granite bench tops

mitch

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some neighbors have been redoing their kitchen and they let me have the smaller (35" x 25.5") piece of the old granite countertop. one end still had the uneven edge of the sink cut-out so i took it to a nearby countertop shop to have them saw a clean, straight edge for $20 (and a box of a half dozen Dunkin Donuts for a tip).

when i picked it up there was another smallish (34"x32") pale cream, pink, & grey slab leaning against a rack and i commented on it being kinda pretty. the guy said, "It's got some small pits so I can't use it. You want it? Otherwise I'm throwing it out." So they put that in the back of my 4Runner, too.

He said it's not uncommon for that to happen, so if you're thinking of a granite bench top and aren't picky about color, etc., call around to your local shops for a scrap. Sawing to a specific size will cost a few bucks, especially if you want the edges profiled & polished, but just a cut slab should be pretty cheap.
:graver:
 

monk

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#3
i have cut such pieces for other folks wanting custom sizes. a diamond or stone cutting blade ( disk ) in a 4.5" angle grinder will make quick work of the cuts. eye protection and good respirators are a must. using a water coolant system makes it a great deal safer, but is also quite messy. the coolant rig is quite simply an old discarded" iv" bag. perfect flow control, on the cheap. befriend a nurse or doc. one bag will last for half a lifetime of doing stone work. ymmv
 

Big-Un

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#4
Thanks for the tip! There is a granite shop just three blocks from my house, go by it all the time, but never thought of looking around and talking to them. Guess I'll be making an appearance.

Bill
 

dlilazteca

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Mine is part wood part granite, i use the granite with adhesive backed sand paper, to fine tune diffrent things, as a base for my height gauge, a true flat surface has many uses.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

Jerry K

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I use a 18x18x1 sq. plate of granite to tape sand paper to and polish knives after heat treating. Perfectly flat surface and it was a scrap too.
Jerry K
 

mitch

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Hey, Mitch, what will you use the granite for? I am planning to rebuild my bench and am open to suggestions for the surface. My first instinct is to use maple or other hardwood, but if granite works, I could do that.
my main engraving bench has a granite top for weight and reduced vibration, but i thought it would be nice to put a slab on an old work table that has a formica/laminate top. it's a good, sturdy 60"x30" commercial grade table (Steelcase?), but the middle of the top has some flex/bounce to it. So now there's a stone top over a bit more than half of it.

for those of you using them for a flat surface for polishing, etc., typical countertop slabs aren't super-accurate, but still good enough for our purposes most of the time. for any real precision operations i have a 12"x12"x4" pink granite Starrett surface plate. it's only "toolroom" grade and iirc it was less than $100. i got it way back when MSC had a sale AND free shipping (it weighs a ton!). i can tell it's really flat because if i set anything else on it that's flat (piece of glass, ruby stone, sharpening fixture base), i can feel the suction kinda stick when i pick it back up.
 

southern_lights

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#9
Glass - Flat Surface

Granite is dimensionally stable, if it chips it does not leave a burr and it looks great.... wish i had one.....
Alternitively, a sheet of glass works well for a flat surface.
 

DakotaDocMartin

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especially if you want the edges profiled & polished
I bought a 1/4" radius diamond profiler recently for about $90.00 and the full set of 11 diamond polishing pads from 40 to 3000 for about $65.00. They are made to use on a variable speed angle grinder/polisher. I need to touch up and re-polish some small chips that developed around my kitchen sink over the past 10 years.

This place sells everything a person needs for granite and marble countertops:

http://www.toolocity.com/316-radius-diamond-hand-profiler-with-58-11-thread-1.aspx
 

mitch

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I use a slab of Marble for my leather carving, you just have to make sure you don't strike the tool as hard
i remember learning some leatherwork in 7th grade, circa 1972-3, and we had a big stack of marble slabs (20-30?) about 12"x12"x1" that we'd pass out before class. nowadays they probably wouldn't be allowed because they might be dangerous or something...

i enjoyed using the swivel/saddle knives, rawhide mallet & punches, lacing, etc. (big surprise, huh?) now that i think of it, that was my first hands-on experience with cutting scroll & leaf type designs. as close as i got to engraving for another 7-8 yrs...
 

DakotaDocMartin

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Here's a little bit of granite countertop trivia: Banks used to have granite at each of the Teller's windows so they could tell if any of the coins were not silver. Silver rings when it's dropped on granite while the fakes don't. Since we don't have silver coins anymore... that's long in the past.
 

graniteguy52

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Having fabricated and installed stone tops for number of years, I am prejudiced in favor of granite bench tops. They are not only good looking, but durable, acid resistant, not vibration prone, sometimes inexpensive. In my case - sitting around ready for use (rejected for a number of reasons including "bad spots" (non-homogeneous colors) that look unnatural (to some customers) in the natural material).

I must say though - they will not take heavy impact (as take-down stated). A 16 oz hammer will go right through a 2cm piece when thrown with the enthusiasm generated by breaking the second $1500 slab in one week.

Remnants from your local granite countertop business can be a great addition to your work environment and at times not be excessively expensive.
 
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