Not many people realize that the polished look behind every modern kitchen countertop today is due to CNC cutting machine. Before you can even install a granite countertop to your kitchen or bath area, it has to undergo first what can be best described as an extensive stone fabrication process. Otherwise, you will not be able to achieve the polished look you are desiring it to have.
The fabrication process will be carried out by a stone fabricator, whose services are specialized in this type of work. There are also instances that your granite supplier can also take charge of fabricating the stone for you. The work will be done at their shop, from start to finish, and once completed then it will be delivered to your doorstep.
Inspecting the Slab
This is the first phase of the process, inspecting your chosen granite stone slab. Such natural occurring material may have characteristics that are indigenous to it. Some of these characteristics may include black spots, dry seams, polyester resin fill, directional veining, and so on. Most of the time, these natural physical attributes of the stone are what’s making them beautiful, unique and outstanding.
If in case the customer is not very happy about any of the natural characteristics of the stone, fabricators will need to figure out how he can work things out about it. He can try to avoid those areas during the templating and stone fabrication process.
After your stone slab is carefully inspected, it will be laid out. If there are previously created templates, it will have to be arranged on the stone as well so you can be certain that it will have the best appearance in terms of color and vein texture.
Cutting the Stone
If the layout is all good and okay, the stone can now be cut using either a bridge saw or water jet. History tells us that the use of the bridge saw was actually a favored tool in the past. But in recent years, we witnessed how the “saw jet” took things over and came into play. Saw jet is a combination of a saw and water jet technology.
The use of water jet is beneficial here in the sense that it is helpful in cutting circles or if you have an intricate pattern. As for the bridge saw, it can only cut in a straight line. The moment that the pieces have been cut off the larger stone slab, they need to be forwarded to the CNC cutting machine and with the use of a vacuum lifting system, the countertop pieces can then be fabricated.
It is at this stage of the stone fabrication process that the cutouts for your cooktop, holes for your faucets, and undermount sink are all made. Cutting the stone to 1/16 of an inch to its preferred size is the first step you need to carry out when cutting the stone.
After which the CNC cutting machine (CNC stands for computer numerically controlled) can then be programmed to identify the stone sizes on the table. Up to you but you the liberty to have several pieces of stone on the table, and work on them together. The CNC machine, by virtue of its program, can determine the location of the stones and what it will do with them.
Different stones come with different working characteristics, the key to success here is to have by your side a knowledgeable and experienced CNC machine operator.
Strengthening the Stone
This is a specialized part of the stone fabrication process, which means to say that not all fabricators are likely to observe this in your project but more likely it would be under their discretion whether they would incorporate it or not.
But it is worth mentioning here that natural stones are extremely strong. They are about 5 times more robust than concrete. Even if the natural stones, like granite, come with different working characteristics, the moment that you have them installed in your home in the form of a kitchen countertop, they are likely to outlive whatever kitchen you will install them in.
Having a good understanding of what these characteristics are, and choosing to work things out within them during fabrication will help ensure that your final product will stand the test of time, abuse and use. See also : cnc plasma cutter price