Welcome to the second part of the London Stone bespoke stone blog. Last week I wrote about natural stone in its original block form. This week we will be covering the next stage of production and the processes involved in cutting the stone up from big blocks into rough unfinished slabs. Within the trade, these rough unfinished slabs are called scant. London Stone used to buy all of our Yorkstone Paving and Portland stone in scant. We would then simply cut the scant up into finished paving sizes. The problem with this was that we faced supply issues from the Yorkstone quarries in particular and in the busy times we were often left without scant for up to 10 weeks. We hated the fact that we didn't have control over our own leads times so we made the decision to invest in a piece of machinery to cut the blocks with. In the past blocks of stone have always been cut with block saws, which are huge diamond tipped circular saw blades. These simply cut slices off the boulders like cutting a loaf of bread. These days wire saw are a much more common method of cutting stone blocks and this what London Stone use to cut up our blocks.Cutting a block of stone can take up to 24 hours and there are very important factors to consider. The main factors are wastage and downtime. If the blocks are too small, and of an irregular shape, then the wastage levels can be very high and also lots of time is spent changing over the blocks which is unproductive. That's why its important for the blocks to be as big as possible and also of a regular shape. Once the blocks have been cut into scant the next stage is then to cut the scant down into finished paving or stone steps and this is done using our CNC saws or bridge saws. This will be covered in next weeks blog.
Steven Walley (Managing Director)