Our current project has us building a gathering space at Asheville School. The patio will be the centerpiece of the Bement Garden. We are collaborating with Mardi Letson of Gardens By Mardi on this project.
We are building a stone medallion that depicts the school’s crest for the center of the patio. There are symbols throughout the crest that will be inlaid into the patio stone. Some are fairly straightfoward- others are quite tricky.
The most challenging part of doing inlay in stone is removing the material where the inlay is supposed to go. The following video walks through the process and the tools I use.
I used both of the grinders in the video to create the outer border of the design and cut a cross hatch pattern into the stone. This allows for easier stock removal.
Hand hammer and chisel were used to get out the vast majority of the stock. This is very effective in wide open areas- like the center- but not wise near the edges or in tight spaces.
I use a pneumatic chisel- made by Trow and Holden Company of Barre, Vermont- to work close to the edges. This is not necessarily a delicate tool- it’s really just a mini jackhammer- but it is more efficient than doing it by hand. I can regulate the air flow to control the strength of the chisel blows. Really though, the key is in the angle of attack. Work away from the edges of the design and away from the top of the stone.
I try to take out about a half inch of depth. This allows room for a stone tile- generally 3/8″ thick- and a bed of thinset tile mortar.
It fits! Some detail work on the mosaic and it’s ready for thinset. A bunch more to do!