The Right Tools for Any Stone Fabrication Job

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: DecorRemodel

Stone fabrication can be as simple as cutting tile for a backsplash or as complex as creating an entire new granite kitchen countertop. Either way, the proper tools are required to make the process less of a headache and more of a fun project. Island Stone Center carries a large variety of stone fabrication products to get the job done correctly from start to finish.

Tools are always an important key in any home improvement project. Island Stone Center has several tools beneficial in the stone fabrication process. Variable speed angle grinders are a must-have for fabricators — used for cutting sink holes, backsplashes and notches. Wet polishers are necessary when polishing a granite edge. Island Stone Center carries both pneumatic and electric wet polishers, which also can be used for drilling faucet holes with diamond core bits. Small wet tile saws, also available, are helpful when cutting longer straight cuts, such as seams on a counter-top.

Diamond tools are necessary when fabricating natural stone. Quality diamond blades help reduce chipping on the surface of the stone when cutting. Diamond blades come in a variety of styles and sizes. Diamond blades are used for cutting any type of hard surface such as granite, marble, concrete or quartz. Multi-Cutter blades can grind and shape stone, in addition to cutting. Concave blades are designed for cutting inside circles and ovals, like bowl holes.

Diamond Polishing Pads are for polishing the edges of granite, concrete or engineered stone surfaces. Once a surface is cut, the edge needs to be polished to match the top of the stone if it is going to be visible. They are available in a variety of sizes and can be used either wet or dry, although wet polishing produces a superior polish and offers longer life of the polishing pad. Other diamond tools available at Island Stone Center include sink truing wheels, cup wheels, core bits, sink-polishing drums and router bits.

Stone adhesives are an integral part of fabrication. There are two types of adhesives: polyester and epoxy. Polyester adhesives are used for patching travertine “pukas,” countertop seams and rodding on a dry surface. Epoxy adhesives have a much stronger bond, do not shrink and can be used on wet surfaces. When gluing a “lamination,” which is the process of making the edge of the stone thicker and more substantial, epoxy should be used. Stone Weld is an ultra-clear epoxy that dries in less than three hours. It offers a bond stronger than the stone itself, in a flowing consistency so that the glue line will not look too thick from the front. Colorants can be added to any adhesive to match the stone to make any glue line less noticeable.

Island Stone Center’s epoxy supplier, American Synthetics Co., was established in 1962 in Detroit, Mich. Brian Zelek and an associate formed the company to specifically manufacture special epoxy adhesives for the bowling ball industry. Over time, Brian bought out his partner and decided to move to Arizona. Thereafter, he committed himself to creating a superior epoxy line for the natural stone industry, in particular Stone Weld, Super Gel and Knife Weld. These adhesives are very clear in color and have a very low level of shrinkage, making fabrication easier for our local tradesmen. Island Stone Center proudly stocks these adhesives at affordable prices.

Always be sure to take safety into consideration when fabricating natural stone, as it is very heavy, weighing around 15 pounds per square foot on standard 3/4-inch thick slabs. Cutting natural stone and concrete creates a lot of dust and particles, so be sure to wear a dust mask and eye protection. Disposable gloves are recommended when working with any stone adhesive. Heavy-duty aprons, first-aid kits and hearing protection are all available at Island Stone Center, making it a one-stop shop for Hawaii’s local fabricators.

For any type of stone fabrication, maintenance or repair project, visit Island Stone Center, where Cathy Uda and Selena Willard offer years of experience in the trade and can assist you with your stone fabrication needs. The company is located at 1111 Dillingham Blvd. #E1-B at the Kokea Center near Subway and Yohei Restaurant, and it can be reached by calling 848-0989.

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Photos by Nathalie Walker