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The Making Of The Ale Stone

We were asked by our good friend Alan McEwen from Dandelion Stone Troughs if we could make a table top in the form of a millstone. This would be for a customer of theirs that was opening a micro pub called 'THE ALE STONE'! This was going to be a challenging one because a millstone has deep grooves called 'furrows', the furrows help the grain thats been ground escape the millstone. If people were going to use this as a table we needed to come up with a way to make it look like a millstone but stop the risk of drinks toppling over. The picture above is the blank piece of high quality Yorkshire stone that we will make the millstone out of.

The millstone has been carved round and polished off to give a nice crisp skirt. Its now time to mark it up, this stone is going to have 8 harps (harps are the furrowed sections) so it needs to be divided up into 8 equal sections.

We decided the best way to make the furrows was to use a skutch chisel and make an impression of the furrows. the furrows are about 1-2mm deep which will stop any drinks from being tipped over. We really like how its starting to look. what do you think?

All furrows completed and cleaned off. now its the hard bit, we had to carve THE ALE STONE 3 times around the skirt or rim of the millstone and also 3 hops. This is easier said than done!

In the pictures above you will see the wording and the hop design we've put on. The last job to do was to put a slight bevel on the edges as this will help to prevent any knocks damaging the surface!

Hope you've enjoyed seeing how we made this table top as much as we did making it. Once the customer has got the base sorted (an old antique oak cask) we will put up some pictures.

Thanks again

Chris Swales

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