Setting a goal to become a top-notch stone fabricator
July 1, 2010
It is often said that “when one door closes, another opens.” And for Billy Patton of Patton & Patton Marble & Granite, Inc. of Las Vegas, NV, this old saying has proven true. Due to a knee injury, Patton had to abandon his dream of representing the U.S. in the 1992 Olympic Games. As a result, he decided to focus his attention on a stone fabrication shop, which he opened in 1989. More than 20 years later, the company - which he now runs with his wife Sheree - is known in the Las Vegas area for its high-end custom waterjet work, including many casino projects.
“In the summer of 1986, I needed a part-time job while training as a distance runner,” said Billy Patton. “I started working in the fabrication shop of Catello Marble & Tile Las Vegas. While there, I would learn as much as possible about the stone business.
“One day, my life would change when a serious injury to my knee occurred while working, and consequently, I would miss my window of opportunity to represent America in the ‘92 Olympics,” Patton went on to explain. “I was always one to set goals for myself, so working with stone would be my new one. Patton & Patton was formed in 1989. I first started fabricating overflow work from other marble shops in town until I saved enough to purchase a used ESAB [waterjet] and a new I/R KMT pump in 1991. This would be the start of my waterjet-cutting business.”
Currently, Patton & Patton Marble & Granite operates out of a 8,000-square-foot facility with an additional 2,200 square feet of office/showroom space. There is also a 1,600-square-foot yard on the premises for slab storage.
Specializing in waterjet services“Basically, our business started as a waterjet-cutting service to other marble shops and businesses in town, and over the years, we expanded to a full-service marble and granite production facility,” said Patton. “Waterjet cutting has always been our main core of business even to this day.”
According to Patton, he was the first person in Las Vegas to own and operate a KMT SL1 waterjet pump and an ESAB CM 250 waterjet. “KMT manufactures the best waterjet pumps, and it continues to provide excellent ongoing services to its customers,” he said. “I purchased my first waterjet system back in 1991 and acquired a second in 1996. The past two years, I have been running the new Streamline SL-V50 Plus pumps.”
In addition to the waterjets, the fabrication facility houses a GMM Tecna 36 bridge saw, which can accommodate 36-inch blades and is serviced by Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC, two Ghines Sectors that were purchased from The Cutting Edge of Las Vegas, NV, and a Foma radial arm polisher. “Currently, we run one shift - a 40-hour work week,” said Patton. “When we are busy on a major project, we will run a night shift also. We have eight workers right now, but our staff varies depending on the workload.”
Patton & Patton Marble & Granite also maintains four installers on staff. Hard templates are digitized using a Neolt Digit MX 2000.
Offering high-quality productsThe company offers a variety of services to both the commercial and high-end residential markets in Las Vegas. “Primarily, most of our work has been directed towards casinos,” said Patton. “We offer everything from expert CAD design to waterjet-cut stone flooring, bar tops, countertops and inlay services to custom crown moldings, which are engineered and uniquely designed by myself.”
Patton went on to say that the KMT waterjet system is not limited to just cutting natural stone products. “We also cut various metals for the sign industry and glass for both the glass industry and local artists such as Tony Milici of Milici Studios,” he said.
Similar to many other fabricators across the U.S., business has decreased over the past year due to the difficult economic times. “Our production has been down 50% this year due to the economic down turn here in Vegas,” said Patton. But despite the circumstances, Patton & Patton has still recently completed several high-profile projects, including the Palazzo Venetian Hotel & Casino and ARIA at CityCenter, both in Las Vegas. Additionally, it carved the letters of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) into the UNLV tower that is part of the school’s new Greenspun Hall, which is made of sandstone. “[Also], we are currently working towards some projects in Asia,” said Patton.
Patton & Patton Marble & Granite, Inc.Las Vegas, NV
Type of work: high-end customized work for both residential and commercial applications, with a focus on casino projects
Machinery: an ESAB CM 250 waterjet, two KMT SL1 waterjet pumps and two Streamline SL-V50 Plus pumps - all from KMT Waterjet Systems of Baxter Springs, KS, a GMM Tecna 36 bridge saw serviced by Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC, two Ghines Sectors that were purchased from The Cutting Edge of Las Vegas, NV, a Foma radial arm polisher and a Neolt Digit MX 2000 digitizing board
Number of employees: 8
Production rate: averaging 1,500 square feet per week