2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Turns Rocks Into Money
"I made my first birdbath two years ago and gave it to my sister for her garden center. Because the rocks are dark in color, the sun heats the water in the birdbath and the birds love it," says Eugene. "Since then I've made several other rock birdbaths and sold nearly every one I can make.
"I get the rocks from my small acreage. They're either shale or slate. The rocks that I use to make the sinks have a close grain without any seams, so water can't leak out."
To make a rock birdbath, Eugene uses a Skil saw fitted with a diamond blade, and a small 4 1/2-in. grinder fitted with a diamond blade. "I use an older, heavy duty worm gear-driven Skil saw because it has a lot of torque. I buy the diamond blades at Lowes for about $16 apiece."
First he uses chalk to outline the bowl area, then cuts all the way around. Then he cuts crossways in a checkerboard style, like you would cut a cake. He then uses a chisel and hammer to knock out the sawed pieces of rock.
After he made several birdbaths, a man from Tennessee asked Eugene if he could cut a bathroom sink out of rock for his log cabin. "I cut three sinks out of solid rock, and he bought all three of them," says Eugene.
To make a birdbath, Eugene cuts only about 2 in. deep and removes one layer of rock. However, the sinks are much deeper and require cutting out three or four layers of rock. "When I've finished making the hole, I use a 4-1/2 in. grinder fitted with a diamond blade to polish the sides and bottom. Then I replace the blade with a small grinding wheel and go over the bowl again to make it as smooth as possible. Later I use a diamond bit to drill the drain hole."
He says his small birdbaths start at $200; bathroom sinks start at $500.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Eugene Taylor, P.O. Box 85, Topton, N.C. 28781 (ph 828 321-4204).
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