Tractor Lifting Marble Partition Slab
Yesterday I showed a picture of the tractor pulling an immense marble slab out of our stone pile. Our butcher shop is built of local granite, bound together with cement – concrete is mostly granite chunks plus a small amount of binding cement. In fact, most of the 1,600,000 lbs of mass of our butcher shop is granite. Additionally we have:
- Granite and brick spacers to hold forms properly spaced for pours;
- Granite keys that lock pour cold joints;
- Granite frames around floor access hatches;
- Granite and marble spacer cubes in the ceiling pours; and
- Granite door sills with secret sayings on the bottom.
With all these various types of stone I wanted to also use another type of local rock, marble, in a visible place. Unfortunately marble is softer so I don’t consider it a terribly long lasting wear surface. Marble is also porous so floors were out. My solution is to do a section of marble knee wall in the bathroom. It will look quite elegant, create a hand rail and shelf plus it will be a non-wear surface which will be sealed with clear polyurea.
The spot is a place where we had a little non-structural oopsy between the bottom and top half of the wall pours of that room when the forms shifted slightly in the months between pours. By putting this stone knee wall in that place it covers the oops while making for a bit of elegance in our slaughterhouse.
Walter, Will & Ben Team Hauling
Once the tractor got the slab of marble over to the parking area in front of our butcher shop the cutting began. Ben sliced off the excessive material we wouldn’t need leaving a 910 lb wall slab. He and I test lifted it by hand and decided it was definitely too heavy to carry in through the front door all in one piece as tempting as it was.
Size-wise it would have just fit with one inch to spare by passing it through the office and then through the toilet tank hole in the wall to the bathroom. Once we get the toilet tank in place and parge over the wall archaeologists would have had fun puzzling over how we got the huge marble slab in there.
But it was too heavy to do safely so we divided and conquered. Ben split the stone into two slabs of 40″ and 54″ in length. These only weighed 394 lbs and 506 lbs respectively – much more doable.
To move these large slabs of marble into the bathroom we had the tractor lift the stones up to the front steps, slid them onto blocks of wood and secured climbing webbing under the rock. We then team lifted them and walked them the 20′ into the bathroom in a slow and careful precession.
Marble Slabs Warming in Bathroom
At this point the two marble slabs are stacked in the bathroom warming up so we can mortar them in place along the wall. They will fit neatly into the space where the forms shifted an inch leaving an overhanging ledge in the upper half of the room during the second wall pour. A creative fix to a non-structural but ugly problem.
Tractor on Blocks
This is a “Behind the Scenes” shot of the tractor’s massive butt. It is in position to lift the marble slabs. In order to get close enough to the steps the tractor had to have one set of wheels on the sidewalk and ramp with the other set down on the parking area. This made for a tilted frame and tilted forks. That in turn would have made it dangerous and nearly impossible to slide the quarter ton of marble onto the upper landing.
The solution was a stack of 2×6’s which the tractor drove up on to make the rear axel level which in turn made the forks level. The front axel has a self-adjusting pivot point so it didn’t need blocking.
In the distance you can see more slabs of granite that we gathered for sills, shelves and such. Now that it is seriously looking like winter we’re moving these and Ben’s other in-work pieces like the inspector’s desk out of the way so we’ll be able to plow the parking area.
Outdoors: 34°F/20°F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/60°F
Daily Spark: Dragonflies wonder how Mayflies achieve anything with such short lives.