Sunday, July 14, 2013

Not The Same Old Grind

Yesterday and today was spent grinding and polishing the slab. The initial cut was made with a 50 grit diamond cutting wheel on a variable speed, water fed grinder/polisher. It removed the top layer of cream, which is the mostly pure cement and pigment, and began to expose the underlying sand and aggregate. Interestingly, the rather shocking minty green color became much more subdued when it was cut, I think it is due to the cream possibly holding more pigment than the underlying layer and the exposing of the sand and stone soften the color. Anyway, Wifey and I really like the color now. When I was satisfied with the look, I began polishing with increasingly finer wheels until I had gotten to 2000 grit. By this time, it was as smooth as glass. The minor imperfections were filled with tile grout. This was not, entirely, satisfactory. As I polished, the water undercut the grout and left it below the surface. On the next slabs I will use a cement and pigment slurry instead. Still, I am quite satisfied with the outcome. I then applied several coats of a high gloss sealer. I am not real sure that was a prudent plan. It looked beautiful prior to the sealer and now it seems duller and the brush strokes are visible. Tomorrow, when it is fully cured, I'll have a look. I believe I can hit it with 0000 steel wool and some carnauba wax. If that fails, I'll just re polish it with the 2000 grit wheel and remove the sealer. This little piece taught me a lot. The learning curve is steep and short. It is, mostly, common sense, careful measuring and sweat equity.

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