Visit of the Alto Douro granite quarry

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Visit of the Alto Douro granite quarry

Pierrick Secco, manager of Nobléma, regularly visits the quarries from which he buys natural stone and paving stones directly. These visits allow, on the one hand, to strengthen the links with our suppliers and, on the other hand, to carry out controls in order to guarantee high quality products. In this article, we present the Alto Douro granite quarry in Portugal. Follow the guide!

The weather is sunny, it is very hot, to this is added the dust of the quarry and the factory as well as the noise of the machines…

 

Granite block processing

The visit focuses mainly on the production plant that supplies us with Alto Douro kerbs, paving stones and granite basins.

Blocks of several tons each are extracted from the quarry located 10 Km from where we are, the production centre. These blocks are delivered in semi-trailer trucks with 25 tons of granite loaded. They are then stored in the plant before being worked and sliced by saws of different diameters.

Sawing of the granite blocks is carried out by machines equipped with diamond discs. Depending on the blocks to be sawn we use different diameters of discs. The machines work 24 hours a day.

 

Machines, tools and…men…

We are particularly interested in the machines and tools used to work the stone according to the desired result.

Diamond discs

These are diamond discs that saw the granite for several hours. We can thus saw slabs of different thicknesses: 3 cm, 6 cm, 8 cm… according to the customer’s request and the purpose of the product. So, for example, to have paving stones in 6 cm thickness we work on 6 cm slices.

 

The splitter

Another machine allows thicker blocks to be cut: the splitter. The splitter slices a block by splitting it, this allows to have a rustic and rough side. Much of the work is automated.

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Splitter

 

The tools

The basic tools for a stonecutter are the bush hammer, the sledgehammer, the square or the stone chisel. The know-how and the talent of the stonemason do the rest.

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Stonecutter’s tools

 

The stonemason creates a granite lintel with visible rough faces. Note that the edges and corners must be perfectly drawn and straight.

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Stonecutter

 

Examples of achievements

The granite blocks, thus cut according to the requirements, are ready to be delivered and laid. Here are a few examples below:

 

Examples of Alto Douro granite layouts

The Alto Douro granite allows the development of private spaces: terraces (in slabs or paving stones), swimming pools, steps and urban spaces: borders, fountains, etc…

 

If you have a landscaping project and would like to know more about Alto Douro granite, contact us.