Friday, November 21, 2008

talk'n 'bout a jumble

We took the measurements, we cut the stone. It got off to a, uh, rocky start though. This slab o' soapstone is much harder than the last one we used. And it's a little thicker. The plywood circular blade (many-toothed) that I normally use for this stuff was not cutting it. I switched to a brand new blade of the same type - with the same results. Ooh, a metal cutting blade. It made everything smell funny, but it didn't cut into the stone. Last resort: an old wood ripping blade with big shark teeth. It worked so well I wondered why I hadn't tried it before!

So we cut the three threshold pieces out there in the front yard, drop light, low thirties.

Everything fits perfectly. Except there was a little notion creeping up that this stone looks significantly different than the stone we used for the first threshold. It's got almost no veins or clouds in it. Too impatient to wait until the next night (as we had planned) to sand and polish, I took a piece to the basement and gave it a five-minute sanding to darken it up a bit.

It looks great (or, it will look great once we dress it) but we stood there, disappointed that our conscious attempt to add a structural/design element which would actually match and tie a theme together may have failed. There was concern that our house is "such a jumble" of ideas.

We may have been being hard on ourselves. The threshold is going to look awesome when it's done, and the thresholds together will still have a strong, combined effect. Really, this new stone matches the bathroom stone better, in terms of its lack of clouds, and it's in the line of sight of the bathroom floor. Once polished, the new stone will have the same dark color as the other threshold. And even if we wanted to match the other threshold, we'd have a difficult time doing so; we were at the quarry the day before and looked through everything and this was the only piece that was the correct thickness (actually, it was even a little thicker than we wanted).

We're still on top of the Challenge! Tonight we dress the stone, tomorrow we work on the wood threshold/transition piece (a nine-footer!) and lay the whole area out, and Sunday (if we're still on track!) we cement it all in.

- John

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