Fabricating Granite Counter Tops. Granite Counter Tops From Quarry to Kitchen.
Everyone notices a smooth, clean finish of granite kitchen counter tops. This coveted and beautiful stone has been used in construction and remodeling of homes since the days of ancient Egypt, and the processes that involve harvesting, cutting, finishing, and installing stone slabs have evolved and improved in recent years. There are many different cutting, edging and polishing machines that are used to take the granite counter tops from quarry to kitchen or bathroom.
Acquiring the natural stone begins in granite quarries around the world. Removing a 40,000-pounds, 20 tons block of stone from the earth is difficult and dangerous.
After finding an optimal deposit of granite with desirable color or pattern, it may take months to remove dirt to access the granite. Roads, tunnels, bridges may be necessary as well.
First bench walls are cut from the rock face, 30 x 30 x 12-foot. Next granite blocks from 30,000 to 42,000 pounds are split from the walls and they are moved out from the quarry.
The rock is processed by diamond wire cables, drills or high temperature torches.
In drilling vertical holes are drilled. With torches a high-velocity 4,000 degree flame is used to flake the stone. Small dynamite charges are used to loose stone blocks.
The first stop for freshly harvested giant granite blocks are the saws. Diamond wire and gang saws cut through the rough blocks of granite to get a uniform slab sizes. Diamond wires and diamond saws are most commonly used for cutting granite because diamonds are the hardest stones on the planet. It is the only material strong enough to penetrate the tough granite. Water is sprayed directly onto the diamond wire or the circular blades in order to cool both the stone and the blade or wire.
Next, the uniform slabs of granite are processed through the polishers. These polishers are used to give the granite slabs a smooth and glossy appearance. This step is crucial to the aesthetic appeal of the granite counter tops, as they are known for their mirror-like finish. Appropriate rotating pads are applied to the slabs and the abrasive materials work to smooth the rough slabs. There are different grade of pads to achieve specific results, depending on the type of granite, desired finish, and preferred over-all appearance of the completed counter tops. Beside standard polish, the slabs can have other finishes as flamed, brushed or honed. There are several different types of sealers to seal the stone and complete the polishing process.
After the slabs are selected by customers to make the new kitchen counter tops, the slabs are sent to a bridge saw with a diamond blade, to further cut the slabs to the appropriate sizes. Next the the sink cut-outs and desired edge profiles are made. Routers with diamond bits are implemented in order to make detailed edging to the design of the counter tops. These routers use edging bits to make different edge profiles, depending on the requested design. Each edge profile reflects the personal taste and style of a person who chose it. They range from highly decorative; double ogee or waterfall to basic; square or bevel edge. After the routers cut away the final design, polishing is made to ensure that the edge polish is uniform, and glossy.
Once the granite kitchen counter tops have made it through inspection, these beautiful masterpieces are ready for installation in your kitchen. From beginning to end, granite counter tops are treated with care. Considering the work that is put into their manufacturing, and the finished product, natural counter tops are worth every penny.