At Pacific Shore Stones, customers come to us to select stone for their projects. We assist with expert advice on choosing a suitable material type for the project, color matching and selection, then liaise with your preferred fabricator who cuts and installs the stone. Have you ever wondered what happens to your slabs once you select them from us? Here are the details!
Once stone is selected at one of our warehouses the slabs are either delivered on one of our trucks, or your fabricator picks them up on an A-Frame equipped truck or trailer. The stone will be unloaded with a fork lift equipped with a boom and clamp.
Your fabricator will go to the job site and make templates of the installed cabinets. This is usually accomplished by gluing strips of thin wood or plastic to make hard templates. Some shops use digital template machines that plot the template on a computer program. Your fabricator may ask you to come to their shop to place the templates on the slab to determine where each piece will be cut.
Next, your fabricator will lay the slab down on a saw bed and use either a diamond encrusted blade or a water jet to cut the material into the desired pieces. The pieces will be moved from the saw table to a router to have the edge detail cut into them. Most edge details require a diamond encrusted bit to be used to make the cuts.The fabricator may also use hand tools with diamond blades or a CNC machine with diamond encrusted tooling to cut the precise hole for the sink chosen by the customer. They will also use core bits to drill the holes for the faucets. All of these processes usually involve a constant stream of water to cool the tooling because extreme heat is produced by the high RPMs and pressure of the blades against the stone. Grinding rocks may be used to shape the corners of the pieces.
The next step is to have the edges polished. This usually requires a hand tool called a water polisher. Your fabricator will use a series of small, round sanding pads. They will have varying grits on each pad. The abrasives are usually diamonds and ceramics. The water polisher will spin the pads at a high RPM and spray a constant stream of water to keep the tooling cool. Your fabricator will sand all of the edges until they are polished to match the face of the slab. Finally, the stone will be loaded back on to an A-Frame and driven to the job site to be installed.
At Pacific Shore Stones, we stock a wide range of fabrication tools for the convenience of our fabricator clients. From blades to pads to core bits, we carry industry leading brands such as Tenax and Diamax. Find out more here or call your nearest location.
With thanks to Adam Wilson for his contribution to this article.