Making a Cornish Slate House sign.
Making a Cornish slate house sign involves a number of steps. Slate we collect from the quarry has been roughly cut into slabs or shaped into various sized slate tiles. Cornish slate is ‘sawn’ by a large cheese wire (to keep it simple) and this usually leaves markings on the face. This finish may well be good enough for someone looking for a really natural finish. Edges will usually have saw blade marks where the slab is cut to size.
Slate polishing methods.
Imperfections and the ‘cheese wire saw marks’ have to be polished out to achieve a nice finish. Polishing can be done using wet or dry methods – at Stevens™ we prefer to polish the slate wet. Using a specialist wet polisher with changing grades of diamond polishing disc, I start at 50 and work up to 1000. Coarser grades (50 for example) remove the worst of the markings and then using the finer grades (1000), leave a nice smooth finish. Polishing in this order leaves a nice slightly darker grey finish. To obtain the ultra-fine finish some customers require, I have 3000 grit discs. Signs are checked for small markings and the edges given a light polish to remove deep saw cuts.
Preparing the sign for lettering
Artwork is provided for you to approve when you order a house sign – it is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) – what you approve is what we make. The sign is masked up and then sand blasted using a fine abrasive sand.
Painting your slate house sign.
One Shot provide the professional sign writing paints we use on all of our Cornish slate house signs. The letters / designs are undercoated to ensure the actual paint has a good key. Anne hand paints all of the signs with 4-6 coats of paint applying one coat per day. Each coat takes 24 hours to cure and painting on top of wet paint will cause the paint to peel, so the job has to be done correctly.
Packing for delivery
Once the sign has been painted and any ‘paint bleed’ removed, the sign is given a weathering treatment to help keep it in good condition. All signs are packed in tissue paper, bubble wrap and boxed for shipping. You will get an email saying your delivery is on its way to you.
Unpacking your Cornish slate house sign.
Please unwrap you sign carefully and if you are re-wrapping, please do not place the bubble wrap next to the sign surface. Always wrap in the tissue. Your sign should have reached you in perfect condition.
Mounting your sign
Assuming the sign has bee drilled, you simply mark where you want the sign to be through the drill holes, use fixing plugs and some nice brass screws to finish the sign off. PLEASE DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN SCREWS. ‘PINCH TIGHT ONLY’!
Aftercare of your slate sign
Caring for your sign is easy and all you need to do is wash with warm soapy water in most cases.