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February 4, 2013

Stone Showcase: McCall Countertop Fabrication and Installation….

Did you see the before pictures of the McCall kitchen? If not, you may want to start here. We are waiting for some of the finishing touches such as the backsplash selection and installation for the McCall job before we do the “after” shots of their beautiful new kitchen! In the meantime, this post is more about the fabrication and installation of the McCall kitchen. I took some fabrication pictures in the shop and then went on the road to photograph the installation to show what goes into the “making of a countertop”.

Here we start with the computerized drawing created after the digital template was done.

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The island forms a T as you may see above. And with the size of the T shaped island compared to the slab size and shape, our team is shown below anticipating and contemplating how the movement in the slab will line up at the seam. Mentioning seams, let me say that at Lesher we do as few seams as possible. And we are very meticulous about making the seam seem “seamless”. ;) It’s an art to say the least. You’ll see why it’s an art soon.

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To get an exact view they have the top of the T literally hovering over the bottom of the T. You can see for the most part the “flow” is matching up as planned. It is tricky business. You need to be able to visualize that it’s going to work before you cut into the slab!

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Okay we are cut, polished, and ready to load. Our install team gets all the pieces loaded and secured for the trip that’s just minutes away. It’s nice to have the crane do the work now, but there’s no crane when we get to the job site!

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Okay, we made it to the McCall’s new home along with many other workers that day. In fact the heating guys were there getting things set up to start heating the home. It was a bone chilling day for installation.

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Off the trailer by hand and onto the dolly.

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So this cool “dolly” helps them a bit until you have to go up steps…..

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Here it’s all man power. The apparatus placed over the sink hole is support so that the granite doesn’t snap.

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Made it! Resting spot was preplanned because they do this a lot!

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Kim and Dan McCall are imagining the rest of the pieces. Things in their new home are coming together today, literally!

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Below is the heaviest piece and the one that forms the bottom of the T.

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“TaaaDaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” They did it.

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Tapping out the faucet holes per the owner’s request. One of our savvy secrets, so I won’t explain. :)

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Hammer, hammer, bang, bang and it’s out!

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Now in my previous blog posts I’ve used the term “grout” because that’s what most of us think the “paste” is called between the seams. However, that’s not the proper term. For us it’s called *#@^! ^*+#@ )(*&^%, epoxy. Oh, did I mistype that? It’s a savvy secret. But now you know it’s special stuff just for the stone savvy.

Now here’s an artist at work. Scott is a pro at mixing this special stuff. He adds various colors a little bit at a time. That’s one of the savvy secrets to good color matching. Our other savvy tricks will remain a secret. ;)

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After the seam is filled with “epoxy” we level it with a special apparatus that helps close the seam and level the edges. Another savvy secret.

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When the cabinets are not as level as they should be and there are some gaps between the cabinet and countertop we fix them with some wood shims.

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Now we’ve seen the pros at work creating beautiful pieces seamlessly. Soon, we hope to show you the after pictures. Sometimes there are several “finishing touches” to be done to the kitchen after our installation is complete.

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