Author Topic: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area  (Read 5133 times)

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Offline norma427

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Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« on: July 30, 2010, 09:47:21 AM »
I was trying to find more places that carried remnants of soapstone in my area.  I called a few places in Lancaster, Pa. this morning.  There are two places there that carry soapstone remnants.  The one place is called Natural Stoneworks.  They say they have some remnants and the one is 30"x27".  Ken said that piece for that remnant would cost 50.00.  If it has to be cut, which it would be for my home oven, then the price would be 75.00.  I am thinking about having a piece cut for my home oven and the extra used for my BBQ grill set-up or for use in my 1/4 size convection oven at market.  If anyone is in this area their number is 717-393-5818.  I asked Ken how the soapstone would be cut and he said it needed to be cut with a bridge saw, that had a diamond studded blade.

The other place that carries some remnants is Banta Tile and Marble.  They are checking on prices for remnants.  Their number is 717-393-3931.

I will let anyone know, that is interested if I find out more.

Maybe I soon will have some soapstones or a soapstone for my home oven or other oven set-ups to get better results, when making pizza.  ;D

Norma
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Offline sear

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 10:24:44 AM »
I was trying to find more places that carried remnants of soapstone in my area.  I called a few places in Lancaster, Pa. this morning.  There are two places there that carry soapstone remnants.  The one place is called Natural Stoneworks.  They say they have some remnants and the one is 30"x27".  Ken said that piece for that remnant would cost 50.00.  If it has to be cut, which it would be for my home oven, then the price would be 75.00.  I am thinking about having a piece cut for my home oven and the extra used for my BBQ grill set-up or for use in my 1/4 size convection oven at market.  If anyone is in this area their number is 717-393-5818.  I asked Ken how the soapstone would be cut and he said it needed to be cut with a bridge saw, that had a diamond studded blade.

The other place that carries some remnants is Banta Tile and Marble.  They are checking on prices for remnants.  Their number is 717-393-3931.

I will let anyone know, that is interested if I find out more.

Maybe I soon will have some soapstones or a soapstone for my home oven or other oven set-ups to get better results, when making pizza.  ;D

Norma

soapstone bug strikes again  ;D

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010, 10:32:12 AM »
soapstone bug strikes again  ;D

sear,

Yes, I caught the bug.  :-D

I just talked to Ken at Natural Stoneworks, and he is going to cut one piece of soapstone for my home oven and BBQ grill set-up.  They might have time to cut it today.  Both pieces are only going to cost me 75.00.  I canít wait to give them a try.   >:D

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010, 10:33:24 AM »
Norma, $50 is pretty reasonable for a piece of that size.  If memory serves me correctly, didn't you cut firebricks for your grill setup?  Soapstone is definitely easier to cut than firebrick.  You still need a masonry blade, but if you can cut firebrick, you should be able to cut soapstone.

Diamond blades will last longer, but I believe one or two inexpensive masonry blades such as the one found here:

http://power-tools.hardwarestore.com/54-361-circular-saw-blade-masonry/vermont-american-masonry-blade-279810.aspx

will do the trick.  An angle grinder with a similar type of blade will also do it.

If you're patient and have the right saw, you can cut soapstone without a power tool, but I couldn't do it with a hacksaw. Here's a pic of a guy cutting soapstone with a saw.

http://www.soapstonesculpture.com/basics.html

Soapstone can also be chiseled.  That's how I ended up cutting mine. With chiseling, there's always a chance of making an invisible fracture through the stone and weakening it, but soapstone seems so dense and solid that it appears to chisel pretty well.  I think if I were to do the chisel technique again, I would probably drill holes along the cut line (with a masonry bit) and then use the chisel to fracture it along that line.  That's how they work with dynamite.

Not that I would chisel again.  Home Depot has circular saw masonry blades for $3.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 10:40:59 AM by scott123 »

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 10:41:58 AM »
scott123,

I appreciate your help, with getting the soapstone and me cutting it, but after I cut and chiseled  those firebricks, I am not going to try to mess with these soapstones.  I have a power saw and can use it, but I wouldnít be confident in trying something like cutting the soapstone.  I also have a jig saw with many blades, but I am going to pay the extra money, so it is done right.

Ken said they have other remnants if anyone else is from this area.

Thanks,

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 10:52:04 AM »
Fair enough, Norma.  Cutting stones/ceramics is definitely no walk in the park.

What dimensions are you going with?  Are you cutting it in half?  I know that you make pretty small pies for yourself, but are you sure 15" is going to cut it?  What size pies are you doing at the market? 16? 18?  Any chance you could fit that size in your home oven?

I was just thinking that it would be nice to make an extra dough ball at work and be able to bring it home and stretch it to the same size at home- if, of, course your oven would fit that size stone.

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 10:58:33 AM »
scott123,

I am getting the one piece of soapstone for my home oven.  That piece is going to be 16"x19".  The other piece they are cutting from the same stone is going to be 14 Ĺ ďx 9 Ĺ".  That is for my BBQ grill set-up and it might fit in my 1/4 size convection oven at market.  I will have to measure that oven when I go to market today. 

I am happy with my stones in the Bakerís Pride oven at market, so I wonít be replacing those.  I make 16" pies at market.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 07:00:15 PM »
One good thing did happen with this soapstones today.  I was anxious to get them and try them out over the weekend.  Ken told me they might have time to cut the soapstones today.  I went to market to mix the poolish for Monday and also to see if the sour dough mix would get foamy, so I could mix the sour dough mix into the final dough today. 

When I was at market, I measured my 1/4 size convection oven, to see if the small part of the cut soapstone would also fit into my convection oven.  When I measured it, I found out the oven would only fit a 13 1/4 ď soapstone across.  I called Natural Stoneworks to see if they already cut the soapstone and I was glad they didnít.  Ken said they didnít have time to cut it today, so then I could give them the new measurements for the small soapstone, that I could then use in my 1/4 size convection oven and also the BBQ grill set-up. 

Now I will have three places to try out the soapstones. 

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 07:32:37 PM »
Sounds great Norma! It looks like you're going to have lots of opportunities to play with soapstone! :)

I just bought my second stone today.  18.5 x 26.  It was bigger than what I wanted and more costly ($36 as compared to my last one that was $23), but all in all, I did okay.  They gave me a free cut (the last time I was there they were like "we don't cut at this location") and charged me only for the cut piece, not for the pre-cut size.  Since the cut went along the middle, the whole piece probably would have been $70ish. It also gave me exactly the length I wanted on one dimension.  As far as the shorter dimension goes... I bought two $2.25 masonry blades at Home Depot on the way home.

I did happen to notice that they only had about 1/4 the remnants that they had the last time that I was there.  Before it was an entire parking lot of remnants and today it was just a corner. I think I might have shot myself in the foot by recommending soapstone so highly  ;D I also noticed that many of the remaining remnants were either impure/had lots of marble/serpentine veins running through them or were low talc stones. Lots of green, beige and brown, but not a lot of gray. Before I got the pick of the litter, but today it was the dregs.  I hope it's not a sign of things to come.

Edit:  Btw, Norma, that is one sharp looking oven.  All that beautiful stainless.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 07:36:49 PM by scott123 »

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 07:57:02 PM »
scott123,

Thanks for saying that sounds great, that I will be able to play with the soapstones.  That is something I wanted to do for awhile, but the price wasnít right.  :-D

Great to hear you got a new soapstone today.  ;D Your deal was better than mine. How big is your soapstone they cut for you? 

Both places I called today, did have remnants, but the Banta Tile and Marble didnít call me back. 
Thanks for saying the oven is sharp looking. It is a commercial 1/4 size convection oven.  I purchased it along with other items when I was looking for pizza equipment.  I found it on craigslist. 

Best of luck to you with your new soapstone.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2010, 07:43:54 PM »
Looks like I am going to get another soapstone to try out for free.  >:D  I could have picked it up today, but I had to go to market.  I am going to pick it up Wednesday. Hopefully by then my other soapstones will also be cut.

Norma
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Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2010, 01:29:13 PM »
The oven looks nice but one worry would be the weight of the stone?  can the shelves hold it without dropping?

It looks sturdy enough but only you will know for sure.

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2010, 09:23:32 PM »
The oven looks nice but one worry would be the weight of the stone?  can the shelves hold it without dropping?

It looks sturdy enough but only you will know for sure.

Mick.Chicago,

The convection oven is built well, but I won't know if the shelves will hold the stone until I try it.  I am picking up the stones tomorrow.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 05:42:00 PM »
I picked up the soapstones today.  These are the pictures of the soapstones.  The two on the right were from Natural Stoneworks.  They were cut to fit my home oven, BBQ grill set-up and also my convection oven at market.  The soapstone on the left was the free soapstone that Banta Tile and Marble gave to me to try out.  They also carry soapstone and said a piece cut for a home oven would be about 60.00.  Frank of Banta Tile and Marble said if a couple of people went together, to get more than one piece cut out of a larger piece, the price could come down to 50.00.  That is the stone bought and cut.

I just wonder one thing if anyone can answer my question.  The two pieces I bought from Natural Stoneworks are shiny on one side.  Ken told me that he isnít a betting man, but would bet you could bake a pizza on the shiny side.  I said I wasnít sure about that.  He said that side was just polished and no chemicals were added in any way.  Does anyone know anything about this.  I talked to him about soapstones for awhile and he explained to me how they go about making a soapstone look shiny and then continue to add mineral oil when they make counter tops for a customers kitchen. The soapstones I purchased today donít have any mineral oil added.

Second picture is of the small stone that one side is shiny

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2010, 08:04:38 PM »
Norma, does the unpolished side feel soapy/talcy/silky/powdery or does it feel rocky? The banta stone looks perfect, and, from a distance, the other stones look great too, but, the yellow streaks... yellow is not typically found in high heat/high talc soapstones.  As we've figured out with Straybullet (Mark), there's many different types of soapstone. It doesn't seem like a ton of yellow streaks and the gray parts look perfect, but I'd still run your hand across the non shiny side and make sure it feels talcy- as talcy as the banta stone.

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2010, 09:18:30 PM »
Norma, does the unpolished side feel soapy/talcy/silky/powdery or does it feel rocky? The banta stone looks perfect, and, from a distance, the other stones look great too, but, the yellow streaks... yellow is not typically found in high heat/high talc soapstones.  As we've figured out with Straybullet (Mark), there's many different types of soapstone. It doesn't seem like a ton of yellow streaks and the gray parts look perfect, but I'd still run your hand across the non shiny side and make sure it feels talcy- as talcy as the banta stone.

Scott123,

Yes, the unpolished side of the soapstone does feel talcy.  Natural Stoneworks puts many of these soapstones in homes.  They are experienced with soapstone.  They have many kitchen counter tops set-ups with sinks, in their showroom with different cuts on the soapstones.  Ken is very knowledgeable about soapstone.  I didn't notice any yellow streaks in any of the soapstones.  They are white.

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2010, 10:09:55 AM »
Norma, maybe it's the lighting, but the streak on the upper right corner of the bottom photo looks a little yellow to me.  If it isn't yellow, you're in great shape.

As far as which side to use... I don't think it makes a big difference, but I'd probably go with the unpolished side, as that's what other members are using. I also tend to recommend a little light even sanding to take off cheese spills (they can be baked off, but it makes a lot of smoke), so the polished side won't keep it's shine for very long.

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2010, 10:46:55 AM »
Norma, maybe it's the lighting, but the streak on the upper right corner of the bottom photo looks a little yellow to me. 

Scott,

I just went outside and took another picture of the small soapstone you thought might have a yellow tinge to it.  You can see on this picture, that I placed the soapstone in between my drive-way and front walk, against yellow flowers, that the streaks are white in the soapstone. 

I am not going to sand the soapstone and just try it out how it is to see what kind of results I can achieve with it.

Thanks for your comments,

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2010, 05:46:27 PM »
I took the small soapstone to market today to try out in the convection oven.  It can be moved on other shelves, but I will try it on the top shelf first. 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone Remnants in Lancaster County Area
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 11:36:18 PM »
Steve and I tried a small pizza today on the soapstone in the convection oven pictured above.  We turned the oven on to heat up and only used the timer turned on the whole way to let it warm-up.  We never thought that once the timer went off (it didnít ring), that the oven convection would then go off.  Steve loaded the pie and it did seem to rise fast, but then we saw the light was off for the oven.  Until we turned it back on to manual, I donít know what kind of heat or convection mode we lost.  :-D  More experiments ahead, next time making sure the manual mode is used.

Pictures below,

Norma
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