Tuesday, May 15, 2007

[insert rock or stone pun here]

Friday, glorious Friday! We took a big old break from the routine and pencilled in a date with the soapstone quarry. Borrowed a big truck from our friends at Double H Farm, drove it through the beautiful back roads of Nelson County and hopped out at the quarry gate. They issued us hardhats and we backed the truck up to the scrap pile from whence our floor would come.

We've been planning on 3/4 inch stone for the floor--I'm not sure where that number came from, but it turned out not to be a standard thickness for the stones in the scrap pile. Many were 1 inch, many were 7/8 inch, many were honkin' chunks of rock that probably haven't moved in decades. We got to work, picking through the pile each with a tape measure in hand. 3/4? No. 3/4? No. 3/4? No. 3/4? Yes. Put it on the truck.

This went on for oh, about four hours. Slowly we filled an area on the bed of the truck about as big as our bathroom. It was really fun, actually--a hot day, with warmth radiating off the rocks--a real outdoor summer work day, this year's first. We climbed around, made little piles, forgot them, found them again. Another couple was there getting stones for a garden wall and helped us look for 3/4 pieces. (The guy says "My wife and I decided to write a 'don't do it yourself' book. Want to get in on that?") People from the quarry office brought us bottled water. It rained lightly for a little while.

Way at the back, half in the woods, I discovered a stash of small 3/4 inch triangles, probably corners cut off something, and brought down 4 or 5 armfuls of them for filling in gaps.

Once we had the floor, we quickly gathered some thicker big pieces for a hearth under our woodstove, then some thin ones for shelves in the shower. Then we went out to the yard and picked out a nice big slab to use for making our sink top. Two guys loaded it on a forklift and weighed it: 260 pounds!

Headed out to the house with all the stone. (Picked up ice cream and beer on the way.) How are we gonna unload this big slab? I was sure somebody's fingers would get smashed. We built a ramp out of plywood, eased it down, slipped it off the side, stood it on end, put the palette under it and lowered it down. Then shuttled the rest of the pieces into the house.

Did some sanding and mudding (of course), then brought the truck back to the farm. They were almost ready for bed, since the farmers' market was the next morning, but they sat up with us and had a beer.

What a day!

- Erika

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