Posts Tagged ‘monuments’

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/

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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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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.

After receiving so many messages asking for the definition of a specific “monument word” or for further clarification on what exactly to ask for in order to get the monument that they want, we here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials have decided to create a brand new featured post: Learning The Language.

At least once a week, we will be posting a Learning The Language blog with explanations and/or definitions of words that are commonly used in the monument business, but that are not exactly obvious to those who are unfamiliar.

Please feel free to comment or message us with words that you would like to learn about! Its always nice to help others better understand what it is we are talking about!

To read our very first Learning The Language blog, please click the link below:

https://sartinmemorialsblog.com/2014/06/11/learning-the-language-polish-levels/

 

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People are often discouraged when they begin to research monument memorials for their loved ones. When you have something in mind, it can be difficult to hear that the monument you had your heart set on is not within in your budget. It is because of situations such as these, in addition to our understanding of the financial situations that many of our clients are in, that Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials now offers a payment plan for our clients. We can create a payment plan at the time of your purchase which will allow you to pay monthly, bi-weekly or weekly payments over a 6 month period. 

For more information on our Payment Plans and to find out if your monument qualifies for a payment plan, please contact us today at 877-836-0332 or info@mlestones.com.

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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!

Why does Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials employ Graphic Artists, but other monument companies do not?

If you have worked with several different monument companies in an attempt to find the monument you want, at the price you are willing to pay, you may have noticed that Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials does things a little differently when it comes to the design aspect of the monuments. Typically, when you contact a monument dealer, whether online or at an office local to you, you will speak with an owner or a sales representative. They will ask you to provide the details of the desired monument and will use these details to create what we call a “preview” of what the final product will look like. Some companies simply provide a hand drawn sketch, while others may provide a digital preview, which has been created on a computer.

When he first became the owner of Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials, Mike Walter would provide his clients with a hand drawn sketch of the monument. This process worked well enough and allowed him to confirm with the client that the placement and spelling on the final monument were correct. However, as the years went by and he began to invest in more advanced systems, he found that the hand drawn sketches were no longer allowing the client to see what the company was now capable of creating. With thousands upon thousands of laser etched designs, drawing a rough sketch just didn’t work. Not only that, but it was around this time that he also began to offer his monuments to clients who were out of state. A hand drawn sketch was just not possible with these clients.

Initially, when Mike began to search for a Graphic Artist, it was his intent to have them create a digital preview of the monument, using the information provided by the client. Although most monument dealers cannot justify hiring a Graphic Artist and paying their salary, Mike knew that it would be worth it in the long run. When Mike hired Heather, her job was to simply create the preview for the clients, making any changes necessary. This not only allowed for a much more accurate preview of the final monument design, it also allowed clients to easily share the design with their friends and family. This is what Mike had hoped for when he hired a Graphic Artist. However, once Heather began working with Mike, she took the design aspect to a whole new level, much more than Mike had ever thought possible.

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An example of a preview.

Today, Heather is the Senior Graphic Artist at Mike’s Laser Etching and there are currently two other Graphic Artists employed as well.  Not only do the Graphic Artist’s create the monument previews for clients, they also offer custom designed monuments and custom laser etched designs with the purchase of a monument. Because Mike works with granite wholesalers overseas, he is able to take a digital monument design-made the exact size, shape and color specified by the client- and forward it the wholesaler to be created. Although these custom monuments may take longer to be completed than a monument that is currently in stock, the cost does not increase. All of the monuments offered by Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials are shipped to the main office in Delaware directly from the granite wholesaler. This essentially “cuts out the middle man”, allowing a lower overhead, which in turn allows us to offer a lower price to our clients. This is the same for both in stock monuments and custom ordered monuments.

If a client contacts us and would like a custom design on their monument, there is no additional cost. This is completely due to the fact that we have Graphic Artists on staff. Typically when ordering from a monument dealer, if a client would like a custom design, the monument dealer must contact an outside company to have the design created. Therefore, the client would then have to pay for the creation of the design. This is not necessary at Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials. Whether the client is purchasing a standard flush marker (24″ x 12″) or a large upright monument, the design is typically included in the purchase price of the monument. We have had clients request a large variety of custom designs, which our Graphic Artists have not only created, but have enjoyed creating, as Graphic Design is their passion. Whether it is creating an entire landscape scene, using only a few specific details, or taking a photograph of a person and placing them somewhere completely different, doing something they were not originally doing, we can do it all. If you can imagine it, Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials can create it!

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An example of our Preview Approval Form, which must be signed by the client prior to the laser etching or sandblasting of the monument.

Here at Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials, we take pride in offering our clients unique, beautiful, high quality memorials for their loved ones, at affordable prices. We know that our clients are grieving and we do everything in our power to make the process of creating a memorial as easy as possible. We take pride in our products and work diligently to ensure that every client is 100% satisfied with not only their monument, but with the service they received from us as well. 

YOU ARE OUR PRIORITY!

Visit our website http://www.mikeslaseretching.com to browse our inventory, see examples of our custom orders and to learn more about the laser etching and sandblasting processes. Give us a call at 877-836-0332 or send us an email at info@mlestones.com to get started today!