So what a crazy day in Gibsons yesterday. The stone crew drove out 20 hours from Calgary with the light weight panels - took a tour of the boat and basically for lack of a longer explanation said "---- It - It's too much work". Who does that?
I priced the job for a 5 day completion. I figured I would be three days with the showers and 2 days with the floors. As it turns out I ran three full days over and if you count the 15 and 13 hour shifts as 3.5 days not two then I ran way over. But - I didn't cut any corners, did some quality work and was oh so excited to see the stone guys installing the panels yesterday.
I took the day off from work to go watch, learn, study, help - what ever. But there was no action - the stone panels and the tools never left the parking lot. I did get to play with a sample of the product in the wood shop and I also got to chat with the installers for a spell about the install practice.
The whole experience has left me with way more questions than answers. I took a sample home with me and messed around with it in the Ferry Line up - there is no way this stone is stronger than slab - no freaken way. This might have been a huge blessing in disguise for the yacht builders. Lets see what a proper round of testing brings.
The yacht builders are looking for solutions and perhaps it is the same stone with a different crew or different materials all together.
I had thought this light weigh stone was backed with an aluminum panel - but there is no aluminum panel but rather a rubber panel of sorts sandwiched with two plys of alumiumn foil.... Odd.
The stone is sold as being flexible. Here you can see a picture from the web site of Earth Anatomy
The stone in this picture looks thinner than the ones in the samples we have. I'm not even sure the stone that was brought to BC is in fact from the supplier Earth Anatomy.... So many questions.
Here are the four samples that represent the stone that was suppose to go into the yacht. All look great. I took my sample home that I test cut and tested building an outside corner and played with it a bit.
I found I could break it apart by hand! Scary. I easily snapped the 1.5" rip cut and then to my horror was able with ease cut the reinforcing back with my box cutter. I then tried ripping at by hand and was able to remove it with finger strength only! What da ....
I cut it with a dry diamond blade and the stone chipped easily. Perhaps better cuts on with a better blade, better tool and some water.
You can see the back side here. The black stuff is soft and rubbery - when bent back and forth it fails.
Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 11-23-2013 at 08:33 AM.
I decided to soak test my sample and first boiled up a few cups of water. The water covered my test sample completely and I notice lots of fine bubbles coming off the sample. A sign to me that little amounts of water are entering the stone. It's clear as day that lots of fill is used on these light weight stone panels.
I checked the test today and found there to be no lose of strength from the adhesive used to fix the stone to the backer material - that's good. I will leave the stone to soak another day and then remove it - then wait to see if the stone changes in appearance.
Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 11-23-2013 at 09:03 AM.
After some more research on light weight stone panels I found this web page - looks like the product I have a sample of is this
Forza Stone Panel - Cream Marfil
I have taken the sample out of the water and placed it on my cast iron radiator to dry out. After a day of sitting the stone looks the same. I did not notice any de-bonding of the stone from the alumimum backing material at all.
The website from Forza stone is talking about 800% increase in strength - this data has to be taken from testing side by side with 1/4" stone not side by side with 3/4" stone.
Looking at this diagram it looks like the same kind of construction that the marble panel I had has.
Looks like the parent company is from Down Under. I'm going to reach out to the tech department and ask a few questions. Might be that the samples I have are a knock of of the Forza Panel. I'll see if I can get a sample direct from this outfit....
Forza Stone Panel Contact Info
Australia & New Zealand
Specialised Stone Services Ltd.
65A View Road,
(PO Box, 30-1192, Albany)
Ph: 022 GO FORZA ( 022.46.36792 )
Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 11-25-2013 at 07:35 PM.