Not all gravestones show the persons birth and death date. Common practice here in the United States is to show the dates. This is very helpful for people in the future to do genealogy research. Most people wait until after a death to purchase a gravestone. However, if you feel the need to purchase a pre-need gravestone or your spouse passes away before you, there may be a need to add a death date on site in the cemetery. Below you will see photos of a date being added to a stone already in a cemetery.
He Cuts strips of rubber stencil. He must be absolutely
certain of spelling and accuracy of dates. Proofreading
of the dates by a second person is highly advisable.
He uses a stamp to cut letters into the stencil then he
cuts the stencil with a sharp, fine tip knife. Removing
all areas to be engraved.
He marks the stone for placement of the stencil.
There are several measurements and angles on the
stone that need to be checked.
The engraver adheres a precut rubber stencil to the stone.
As soon as the stencil placement has been determined
he hits the stencil lightly with a rubber mallet.
A roller is used starting at the center of the stencil
toward the edges. This will help prevent the stencil
He wears protective gear when operating a sandblaster.
Heavy gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask are
absolutely required when performing this task.
Sandblasters use pressurized air or steam mixed with
sand to carve out letters and numbers. The number
of passes that it takes to sand blast depends on the
depth required. The slower he works, the deeper the
letters will be. He Keeps the nozzle of the sandblaster
moving to avoid burning the stencil.
He is applying a spray paint designed for this purpose
prior to removing the stencil.
He peels the stencil away from the surface of the stone.
Then cleans any residual adhesive with warm water.