Need a manly craft to pass the time?
Stone working? Check. Getting a good use out of your investment of power and hand tools? Check!
Whiskey stones are made out of either granite or soapstone and are used in place of ice cubes to cool down your quality liquer. After cooling the stone in the freezer they are invaluable to cool your drink to a perfect sipping temperature. Enjoy your whiskey, rum, or any other favorite drink...on the rocks :)
I'm hoping to be able to add homemade ice tongs and storage crate to this instrucatble soon....
Supplies for whiskey stones:
-Chop saw or hack saw
I made mine out of soapstone that I ordered off Ebay for a pretty fair price. Other options are to try construction surplus stores, or scraps from countertop factories.
UPDATE WARNING! : Use a respirator or face mask when using power tools to cut and shape the stone. The fine particles from soapstone, or any other type of stone, are terrible to have in your lungs.
Step 1: Cut Your Stone
I measured out 1'' squares that I would cut and turn into cubes. I used a sharpie to be able to see the line well when cutting, you'll sand it off later so you don't have to worry about it marking the stone.
Soapstone is very soft so its easy to cut, but unfortunately it can also break easily. I experiented and took a chance using a metal-cutting blade in the chop saw and it worked very well. If you decide to follow my example, know to cut slowly and let it eat the stone away to avoid chipping and breaking. It does make a dusty mess the cut it with the chop saw, remember your face mask! You could also use a stone cutting blade.
Update: I have successfully used a regular wood-cutting blade to cut a brick of soapstone, so that provides another option.
If you don't have a chop saw, the stone is soft enough to be be cut by hand using a jewelers saw or hack saw.
I cut them into sticks and then into cubes, it was amazingly quick and easy. My brick I bought had some chips but they should work just as well as cubes, and they have some natural character :)
Step 2: Sanding, Sanding and More Sanding
Soapstone comes in two different qualities: artist and construction. The artist stone is softer and more fragile while construction soapstone is used for countertops and is a bit more durable. I had artsit grade soapstone so I could do all my shaping with sandpaper. If you find you have construction grade you may need files and a sander to assist in shaping it.
I did use a belt sander to square out the cubes that I didn't cut quite straight.
-First I laid the sandpaper down on the workbench (400grit) and sanded each face of the cube until all the cut marks were smooth.
-Then I folded the sandpaper and took to the edges to round them, this step is optional is you like clean sharp edges.
-Finally, I gave the stones a baking soda scrub to remove the dust and give it a soft and abrasive polish.
Step 3: Drink Up and Enjoy!
Throw the stones in the freezer for about 4 hours and you have delightfully chilly stones to cool your drink without diluting it. It doesn't get as cold as ice, but they work well. I use 3 at a time. They work in any drink, they are especially great to keeping wines chilled.
After you are done drinking: rinse off the stones, let them dry, and throw them back into the freezer for the next time.
Warning!: Avoid dropping them! I dropped them a couple of times and you can either escape with a small chip or they will split in half.
Enjoy and grab some stones the next time you find youself with a warm drink in hand :)