1) The first step is to choose the type (typically marble or granite) and color of the stone. The granite block is then cut from the bedrock. There are three ways of doing this. The first method is drilling. This method uses a pneumatic drill that bores vertical holes 1 in (2.54 cm) apart and 20 ft (6.1 m) deep into the granite. The quarrymen then use 4 in (10.1 cm) long steel bits that have steel teeth to cut away at the core of the rock.
2) Granite blocks are usually about 3 ft (0.9 m) wide, 3 ft (0.9 m) high, and 10 ft (3 m) long, weighing about 20,250 lb (9,185 kg). Workers either loop a cable around the block or drill hooks into either end and attach the cable to the hooks. In both ways the cable is attached to a large derrick that lifts the granite block up and onto a flatbed truck that transports it to the headstone manufacturer. The quarries tend to be independently owned and sell the granite to manufacturers, but there are some larger companies that own quarries.
3) After arriving at the manufacturing house, the granite slabs are unloaded onto a conveyor belt where they are cut into smaller slabs. The slabs are generally 6, 8, 10, or 12 in (15.2, 20.3, 25, and 30.4 cm, respectively) thick. This step is done with a rotary diamond saw. The saw is equipped with a 5 ft (1.5 m) or 11.6 ft (3.54 m) solid steel diamond blade. The blade usually has about 140-160 industrial diamond segments and has the ability to cut an average of 23-25 ft
4) The cut slabs are passed under a varying number of rotating heads (usually eight to 13) with differing levels of grit arranged from the most to the least. The first few heads have a harsh diamond grit, the middle heads are for honing, and the last few heads are equipped with felt buffer pads. These pads have water and aluminum or tin oxide powder on them to polish the stone to a smooth, glossy finish. The polished slab is then moved along the conveyor belt to the hydraulic breaker. The breaker is equipped with carbide teeth that exert close to 5,000 psi of hydraulic pressure . The headstone is then ready for finishing. Rock Pitching entails chiseling the outer edges of the stone by hand, giving a more defined, personal shape. Then the monument is crated and sent to the monument shop.
5) The design department will take the customer ideas and create a headstone layout of what the memorial will look like and then this will be presented to the customer for approval of the art work and Inscription
6) After approval of the headstone memorial,the workers apply an adhesive-backed rubber stencil to the granite headstone face that is to be personalized. This stencil is used as a guide to engrave any information, such as words, dates, or emblems, into the granite headstone surface. In earlier years, the design was hand drawn onto the stone, and then hand-carved. This process, obviously, left a lot of room for error, which was very difficult to correct once engraved. Now the stencils are generated in a computer program that will accurately produce the best stencil for the requested design and information to be etched. While computers are now used to help the engraver in producing a more precise outcome on the stone, the process is still greatly reliant on the artisan’s skill and ability to work with the programs and machinery.
7) Once the stencil has been applied, the engraving (also known as carving) is done in a special sandblasting room. In this room, workers use a high-pressure air hose to trace the design from the stencil into the granite headstones. Once the design is carved from the stencil, the engravers fill in the crevasses with black litho, so that the lettering stands out against the natural coloring of the stone. The uncut portion of the stencil is then removed, and, after the standard final preparations, the granite headstone is ready to be shipped.
You can add photos, vases, and other items to personalize your headstone memorial.
Sun City Granite porcelain ceramics photos are supplied from Paradise Pictures we feel they have the best process and product on the market with an lifetime warranty..
About Paradise Pictures, LLC
Paradise Pictures® introduced the first high fired color photo ceramic process to the memorial industry in 1991. Our process ensures the best reproduction of your client’s photos through digital scanning, computer color adjustment, and proprietary high-resolution digital imaging. This unique process creates a ceramic memorial portrait that exceeds the requirements for durability in memorial applications. Ceramic colors fired at very high temperatures in our photo ceramic process endure the extremes of weather and environment. Colors will not fade and the medallion finish will not deteriorate, thus ensuring the permanence expected in the memorial industry.
Our process creates a finished product with an image as sharp as the original photograph with natural skin tones and detailed color quality. We begin with the family’s photograph, scan it at a high resolution, digitally clean the photo as needed, and correct any color imbalances. Imaging is accomplished using our proprietary process and the medallion is fired at a temperature of up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to the efficiencies of our unique equipment and digital technology, our process is typically completed in less than 15 working days. This union of time-honored ancient enameling and high-resolution digital photography brings the finest quality portraits to the memorialization industry.