Watch the process as we transform raw stone into the beautiful natural stone veneer at our Sturgeon Bay facility. We start with quarrying and collecting the raw stone. The pieces are then split and shaped with a hydraulic press. Next, the full thickness stone is sawn with a diamond blade into thin stone veneer. Lastly, the natural thin veneer is palletized, wrapped and ready for delivery!
Our stone is quarried in ledges that are roughly five feet high. In this image, you can see an example of a fissure, or a crack in the ground. Fissures like these allow minerals to seep into the ground, giving the stone its unique color and texture.
A loader extracts the stone slabs from the quarry by popping up the layers, one at a time. The stone comes out in sheets of varying sizes and thicknesses, which allows us to offer a variety of final products.
The stone is sorted based on three characteristics: color, size, and thickness. Based on these attributes, we decide which product the stone’s meant to become. Most stones are destined for the cut shop, while others are reserved as landscape outcroppings, which are sold in their natural state. This is the first step in our rigid quality control process. Pieces that don’t make the cut simply do not make it beyond this step.
Slabs of stone are brought into the manufacturing facility (aka the cut shop) to be cut by the splitter. The splitter is a large hydraulic press that breaks the stone sheets into pieces of the desired sizes and shapes. (While we're talking shop: this process is also sometimes called snapping, chopping, or machine cutting.) After the initial cut, we also use the splitter to trim any rough edges and perform basic touch ups, in preparation for the quality check process.
The stone is given a visual inspection, and any imperfections are removed by hand. Our careful and thorough quality control process ensures a cleaner, more consistent stone that is easier to install.
At this point in the process, the cut pieces are sorted to be sawn into their respective products.
Stone that will become thin veneer is carefully loaded into the saw by hand. This process is performed only by our most experienced staff, who are well trained in safety measures and in the methods of properly sawing thin veneer stone to a consistent thickness.
The finished stone is neatly stacked on pallets and prepared for delivery. Now, just one question for you: where to?