Kansas Limestone Blocks & Slabs | A “Chip Off the Old Block” for Buechel Stone

“Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.”

Frank Zappa

Cattle grazing the hillside at one of the Kansas Quarries

I find this quote rather inspiring. Think of all the ways this could apply: food prepared by a chef, an architect’s drawings of a new building, or even Frank Zappa’s written songs. All of these require the gray matter of someone’s brain to make it into something of value.

When I saw this quote, I immediately thought about Buechel Stone’s fabrication of Kansas limestone. A blank piece of paper does not create great art, songs, or writing, just like a block of stone on a prairie land pasture is not valuable to anyone other than perhaps the cow. Only through the abilities and imagination of a creator’s mind do these things become something of usable value.

It takes vision to see something out of nothing. In this blog, I’ll show you how we quarry Kansas limestone for cut stone projects and the steps we take to make that block of raw limestone match the vision of an architect, mason, and/or project owner. At the end, I’ll show you some finished projects that highlight the greatness of Buechel Stone’s Kansas limestone.

Extracting Kansas Limestone Blocks for Cut Stone Use

Buechel Stone’s Kansas cut stone products are quarried differently from our other building veneers and landscape stone options. The most obvious difference is the use of specialized quarry saws. These huge chainsaws tear through limestone using a large bar or arm, similar to what you would see on a Stihl or Husqvarna woodcutting chainsaw. These bars range from two feet for cutting thinner beam layers to over 12 feet in length for tall cut stone blocks.

Quarry saw cutting a pass on the ledge

Once we cut the blocks from the quarry, we pull them with large front-end loaders. We cut off any unusable stone so we only ship good cut stone quality blocks. We then either sell these blocks to other cut stone shops where they create architectural details for projects around the country, or we fabricate them for our own project needs.

CAT 988K moving an Aged Parchment block out of the quarry

Turning Blocks into Slabs

Not all cut stone shops have saws large enough to cut four feet thick blocks, so many customers will order slabs precut to the thickness they need. Once we cut the slabs to thickness, they can be shaped into anything a mason or architect can imagine. 

Cutting slabs

Slabs can be sold unfinished or have a finish added. These finishes enhance the slab with different textures and looks to best fit the installation and designer’s needs. Aged Parchment, Silverdale, and White Marigold can have the following finishes added: 

  • brushed (a smooth rippled texture that creates a satin finish) 
  • bush hammered (rough dimpled finish)
  • rock-faced (face pitched with a chisel)
  • sandblasted (fine-coarse texture)
  • sanded (smooth matte finish), or 
  • veloured (full-grain leather finish)

Below they are adding a sanded finish to a slab of White Marigold.

Adding a finish to the slab is optional. If the slab will be made into another cut stone option like a surround, pier cap, or another three-dimensional object, the finish is often added when the piece is complete. Below we are creating a custom corbel with Aged Parchment. The final piece got a sandblasted finish to give the stone a weathered appearance.

The stone’s workability and unique color varieties make it a great alternative to many other cut stone and cast stone options. Below are just a handful of projects Buechel Stone has supplied through the years with cut stone from Kansas. Our Rockstars are eager to create the next masterpiece for your project!

Are you interested in using one of our Kansas limestone products for an upcoming project? Contact one of our territory sales specialists or stop in to one of our design centers for a one-on-one design consultation!

Mike Buechel
Vice President
Buechel Stone Corp