View Full Version : China black marble source

Jerry Allen
03-18-2005, 12:00 AM
I was traveling near LA today and stopped into a few of marble and tile stores to see if they had any black marble. At the last one I met Murray Weiner at Rio Marble & Tile just as the store was closing who told me he could and would get China black for me at $5.50 for a 12"x12". That price applies to any quantity from 1 to 359. 360 lowers the price to $4.95/tile. I will order some and report my findings. We did not discuss shipping. The store has branches in North Hollywood, CA and Las Vegas, NV.
Murray's email: riomt@yahoo.com.
Rio's phone in North Hollywood: (818) 9821500.

Aaron Koehl
03-18-2005, 3:35 PM
Just a couple of questions:

- Is it chamfered? How far?
- Is it polished?
- How thick?
- Is it veinless black (I assume it is).

Jerry Allen
03-18-2005, 9:50 PM
Just a couple of questions:

- Is it chamfered? How far?
- Is it polished?
- How thick?
- Is it veinless black (I assume it is).
1) Don't know yet. I assume it's 1/16 to zero.
2) Yes, of course, unless you mean the edges.
3) 3/8"+ thick
4) According to them, China black should always be veinless.

I ordered 10 pieces and do not have to take it if I don't like it.
I will have to drive down there next week.
Will report back.

They said they would ship UPS collect and that 10 tiles are about 50 lbs.

Aaron Koehl
03-19-2005, 9:35 AM
Thanks for the info.. keep us posted :)

Michael Wells
03-20-2005, 12:21 PM
Hey Jerry, I would be very interested in buying from this guy too! I am in Rainbow Valley, CA.

That is the same price I am paying for per piece Black Granite down here!! I have been getting Veinless Black Indian Marble for $9. a sq. ft. But that is fantastic!

Keep us informed and we'll make it worth that guy's while to carry it!

Jerry Allen
03-23-2005, 2:23 PM
The marble is in but it's snowing here and I probably won't get down to LA for a couple of days. Will report back then.

Jerry Allen
03-26-2005, 10:01 PM
I got down to LA (No. Hollywood) today and picked up a box of ten pieces of China black.
As promised, not a vein or even a speck. Very nice stuff! I would have taken more but they wanted to make sure I liked it and so only had the one box today. They stopped stocking it because it is too fragile and scratches too easily for floors and countertops. It only takes a day for them to get it but they will stock it again if they get enough call for it. Apparently I wasn't the only guy who's asked for it for lasering and blasting lately.
It's 3/8" thick with about a .03 or .04 bevel. It's packed in styrofoam with a piece of poly between each one.
Martin is the guy who actually ordered it for me. He's at (818) 9821500.
We discussed shipping. He said they will pack it but you have to call UPS to pick it up and for a pallet (360) you have to call a trucking company.

Jerry Allen
03-27-2005, 12:59 PM
First burn on marble I got yesterday. Got some banding, but that is the photo and setup or the laser. It works better than the stuff I got from Laserbits.I used 30% power, 70% speed, 500 DPI (Merc25) and the picture was sampled at 250DPI.I suspect I should have used 250 DPI to plot and forgot to check if Draw was resampling bitmaps. The black leathery looking stuff at the bottom of the photo is a reflection and the light spot at the top is the flash. Not easy to photograph in a room with lights and windows.

Nick Adams
03-27-2005, 1:41 PM
Could you supply the "brand" or importer of the marble/Granite?

I know the sotre but being from central IND i wonder if it is possible that someone nearer to me and others can get it from the same supplier.

Jerry Allen
03-27-2005, 2:39 PM
No markings.
I have no idea where it came from and I don't know if they will say.
You could call them.

Mark Sipes
03-27-2005, 2:39 PM
Do you have an exact address for RIO. I will be in LA next week and would love to get a box to bring home. Was it still selling @ $5.50 a tile (12x12), if so I would consider becoming a distributor for the Northwest. The Photo and Transfer are outstanding.

Thanks, \\Mark (file://\\Mark)

Nick Adams
03-27-2005, 5:11 PM
www.google.com (http://www.google.com)
enter in RIO Tile and Marble AND the location. It will pull up the number and address.

Rio Marble and Tile Inc (http://www.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=Rio+Marble+%26+Tile&near=North+Hollywood,+CA&sa=X&oi=locald&radius=0.0&latlng=34172222,-118378055,13799038271407359160) - 3.4 miles NW - 13449 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, 91605 - (818) 982-1500

Rio Marble and Tile (http://www.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=Rio+Marble+%26+Tile&near=Las+Vegas,+NV&sa=X&oi=locald&radius=0.0&latlng=36175000,-115136388,13728119605952881242) - 4.4 miles W - 5247 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, 89146 - (702) 821-1818

Rio Marble & Tile (http://www.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=Rio+Marble+%26+Tile&near=Las+Vegas,+NV&sa=X&oi=locald&radius=0.0&latlng=36175000,-115136388,12104508428906908654) - 4.4 miles W - 5247 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, 89146 - (702) 365-9896

bleh, shipping from thier nevada store is 52.52 per box of 10 tiles. That isnt going to happen!

Jerry Allen
03-28-2005, 12:37 AM
Mark, yes, $5.50 and $4.95 for pallet qtys. Address and phone as above.

I did some searching and the best price I could find was $3.75 fob China. The sites I saw were not some place I would order from and I assume the shipping would take a pallet into the $5 range, if not more. I don't know who is the previous distributor before Rio. If I found out I would say. There are a lot of marble tile distributors and importers in the area that RIO is. Most don't have a net presence.

When ordering always avoid checking the residential box at UPS or Fedex. I usually don't and have never been called on it.

There is a place in Virginia called Stone Locator ( http://www.stonelocator.com ) that may be helpful to folks on the east coast.

Mark Sipes
03-28-2005, 4:19 PM
I am headed towards LA next week to attend WesTec (Machine/Tool Show). I will call and make sure they have a box on-hand, and hopefully get an indication where they buy the product.

Thnaks Mark

Jerry Allen
03-28-2005, 8:27 PM
Have a great time. I used to go to those shows before I retired. Just hate driving into LA anymore.
I am going to order some more boxes myself and will see if I can find out any thing more also. No matter what, I have no complaints at $5.50 ea.

I wonder if anyone out there can shed some light on polishing the edges especially when it's cut.

Keith Outten
03-29-2005, 7:56 AM

An abrasive belt will smooth the edges of black marble tile to an acceptable finish. You can use very fine grits to achieve better edge quality but the time it takes to actually polish will be a major investment. For the top edge chamfer you can use a flat sharpening stone and break the edge just slightly, it will leave a very dull border that is very crisp and looks great. Be advised, black marble is actually very soft so keeping the edges straight is the tough part. If you look at some of the tiles cut by certain vendors closely you can see that the corners and edges aren't straight. Some use a round wheel to polish edges that leaves a lesser quality edge.

I have been refining my technique for cutting and edge preping black marble for months now and I'm on my third tile saw. I recommend a commercial quality 2 HP tile saw that has a metal table. The plastic tables will not remain flat and will cause the corners of your tile to break off almost every time. I have tried so many types of abrasive materials I can't remember them all and I have also used various machines looking for just the right process.

There are also commercial grinders that you can purchase that use water and special stones to shape and polish marble and granite. Very Expensive!

Jerry Allen
03-29-2005, 8:39 AM
Thanks Kieth.
I'll give it a try.
I recall that I had some edges polished on glass pieces on a machine that was enormous that had a verticle belt with water flow. The guy that did it for me just freehanded it, but of course glass is a lot tougher. I don't anticipate doing large quantities so will play around with some home brew solutions. I will be satisfied with just getting the edges dark and and fairly smooth.

Jeff DeVore
04-19-2005, 10:58 AM
Hi Jerry,
Now that you,ve had your marble for a while what do you think of it? How is the consistency from on piece to the next? I have to drive down to Oxnard in the middle of May and was thinking about driving further to North Hollywood and picking up a 3 or 4 boxes of the China Black Marble. How much warning ahead do you have to give them so that they'll have it in? Also is there room at they're business to park a pickup and 10" cargo trailer? Thanks, Jeff.

Jerry Allen
04-19-2005, 1:06 PM
I'm pleased with it.
I have only done a few pieces, but no difference I can see.
In fact I did one this morning (attached).
I have been meaning to order some more but got sidetracked.
I'm wondering if Mark picked any up and what his results were.

Jeff DeVore
04-19-2005, 2:26 PM
Looks like the results are good. Another question - do you make your own holders for the marble pieces and if so do you have a pattern for them. I'm having trouble finding ones that are stable enough (and cheap enough) without blocking the lower writing. Thanks, Jeff.

Jerry Allen
04-19-2005, 3:33 PM
I was using the same settings as I do for photos but found that this type of engraving works better with double the power--i.e. went from 300 DPI to 500 DPI and jacked up the power slightly.

File I use is attached. Not elegant, but works well and is very stable.
I use birch ply. If you use something else, the grain should be perpendicular to the long dimension to keep the feet strong; so you might want to move/rotate the file as necessary.
It uses 1" brass hinges.

Jeff DeVore
04-19-2005, 10:02 PM
Hi Jerry,
Thanks for the holder file. It is greatly appreciated, Jeff.

Garry Winterton
04-21-2005, 3:25 AM
hi just joined up very informative site :)

I polish marble and granite been doing so for years.
Coming from Western Australia i'm just... a little out of touch with who sells what in granite polishing equipment in America :confused:

But to Quickly polshing marble/granite you need a air dual action polishing sander
with a 4" velcro backing pad.
A suitable air compressor to run it.
All polishing must be done wet have a hose running over to material.
you need flexible 4" velcro backed diamond polishing pads.
not the stiff wheels they try to sell you.
they a relatively cheap $10 us each i imagine up to $40 us for the final buff pads.
you need to have the 50 100 200 400 800 1500 3000 grit pads one of each plus a final buff pad black.( for black granite marble.)

the 50 100 200 400 pads will remove all scratches the rest just polished up the finish. you will have to pause after the 200 pad to see if you have got all the scratches out allow the surface to dry and check.

black marble is softer than black granite so you will not need to go through all the pads to get a shine up.
800 at the most. then use the buff pad you may need to have a special pad for marble.

bevel the edges at the same time. get polished edges that way or when you get better bullnose em. 50 to do this.

Black marble will burn and so will black granite too for that matter
Burn marks show up as white spots to avoid this keep the pads moving and the water running.

it does take time to learn to do it properly and 20 min for the 4 edges is about as fast as you can do it.
about the same to repolish the face of a tile if you need to.

your local granite tool suppliers will know all about this and can advise you how to do it. and what pads you need to finish black marble.

But you do not need expensive air polishers with built in air feeds or expensive polishing wheels

I use generic korean pads. they cast last for ages. 50 100 200 wear fastest
If you are doing just one or two tiles they are expensive i suppose but if your doing a couple dozen then they are cheap as chips.
i can get a couple dozen at least tile edges out the low grits and double that or more the higher grits.

Does take some time to get proficient but you can get good enough quickly.

for dry edge beveling use a 60 grit carbarudum wheel on a electric grinder with dusk mask gloves safety glasses and leather apron too dust extraction also a good idea.
can get 120 200 grit dry wheels for a finer finishes $10 us each if prices are equivilent.

If you going to try it be prepared to be frustrated at first.

hope that helps. :)

Mark Sipes
04-21-2005, 7:42 PM
What trick is the to downloading the **.cdr attachments??

Michael McDuffie
04-21-2005, 7:58 PM
The forum software or IE has a bug that won't allow IE to see the uploaded *.CDR file. Firefox works fine except that it wants to append an .htm extension. Backspace that out before you save it and it should be fine.

For those uploading files, zip them first. IE can see and accept the .zip extension.

What trick is the to downloading the **.cdr attachments??

Jerry Allen
04-21-2005, 10:06 PM
Thanks Garry for the all the info.

1) right click
2) save target as...
3) change file type to all
4) edit file name .htm to .cdr
5) save it
I know it's a pain. Next time I'll use .zip
Did you get some marble from Rio?

Mark Sipes
04-22-2005, 12:11 AM
I did pick up 2 samples from Northwest Marble Supply and Dist. Black as night!

Rio said they would have to special order....the last batch they got in had white veins running all throughout the pallet.

I have not had a chance to laser them because I am moving to a new shop location and have been remodeling the new place. Hope to try in about 2 weeks. Will provide photos if it works as expected.

In the Great Northwest!

Jerry Allen
04-22-2005, 11:08 AM
I'm assuming that Northwest Marble Supply and Dist. is in Washington?
As far as Rio goes, they usually do have to order it, but it only takes a day or two. They also know what the requirement is for lasering. Did you talk to Martin?

Aaron Koehl
04-25-2005, 10:30 AM
As a side note: I suggest archiving ALL files into .ZIP files before posting them on the forum.

Jerry Allen
04-25-2005, 3:33 PM
Including pictures?

Jerry Allen
04-25-2005, 3:35 PM
Rio just called this morning 4/25/05, to say a new China black pallet was in. I am headed down this week for a few boxes.

Jeff DeVore
04-25-2005, 5:20 PM
Jerry, will you look through the boxes and let us know how they look. I'm on the fence now whether to get some or not after Marks post. Thank you, Jeff.

Jerry Allen
04-25-2005, 5:26 PM
I'm pretty confident that they are what we need. I've talked to Martin and he knows the deal with lasers. I am not sure what happened with Mark, but it sounds like some kind of miscommunication happened. Nevertheless, I'll get back to you. If you talk to Martin, he will check each and every box as he always does for me. I would not talk to anyone else because they are not aware of the need. He checked a couple of boxes on Friday when he got them and assures me that they are veinless and from the same lot I got last time.

Aaron Koehl
04-26-2005, 10:37 AM
The forum software or IE has a bug that won't allow IE to see the uploaded *.CDR file. Firefox works fine except that it wants to append an .htm extension. Backspace that out before you save it and it should be fine.

For those uploading files, zip them first. IE can see and accept the .zip extension.

It's neither a bug in IE nor the forum software. If you want to download .CDR files properly, add the MIME type extension (which is sent properly by the forum) to IE's MIME list.

Or... use a .ZIP file, a nearly universally-recognized MIME type.

Aaron Koehl
04-26-2005, 10:38 AM
Including pictures?
No, just for non-picture files. (Documents, Corel Draw, etc). The .ZIP files cut down on the bandwidth too by compressing the files.

Jerry Allen
04-26-2005, 8:42 PM
Here's a modified easel I did today. It is more refined.
I took out the rectangles for the hinges because I flipped one side to use less material and the hinge rectangle would be on the back.
P.S. I use #2x1/4 inch screws which don't come with the hinges. Not easy to find, but they are out there. Initially I just ground down the 3/8" screws which came with the hinges. Several of them disappeared during the process somewhere in the garage.

I recall having seen mime settings in older versions of IE or Netscape.
In this version I don't see anything except Manage Addons..., which does not seem to be editable except to turn them on and off. Puzzling. I will use your recommendation and forget about it.

Jeff DeVore
04-27-2005, 1:57 AM
Thank you again Jerry. Jeff.

Fred Fiorito
09-08-2005, 12:06 PM
Hi Jerry

Your work looks fantastic! I am new to engraving photos. Will you share the process of preparing the photo? I usr Corel Draw and Paint. Did you use PhotoGrav? Is the image from a camera or is it scanned?


Bob Tate
09-08-2005, 1:34 PM
Aaron, this seems to be a problem for a lot of users, me included. Could you share a little more detail about adding thsi type of file? I have not been able to figure it out.

It's neither a bug in IE nor the forum software. If you want to download .CDR files properly, add the MIME type extension (which is sent properly by the forum) to IE's MIME list.

Or... use a .ZIP file, a nearly universally-recognized MIME type.

Bill Stein
09-08-2005, 3:11 PM
I would also like help with this problem. There was another thread where several members were commenting about not being able to access cdr files. I put out a call for help to Keith and Aaron but never got a response. Maybe one of them will help us out this time.


Linda Creatore
09-08-2005, 5:07 PM
I live in Grass Valley, CA and called a couple of tile stores. They can order in China Black but of course can't guarantee that it won't have veining in it. So I have ordered a couple of samples and I'll see what it looks like. No guarantees that if I order I won't end up with a bunch of tiles with veins. That's an expensive gamble. The price is right, though, at $5.83sq ft.

So, what's the deal with the "black" marbles...china black, absolute black. Isn't the idea behind the marketing of "china black" and others, that they are without veining and speckling. It seems that if the selling point on these is that they are black without veining, then it should follow that if you order them , they should be as described.

I keep getting told by sales people that "it's natual, it's stone,so there are variations and can't be guaranteed." I understand natural, but the stone shouldn't be sold as completely black if it isn't...it should be sold as something else.

Anyone else run into this problem? Just wondering if having an expectation of total black is out in left field? Kinda like if I buy a black marker pen, I don't expect it to be gray...almost black (grin)!