I often use granite sculpture bases for my smaller inside sculptures: they are , solid, heavy and look good. To the right is a granite base I bought from Camristone International in Wanatah, Indiana. I have bought sculpture bases like this for $100 each from a retail granite seller. Camristone sold these for $30 each in 2011 (I bought 10 and am still working through my stack) and also drilled the center hole with the recessed back. The drawback is that they don’t ship: you have to go pick them up. But there may well may be a wholesale granite supplier in your area that will make these for you.
Grizzly sells ‘Granite Surface Plates” that are precisely honed to be super-flat for welders and wood-workers. They make them in various thicknesses, 2″, 3″ and 4″. I only use the 2″ thick. Grizzly sells 9″ x 12″ x 2″ for $26.75 and the smaller 6″ x 8″ x 2″ for $14.95! The drawback is that they aren’t polished or drilled. I wet polish them with a Dewalt variable speed grinder running at 2500 rpm and a diamond 3000 grit pad from Toolocity.com. Then I finish up with the buffing pad included in their kit. The photo shows the grinder, the pads, the granite (center hole already drilled) and a water bottle.
The basic problem with these is that they don’t have a center hole. You can drill these yourself with masonary bits and a drill press. Keep the water bottle handy and spray the drill bit and the hole whenever you see a little smoke. If your bits are sharp it should take about 5-10 minutes. I usually start with a small bit and step up to the final size needed.
Once the hole is drilled, flip the base over and enlarge the hole on the back with a Dry duty Diamond Core Bit attached to your grinder. Wear a breathing mask: there will be some dust. Make the diameter of the hole slightly larger than the washer you will be using. You can buy the 1.25″ size for $43 or use a smaller size and work your way around the hole (what I do). You will need to drill it down about 5/8″ of an inch if you are planning on using a washer, lockwasher and nut. By the way, make sure the thread rod or bolt coming out of the bottom of your sculpture is no more than 1-15/16″. You don’t want to gouge someone’s table.
Final step before assembly: add some felt pads to the bottom of the base. Your customer will appreciate that little detail. Here’s what it looks like beneath the sculpture. Nice and heavy and very elegant looking.
For outdoor garden sculptures, I have occasionally used a flat 24″ x 24″ or 18″ x 24″ paver. These are nice and heavy and help keep the sculpture standing when there are high winds. They are easy to drill with the diamond core bits as well.
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