It is important to understand the process of manufacturing natural stone. At Ashlar Stone Products we take you through the steps from quarrying the raw material to supplying the final products to the customer. This same process is applied for all types of products and allows you to gain insight into the time, effort and skills required to produce quality beautiful natural stone.
The process of extracting raw sandstone blocks is achieved using a 72 tonne Case excavator at Branshaw Quarry. We want to keep the blocks as big as possible and so every natural block is removed individually from the ground. This reduces waste and allows us to be able to produce and meet customers individual requirements. If the blocks are too big to be processed on the primary saw, they require further working which involves drilling and using plugs and feathers to split the block into smaller pieces.
The primary saw is the first stage in processing the sandstone blocks. We use a GMM Quadra Block Cutter and a Alpe Mono Blade. Both saws can operate in an automatic mode to increase the productivity and reduce delivery time to the customer. The saws cut the blocks into slabs of different thicknesses depending on the type of product required.
When the stone is cut into slabs it can the be selected for specific jobs depending on the quality of the stone. It also allows us to see any flaws within the stone which will then be avoided in the secondary saw process.
The secondary saw process uses the slabs from the primary saw and cuts the stone into finished sizes as per customer requirements. This is know as sawn six sides. The Gregori bridge saw is the ideal saw to be able to efficiently and accurately produce a variety of products. At this stage the stone is either ready for collection or further masonry work maybe required.
MASONRY AND HAND CARVING
Depending on the product the masonry work to the stone is required which involves hand carving the stone. This is a traditional method which involves highly skilled masons to shape and work the stone using a variety of hand and power tools.
All our stone is checked during each stage of the process to make sure we supply the best products to our customers. During the sawing process flaws and cracks are checked for and the final stage involves polishing the stone to give the best finish whether it be internal or external use.