Posts Tagged ‘sandblasted’

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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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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Upon the purchase of a monument from Sartin Memorials/Mike’s Laser Etching, you will have received a copy of our LIfetime Warranty. If at any time, you believe that you have an issue which should, or may be, covered under the lifetime warranty, we ask that you take the following steps to file a claim with us:

1. Take clear photographs of all of the damaged area, both up close and of the full monument.

2. Find your original purchase contract to reference.

3. Contact us to request a Memorial Damage Claim Form to complete. Below is a link which will take you to an example of the Memorial Damage Claim Form.

4. Complete the Memorial Damage Claim Form completely and forward to us, along with the photographs of the damage. These can be mailed to us at PO Box 184 St George’s, De 19733 or emailed to us at info@mikeslaseretching.com. (Please be sure to keep a copy of everything submitted if you are mailing your claim. Although we typically return all original photographs being used in the design process immediately, we will be retaining any photographs submitted with a damage claim for our own records.)

5. Contact us to verify that we have received the form and photographs no earlier then 24 hours after you have emailed and 7 days after you have mailed the form and photographs.

6. Allow us 30 days to review the claim form and photographs.

  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!

What Do You Mean By “Custom Design”?

Anyone who has ever visited our website, (www.mikeslaseretching.com), will have seen that we frequently mention that we offer “Custom Designs” and “Custom Monuments”. So, what do we mean by this? The best way to explain this is by showing you some examples of custom designs and monuments we have created for our clients.

Custom Design

With the purchase of most of our monuments*, a custom design on the front of the monument is included. With a flush or bevel marker, there is only one side visible once the marker is installed in the cemetery, thus a custom design can be placed on this side of the marker. In the case of an upright or slant monument, a custom design can also be added to the back of the monument for an additional charge**.

Most often, a custom design will be laser etched, as the detail that is included can only be visible if the design is laser etched. While we have created custom sandblasted designs, it is important to keep in mind that a sandblasted design must be simple line art. Therefore, we are much more limited when it comes to a sandblasted design. Whether or not we are able to place a custom laser etched deign on a monument depends completely upon the color of the granite. In order to obtain the highest quality completed design, we recommend only our Jet Black granite, as it is the darkest black and allows even extremely small details to remain visible. Although it is possible to laser etch designs on our Midnight Black granite, we only recommend designs which are not extremely detailed and we rarely ever advise that a portrait be etched on the Midnight Black. For additional information on determining what types of design can be added to which colors of granite, visit our blog:

One of the custom designs which is most popular with our clients is one which covers the full monument. We frequently receive requests to create a scene using several images that the client has or has found on our website. An example of a design that I just created for a client is below:

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This scene was created using the below images:

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As you can see, we made several changes in order to create the final look the client was interested in. The background scene is a picture we found of a back road in Ohio, which is where our client is from and where Mr. Stanley often road his motorcycle on roads such as these. However, in order to use this image, I had to remove the person in the image riding a scooter. After doing so, we placed the image of Mr. Stanley in the background, adjusting the size and flipping it the opposite direction in order to ensure that it looked natural. We also added a slight shadow beneath the motorcycle, which also ensures the natural look of the image.

Keep in mind that the above design is the most extreme case of customization. We are also able to create custom designs using our own images and/or epitaphs and poems. Below is a perfect example of a customized monument:

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These are just two examples of custom designs that we have created for our clients. Each of the representatives at Mike’s Laser Etching/ Sartin Memorials are certified Graphic Artists. With the technology now available to us, we can create just about anything our clients are looking for. There is no better way to honor your loved one than to create a unique and personalized monument to be placed at their resting place.

Custom Monument

In addition to the custom designs we are able to create for monuments, we are also able to create a completely custom monument. We are able to do this, while still charging a reasonable price, because we work directly with the quarries and granite manufacturers. It is because of this direct relationship with them that we are able to work with our clients to create a sketch of the design they are looking for, and forward it to the granite manufacturer with the exact dimensions. The monument is then created and shipped out to us. Once it arrives at our shop, we then add the names, pictures and any designs that the client has requested.

Below is an example of a custom monument we ordered for a client:

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This is the concept created by our Graphic Artists, using the information the client had provided about what she was looking for. Once the client had approved the concept, it was forwarded to the manufacturer, along with the dimensions, to be created.

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The dragon in the process of being sculpted.

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The finished monument, after we had etched the image, name and dates.

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The front and back of a custom butterfly monument.

For more information on ordering a custom monument or a monument with a custom design, visit our website at http://www.mikeslaseretching.com, email us at info@mlestones.com or call us toll free at 877-836-0332. 

*Our clearance monuments do not include custom designs in the cost of the monument.

**Please contact us to discuss the addition of a design to the back of a monument. 

We have some great news for all of our current and future clients! 

From now on, an image of all completed monuments will be posted on our blog! A link to the blog post will also be posted on our Mike’s Laser Etching Facebook. If you have liked us on Facebook, we will tag you in the post. This will allow you to share the Facebook post featuring the link to the blog with your friends and family, making it easier to share the completed monument with your loved ones! 

In addition to the links to your completed monument, upon “Liking” our Facebook, you will also see any discounts or online promotions we are offering!

To “Like” our Facebook, go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mikes-Laser-Etching-Sartin-Memorials/114407641941947?ref=hl

Question of the Week!

Posted: July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Mike’s Laser Etching has decided to do a weekly post for our readers. Each week, the staff here at Mike’s Laser Etching will be choosing a frequently asked question to answer for you. This week, our question is:

“Is it okay to pick out, design and purchase your own monument?”

This is a question that we get a lot. Up until recently, even speaking about a monument, (aka tombstone, memorial, gravestone, grave marker, etc) was taboo. Anything to do with death was never really discussed because it was such an uncomfortable topic. Thankfully, the newer generations have come to realize that even if you never discuss death, it is inevitable for everyone. Not only does this mean that people are purchasing life insurance and creating wills, it has also caused an increase in the number of people who are pre-purchasing their burial plots as well as their monuments. If you were to ask anyone who works in the funeral and monument business if they have pre-planned all of their arrangements, they will more than likely tell you that they have. There are several reasons for this.

If you have ever lost a loved one, and then had a large family, of which each individual had their own opinions about how things should happen, then you will understand the first major reason why we prefer to arrange everything ourselves. If every family member believes that things should be done their way, this can cause huge falling outs during a time when the family should be coming together to support each other and grieve for their lost loved one. I have seen families become so angry with one another, that they have ended up going to court to decide what should be done. After witnessing this, I recommend that everyone make it known exactly what you want when you pass. If possible, purchase and design your own monument. So long as your burial plot has been purchased, the monument you design can be placed on the plot long before you pass away. If you can save your family from the inevitable arguing designing a monument causes, why not just take care of it yourself?

Have you ever gone to visit a burial site of a close friend or loved one and when you saw the monument the family chose and designed, you knew that your friend or loved one would NEVER have chosen it themselves? This is something that I have seen more often then you might think. In one case, a 42 year old woman passed away and her parents designed her monument. Although her children hated it and insisted that their mother would have hated the design, since they were underage, there was nothing they could do about it. The children waited until their grandparents passed away, removed the original monument and replaced it with one they had designed to reflect the person their mother really was. Had their mother purchased and designed the monument herself, it would have not only prevented the tension between her children and parents, but it would have saved them from essentially paying double by purchasing two monuments.

If you have ever purchased a monument, you will know that it is not like picking out what to have for lunch. Instead, it is more like purchasing a car. Purchasing a monument on top of paying for a funeral can cause severe financial strain on family members. Even if you have life insurance, the amount they receive may only be enough to cover the funeral expenses. For many people, purchasing and installing a monument at the burial site is urgent because they not only feel it is disrespectful for visitors to be unable to find the person they love, but the thought of their loved one being in an “unmarked grave” is extremely unnerving. In the rush to get a monument installed, they can end up regretting the monument they chose because they did not think about it long enough, rather than taking the time to save the money to purchase the monument, they may wipe out their savings, not knowing if there will be an emergency before they can replenish the funds or they could even end up paying much more then a monument is worth by purchasing a monument off of the first dealer they find without researching the prices of other dealers. By pre-purchasing and designing your own monument, you are relieving your family of the extra stress that would be put on them if you had not. Rather than passing on the added stress of making these decisions, you are ensuring that they will be able to grieve for you long before anything ever happens.

When I tell people that, at 27, I have already designed my own monument, more often then not, they look at me like I am crazy. However, after I have explained why I have done so, most of them tell me that they are going to go home and begin researching so that they can do the same. There is nothing wrong with planning for death. There is not a single person alive who can avoid eventually passing away. So, why not plan for it to ensure that everything goes the way you would like it?

Please keep in mind that the date of passing CAN be added to the monument AFTER it has been installed. So, it is not necessary to wait for the person or people the monument is for to have passed in order to design the monument!

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To browse through a large variety of monuments, visit our website at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/index.html. In addition to the monuments shown, we can also order custom monuments. To view some of our custom monuments, visit the Custom Monuments page at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/custom_orders.html. We can design a monument off of any image or design you provide. If you have an idea of what you would like for your custom monument, but do not have a drawing, please let us know as we have an artist who can create a custom design for your review.

Once you have chosen the monument you would like, forward your information (including your name as you would like it to appear on the monument, your date of birth, any images or designs you would like included, the shape and size of any porcelain portraits you would like included in the design along with the image to be used and any designs or information you would like included on the back of the monument) to us and we will create a free preview for your review. The preview will allow you to see what the exact layout will be on the finished monument.

We look forward to working with you soon!