Pulling Marble

Tractor Pulling Marble Slab

We get deliveries of waste granite and marble from the local stone quarries and carving sheds. This pile is on one of our landings where we can pick through the materials for the pieces we want to use before pushing the rest over the edge as fill. The resulting fill bank is then still available in future years for picking.

The tractor is gently sliding a huge slab, probably 3,000 lbs, of white marble from the back of the pile so we can cut off a piece to use in the bathroom. This slab was just up at the top of the tractor’s capacity to lift once we got it closer and were able to properly rig it with chains and pads.

Outdoors: 39°F/30°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/60°F

Daily Spark: Why do Fabergé eggs hatch so fast? Because they’re Russian.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Pulling Marble

  1. Oh man!! Your telling me they just throw this stuff away? That they don’t sell it as seconds? I’m so happy you can use it but it just proves again how we waste so much in our country. When we build our new home by ourselves, very small, just like Walter our role model can you shove some of that granite and marble towards Illinois? I’ll certainly pay you for your time and gas :)

    • Fascinating thought… I haven’t sat down and figured out how much stone you would need to build a cottage like ours. A truck load of the waste stone costs us $45 right now, about 1/4rds of that would be useable I would guess – it varies with the load. A really rough guess is that one would need 512 cubic-feet of stone. I’m guessing 4 loads or $200 or so for the stone if you have a place to dump it and sort through it.

      That is about 90,000 lbs of stone or 45 tons after sorting. Add to the cost the time to sort and load the stone onto trucks. A bucket loader really helps as does a diamond blade saw and some strong backs and arms. Maybe two weeks work? If hired with two people figure $2,000 plus the equipment.

      You might be able to fit that on three truck loads of 30,000 lbs each (plus 30,000 lbs for truck = 60,000 lbs) which would keep it under the highway weight limits. Maybe two trucks. At $5,000 a truck that would be $10,000 to $15,000 for the shipping.

      $200 Stone
      $2,000 Labor (you?)
      $2,000 Equipment???
      $15,000 Trucking
      $19,200 Total cost to get the granite and marble half way across the country

      Interesting to note that it only cost $7,000 to build our cottage out of local materials – the difference between local vs long distance shipping. Still, that $19K is not very expensive compared with most houses and it would be a house that would last. I can just see Sears once again selling cottages, of stone… Some assembly required. This could revive the local quarries and stone cutters. :)

  2. Nance says:

    Walter, could you sort me out a ‘good’ pickup load of Marble or granite. I’m in Iowa : )

    • Ah, but it is all ‘good’ marble. There is no bad marble! :) Realize that what we get is the rejects. Although when I look it over I often have a hard time imagining why because the pieces are so nice.

      • Farmerbob1 says:

        Interesting. While you certainly have more important things to do now with your time as you build farm infrastructure, if you keep collecting this stone, you should certainly be able to trade/sell it and acquire a greater volume of common dirt/clay/sand.

        Have you talked to local homebuilders to see if any of them are interested in working with you for rough cut fireplace slabs? That might get you a nice return as well, even if you just trade rock slabs for fill dirt.

        • Irony there being we have both the fill sand, gavel, dirt and stone.

          • Farmerbob1 says:

            Ah, I commented because I figured that volume would be more important than the materials. If you’re using it for simple fill, to fill in holes and valleys, more volume is more land shaped. Of course, sorting stone takes time and labor. That stone will be around for quite some time though, if you can keep it handy, and I suspect you are, perhaps for future use around the butcher shop?

          • We have basically several sources of stone:

            1. From our land including stone walls, random rocks on the land scape and boulders we dig and cut out of the mountain;
            2. “Waste” granite and marble from the local quarries and stone cutting sheds – this gets either dumped in place where we’ll use it by the delivery trucks or it gets dumped in piles to be sorted and then pushed to extend banks of terraces;
            3. Crushed Stone which is graded to be a specific size – useful under slab pours of concrete, driveway stabilization, etc;
            4. Raw Gravel which is unsorted and has a mix of stones and fines – good for road building in layers; and
            5. Sand which is generally sifted sharp masonry sand since we use it for sanding the driveway, masonry mortar and concrete mixing.

            There are piles of each as well as receiving areas for sorting.

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