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Birkendale Photo Gallery >>> Excavating

Once the blast is complete, the stone must be excavated from the blast site and organized according to the finished product that this raw material is suited for.

Click on any of the thumbnails (small images) to see a larger view of the graphic.

After a blast, the excavator separates the loosened rock from the face. As the stone is removed, it is stock piled in preparation for processing. It is stock piled for one of three purposes: Armor Stone, Manual Processed Stone and Guillotine Processed Stone. Read about each of these stocks below.

Armor Stone
Most stone must be processed by hand or by guillotine prior to being a finished product. Armor stone is an exception to this rule. Blocks of stone removed from the blast that do not have any good 'split lines' are stocked as armor stone. This stone is used in the construction of large retaining walls as seen in some of the 'Rocks in Action' photographs in this photo gallery.

Manual Processing
After blasting, this stone is selected by the production manager for manual processing (a.k.a. hand splitting). This granite possesses 'gneiss' lines that enable the rock to be hand split, producing two smooth flat surfaces. One common product produced from hand splitting is flagstone.

Guillotine Processing (Image 1 of 2)
After blasting and separating, this stone is selected by the operations manager to be processed on the guillotine. It is sorted by size and thickness into the various 'guillotine holding stocks'. Stockpiling this raw material allows the operators to select stones for orders on hand.

Guillotine Processing (Image 2 of 2)
When needed, it is transported up to the guillotine one piece at a time. The holding areas are generally close to the processing plants and within easy access of the main drives. The large slabs are selected for cube or ledgerock, treads, square cuts, curbing, and retaining cubes.

Gabion Stone
Granite 'chunks' are stock piled for crushing. They are separated into three piles according to the size of the stone. These stones are by-products of the dimensional stone production of the guillotine or split by hand. By sorting the scrap, we can offer products for fill, cribbing or road bases. After crushing, the stone is sold as clear crushed stone " through to 1 " in size and is commonly used by landscape designers and contractors.

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