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Kansas a “Chip Off the Old Block” for Buechel Stone

Cattle grazing the hillside at one of the Kansas Quarries

Art is making something out of nothing and selling it

Frank Zappa

I found this quote rather inspiring. There are so many different situations this can be applied to: food prepared by a chef, an architect’s drawings of a new building, or Frank Zappa’s written songs. They all take the gray matter of someone’s brain to make it into something of value.

When I saw this quote, I immediately thought about Buechel Stone’s fabrication of stone from Kansas. To me a blank piece of paper does not create great art, song, or writing, just like a block of stone on a prairie is not something of value to anyone other than perhaps the cow. Only through the abilities and talents of a creator’s mind do these things become something of usable value.

It takes vision to see something out of nothing. Through this blog, my goal is to show how Kansas limestone is quarried, and the processes and steps taken to make that block of raw limestone into the vision of an architect, mason, and/or project owner. In addition, I will show a couple of finished projects that highlight the greatness of Buechel Stone’s Kansas Limestone.

Buechel Stone’s Kansas cut stone is quarried in a different manner than our other building veneers and landscaping stone options. The most obvious difference is the use of specialized quarry saws. These very large chainsaws tear through limestone using a large bar or arm, similar to what you would see on a Stihl or Husqvarna woodcutting chainsaw. These bars range from 2 feet for cutting thinner beam layers, to over 12 feet in length for tall cut stone blocks.

Quarry saw cutting a pass on the ledge

Once the blocks are cut from the quarry, they are pulled with large front end loaders. We cut off unusable stone so we are only shipping good cut stone quality blocks. These blocks are sold to other cut stone shops so they can create architectural details for projects around the country, or we fabricate them for our own project needs.

CAT 988K moving an Aged Parchment block out of the quarry

Not all cut stone shops have saws large enough to cut blocks that are 4 feet in thickness so many customers will order slabs cut to the thickness they need.

Slabs being cut

Once the slabs are cut to thickness, they can be made into anything a mason or architect can imagine. Slabs can be sold unfinished or have a finish added. These finishes enhance the slab with different textures and looks to best fit the installation and designer’s needs. Aged Parchment, Silverdale, and White Marigold can have the following finishes added: brushed (smooth rippled texture that creates a satin finish), bushhammered (rough dimpled finish), rockfaced (face pitched with a chisel), sandblasted (fine-coarse texture), sanded (smooth matte finish), or veloured (full-grain leather finish). Below they are adding a sanded finish to a slab of White Marigold.

A finish does not have to be added to the slab. If the slab is going to be made into another cut stone option like a surround, pier cap, or other three-dimensional object, the finish is often done when the piece is complete. Below we are creating a custom corbel with Aged Parchment. The final piece got a sandblasted finish to give the stone a weathered appearance.

The stone’s workability and unique color varieties make it a great alternative to many other cut stone and cast stone options. Below are just a handful of projects Buechel Stone has supplied through the years with cut stone from Kansas. Our rockstars are eager to create the next masterpiece for your project!

Silverdale Tailored Blend – custom sizes, Mill Creek thermalled paving
Silverdale Tailored Blend – custom sizes
Silverdale with a sanded finish on corbels, surround, and panels
Silverdale coping with a sandblasted finish and bullnose edge
Silverdale panels, corbels, and window surrounds with Mill Creek Castle Rock
Silverdale sill used as a wainscot transition
Aged Parchment panels with a splitface finish

Contact one of our territory sales specialists, visit our website to order a free cut stone sample, or stop in to one of our design centers for one-on-one design consultation!

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