Jun 10, 2014

Slate floor, Day 2

The goal was clear. The tasks were divided as before. The determination was obvious. Come Monday, and we were back in the slate floor business. And as expected, the process was encouraging.

Harri cutting a stone with a diamond blade

Most of the floor has now been covered with slate. Even though the pieces are filthy, covered with dust and dirt, by a bit of eye-squinting and imagination one can already start to understand how the floor will look in the end.

Harri installing slate

Given it is a rather small area, the amount of cement used for installation is overwhelming.

Floor, slate and a whole lot of cement underneath

While the professional in charge, Harri has been installing the stones, Pekka has been reponsible for mixing cement. The current sack count just reached 59 sacks - in other words, 1475 kg of it. And somehow it seems we have not seen the end of it yet...

A whole lot of empty sacks

In parallel to this installation madness, there is an interesting spin-off project ongoing including 1 kg of white powder, a digital scale and some mixing instruments. Yes, we chose to go with a lighter color seam but before we can start to seam the floor there are two very important questions which need to be answered: 
  1. Just how light do we want the seam to be exactly? 
  2. Once we know the preferred tone, how do we achieve it? 

The laboratory

Easy. Basically, you take an ordinary filler and mix it with a pigment. For lighter tones titanium oxide (the white powder) is used. Would you prefer a darker tone, iron oxide would be the reagent of choice. 

And this may not come as a surprise, but as once again, Pekka did not want to take any risk in not getting the tone correct, he approached the challenge quite scientifically. He prepared a series of test mixes, each of them with a very specific amount of titanium oxide within the mix. 

Color samples drying in the sun

The finished color samples seem to work quite well. In the different mixes, the concentration of titanium oxide ranges between 0% - 6%. All there is to do now is to choose the one we like the most. The ultimate seam.

Which tone would you choose?

Overall, also day two was very successful. There are still some pieces missing here and there, a whole lot of unfinished details and all of the seaming to be done, but things are moving forward. We'll be back, very soon!

Day two checkpoint

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