the fabrication process
The planning stage is the start of every project. Owners Labe Kopelov and Kino Kopelov have many years experience in masonry, contracting, and the building trades, and can offer practical solutions and tips to help control costs and make installation more efficient.
We are available to consult with a client's architect and builder about structural and layout issues specific to stone. After reviewing design plans and specifications, we can provide accurate shop drawings. This process organizes and clarifies the information we need to estimate costs accurately.
Once we receive a finalized purchase order, we order blocks from a quarry, paying close attention to the bedding, texture, and color— and taking into account each element's final position in a building or structure. If a mockup or model is required for final approval, we can provide this service.
the efficiency of machines...
At the heart of our fabrication facility are the saws and planers. We start the fabrication process by taking the blocks to the wire saw, where we cut them into slabs. The slabs are then moved to a large programmable bridge saw in preparation for planing, turning on our large lathe, and hand finishing.
Most people are not aware that large planing machines can shape stone— we normally think of planing when used for wood or metal. However, the invention of planing machines in the 1800's revolutionized the stone fabrication industry, making it possible to produce the large quantities of architectural limestone, marble, and sandstone for the commercial and public buildings of that era.
The speed and verstility of our stone planers make them ideal for replicating the various tooled and profiled finishes found on historic buildings. We mill profiled cornices, raised panels, and moulding, as well as stock for mantels, surrounds for windows, doors, and gateways. Most of these elements will be receive hand carved finishes or carved details.
and the aesthetics of handwork
For preservation and restoration projects, we focus on producing historically accurate stone finishes. Our goal is to understand the old fabrication methods and to identify the technique used by the original stone mill or carver to produce certain finishes. We try to replicate these methods and tools, so that our pieces will match historic work even on close inspection.
Although stone elements in the design and building industry have become very popular recently, we feel that the "hand carved" feel can be lost when all the fabrication is performed by computer-aided machines. The marks of the workman's tools give stonework that human warmth and provide a "connection" to history. And this quality of work can be done today—in our own country, using domestic stone—just as it was done in the past.