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Granite Failure - Orion
Last Post 11 Apr 2013 03:59 AM by mike. 15 Replies.
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Andy Graves


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01 Jun 2012 06:26 PM
    Oh this material is a real joy. A contractor had this material delivered to our shop and we were a bit skeptical after inspecting it. The previous fabricator had some issues with the installation so we decided to help the contractor with the granite.

    So we started fabricating and the material is crap. It basically falls apart. Now we have worked with this type of material in the past and we knew it would be a challenge. This is impossible. I falls apart in your hands, it won't cut clean and absorbs water like a sponge.

    Check out the video, it is not super in focus but you get the idea.


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    Len Smith
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    01 Jun 2012 06:30 PM
    You can see the problem just by looking at the still picture. It's not fit for use as a countertop.
    Andy Graves


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    01 Jun 2012 06:34 PM
    Problem is the first fabricator installed a few slabs worth of material in the house. The seams on the kitchen are starting to buckle so they need it fixed. Can't change material now.

    We found out after starting the fabrication process the contractor was given a disclaimer form about the material but failed to inform us. Not sure what's going to happen now but I don't think this can be successfully finished.
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    Mark Meriaux
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    01 Jun 2012 08:07 PM
    Andy,

    I personally agree with you that it is NOT suitable for use as a countertop. I try to dissuade customers who gravitate towards similar materials. Unfortunately, the layers of mica that just flake apart are also what makes it so sparkly and beautiful. Cutsomers get whatever they are willing to pay for - we educate, but don't dictate.

    We have had to work with similar materials in recent years, and they require additional steps during fabrication and additional care from the homeowner.

    In the shop, we tape and epoxy all edges that are to be finished prior to machining or polishing. Build a tape dam, and use plenty of penetrating poly/epoxy on those edges. It will help immensely in holding them together during further fabrication. When polishing, DO NOT spend too much time with any of the grits. It polishes somewhat easily, just go fast and with plenty of water. You will still get some flaking and blowout, so be prepared to stop to fill them, then go on with finishing.

    It can be surface polished to repair damaged areas (at the install), but if the additional care is taken in shop preparation, you can eliminate most problems in the field. Good luck!


    AKA names for similar materials include: Matrix, Metallica, Cianitus, and many more.
    Mark Meriaux
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    Andy Graves


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    01 Jun 2012 10:16 PM
    That is helpful information, I will give it a try. Thanks Mark
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    Robert Connolly
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    07 Jun 2012 07:12 AM
    I just posted another topic asking for help with exactly the same problem.

    I have had the best luck with thin CA/Krazy glue, used after cutting and before machining/polishing, while the piece is standing up on an A frame.

    Thin CA glue can run under masking tape, so when masking the top surface, push the masking tape down with a razor blade to prevent CA glue from getting on the top.

    Thin CA glue is about as thick as water. They also sell accelerator spray to harden the CA glue faster. Make sure the stone is dry first, so the glue can penetrate deeper.

    However, even after $70 of CA glue and careful fabricating, it's still bad.

    What is driving me nuts is that the people who polish the top do a fairly good job, and we should be able to produce the same thing on the edges. The top is filled with a high end flowing polyester resin (it is typically a brown color, and dries much harder than Tenax), not normal polyester resin.

    I think the best solution is clear lacquer on the entire piece, done by an autobody paint shop. Glass finish.
    Andy Graves


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    08 Jun 2012 05:07 AM
    What are you planning on doing with the lacquer after it's fabricated? Doesn't seem like you would want to keep the lacquer on the material after installation.
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    Robert Connolly
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    08 Jun 2012 05:35 AM
    Yes, leave the lacquer on the entire piece. It's not what we are used to doing, but it would work. The customer would get the color they want, and the top and edges would feel and look great. It will scratch and chip unless they're careful, but that would also happen without the lacquer with this type of stone.
    mike
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    25 Mar 2013 10:29 PM
    We fabricated a job with Orion a year ago. I was told that it is a double mica material. It flakes very easily. We soaked the edges with flowing epoxy and was eventially able to get a good polish on it. If we have another job with it I will charge double for sure !
    KCWOOD
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    27 Mar 2013 01:42 PM
    why use a product that is only trouble?? 
    David Gerard
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    27 Mar 2013 07:07 PM
    I was wondering the same thing. Might look great but not perform worth a darn in the long run.
    insomnia crossed with dyslexia and atheist beliefs may lead one to lay awake all night wondering if there really is a "Dog"
    Andy Graves


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    28 Mar 2013 01:33 AM
    I'm not a big of using material that are this much trouble. Never seems worth it.
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    KCWOOD
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    28 Mar 2013 02:06 AM
    However, if you can sell the junk... make all the money and then expect Andy to try to fix it... it's all about the profit ... isn't it. ?? LOL
    Andy Graves


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    28 Mar 2013 05:39 PM
    Yea, great plan.
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    Wags
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    29 Mar 2013 02:17 PM
    Not every product is correct for every situation. Someone didn't do their job and point out it's not the right product, no matter how great it looks, for a high use area..

    Sometimes the best job is the one you walk away from.
    mike
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    11 Apr 2013 03:59 AM
    We offer our customers what ever they want, sometimes we get blindsided by these exotic stones but we have always been able to please them. There is always something new to learn n this business.
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