So, what’s on your Tombstone?

Posted in Tips & Tricks on August 11th, 2014 by The Cyberwolfe

When I first got back into the whole leatherworking gig and was kitting out my tools, I picked up a marble slab from my friendly local leather store. It was a 12″ square remnant from a counter top remodeling job or some such. It did the job ok, but a couple months after I got it I managed to knock it over on the garage floor and broke off a fair chunk of one of the corners. I haven’t been happy with it since, and I’ve been keeping my eye out for a replacement.

This hasn’t been easy. I’ve called around to all the local stone suppliers, and the answer has been a consistent maximum of 1.25″ thick or they never bothered to return my call. I’ve even checked with a few mortuaries, to no avail.

About a week ago, however, I came across an outfit on Amazon selling a granite surface plate for an extremely reasonable price. A surface plate is a granite slab specifically planed and finished to be a precision-ground true and flat surface used by craftsmen and tool makers to ensure proper angles and straight edges, and they usually run a couple-hundred bucks. I figured it was too good to be true, but added it to my basket anyway to see what the horrendous shipping charges would be. I mean really – a 3-inch thick slab of granite’s gotta weigh over 70 pounds, right? That will be hell to ship…

A whopping $10 !?!


Now, a week of “where the hell IS the dratted truck??” later, and I have my very own too-damn-heavy-to-move permanently placed slab o’ rock:

The Slab

(Forgive the mess in the back, I had to clear space in a hurry.)

It even comes with a lab analysis sheet telling me it’s accurate to within 0.0005″ of being absolutely flat. Close enough, I suppose… :) As an added benefit, with that much mass, any tooling I do will be much quieter and won’t disturb the rest of the household or my neighbors quite so much.

Now I just hope the table holds up…