Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Owensound Ledgerock

About 2 months ago, I had a chance to visit a very special place! I figure that every landscape designer, architect and natural stone enthusiast should make it a point to visit this place at least once in their career!
The place you ask? The Owen Sound Ledgerock Quarry Facility in Owen Sound, Ontario.

Now it has been over a decade since I was last in school and going on class field trips, but when this opportunity came up to visit the Quarry, I put everything on hold and jumped at the chance to go! Consider this place, the place of ideas and wonders of what can be done with natural stone... in the picture below is a pile of limestone quarried out of the Niagara Escarpment in the surrounding area.

What Ledgerock does with it after is combine old world ideas with new world technology and provides you with a beautiful natural product. As the stone is picked through and selected for various uses, saws like the one in the photo below go to work at the stone chunks.

Computer coordinates are entered into the saw's control program and these slabs of stone get sliced and diced into different shapes.

This was the saw of all saws! I figure that blade was a diameter of 12 or 14 feet and the sound it made once it started to slice the stone was the equivalent to locking a jet aircraft inside a room and having it go to full throttle while you stood beside it!

The stream of water that showers down from the saw helps to keep the blade cool and keeps the stone dust created by the cuttings from flying around, filling the room.

Here we see some of the stone slabs being polished into smooth top counters for use in kitchens, bars or even office buildings. My one regret was that I did not get a picture of the finished counter top... the grain of the stone pattern was gorgeous! A deep rich looking mix of brown colours.

Anyway, after all that mess of stone piles and saws...the end result is packaged up into wood crates and ready to be shipped all over the place....

I would say that this has to be one of my favourite natural stone pavers. The Owen Sound Bush hammered flagstone and coping gives any landscape site a very elegant and timeless finish to the space. If a client were to ask me, what stone I would use on a project? I would say to look no further than this article!