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Stone Splitting Options
pate20135
#1 Posted : Friday, May 23, 2003 2:49:09 AM
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Where? What stone? How veined?
I served an apprenticeship as stonewright in my youth.
Pate
bushwack
#2 Posted : Saturday, May 24, 2003 6:01:06 AM
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ah0005::;

Waiting for your response to pate20135 . As I would love to read some tips.

Living here in New Hampshire we have a lot of Granite. As well as some other stuff I have NO CLUE to. I would love to try my hand at a piece or two for the yard. A bench, a stool, a low profile bird bath. A totem or the like. And as I said I have no clue. Or tools for such an experiment. But hope to read much from everyone “in the know.”


pate20135
#3 Posted : Sunday, May 25, 2003 1:46:01 AM
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Carl/Bushwack,

When I get back, I will pull up the information from the card catalog. There were several very good books in the Librum. Perhaps thee can find one of them and revive this ''lost'' art. (OK, ''lost'' to the ''English'', not us!) I wish I could remember the one I ''ate'' during my apprenticeship. It was in english.

My main work was granite. Slab hewing. Georgia. From which memorials and road gutter bases were made. Start by looking for and reading the veins, you can do this if thee can think in three dimensions. Then it is simply a case of finding something that is ''friendly'' to your idea.

Pate
skruzich
#4 Posted : Sunday, May 25, 2003 3:07:13 PM
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hi pate, Folks might not know that we have the worlds largest piece of exposed granite right here in little ole georgia. Its called stone mountain! :) Its 800'' hight and about 5 or 6 miles in diameter.
pate20135
#5 Posted : Tuesday, May 27, 2003 1:23:30 AM
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(chuckle) I know, Steve, I grew up in the now defunct Grey Georgia Mennonite Community. Then Macon. Spent a lot of my youth barefoot, fishing, etc, on the Ocmulgee. Oh, about a hundred miles south of the Mountain. So granite is what I ''cut my teeth'' on.

My good wife teases that is why I had to have this property here. Mountain, with a lot of stone, yet so close to the Shenandoah. If / When I ever do retire, (yeah, right!) then I will be barefoot fishing on a real river again. (smile).

If thee ever gets the chance, check out the History Channel special on carving the memorial. Fascinating. An a ''macro'' scale. And you just might get a glimpse of ol Pate.

Take care,

Pate
skruzich
#6 Posted : Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:13:15 AM
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Pate, I remember going to the mountain as a youngin, and watching the carvers up on the face of the mountain working on the carving. Climbed the mountain a few times too. Found out by accident that there is a fissure underneath the mountain, that is big enough to drive a vehicle through for quite a ways. I haven''t been to the park in years now, its just not the same with so many people packing into the park every day. It used to be that you could walk around and enjoy the park without people running you over to get to the next park attraction. I sure miss the natural beauty the park had. Used to have a neighbor that worked at the mountain in the 1920''s i believe, he was a blacksmith there and worked for .15 cents a day. He died a few years ago, leaving his great grandchildren some cocacola stock he bought back when it was .05 cents a share..... he bough 1000 shares back then and put it in a cigar box and put it on the shelf in the house. Found the stocks when he died.
As far as the barefoot in the rivers now, you have to get a far piece into the backwoods anymore to find some unspoiled beauty. Sigh. I live near the ocoee river and the tacoha river. Both are still relatively clean and unspoiled still.
Now all the north georgia mountains are being invaded by the money folks. Every house thats being built is on zero lot line and sells for 450k and up. Its a shame too, cause it has destroyed the small town charm. Rabun county has also been invaded too. Folks have bought up all the land around lake burton. Heck you can''t even get a good fishing spot anymore along a river or a lake as people own everything and all you see is NO FISHING signs.
I grew up where neighbors helped neighbors and it has changed so much in the few short years i have been alive. Now noone helps anymore, everything is for sale, and if you say hi to someone, they freak out thinking your going to assault them. Sure wish that folks would learn the simple lessons in life that make for good neighbors.
pate20135
#7 Posted : Wednesday, May 28, 2003 1:20:04 AM
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Steve,

Almost out of time with the inet alotment, so hoping to get this one saved before the satilite link goes ''blip''. Thee does nor really know how much of a lifeline this link has been to us here.

Yes, there is a fissure in Stone Mountain, actually, if memory serves me correctly, there are three of the size stated. One was used as a quarry for slabs for the pavings.

As to the ''sprawl'', I agree and disagree. Distance is not the key. The enclave I am assigned to and serve is a bunch of old farmsteads dotted through and along the Appalachian Trail. They ''died'' off, and the communites took the property in trust. The laws changed reallowing us access to these landlocked properties again, and it was decided to reform them into an cnclave, and to make a ''tourist'' or ''roadside'' attraction along Route 7, at the intersection of the Trail and 7. That will come in time.

If you have a map handy, take a look at Virginia. You wlll see a road, Route 7 running between Leesburg and Winchester. Where is crosses the mountains is where we are. The ''tourista''s, as I call them, seem to fear the mountain, and there is no development, yet, on the western side. The eastern side is struggling with exactly what thee describes. Route 7 is a four lane straight shot to DC, approximately fifty miles away. Our little enclave is being somewhat of a ''barrier'' to that sprawl, which is fine with the ''horsey'' group here on this side.

Our little place is a mile west from the trail, and a mile east from the river. Right in the middle, mile north of the Route 7. The terrain is so rough and sharp that it is also a barrier. I expect development west of the Shenandoah River long before they come back my way. If I am proved wrong, then I still have that six acres three miles south of Route 7 on the Trail, tucked into a socket of FEMAs Mount Weather installation. I hope that never happerns, I would miss my hydro electric plant.

As for ''no fishing'' signs, I don''t and won''t have that here. While, in some ways I miss the Georgia of my youth, but in some ways I do not. Tops on my list is the crisp weather here, no summer swelter, natural flora and fauna, and the foggy mornings. I already have permission to fish, as two of the properties are banked on the river. Actually three, as we lease out the property the Virginia National Golf Course (west side fo river) is on, I hold the lease in trust, so I dare them to say ''No''. And there is the Coptic Monistary, next to the course, where I have standing permission. The river was mercury poisoned, decades ago, but I am not fishing for food.

(chuckling) The golf course. They wanted us to build some things for them, with ''pc'' Amish theme. They almost lost the lease. It is river bottom land, but not safe to grow on. They get flooded out every couple of years, but that is good for the course.

As for mine neighbors, I, by my position, am always solicited if I need anything. It hurts me to keep saying ''No, Thanks be to Thee''. My faith/sept disallows me farming, or any other type fo land work (like quarying), or skilled trades, or be a storekeeper. Yet I must be coversant with all. No, that Librum is my calling, and serve it and it''s users I shall.

Ach, the light is blinking, I gotta save....

Take care,

Pate
dropkick
#8 Posted : Friday, May 30, 2003 4:06:10 AM
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Pate,
Is it because of your being a scholar that you can''t work the soil?
I vaguely remember a passage that says something like "do not plow the field with your knowledge"....actually, ever since I read your post I have been searching in vain for that passage and it is driving me nuts. please help

Sheila
#9 Posted : Friday, May 30, 2003 5:37:10 PM
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While we''re speaking of rocks....our property is covered with them. Mostly about the size of a big orange...some larger, some smaller. I''d love to learn how to dry lay a low wall using these materials. Any suggestions?
pate20135
#10 Posted : Friday, May 30, 2003 6:22:09 PM
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Dropkick, exactly right. It is a simlar situation to the Am and Amish, who may not handle money, as it would detract them from their calling of working the land, yet they must be conversant with such. As to that passage, that is a new one to me, but that does not surprise me, as we do have different bibles. If thee finds it, I would love to have it. I do have a ''heritic'' King James handy. (grin). To give thee a chuckle, my good wife has ''banned'' me from stepping near her (or any other) garden. ''Black Tread'' we call it, I think the English expression is ''black thumb''.

Shelia.
There are scores of books on how to dry lay or wet lay walls, etc. I would suggest, considering that thee is not one of my kind, and would not have acess to a Librum, to look for a copy of Readers Digest ''Back to Basics'' in thy local Library. It has a good beginners section on dry lay, slipform, and cordwood style. Best suggestion I can give you is to make a ''stone boat'' to get them out of the field, and where you want them. Easiest on the back, etc.

Pate
DanR
#11 Posted : Friday, May 30, 2003 6:38:17 PM
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Sheila:

Is your land in the california desert? The Shaker Villege at Pleasentville, Ky. has some very good examples of dry wall stone walls. But be careful, there is a "rule of thumb" that the width of the wall must be a multiple of the hight. Get that figure first! Don''t want you injured in your effort. And take Pate''s advice, build some sort of "boat" or sled to help move the rocks. It does save your back.
coastal hermit
#12 Posted : Friday, May 30, 2003 11:24:10 PM
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My property up the coast is largely Granite. I thought I''d get some ''feathers and wedges'' and whack out some stairs. Used my hammer drill to make the holes, put in the ''feathers'' and then slipped in the wedge and whacked. And whacked. And whacked some more. Sweat split face - but nothing else did. So, I tried a few more times and, faced with the same results, gave up. I was convinced that ''f''s and w''s'' don''t work so I gave the dozen pairs to an old lady (about 100 lbs. soaking wet) who asked for them. Forgot all about it till last month when I told the story to a neighbour. He said, "Geez, Dave, you ought to go visit Teresa. Since you gave those things to her, she has started road building as a form of relaxation. She''s got a road built from her place almost 100 feet up the mountain!" "To where?!" "I dunno. I guess she figures to connect to the logging road about a quarter mile away!"
This little old lady works like a dog all day long and then spends an hour or two ''roadbuilding'' on Granite for fun and does it all without using any explosives!
I am ashamed to go see her progress.
Sheila
#13 Posted : Saturday, May 31, 2003 6:04:35 PM
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Pate: Thank you for the reference. I will look for that book.
Dan: Yes, our property is in the high desert. Thanks for the safety tip.
JDC: Thanks for the inspiration! I''m not quite a little old lady yet, but I think someone else had these bones before I got them, and didn''t take particularly good care of them....
pate20135
#14 Posted : Sunday, June 01, 2003 10:27:23 PM
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Hermit,
Thanks for the chuckle. Granite, like a lot of other natural materials, has ''its own mind''. It sounds liken thee tried a ''mind over matter'' and the matter won.
Has thee looked into ANTI? That is commonly used to ''surface shock'' the natural fissures. Ammonium Nitrogen Tri-Iodide. I grew up knowing it as RBG (Rat Be Gone). Check out an oldtimer rock worker, he will have two vials, one of very strong regent grade ammonia, and one of the purist iodine crystals. You steep the crystals in the ammonia, ON SITE, fish the crystal out, traditioanally using a prospectors platinum wire loop (it does react with copper, amoung other things), place it, and get out of the way! As it dries, it becomes one of the most unstable fulminates known. It is the active ingredient of the childrens throw down ''poppers'', each is about 1/50th grain. The RBG name comes from us, we will scatter small crystals, about the size of a pin head, 1/20th of a grain, along rafters, etc, where vermin run. NEVER paste it or use a crystal larger than a half grain. The mouse/rat sets them off by contact, often losing a limb. The stuff is so sensitive you can set it off with a feather, or a roach will set it off with his leg. I guess thee could call it our version of ''country entertainment'', not unlike the six pack and bug zapper.

Sheila,
That is not the only reference thee will find. But it is a good start. Again, I advise to use the local library, as I do not think the book is cost effective to others I have seen. Not to throw stones at Readers Digest, but I consider it overpriced.
On the other hand, it is an excellent primer/starter/concept starter for new ''homesteaders'' in so many ways. We sell them at the Librum to the ''English'' ''touristas''.
High desert? Look around for an old jeep or small car hood. Plenty there I understand. Or a 55 gal drum lid. A couple of pieces of cordage, and thee has thy stone boat. Please, don''t consider using a wheelbarrow or garden cart, dangerous, people do not realize the weights involved.
And thee might want to experiment a bit with RBG. For splitting or slabbing the stone. We usually use time/water/cold, (artificial chemical cold producing compounds) but most folks don''t have our patience.
On the subject of splitting small stones, if thee has one of those gasoline powered hydrolic wood splitters, get another head, an ''earnest'' (a special type of tempering) head. Some of our local wall builders do that. Carefull, rock can crack explosively, and send stone ''shrapnel''. But for sedimentary type rock, like thee has out there, it is a major time saver.

Well, the paste is bubbling, and I can''t let it burn. Time to dip more damaged pages...

Take care,

Pate
coastal hermit
#15 Posted : Monday, June 02, 2003 4:16:40 PM
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Well, Pate, you freaked my wife! I share some of my MEN lessons with Sally and her response this time was clear, "OK, that''s it! Life is weird enough around here without you carrying explosives! I think I have to draw a line here. No explosives!" "Well, I said, it''s just to crack a few boulders.....I''ll be careful." "Great! Now giant boulders will be flying around and I''ll spend half the day picking up your dismembered body parts from hither and yon. It''s a bad idea. Bad, bad, bad."
Which, of course, made it all the more appealing. So I looked it up and, sure enough, there''s even a recipe for it. But getting the Iodine crystals seems to be a challenge. Apparently I was advised to go ''beg'' at a university. That doesn''t make sense........can''t I simply go somewhere legit and buy enough JUST to crack a few boulders?
coastal hermit
#16 Posted : Monday, June 02, 2003 4:33:11 PM
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Imagine a ''slump'' of granite. Twenty to thirty feet in elevation spreading ''talus-like'' over a 100 foot slope. THAT is my challenge. I was going to chisel out steps but, as mentioned above, that is work better left to little old ladies employing supernatural abilities and likely invoking demon night spirits for assistance. They can HAVE their feathers, wedges, eyes of Newt and double-double cauldrons of trouble. I prefer horsepower - when all else fails. Isn''t there some kind of massive, fossil fuel driven ''chewer'' of granite made by DR or some other ''macho'' outfit that will simply ''carve'' steps? Do they have to be ''picked at'', chipped and chisled or is there a hand-held, nuclear powered device that can simply melt the granite like butter? It may sound like I am lazy but I am, more realistically, defeated by things harder than me
(like butter fresh from the fridge). I have whacked and hacked and now I am contemplating explosives. Is there not a mini-grinder blade that will cut through granite? Or something?
Sheila
#17 Posted : Monday, June 02, 2003 6:01:36 PM
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Pate, thank you once again for more useful information. I hadn''t thought about th risks involved with using a wheelbarrow....but it certainly makes sense to keep the stone as close to ground level as possible. The Mr. would be very excited to try the RBG. I''ll have to tell him about it.....though I can sympathize with Sally''s position on this!

I have a huge stack of library books on floor planning that I''m returning today. I''ll look for the RD book while I''m there.
skruzich
#18 Posted : Tuesday, June 03, 2003 4:20:21 PM
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jdc, i used to do work like that years ago, mostly building road beds, and what they do is to use a rock hammer drill (ingersol rand) drill down to the depth they wish and then use dynomite and amonium nitrate mixed with diesel fuel. I used to take a 1/8 stick of a 2 x 16" stick of dynomite, and put a cap in it, drop it down in a 2 foot deep hole, fill it with the amonium nitrate up to 1 foot from top, and then fill with loose gravel to the top. Wire them up and blast away.
Cuts like a knife.
I know that if you drill the holes from the bottom to the top, and then set your charges to go off sequentially, it will cut like your slicing a cake.
Only problem your going to have this way is getting your hands on dynomite.
You can make the amonium nitrate/diesel mix yourself but watch it if you buy more than 200 pounds of it, the SS will be knocking down your door asking what your doing with it.
steve
ajortolani
#19 Posted : Tuesday, June 03, 2003 4:28:10 PM
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Hi everyone, we have tons of granite all over our property & I have been researching how to build with it though my husband seems to be trying to talk me out of it - probably because he knows who''ll be doing the work! Anyway, right here at MEN Library are some excellent books on using/working with stone; our little cottage was built in the 1920''s by his grandfather where they blew out a side in our mountain & built the house there with the rock they had, the upper floor was then built with cinder block. Anyway, the point is that we''re going to cover the house in stone after we repair & remove the majority of the moisture that comes through the earth with some of the technologically advanced masonary paints that are available. So this is where I found some of the books that we discovered the vital information we needed to make this project (dream) a reality! We hope to start that part of the remodel in 2 years, though now that we''ve gutted the upstairs we''ve found that the entire chimney is crumbling though all the stone work is perfect - Not 1 crack anywhere! The books on stone work here at MEN have also come in handy for this "new" project as we''re going to have to rebuild the whole thing so we''re doing it in stone. Now if only I can find a book on how to remove "Westinghouse Grey" Paint which was used in the coal mines and to paint missiles that my father-in-law used to paint the beautiful stone fireplace in the living room! We have a sand-blaster which is our next type of removal as everything else has failed, and before you ask, YES I do believe that this paint is full of lead!!
pate20135
#20 Posted : Wednesday, June 04, 2003 12:25:32 AM
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Hermit,

(chuckling). Sorry to get thee into trouble. If it were me, I would be even deeper in trouble, as I would probably crack back, ''Fulminate, not explosive, woman!'' Then the good wife would most likely tell me I was a SA, and make me miserable for a while.

As to Iodine crystals, I am at a loss, I buy them at the pharmacy, and also can get them at the general store. But then again, ours is ''old time'', and I suspect thee has only access to ''chain'' stores. I would approach a druggest and simply ask. If he asks why tell him you want to make up some first aid kits and need it for tincture of iodine. Four ounces is most likely the smallest quantity he would carry, and would last thee a few lifetimes, admittedly. Tincture of iodine is used all over the farms in these parts for livestock.

The regent grade (strength) ammonia is harder for me to get.

As to ''rock chewers'', actually, yes there are several.

The most common is the abrasive wheel type, I suspect thee has seen a decendent of that machine in the hands of emergency personnel for cutting folks out damaged cars. The circular blades go up to six foot diameter. Not that I would want to handle such. I can see thy wifes reaction now! (chuckle). But a small 2'' wheel might be just the ticket to ''fault'' and then blast away the pieces.

Steve''s suggestion of the hammer drill sounds best. If it were me, I would be drilling. I have the compressor, and would be renting the air hammer drill. When to the correct debth, dropping in a crystal or two of ANTI, and dropping (string held, not by hand!) sacrificial rebar in to blow it out. Go ahead and get busy, then have a nice ''Fourth of July''. Yes, the rebar will ''sail'', with ''rockets red glare''. Yes, BTDT.

-------------

Steve,

I have an FFL, so can get dynamite. But have no such need. My ANTI does all the small things I would need.

Thanks for assuming from me, the ''mad bomber'' mantle.

----------------

ajortolani,

Are you TMEN, working with Heidi and Bryan? Or just a satisfied customer? I know several there, but the connection eludes me as to which thee might be.

As to the anti-moisture paint, I would not trust such. What kind of stone is it, that the water is coming through? Can it be glassified?

And I don''t understand how a chimney can be crumbling but be perfect.

And I would not at all be surprised to learn that the paint was lead based. but before thee sand blasts, use a wet paint stripper. Then when you have done all the stripping possible, then ''booth'' the area with plastic. And use a humidifier in the same area while working. That way most will adhere to the water vapor and drop or stick to the plastic. Personally, I consider lead based paint in dust form to be much more dangerous than asbestos. Please, get local professional advice with this aspect of the restoration.

----------

Sheila,

Quite welcome. And perhaps you are right, it may not be a good idea to give your man the ANTI information. Else we may be transferring the ''mad bomber'' mantle to him...


The light ist blinking, almost out of time,

Take care,

Pate

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