Phase 1: Quarry
The first step in the manufacturing process is to choose the type and color of the stone. At Rocky Mountain Monument, we offer 18 different granite colors. The granite block is then cut from the bedrock. This is usually accomplished via drilling, jet piercing or water jet piercing.
Phase 2: Extraction
The next step is to remove the block from the quarry bed. Workers take large pneumatic drills and make holes. They then place paper-wrapped blasting charges into the holes. Once the charges are set, the block makes a clean break from the rest of the rock. Workers drill hooks into either end and attach the cable to the hooks. 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.
Phase 3: Cutting
After arriving at the manufacturing house, the granite slabs are unloaded onto a conveyor belt where they are cut into smaller slabs. This step is done with a rotary diamond saw. The cut slabs are passed under a varying number of rotating heads from the most abrasive to the least. These pads have water and aluminum or tin oxide powder on them to polish the stone to a smooth, glossy finish. Rock pitching entails chiseling the outer edges of the stone by hand, giving a more defined, personal shape.
Phase 4: Shipping
The headstone is then ready for finishing and shipping to Rocky Mountain Monument from the manufacturing house on a flatbed semi truck.
Phase 5: Design
The skilled C.A.D. designers and artist at Rocky Mountain Monument will give you the opportunity to design your custom headstone in their private consultation office. This service provides families the opportunity to take the time they need to create the perfect, custom memorial for the ones that they love. The artists and designers can share their monitor screens with you so that you can watch as they build the perfect monument.
Phase 6: Production
Now that the headstone is designed it is time for the production. Sandblasting is generally used. A liquid glue is applied to the headstone. A rubber stencil is applied over the glue and then covered with a carbon-backed layout of the design. The carbon transfers the design prepared by the draftsman, onto the rubber stencil. The worker then cuts out the letters and design features that are wanted on the stone, exposing them to the sandblasting. The sandblasting is manually done in an enclosed area due to the dangers of the process. The worker is entirely covered to be protected from the grains reflected off the stone. The course cutting abrasive is exerted at a force of 100 psi. Dust collectors collect and save the dust for reuse. The stone is then sprayed with high pressure steam to get rid of any leftover stencil or glue. It is again polished and closely inspected.