....

How big of peices do you want. With the 18 inch cutter you can go down about 9 inches on one side. Then make your three cuts around and put the chisel or air hammer on your first cut. the bottom fourth cut with break off and the peice will fall down. Again you can fashion it later. Nice fun summer project!

Mort Furd
07-23-2003, 09:20 AM
Phlosphr, how does this sound:
1. Borrow an eighteen inch concrete cutter (I'm assuming this a like a huge ass angle grinder.)

2. Cut a long groove across the top of the sandstone face a couple of yards long, and as far back from the face as I want the stones to be thick (say about 2 and one half to three inches) and as deep as the blade will cut.

3. Go down the face of the sandstone and cut a horizontal groove as deep as the blade will reach, just a little less than blade depth from the top of the face.

4. Take the cutter and cut vertical grooves about 5 inches apart and about three inches deep.

5. Pull out the pieces as they are cut loose. This should yield blocks about 2 to 3 inches thick, 9 inche long and 5 inches wide.

6. Load blocks into the trailer and repeat until the trailer is full, then kick back and have a beer (well, actually a coke in my case.)

I was thinking the whole time in terms of old fashioned hand tools, and hadn't even considered power tools. The quarry is kind of out of town and doesn't have electricity, but renting a generator or gas powered compressor shouldn't be too hard.

Phlosphr
07-23-2003, 09:34 AM
These are gas bugger's Mort and yes that's how to do it. Also, some tips.

The blade obviously get's very very hot. Red hot infact on the tips. It will melt through tough boots, clothes anything it comes in contact with so be very careful of that, and if possible have someone out there with you. You'll need someone pouring water everyonce in a while to cool the blade. There are mixtures you can get at the renta-center and the guys there should be able to tell you more. I just built a stone wall - it's almost done - and instead of renting I just bought one. I have a Husqvarna (http://southwestfastener.com/hus371k.html) power cutter. I love it. I can but any thing with this monster. It's not too loud. But make sure you take every safety precaution. Good gloves, goggles and mask. Navigate around that site and you'll see someone doing exactly what you are looking ot do.

Have lot's of fun and be safe!

Mort Furd
07-23-2003, 09:43 AM
OK, thanks Phlosphr.

We're going to Wal-Mart (yeah, they're over here, too) and we'll stop at a building goods store along the way and start looking into equipment rental and stuff.

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