Today October 21st 2016 I finished the carving of a house name for my good friends Alan and Christine McEwen from Dandelion Stone Troughs.
Please visit their website its www.dandelionstonetroughs.co.uk
One of their customers bought an old stone grindstone which was used in by gone days to sharpen a whole range of ferrous tools. A grindstone is a round stone very similar to a millstone. They were powered in many ways, the earliest ones were operated by a crank handle then later driven by a belt from a water wheel or maybe even steam power. The term 'nose to the grindstone' comes from when the operator would lay on a plank above the grindstone with his face very close to the turning stone to sharpen his tools!
The customer wanted the wording 'Leigh Mill House' hand carving into the side face of the grindstone. This stone was quite difficult to carve due to the harshly tooled surface with deep valleys and crags.
The first job was to clay the surface to enable me to see my lines as i'm marking up the letters.
If you look this is the surface which is to be carved and you can see all the deep tooled valleys, this is going to be some task!
Here I am claying the surface ready to be marked up. This is just a liquid clay which is painted on and left to dry so the stone can be marked up easily. We use this same process on new pieces of stone if the letters are to be painted once its been carved, it acts as a masking tape so any excess paint is on the clay and not the stone which makes cleaning up easier.
After a good few hours the letters have been carved out and it looks fantastic. All the letters look really good with the uneven sides because of the tooled marks. The customer wanted the lettering to stand out so I gave them two coats of high quality white gloss enamel paint.
Here is the finished stone, what do you think?
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Well its a BIG thumbs up from me and little Miss Swales in the Dales.
Hope you've enjoyed reading our blog and if your interested in having your house name or number carving please get in touch either through our website www.swalesinthedales.co.uk or call 01535 634781