Natural Stone Blasting & Quarrying Video!

We’re proudly premiering the first in a series of updated videos about our natural stone production processes. Our Stone Stories Start with Quarries gives you an in-depth up-close look at our blasting and quarrying processes. Watch the video to see how we work with Mother Nature to do whatever she allows to make sure that our customers end up with beautiful natural stone projects results! You can also view a wider screen version of this video straight from the Sustainability page of our website.
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Video Transcript for Our Stone Stories Start with Quarries

At Buechel Stone, we live by our mission of providing the best, most dependable experience in the natural stone industry – guaranteed. And to start at the very beginning of the best, we are mindful of the fact that long before its beautiful showcase on the architectural projects of today, the lengthy lifespan of dimensional stone starts geologically – with Mother Earth.

Natural Stone | Real Stone from Mother Nature

Millions of years before Buechel Stone was even a thought, natural stone was being produced by Mother Nature. While working with the maker of this beautiful raw material, we’re doing whatever she allows in order to provide our customers with only the highest quality dimensional stone. But as with anything precious, true worth is found beneath the surface.

All of our natural stone products come from somewhere pure, authentic, and REAL,; so we’re proud to start your journey of our processes with an introduction to the place where it all began for us and our stone – our quarries.

Sustainability of Natural Veneer Stone, Cut Stone, and Landscape Stone

Because of it’s durability, low maintenance requirements, and lasting visual appeal; natural stone has always been an earth-friendly product. And at Buechel Stone, we incorporate green thinking into everything that we do. That’s why before a quarry is even proposed, we’re protecting nature’s design with quarry site plans that emphasize sustainability, resource efficiency, and long-term environmental advocacy.

Once a proper site plan is established, operations can begin by removing any dirt or rock that overlies the stone. The topsoil and overburden material is saved for placement into a berm – where it is covered, seeded, and stored until implementing the final reclamation plan.

Quarrying for Natural Stone Products

Once the stone is exposed, the material is removed from the quarry in benches. With the top bedding plane revealed, cracks and seams running along the surface of the stone are used as indicators of existing fractures through underlying layers.

A large amount of stone used for building stone veneers and landscape stone is formed in layers. These layers were created over millions of years in sediment beds.  The natural top or bottom of the stone is called the stone’s bedface. This term comes from the natural “bed”, or horizontal plane, of the stone while forming. Natural cleft describes the natural thickness of the bed, which typically varies from layer to layer.

There are two natural faces that can occur along the vertical planes of layered stone. A natural split occurs where the stone breaks in the quarry at a location where there isn’t a natural seam. Weatheredge, which is sometimes referred to as rustic, occurs where a natural vertical seam in the quarry has been eroded and minerals are deposited on the face.

With reference to how the different faces of the stone are formed; bedface, natural cleft, natural split, and weatheredge indicators exist according to their locations within the quarry prior to removal. Variations in the depth and intensity of colors and textures are also signatures of each stone’s unique creation story. These beautiful aesthetic distinctions allow us to combine stone faces in unlimited ways to create product blends unique to us and our quarries.

Blasting for Explosive Natural Stone Results

Here’s where the process of stone removal gets even more interesting. In preparation for a selective, sophisticated blast; drill holes are placed along the perimeter of the bench behind the natural seams. The distance between holes depends on the variations and physical properties of the stone at the location of the intended break.

Although we employ the use of high grade explosives, typical blasting is not of “Hollywood” proportions. The drill holes are calculated to accommodate a light explosive charge – just enough to help separate the layers and loosen the stone for manageable removal with the use of heavy equipment.

Now that the layers have been loosened, front end loaders use forks to pry between the layers and separate the stone. Stone slabs are extracted from the top down and then sorted and stacked on pallets according general criteria such as size, thickness, and color. Material that is thinly layered is hand stacked on pallets.

Natural Stone Extraction

It’s best for the pieces to remain as large as possible throughout the removal process so the stone can be used for its best potential. After all, we take significant pride in providing a full range of natural colors and textures that can be combined in infinite ways to achieve nearly any design; whether it be for building stone, cut stone, or landscape stone applications.

Even with state-of-the-art production equipment, our technologically advanced specifying and design tools, the most detailed CAD shop drawings, and unparalleled service; the story of Buechel Stone’s exceptional selection of natural stone starts with a quarry.

Definitions List

  1. Mother Earth – synonymous with geology, which is the earth science comprising of the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. Solid Earth – refers to “the Earth beneath our feet” or terra firma, the planet’s solid surface and its interior. SHOW QUARRY LAYERS / CALL-OUTS (here listed from top down) of topsoil, over burden, hard top (transition) and stone.
  2. dimension stone – natural stone or rock that has been selected and finished to specific sizes or shapes. Broad classification of stone for use in construction and landscaping.
  3. dimension stone quarry – a place from which dimension stone has been excavated from the ground. A quarry is the same thing as an open-pit mine from which minerals are extracted. (open-pit or open-cast mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock from the earth by their removal from a quarry) Only located in unique areas, such as this portion of Wisconsin.
  4. ledge bed quarry – a quarry that by nature allows the harvesting of natural stone by peeling off the natural random layers
  5. overburden – layers of earth, vegetation, and rock unsuitable for dimension stone product
  6. berm – raised seeded embankment consisting of topsoil and overburden material created as a natural border that surrounds quarrying operations
  7. reclamation – the process of restoring land that has been quarried to an economically usable state
  8. quarry pit – the location of a stone quarrying operation where a natural deposit of stone is removed from the ground, as it lies
  9. benches – terrace-like steps formed in the sides of open pit quarries
  10. bedding planes – layered structure occurring in limestone, granite, and similar massive rocks that allows them to split in well-defined planes horizontally or parallel to the land surface
  11. bedface – the natural top and/or bottom of the stone layers. This term comes from the natural “bed” the stone is in while forming.
  12. natural cleft – describes the natural thickness of the bed, which typically will vary from layer to layer.
  13. natural split – naturally occurring face of stone where the stone breaks in the quarry at a location where there isn’t a natural seam
  14. weatheredge – naturally occurring face of stone where a natural vertical seam in the quarry has been eroded and natural minerals are deposited on the face; this is sometimes referred to as rustic
  15. blasting – the controlled use of explosives and other methods to excavate, break down or remove rock
  16. explosive charge – a measured quantity of explosive material

The Buechel Stone Difference

What makes us unique is what we do throughout your stone project. And we rely on only the finest quarriers, artisans, and experts to craft your stone with pride and care through every step of the process. We hope you enjoy this video visit to our quarries. Get in touch with your nearest Buechel Stone expert not just to buy stone veneer or other natural stone products, but to create best experiences for your next natural stone project. Because what makes the Buechel Stone dealer network unique is everything we do throughout your project. Providing best experiences makes us your ONLY REAL CHOICE in STONE. If you haven’t already, JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER to be notified of everything our team of Buechel Stone #Rockstars is doing to ensure a future built by your own project success stories.

Tracy Lisowe
Marketing Director
Buechel Stone Corp.