Page 21 - May Slippery Rock Gazette
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Slippery rock Gazette
May 2020|21
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    Restoration Corner
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White House and Senate lead- ers seem to have reached a deal on a massive $2 trillion corona- virus relief bill for workers and businesses.
The unprecedented rescue pack- age would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unem- ployment benefits, and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
As the President has said, we can’t let the prophylaxis (cure) be worse than the virus, meaning that the flailing economy could be a bigger problem in the end. I am definitely feeling the pain as I watch my life savings dwindle. I do however have confidence in America and know that we will come out stronger than be- fore. Most Americans are doing what is required and we will get through this. Going back to work by Easter certainly sounds great, but whatever it takes, we will persevere.
In the meantime, practice so- cial distancing, wash your hands,
keep frequently touched surfaces clean and disinfected, stay at home, and stay current with both the Administration’s and CDC’s guidelines so we can put this COVID-19 behind us.
As always, I recommend sub- mitting a test area to confirm both the results and the procedure prior to starting a stone or hard surface restoration or maintenance proj- ect. Also, the best way to help en- sure success is by partnering with a good distributor, like Braxton- Bragg, that knows the business. They can help with technical sup- port, product purchase decisions, logistics, and other pertinent proj- ect information.
I pray that everyone stays safe and healthy.
Bob Murrell has worked in the natural stone industry for over 40 years and is well known for his expertise in natural stone, tile and decorative concrete restoration and maintenance. He helped de- velop some of the main products and processes which revolution- ized the industry, and is currently the Director of Operations for M3 Technologies.
The Stone that Saved St. Augustine
The fortress of San Marco, built of na- tive Florida coquina stone, withstood a month-long barrage of cannon fire in 1740. Completed in 1695, It is the oldest intact large-scale stone struc- ture in America.
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When first quarried, coquina stone is very soft. It has to sit and cure for at least a year (and sometimes up to 3 years) to be hard enough to build with. Even then, it is still softer than a lot of other natural stone. That being said, when the fort was attacked by cannon fire, the walls did not shatter or splinter and break. The soft coquina stone walls absorbed the cannon balls much like mod- ern day foam. Once the fort was rebuilt with coquina stone, it was never overtaken or destroyed in battle again. In 1740 a British general assaulted the fort by can- non fire for 27 days. The coquina stone walls held up. For that rea- son, Coquina stone is often re- ferred to as the stone that saved St. Augustine.
In these modern days we don’t talk about coquina stone very much, if at all. If you live out- side the southeast coast of the United States you may have never
heard of it, even though besides the coasts of Florida and North Carolina it can be found along the coastal regions of Mexico, Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Despite the old time usage of absorbing cannon balls, this soft stone does have prac- tical uses in the modern world. Crushed coquina stone is used in place of gravel for driveways. Also, because it contains phos- phate, it can be used in fertilizer.
Dried cured blocks can be used as a building material. Boulders of varying sizes are also used as landscape decorations.
Just remember, if you happen to be a war-mongering general or a pirate, don’t attack Castillo de San Marcos. The stone will surely teach you a lesson.
Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at

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