Posts Tagged ‘cemetery’

Laser Etched Monument Maintenance

Posted: June 10, 2016 in Granite, Headstone Maintenence, Help, How To, Laser Etching, Memorial Monument, Memorial Monument Inforamtion, MIke's Laser Etching, Monument Care, Online Purchasing, Sartin Memorials, Traditional Monument, Uncategorized
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Polish 2 front and back

As with anything which is sitting out in the weather, it is important to remember to maintain your Laser Etched Memorial Monument. This is an extremely easy thing to do and we recommend that you complete maintenance at least once or twice a year.  It is a very fast and easy process and will only require the following:

-A bottle of Windex

-Several soft cloths (we recommend white washcloths)

-A tube of WHITE Oil-Based Block Printing Ink (*See Below For Ordering Details)

-A razor blade if necessary

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Here at Mike’s Laser Etching, we use Speedball Oil-Based Block Printing Ink as our highlight. It is very important that you be sure that you purchase pure white ink. If you choose to purchase the Speedball brand, the color number you should order is 3553. You can order a tube of Speedball by clicking on the below link:

https://sartinmemorialsblog.com/2014/06/18/order-your-laser-etching-highlight-online/

_________________________________________________________________

elbow-grease (2)

The first step to the 6-12 month maintenance process is to clean the monument with Windex. Liberally spray the Windex over the entire polished area of your monument. Wipe clean using circular motions and don’t be afraid to apply pressure if necessary to clear the polished area of all dirt and debris. If you find that there is tree sap or something else which is not coming off of the monument, carefully use the razor blade to scrape of the substance. Although you do need to be careful not to cut yourself, the razor blade, if used correctly, will not damage the granite.

Once you are sure the monument is free of dirt and grass, it is time to refresh your highlight. First, place several small dots of the ink on the area of the laser etching. You will notice that a little goes a long way when it comes to the highlight. For a 24″ x 12″ Flush Marker with a full laser etched scene, it will take no more than a nickel size dot of ink to cover the full laser etching.

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Once you have the ink on the stone, use your cloth to begin rubbing the highlight into the etched areas in small circular motions. You will immediately see a difference in the brightness of your laser etching. Once all of the laser etchings have been covered, use the cloth to wipe the excess ink off.  After you have removed all of the excess, throw away the cloth. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH THE INK OUT OF THE WASHCLOTHS.

So long as you follow these instructions and consistently maintain your monument, you will be able to enjoy the laser etched monument for years and years to come. Generations through the years will be able to appreciate the beautiful and unique monument you designed for your loved one(s) and that is our goal here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials.

If you are interested in learning more about our custom laser etched monuments and tiles, call us today at 877-836-0332 or email our sales team at sara@mikeslaseretching.com.

 

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I came across the below monument while browsing online looking for a monument in the shape of a chair to use as an example for a client. Even though everyone here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials know that we can create just about anything our clients can dream up, this monument is shocking to most of us! This just goes to show that when we say that if you can imagine it, we can create it, we aren’t kidding!

Living Room Monument

Everything on this monument is life size and made of Jet Black Granite. It is set up just like the family’s tv room and instead of carpet, they have added stones on the “floor”. Where the tv was in the family’s real tv room, they have replaced it with an oval monument which lists the information that would typically be found on a monumet: last name, first names, dates of birth, dates of passing, along with several designs that are significant to the family. When the family visits their loved one, they are able to sit on the couches and spend time with one another. Although not the most comfortable, seeing as it is made of hard granite, the family will often bring cushions to place on the couch, so they can sit for a while as they reflect on their lost loved one.

This monument proves that nothing you can imagine is too big!

Anything is possible! To find out more about creating the monument you are seeing in your imagination, please give us a call at 877-836-0332 or email us at sara@mikeslaseretching.com or heather@mikeslaseretching.com for more information! We look forward to working with you to design a beautiful and unique monument for your loved one!

When looking to purchase a monument, it is important to know the definition of several words that will be thrown around by the monument dealer. Of course, you could always ask the dealer to explain exactly what he is referring to when he says something you don’t understand. However, purchasing a monument can be like purchasing a car in that the more you appear to know about the product, the more likely the dealer will be to negotiate prices with you. So, before you call or visit a monument dealer, review the definitions below! If you would like to view images and examples of each of the definitions, feel free to visit our website: www.mikeslaseretching.com.

Angel Headstone: An upright monument that is either carved into the shape of an angel, or hand etched with an image of an angel.

Apex Top: The top of the die sloping upwards to a point from all four sides.

Base: Granite stone that forms part of a monument. The base sits on top of the foundation and supports the DIE.

Bevel: A slanting top or edge at a 45° angle.

Bevel Marker: Bevel Markers (also referred to as slant markers, hickey markers, or pillow markers) are designed to sit above the ground when installed. They are slanted from the back to the front to allow water to run off the marker and help them stay cleaner than a flush marker.

Bronze Marker: A memorial which is cast out of bronze. Bronze markers are mounted to granite or cement bases.

Columbarium: A building or structure constructed within a cemetery to hold cremated remains within Niches.

Companion Upright: A companion upright is usually used for a double plot and consists of 2 pieces. Sizes vary. These are also referred to as companion monuments, companion headstones, companion tombstones, companion memorials, double headstones, double tombstones, etc.

Die: The granite stone that forms part of a monument, and is installed on a base. Usually this is where names dates, etc are listed on the headstone.

Family Lot / Plot: A lot that consists of two or more adjoining graves, the burial privileges for each individual lot are all held by the same owner.

Flush Marker: Granite markers that lay flat with the ground. They are generally 24″ x 12″ but can be larger or smaller depending upon individual cemetery or memorial park requirements. Usually 4″ in thickness, different thicknesses do exist and are suitable so long as they fall within the cemetery’s regulations. Flush markers are also referred to as flat markers, grave markers, burial markers, and footstones.

Foundation / Footer: The concrete footing on which a monument is erected, designed to support the monument. Many cemeteries prefer to set the footer themselves, rather than allowing the monument company to set it. The monument may not be installed until the footer is set and stable.

Frost: To lightly remove polished surface of granite by sandblasting.

Government Marker / Veteran’s Marker: A flat marker supplied by the U.S. government for the grave of a veteran.

Hand Etching: An etching tool with a diamond tip is used to “scratch” the polished surface of the monument. Because this is done by hand, it is not possible to create an image that is the exact duplicate of a picture, as a hand etching cannot be as detailed as a laser etching.

Laser Etching: The design which is to be etched onto the monument is loaded into the laser, which will be used rather than a diamond tipped hand tool. Once this is finished, the laser hits the granite with a 8000 degree beam of light in a burst lasting approximately one ten thousandth of a second. The heat of the beam explodes a dot on the surface of the monument, permanently removing the polished surface of the granite. With the size of this dot being so small, an extremely detailed photographed can be duplicated exactly onto the monument using the laser.

Ledgers: Memorials that cover an entire grave. Although they are low to the ground, their size allows for extensive decoration and long inscriptions. Mike’s Laser Etching offers ledgers by special order only.

Lot / Lots: One or more adjoining graves, crypts, or niches.

Mausoleum: A private mausoleum is a granite building with stained glass windows and a bronze door. There are also smaller versions available without doors or windows. Mike’s Laser Etching offers mausoleums by special order only.

Memorial Bench: Granite memorial benches serve as enduring memorials dedicating a park or other suitable location. They can also be used as cemetery memorials. Granite benches are growing in popularity, as they are functional and beautiful.

Monument: A memorial that is a flat marker, slant marker, an upright, or a bench.

Niche: A space or spaces within a columbarium used, or intended to be used, for the above ground inurnment of cremated remains.

Polished Margin: A polished area which is approximately 1” in height, that surrounds a base on all four sides.

Polish Number: Referring to number of sides on a DIE that have been polished to a mirrored glass.

  • Polish 1: Front of die polished, back sawn out, sides & top rock pitched.
  • Polish 2: Front & back of die polished, sides & top rock pitched.
  • Polish 3: Front, back, & top of die polished, sides rock pitched.
  • Polish 5: All polished die.

Rock Pitch / Rock Face: Way of breaking so the edge of granite has bold projections and depressions, creates a straight line with an irregular facing.

Sandblasting: A flat sheet of rubber (a mat) is placed on the granite and the design is then cut out of the rubber. Many companies who own a laser etcher will use the laser to cut out the design on the mat. If they have no access to a laser, this must be done by hand. Fine particles of abrasive are then blown by air pressure against the monument. This abrasive cuts away the granite not protected by the rubber mat. The rubber is then removed, leaving behind a beautiful design on the monument. Finishing touches are then done by hand.

Sawn: Granite cut with a saw, straight medium to smoothish surface with duller ink color than the polished surface.

Serpentine Top: A reverse curved surface.

Single Upright: Upright headstones are the most common type of cemetery memorial used today. A single upright is usually used for a single plot and consists of 2 pieces. The top piece is much larger and is called a “die.” The die is typically 24″ tall x 8″ thick x 20″ wide but can be custom made at any size. The bottom piece is known as a “base” and is typically 6″ tall x 12″ thick x 32″ wide. These are also referred to as single tombstones, single headstones, single memorials, single monuments, and single upright grave markers.

Slants: Slants typically stand 16″ to 18″ in height with the front slanting or sloping back at a 45 degree angle. These are also referred to as slant headstones, slant gravestones, and slant tombstones.

Upright Monument: A monument that consists of a base and an upright die.

Over the years, we have received many a panicked telephone calls from clients, advising us that the laser etching was disappearing off of the monument they purchased from us. Much to their relief, this is never the case. In reality, what is happening is that the highlight which is added to every laser etching prior to the monuments being shipped out or installed into a local cemetery, needs to be refreshed. This is an extremely easy thing to do and we recommend that you refresh your highlight once every 5-10 years depending upon the effect your local climate has on the highlight’s longevity. In areas such as the state of Washington, where it is extremely rainy and wet, or the state of Florida, where it is humid, with frequent downpours, you will most likely need to refresh the highlight every 5 years. In areas such as Arizona and Texas, where the climate is dry, you will probably notice that you need not worry about the highlight except once every 10 years. In any case, no matter where you live, we recommend that you purchase a bottle of highlight as soon as you have purchased a laser etched monument.

 

Here at Mike’s Laser Etching, we use Speedball Oil-Based Block Printing Ink as our highlight. It is very important that you be sure that you purchase pure white ink. If you choose to purchase the Speedball brand, the color number you should order is 3553.

When you see that your highlight needs refreshed, you will want to clean off the monument with Windex first. Once you are sure the monument is free of dirt and grass, place several small dots of the ink on the area of the laser etching. You will notice that a little goes a long way when it comes to the highlight. For a 24″ x 12″ Flush Marker with a full laser etched scene, it will take no more than a nickel size dot of ink to cover the full laser etching.

Once you have the ink on the stone, use an old washcloth to begin rubbing the highlight into the etched areas in small circular motions. You will immediately see a difference in the brightness of your laser etching. Once all of the laser etchings have been covered, use the washcloth to wipe the excess ink off, After you have removed all of the excess, throw away the washcloths. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH THE INK OUT OF THE WASHCLOTHS.

So long as you follow this instructions and keep your highlight fresh, you will be able to enjoy the laser etched monument for years and years to come. Generations through the years will be able to appreciate the beautiful and unique monument you designed for your loved one(s) and that is our goal here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials.

If you are interested in learning more about our custom laser etched monuments and tiles, call us today at 877-836-0332 or email our sales team at sara@mikeslaseretching.com.

 

***Update***

Since publishing this blog, I have received many emails and messages asking where to purchase the Speedball Oil Based Block Printing Ink. Click the below link to visit the blog with this inforamtion.

https://sartinmemorialsblog.com/2014/06/18/order-your-laser-etching-highlight-online/

  UPGRADES: Adding A Vase      

Even after walking through a cemetery or browsing images of completed monuments online, many of our clients don’t realize just how many customized options there really are when you purchase a monument. The specific type of “upgrades” available depends completed on the type of monument you are purchasing. However, one that applies to every monument we offer is  the vase. Whether you are purchasing a single flush marker or a large custom family monument, a vase can be added to the design and often helps to complete the look of the monument.

white angel with two vases

Should I Add a Vase?

When deciding whether or not you should add a vase to your monument, there are a few things you should ask yourself. The first and most important is: Am I allowed to add a vase? I have discussed the rules and restrictions that many cemeteries place on what can and cannot be used on plots within their cemetery. These restrictions may state that a vase is not permitted. Typically, you will find that cemeteries which only allow flush markers are the only ones which may have a problem with a vase being added to the marker. In most other cases, the cemetery will allow the vase, but may still have restrictions you will need to follow. Before going any further in the decision making process, you should first verify this information. Here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials, we typically advise our clients to not only request a complete list of rules and regulations PRIOR to purchasing a plot in any cemetery, but to continue to request a completed list on a regular basis. This will ensure that you are aware of all restrictions, even new ones which may have been put into place after you purchased your plot.

heart vases and die single heart with one vase single upright with custom vases

Once you have checked to ensure that you are permitted to add a vase, you should then ask yourself: Am I going to use the vase? Do you currently drop flowers off at your loved one’s resting place? If not, would you if you had a vase to place them in? It is also important to remember that you can purchase artificial flowers to place in the vase if you are concerned about the vases being empty in the winter or if you cannot commit to visiting the cemetery often enough to keep fresh flowers and do not want the real flowers to wilt in the vase. The artificial flowers that are available now a days look so real that this is an option that many of our clients choose. Also keep in mind that there are vase options which will allow you to only use the vase when you choose to, storing it away when there are no flowers in it. Continue reading for more information on these options.

 

 

What Type of Vase Should I Choose?

Granite Vases

In general, there are two types of vases to choose from. The first, and the most common, is the Granite Vase. These vases come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and can be added to existing monuments. Clients will typically place either one or two vases, depending on the type of monument and the space available on the base. A granite vase is stationary and will collect rain water. In order to prevent the water from freezing, expanding and then cracking the vase, each granite vase has a small hole in the bottom back to allow the water to drain. However, because the hole is not at the very bottom, the vase will still hold enough water to keep cut flowers fresh for an extended period of time. Because a vase is not typically required by a cemetery, it is completely up to the individual client’s preference.

Granite Vases

Something unique to the granite vases is the ability to add designs. From time to time, a client has a picture or lettering that they would really like to be included on the monument, but that just doesn’t fit with the layout. When this happens one option is to add the picture or lettering to the vase. As with any granite, the granite vases can be laser etched or sandblasted, depending upon the color. Below are two examples of clients who chose this option:

rectangle etched vases rectangle etched vases 2

 

 

Metal Vases

In addition to the Granite Vase, we also offer Metal Vases. All of our metal vases are designed to “drop down” in to the monument when they are not being used, as shown below:

bronze drop down

The plus side to this is that when the vase is not in use, you can flip it over and drop it down in the monument. The cemetery may have restrictions as to when the vase can be upright. As I mentioned earlier, it is always important to request a full list of their rules and regulations. As with the granite vases, metal vases are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, in addition to the typical colors, such as black, gray and pink, the metal vases are also available in colors such as green, red and gold. These colors allow for a bit of extra personalized touch. Unfortunately, it is not as simple to add the drop down vases to an existing monument as it is the granite vases, as a hole must be drilled in order for the vase to sit in the monument and drop down correctly. Therefore, we only recommend the metal vases for new monuments.

Metal Vases

Just as the granite vases have the unique option of being able to laser etch or sandblast an image or lettering onto the vase, there is a way to use the metal vase to add a little personality to the monument. Typically, the vase is either on one or both sides of the monument, or in the case of a drop down vase, it is placed in the center or in one of the corners. Instead of choosing one of  these options, you can also choose to have the drop down vase placed on the top of the monument. This option is especially useful if the base does not have ample room to add a vase on one or either side of the upright die. A picture of one such monument is below:

drop down on top of monument

For a full list and images of all of the vase options, please visit the Flower Vase Options page of our website at: http://mikeslaseretching.com/headstone_flower_vases.html

Contact us toll free at 877-836-0332 or by email at info@mlestones.com for additional inforamtion or to place your order!

How accurate are the previews that you provide to clients? Does the finished stone actually look like the preview?

We get this question a lot. I think the best way to answer it is to provide a few examples of the preview with a photo of the finished monument.

 

BOUKNIGHT 24″ x 14″ India Black Flush Marker with Sandblasted Gold Lettering & Laser Etched Lettering and Design Preview:

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BOUKNIGHT 24″ x 14″ India Black Flush Marker with Sandblasted Gold Lettering & Laser Etched Lettering and Design Completed Monument:

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PROCTOR Single Upright Carnation Pink with Custom Rose in Heart with Sandblasted Lettering Preview

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PROCTOR Single Upright Carnation Pink with Custom Rose in Heart with Sandblasted Lettering Complete Monument:

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CHANDLER 24″ x 12″ Forest Green Flush Marker with Pine Cone Design and Sandblasted Lettering Preview:

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CHANDLER 24″ x 12″ Forest Green Flush Marker with Pine Cone Design and Sandblasted Lettering Complete Monument:

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CARRIER Single Jet Black Upright with Custom Laser Etched Design and Lettering Preview:

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CARRIER Single Jet Black Upright with Custom Laser Etched Design and Lettering Completed Monument:

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DUTTON Single Gray Upright with Sandblasted Lettering and Custom Design Preview:

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DUTTON Single Gray Upright with Sandblasted Lettering and Custom Design Completed Monument:

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STRAWBRIDGE MK80 24″ x 24″ Jet Black Upright with Custom Beveled Edges and Laser Etched Lettering and Design Preview:

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STRAWBRIDGE MK80 24″ x 24″ Jet Black Upright with Custom Beveled Edges and Laser Etched Lettering and Design Completed Monument:

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It has recently been brought to our attention that some clients are having a hard time viewing the “Laser Fonts” page of our website at http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/laser_fonts.html

In order to ensure that all clients can view the available fonts in order to select the font that best fits the overall design they are looking for, we have included the font options below. Please review each font and advise which one you would like to see on your preview. If there are several fonts that you like and you are not sure which one to go with, please let us know and we will create and forward a preview using each of the fonts you’ve chosen.

We have also been informed that clients are having the same issue with being able to view the Laser Designs, Sandblasting Fonts and Sandblasting Designs. In order to ensure everyone can view these and choose from them accordingly, we will be posting each of these to a blog as well. Please look for these to be posted here on our blog within the next few days. In the meantime, if you need to view one of these pages and are unable to do so on the website, please contact us at info@mlestones.com and we will forward you the images to your email.

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For more information on our products, visit our website at http://www.mikeslaseretching.com and browse our inventory, clearance and special pages. You can also call us toll free at 877-836-0332 or email us at info@mlestones.com to obtain additional information or to request a FREE preview.

We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to working with you to create a beautiful, unique memorial monument for yourself and/or your loved one!