Bluestone Flaming

 
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
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Bluestone Flaming


I need to flame the edges of some bluestone caps. I have done this before using a friends acetylene torch. Just wondering if it possible to use one of those small torches used for soldering. I would like to avoid lugging around his welding torch. I don't have much to do. I'm guessing soldering torch won't be hot enough.

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Old 09-26-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I've seen pictures of someone using a map gas torch. We tried it, and it didn't work well for us. We went back to the big rig. I'd say it's worth a try. From what I understand the little map cylinders burn hotter than propane.

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Old 09-26-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I've tried the MAPP gas, mini-acetylene torch sets, & even the big propane torch sets with little to no success. The only resonable way is still the big oxy/acety torch with a big heating tip IMO. We usually just bring the bluestone pieces that need flaming back to the shop on smaller jobs. I agree that it's no fun lugging a big torch set along with to the job, but it's a necessary "evil" sometimes I guess. BTW, I've noticed that any length of time spent "flaming" actually uses ALOT of gas, making the smaller torch sets a PITA. Good Luck.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


if you go to your local welding store(keen or somebody) you can purchase a very portable acetylene welding kit. $300 bucks or so. no need to carry the big rig around. Water is the key though. make sure you water the stone FIRST. sometimes even during flaming. you can actually perform a half-assed flame with a portable propoane torch. i wouldnt recomend it but again make sure you use water. the oxygen/acetylene mix is the best because of the intense heat.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


thanks for the responses. I think I might check out the welding store. Sounds like a good excuse to buy a new "toy".
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I played around with the MAP gas. Ended up bringing the stone to my buddies shop and using the big stuff. The MAP worked ok for flaming the tops but wouldn't touch the end cuts.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I am not a mason but am curious to learn why you flame bluestone?
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


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Originally Posted by bert0168 View Post
I am not a mason but am curious to learn why you flame bluestone?
You flame the ends of the stone to remove the "sawn" edge to match the thermaled top. Usually only needs to be done where the edge will be seen like a stoop edge, stair treads, etc... Bluestone cannot be "faced" with a chisel, hydro-splitter, etc..., at least not in my experiences.
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


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Originally Posted by jomama View Post
You flame the ends of the stone to remove the "sawn" edge to match the thermaled top. Usually only needs to be done where the edge will be seen like a stoop edge, stair treads, etc... Bluestone cannot be "faced" with a chisel, hydro-splitter, etc..., at least not in my experiences.
I still snap a lot of bluestone treads. 1/8" score all around work all around with a tracer. The newer premium sawed stuff doesn't even need to be scored.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


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Originally Posted by CJKarl View Post
I still snap a lot of bluestone treads. 1/8" score all around work all around with a tracer. The newer premium sawed stuff doesn't even need to be scored.
CJ, after seeing your work here, there's no doubt in my mind that you are a superior stone mason compared to me. To be totally honest, I don't even enjoy laying stone, merely an element of my business I "need" to do. I have tried to snap & face thermaled blue a few times to no avail. I even sent one of the employees to our stone supplier years ago to have them split a few pieces to no avail. Then our salesman called an old employee (stone splitter) of theirs, who laughed, & said the flame was the only way to go at it. Could have a lot to do with where the blue stone is coming from too. The thermaled seems far harder than the random "flag" style i've encountered in the past.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I use oxygen and propane. Soaking the stone with water is important for a more even job. There is a big torch for face thermaling and a small torch for edge thermaling. edge work needs to be done a piece at a time to avoid edge rounding. The proper mixture of oxygen to propane is crucial. You need to make sure you have a blue flame with well defined preheaters. It is a good skill to have at times but it is better to outsource this work most of the time.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I've flamed pa bluestonewith mapp gas - a little slow no doubt, but the key is water bucket and brush - keep it wet and where a face shield.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:58 AM   #13
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


Whatever works for you superseal. Up here in the heart of bluestone country at our shop the consensus is propane and oxygen for best results. A face mask and good body covering is also crucial as you mentioned. You dont need one of those amber stone flakes jumping down your shirt. It hurts bad. Ouch! We do soak our stone with a hose for at least 5 minutes or more to prevent popping and uneven thermaling. You can see the torch draw the moisture out of the stone as you thermal.

Last edited by Vieczorek; 02-25-2011 at 10:32 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:53 PM   #14
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


Vieczorek, I'm glad you joined the forum. I've got an upcoming job I'd like to talk to you about. If you don't mind, send me an email at bill@artisanstoneworks.net Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:20 PM   #15
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


I've had good luck getting a stone edge on bluestone. Use a pitching tool with a good edge, but the key is to have good, dense bluestone....preferably no inclusions-they will make it almost impossible. Of course if it's thin stock, thermal is it, but I like the look of a nice stone edge on treads and capstones.

Last edited by Rockmonster; 02-23-2011 at 05:23 PM. Reason: add more
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:36 PM   #16
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


Quote:
Originally Posted by artisanstone View Post
Vieczorek, I'm glad you joined the forum. I've got an upcoming job I'd like to talk to you about. If you don't mind, send me an email at bill@artisanstoneworks.net Thanks.
if you need to talk to me about this upcoming job just shoot me a pm. :-)

I have been around a lot longer than Vieczorek AND I have an avatar.


(but I don't know anything about flaming bluestone)
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:33 PM   #17
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


Rockmonster,
What you call inclusions is locally referred to as "reeds" here in northeast Pa. Natural cleft is a less dense "reedy" stone then thermal tread and pattern material. Thermal material has been sawed on all 6 sized prior to the face being torched. Natural cleft is hand split to reaveal two natural sedimentary face layers and 4 sawn edges. It sounds like you rockface natural cleft pattern in your work. Any more most contractors use thermal material for edgework often in conjunction with natural cleft for flooring. Thermal material almost always has no inclusions or reeds and therefor is easier to rockface. Furthermore, since the stone was cut on a laser guided gantry saw, it is gauged to a uniform rise which always looks better for edgework. Natural cleft stone cannot have the edges thermaled. The natural reeds pop open and look horrible. Check out the following link to see how this all comes together when thermal material is used in conjunction with natural cleft. You will need to navigate to recent jobs link and then the Texas job.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:28 PM   #18
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


Vieczorek, You know I never even thought about that stock being sawn on all 6 sides. Makes sense now. You guys have some beautiful stock. I've often wondered about that tumbled bluestone. How is it done? And for how long? I'll fully understand if this is proprietary information that you would rather not disclose......
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:20 PM   #19
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


Hi Rockmonster,
You need a tumbler to get the job done. Tumblers can be found on google. An old cement mixer also works. Add water and stone then spin. Thats all there is to it. Tumble time depends on how rounded you want the stone. The best tumbled material is made from tread stock (sawn on all 6 sides). Many quarries tumble natural cleft flag (sawn on 4 sides) and the problem with that is that you dont get uniform rise. For some applications thats no problem but other times you definitely want a uniform rise (especially with the tumbled wallstone when flat stacking).
Steve
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:00 PM   #20
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Re: Bluestone Flaming


+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


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