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Old 11-20-2006, 08:17 PM   #1
Davestone
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Uncle Daves homemade stone soap shelves

Okay, here's the formula for makin those shelves everyone asks about.You pro's know how,and probably have a few tricks also, so bear with me.I usually start out with an 18" piece of stone and cut it into quarters,or 4 9" pieces.This will make 2 sandwiched laminated shelves with finish edges top and bottom.If you're using a stone thicker than 1/2" you needn't laminate two together, just polish the bottom.In this picture you will see some of the tools needed,an adjustible speed angle grinder,and or polisher,a suitable polyester stone glue,or epoxy,razor blades,wetvac,diamong pads, or sandpaper,or carborendum,tape,and stone.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:23 PM   #2
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Now after you've cut your four pieces you need to scribe a line from corner to corner in a semi circle to form a pie shape.You'll do this on all four pieces, and cut these on a wet saw, or an angle grinder with stone blade( a turbo will blow out the bottom of the stone and cause you more work).The cuts don't have to be perfect, you're going to shape them later anyway.Now put one pie on top the other and cut two grooves on either side with an angle grinder(half a penny width depth)for your pennies.A clamp helps,I like to use my wood triangle formed shelf holder while doing this,from the first pic.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:30 PM   #3
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Now you'll mix up your polyester,or whatever, about 3 tablespoons full,and some coloring to match your stone.Now mix in your hardener,not too much, you need time to work,and a pply some small dabs to your penny recesses,on both pie pieces,and small dabs scattered over the pieces,and smear some around the semicircle area, so the seam will be covered when you mash the two pies together.Now place one on top the other, and be sure you're pennies are straight, and place a little force on them to mash them close together.The glue will ooze out, you want to smear this flat with youe razor,or utility knife blade to cover the semicircle edge(this will be removed later when polishing) so don't worry if it looks messy, but you don't want globs where the pennies are, this will make it hard to seat your shelf.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:38 PM   #4
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Now look at your left over glue to see if it's hardened,if it has your shelves are also hard, and you can start sanding or polishing them.I like to use carborendum barrel stones and a slower angle grinder(don't use a 10,000 rpm one)to get my initial circle,about a 50 grit,then move to a pistol grip sander and sandpaper,going up in grits successively until i have my hone, or polish.Clamps or a wooden triangle help.If you're going to cut your shelves in now is the time to cut two 1/2" wide, 1" deep grooves on either side of your shelves to allow you to fit them into your notch in the stone wall.These allow you to install the shelves and hide a rough front edge,reason being, geometrically the shelves won't fit in the slot unless you make the slot oversized, then you'll have an ugly hole in your shower wall.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:46 PM   #5
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Sounds like a lot of trouble for something you can just buy for $45.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:49 PM   #6
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Now use your angle grinder to cut your grooves,for the pennies, or slots for your shelves.Set up your wetvac and put on your glasses and mask,it's gonna get ugly.Be sure the grooves line up with your pennies,or your slots aren't larger than your shelves, otherwise your shelf won't fill them, and they'll look ugly.Jack has a pic here of a properly installed one.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:50 PM   #7
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These match your shower stone,though Matt.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:55 PM   #8
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Now apply some dabs of the same dyed glue to install them,and caulk around them, or use grout.Now be careful and have some tape on hand, i like blue, and duct, in case one doesn't stick, and use your topedo level to get them in with a little pitch.Have a razor blade on hand to clean up excess glue before it gets hard.The tape will help keep it in line while setting.Thanx to Kurt for sizing the pics, and Jack for his excellent in niche shelf pic.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:49 PM   #9
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Nice stuff Dave. Thanks for sharing. Might have to try that out one of these days.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:59 PM   #10
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When you cut the grooves on the halves before glueing the two together, what do you use to cut the grooves? I am assuming just the grinder, and doing the best you can?

Looks really good. Maybe I will have a client willing to buy something like this.

Until then, I have a basement shower in my house that can be the first try. Need to study up muddin' walls first cause doing this one the right way too.

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Old 11-21-2006, 11:58 AM   #11
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Those are some good tips Uncle Dave! Now do you slightly angle those shelves away from the wall? Just curious. It looks great and I will have to try that soon!
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:27 PM   #12
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" . . . use your topedo level to get them in with a little pitch."
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:45 PM   #13
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Nice job, Dave.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:44 PM   #14
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Dave slapped a pic of one of my shelfs in there... its the one with the wall
tile cut around it. I put these shelves in either way. comes in real handy
to know both methods considering hindsight is 20/20 and some folks
make decisions after a wall is stacked. My advice... learn how to do this it
is very useful. I use pretty much the exact same
steps for the coin method with a small difference. I laminate the shelf first
polish it out and then use my grinder to cut slots for the coins and epoxy
them in place. Great info in here Dave. Well done brother
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:38 AM   #15
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Another way I have seen this "done" is by simply using thinset in between the two pieces and cutting the wall tile to set it. It was also done with 16 in pieces of travertine and used as a seat. I don't know if it was a good idea or not but it also comes from the same guys that were putting up those 16 in travertine in a shower with mastic!
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