I rolled the stone onto the scale this morning, and the number made a light go on in my memory. This was the largest, and most expensive rock I bought. Dodd Roth, the man I bought my stone from, had a five foot high pile of this stuff. It was shrinking fast. He said that the quarry in Italy had been sold, and all the rock was now just being ground up for gypsum. This was the last of it. I picked this one. Its weighs one hundred and fifteen pounds on the dot, and I paid just over two hundred and fifty bucks for it. This was when I was pretty broke, too.
After weighing in, I put a strap on the dolly, and hauled the rock out into the middle of the yard. I got out my ancient Makita angle grinder, and began my least favorite part of the project, grinding off the quarry marks, and taking the faces down to where I can begin to draw out the plan to work on them.
I don't like power tools. I'm not a purist about being old school, or anything. They are fast, and wonderfully efficient. But working fast can also mean screwing up fast. Not to mention that they're loud, messy, and can even be dangerous. But this part would take days of grunt work using hand tools. The grinder gets it done in a morning.
Here's the A-side: before and after:
And the B-side:
This gives me an even enough face to draw on with pencil, or chalk. Once I get a base cut, I can start sketching.
The next step is cutting that base. I have to decide just how the stone is going to sit, and then make that flat, even cut, so it rests solidly on the earth. That's a corny way of putting it, but I don't like a work that is precariously balanced. It's going to take some time setting that up. Besides. I still can't get the damn thing up on the table, yet.