Thursday, April 23, 2015
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
Well, they are IF they come attached to saw blades or grinding pads.....the rest are fairly worthless. You all may remember me pouring the first bar top for the kitchen way back in this post, and I finally got around to doing a bit more work on it. For one thing, I really needed to get that thing out of my studio where it was taking up quite a bit of room. I truly hate trying to work around clutter or junk and since I am really trying to ramp up production here for impending shows, that thing had to leave! Secondly, it finally stopped raining for a few days so that I could actually work outside. Of course, it doesn't matter if the slab gets rained on, but I didn't want to get rained on.
As matter of fact, it has to be soaked down real good before I could grind on it anyway. The diamonds in the pads last longer, as the water cools things slightly, and it doesn't stir up the dust when it's wet. And you actually have to keep wetting it as you work. A messy job for sure but these rubber aprons came in very handy!
At first, it seemed like I was only managing to scrub the grout out of the slab, because it remained slightly rough, but after getting up to about 200 grit and staying on that for a while the concrete began to polish up quite nicely. I will not be able to polish the cast in place counter tops quite this well, I don't think, so I didn't want a mirror finish on these bar tops and have them not match. So I just kept it at 200 grit. Actually, I did go up to 400 grit but the red pads started staining my grey concrete. NOT good. I believe I will have to email the maker of these pads and express my displeasure at that. So, I went back down to 200 and polished until the stains came out, which didn't take too long.
I finished the sides off a little and called it good. I was very pleased with the way this one came out. Hopefully I made it the correct dimensions. Ha! Just kidding....sorta. It's still outside now, drying out a bit and then we will bring it inside and set it in place. It will not be permanently anchored yet. I just want to get it inside where it can fully dry in a less humid and rainy environment and it not be in my way somewhere. After a couple of weeks I'll anchor it in place (basically glued) and finish sealing it.
If you click on this photo you can get a good look up close at the finish. Keep in mind it is wet so that accounts for the high gloss. The finish I'll put on it will be more a semi-gloss or satin. As I said, I am very pleased with the look of this mix and how the aggregate looks when polished. Very cool. It reminds me of some of the recycled glass counter tops I've seen. This is considerably cheaper though! Now I just need to find a good food-safe, water proof sealer.