Give a brief overview of the video and DVD.
2. What knowledge and skills
are needed to be able to fabricate stone countertops?
3. How much time does it
take to learn how to make granite countertops?
4. What materials are best
to start with?
5. How long will it take
to fabricate a typical kitchen?
6. How many square feet of
material is needed for a typical kitchen?
7. What is the cost per square
foot of an average kitchen?
8. How does Aaron do the
Aaron uses Chemorset knife-grade transparent epoxy (a 50-50 mix of A and B parts), which can be ordered through Vic International, 1-800-423-1634. Mix colors to match the stone. Usually three shades are found in most materials. Aaron creates a base color which is a muddy grey color (light - dark depending on the color of the stone.) He achieves this by mixing trace amounts of black and white to the epoxy - just enough to make the base epoxy opaque. He then divides the grey base epoxy into three - four groups to begin making the palette. Aaron recommends creating a minimum of three colors. The colors you find in natural stone do not have much chroma in them. It's important to keep the colors subdued (not too much pigment.) The colors can be purchased through VIC International - AKEMI brand colors.
Once the epoxy is mixed, place 2" masking tape on either side of the seam (you only want glue in between the granite, not on its surface). Then take a single edge razor blade, the kind you clean glass with, plus a little water, and pull the blade across the tape to mash the glue between the seams. This may take several applications as the epoxy tends to droop as it dries. Once all layers are applied (at least thirty minutes per layer) pull off the tape. Take a piece of cloth, preferably linen, and get it dripping wet with liquid soap and water. Carefully wipe across seam. The epoxy should be flush with the surface. This is a process of trial and error, but rewarding.
9. Tips on seams and products:
SEALING GRANITE: Aaron uses a product called Premium Silicone Impregnator (PSI) for high polished stone. It completely seals the granite from any liquid, so liquids bead on it and cooking oils cannot penetrate the stone. PSI is a one-time application, with directions on the can. For stones with a matte finish, such as limestone and honed stones, he uses Silicone Impregnator Matte Finish (SIM). SIM is available at Vic International.
Aaron recommends installing granite in the kitchen for countertops, and marble in the bathroom for lavatories, flooring and showers. Granite is better for kitchens because it's harder. Marble looks prettier in bathrooms and you're less likely to scratch it; however, sand or grit on the bottom of hard sole leather shoes will make doughnut scratches in the marble. And, they are difficult to deal with. Aaron prefers to install marble for wall and shower applications where foot traffic isn't a problem.
10. Any tips for making granite
Granite is hard, but Aaron has scratched it with the base plate of his wormgear saw. To prevent this, he places a fiber pad, piece of lifting strap, or masking tape under the saw base or on material to be cut.
Many more tips are explained on the video.
11. What is the difference
between granite and marble?
12. What is the average cost
per square foot of granite and marble?
13. How did you get suppliers
to sell to you?
I always go slow during the whole process. Even while transporting the stone - it's important to drive around 45 to 50 mph and to make sure the load is balanced and secure.
14. How much can a craftsman
save fabricating countertops themselves?
15. Is there a way to get
stone materials cheaper?
16. Material Inspection:
GRANITE: Always look at the polish from the side and see if there are any cracks running through it. Some suppliers will sell you stone a professional wouldn't buy, or wouldn't even bother tossing in the creek.
17. Is granite acid resistant?
The Buyer Must Beware!!