There is a long process involved in manufacturing a headstone, which spans from cutting the raw material needed for the headstone, to the final package getting shipped to the funeral director or customer. Below is a brief, partial, and accelerated description of the process:
Headstones need to be fashioned into an appropriate shape. This can be done with a diamond saw or with a hammer and chisel. Next, the surface of the stone is polished until the edges are smooth. In the case of an intricate headstone request, the stone is manipulated by a diamond wire saw. The operator diligently works through the process, which is aided by computer software. Finely-intricate details can be improved by handwork.
Next, the headstone is ready for the finishing phase. ‘Rock pitching’ involves chiseling the outer edges and corners of the stone by hand. This makes the headstone look more defined and presents a unique look in comparison to other stones.
Sandblasting is most commonly used for engraving purposes. To start, glue is applied to the headstone; a stencil is applied and then covered with a layout of the design; and, the layout transfers the design prepared by the craftsman. The worker then cuts the designs and letters, which are desired for the headstone; this exposed them to the sandblasting.
Lastly, the headstone is sprayed with steam in a high pressure fashion. Once again, the headstone is polished and inspected. Respect for quality is heavily associated to the manufacturing process. The headstone is closely examined for flaws after each step; the headstone would be discarded if a chip or inaccuracy occurred during any point in the process.