Vermont soapstone

eleenaMarch 14, 2013

Does it belong to "softer" variety or is hard enough to be used for the cooktop area?

We got a piece and tried to scratch it with a knife. It seemed to do OK but, perhaps, we should try harder.

That is the only kind I could find around here.

A few days ago, I looked at soapstones offered by M Teixiera and I got the impression that they only had "soft" ones left. (ETA: not true, Belvedere is very hard but too black, IMO).

Any input would be appreciated.

This post was edited by eleena on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 15:55

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Angie_DIY

Get the sample pack from M. Teix. and bang their samples against each other and against your Vermont one.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:34AM
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eleena

Can't do - time prohibitive. :-)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:12AM
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eleena

Called the Vermont company itself. It is not the softest but pretty soft. :-(

Back to the drawing board.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:49AM
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EATREALFOOD

eleena
have you contacted Green Mountain SS ?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:59AM
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liriodendron

Keep in mind: Vermont soapstone (and Green Mountain, etc.) is not actually from Vermont, it all comes from overseas: Brazil and Pakistan, India, etc. It's the type of soapstone, not the named "origin" that makes a difference.

There are no working soapstone quarrries in VT anymore. Vintage VT soapstone actually was and is a bit harder, I think. There is still a working soapstone quarry in Virginia, and their stuff is fairly hard. Their slabs run on the small side. Casey (SombrieulMongrel) has it. If you search for pics, you'll see it. It's lovely.

HTH

L.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:09PM
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eleena

I guess I misunderstood.

I actually called Vermont Soapstone company.
I'll try GMSS.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:09PM
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eleena

So, it looks like it may GMSS's PA. I have found some discussions on GW. Unless I am mistaken, it is pretty hard.

I may be lucky, after all.

Thank you all very much!

Here is a link that might be useful: PA soapstone

This post was edited by eleena on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 14:25

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:24PM
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marcolo

I believe the Original PA quarry is closed.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 8:30PM
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EATREALFOOD

Green Mountain will probably have original PA available again in the Summer, but don't quote me.
If they can't get you original PA, Green Mountain has another stone that is also a harder variety.
Where are you located ? I worked with an excellent dealer for my Soapstone .

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:29PM
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eleena

EATREALFOOD,

I doubt it. I think Marcolo is right, the quarry is closed, so no more new stuff but some yards may still have left-overs. Mine may be one of them, I am not sure yet.

But whatever it is, it is pretty hard. I hit it with a fork and scissors several times and scratched with a knife and it did not do much damage. I remember the guy had a hard time trying to break a piece for us using a hammer. I'll bang some pots and pans tomorrow.

I am in SE. Is it close to you?

Thank you everyone!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:34PM
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eleena

Quick update.

I was able to sand the knife scratches with sand-paper but it was not easy. However, the scratches were not all that visible to begin with.

Banged a cast-iron skillet - no effect.

I don't have a habit of dropping cast iron cookware on countertops but it can happen if, say, a skillet is too hot and the pot holder is not positioned well.

So, I dropped the same skillet from ~1.5" above - nothing. I was afraid the skillet would break if I dropped it from more than that, so I stopped after two attempts. I am guessing that means the SS is pretty hard. Yes?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 1:41AM
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AboutToGetDusty

Eleena, no need to drop cast iron pots on soapstone. Unlike other counters, you can just slide it from the range to the counter and leave it. Soapstone can take the heat - no need for potholders :-)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Iowacommute

Certainly if you dropped a cast iron skillet on it and nothing happened it's passed the test.

Everything I have learned about SS has been from the amazing people on this forum and some in this very thread.

I think you've found your SS. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:42AM
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eleena

Dusty,

LOL.

But the skillet's handle also requires a potholder as it gets very hot on cast iron, no?

Thank you everyone!

If only I could find a fabricator who'd make me a counter in a timely fashion for a reasonable price...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 12:08AM
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EATREALFOOD

My dealer is located in the NE but Green Mountain should be able to give you a contact for your area. The dealer I worked with told me he thought original will be available in the Summer. As soon as I hear from him I will post on GW.
Good Luck with your install--so exciting. I bet you can't wait o get your sink back.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:37AM
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AboutToGetDusty

Eleena, I'm just thinking the only times I drop hot things onto counters and such is when I've been frantically trying to get to a potholder ;-)

My soapstone dealer is definitely out of PA - I got the last big slabs! Does your guy know exactly what kind it is? That would be my only concern. The best ss fabricators live and breathe soapstone.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:34AM
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AboutToGetDusty

Duh...extra potholder as in that's what I used to use as my trivet. Need. More.Coffee.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:36AM
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laurajane02

My GMSS is called "Majestic". That's what they are using now.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:27AM
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eleena

Soooo...

I was lucky and it was one of the last pieces of the Original PA!

The countertop is in, the installers are finishing up. It is not oiled and looks great. I was afraid it'd be too dark for the room but it is not - at all.
Thank you everyone for your help!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:26PM
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