The memorial technicians at SOUTHERN GRANITE COMPANY, INC., recently accomplished one of history’s most amazing feats of duplication in granite. Working in concert with Fewell Monument Company, Scottsburg, Indiana, Southern’s craftsmen designed and fabricated exact components for – not one, but two- of the world’s largest replicas of micrometer calipers.
One of the 12-ft.-high units is a pre-need monument for Madison, Indiana, industrialist Robert D. Hughes and the other serves as a sign for his business, Clifty Engineering and Tool Company.
Micrometer calipers are hand-held tools to precision-measure thickness of steel or other materials. Terry Fewell, owner of the retail firm, said Mr. Hughes contacted him in early 1997 about building 10-ft.-tall scale models of a 1-in. micrometer out of granite. Mr. Fewell said Southern Granite Company was selected for the project because “their engineering seemed to best meet the unique challenges this job represented.”
The monument and sign duplicate the Brown & Sharpe micrometer owned by Mr. Hughes when he founded his business in 1961. The reading of the measurements on the barrel-handles of the granite replicas reads 1961. The barrel diameter is approximately 16.5-in. and the clamp, or “C” section”, is 4-ft., 4-in. high; 3-ft., 8-in. wide; and 6-in. thick. The tablet/sign sections are 3-ft., 6-in. long, 1-ft., 11-in. tall, and 6-in. thick. Southern Granite Company’s state-of-the-art, computerized diamond contour wire sawing and turning equipment was used extensively in the production of the unique components.
Each unit consists of two steeled “Elberton Blue Granite” bases, including one below the concrete foundation; two blue granite puck-like discs holding the polished “Paradise Black Granite” tablet inscription panel in place; and three pieces of black granite comprising C-shaped clamp and a barrel-handle sections. Components were fabricated by Southern and shipped to the Fewell Company for engraving where layouts were produced by computer-assisted-design system.