Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh, What The Hell

I decided to do the marble sill myself. This is the window sill that will be on the window in the shower. I had a piece of marble and the original plan was to cut out a piece slightly larger than the sill and then take it to a monument maker and have them finish it. After I cut it out, that seemed like a PITA. I figured in the time it would take for me to call them, explain what I need, drive the piece down there, give them my name and number, explain it again, and then have to go back down and get it, I could just do it myself.

The sill is 4X27 inches. The slab I cut from is much larger than 4X27. I worked from one corner, so after I made two cuts I would have a 4X27 inch piece with 2 sides cut by the professionals and then 2 sides cut by me. I used the carbide grit jig saw blade to cut the 4-inch side, but it didn’t work too well. The cut was very uneven and it took about 20 minutes to get through 4-inches. Obviously that wouldn’t work for the 27-inch side.

I got out the grinder with my trusty diamond blade and cut the 27-inch side free-hand. It takes a few passes and eventually it breaks with the last quarter inch or so. It’s sort of a score & snap method. The cut is not perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. This is the side that will go against the window. The pretty side cut at the shop is what will face the room. I then used the grinder to clean up the 4-inch jig saw cut I made. After I install it, I’ll goop up the back cut with caulk and hide the mess with a very small piece of quarter round wood trim.

So now I’m left with 3 straight sides and the back side that is slightly less than straight. While the cuts made by the pros, and my four inch cut are straight, they don’t look all that pretty. I went down to the hardware store and splurged for a $20 quarter inch rounder-over bit and finished the front top and bottom. The left and right side will mostly be under tile, so I left them straight. Sometime over this weekend I’ll sand up the leading edge with 600 grit and smooth it out some and then I should be able to install it.

I was also able to cut all of the shims for the base tile today, so tomorrow, in theory, I should start some tile installation. I am very nervous.


Anonymous said...

AS far as your shims, did you take in to consideration the thickness of the thinset under the hex floor tiles in that 1/8th to 3/16 measurement? You seem to be good at catching all of the details, but thought I would put it out there any way.

Anonymous said...

That sill looks fine to me, in a fuzzy-camera kinda-way. ;-)

Greg said...

Good observation about the mortar. I thought about trying to account for it in the shim, but what I’ve decided to do is to “back butter” the bottoms of the base trim as I put them on. That should (fingers crossed) account for the mortar under the floor tile. The base tile can be a hair higher than the floor, just not lower.

d. chedwick bryant said...

nice sill, dude! very classy

Jason & Heather said...

The sill looks great! If you have to cut any more marble in the future you may want to look into a hand held wet tile saw, Home Depot has them for $35. I bought one and used it to cut the marble for my kitchen island.

Greg said...

Oooo, a wet tile saw is a great idea. I just borrowed a friends small table-top wet saw yesterday to help with the subway tile in the bathroom. I could use it to cut out the other sill when I'm done with the tile.