Marenakos Rock Center (WA) has been in the stone industry since the 1950’s, when they cut logging roads through the Cascade Mountains.
Over the years, they’ve relied on Park Industries® to help them take advantage of new business opportunities. Their first machine, an early model HYDRASPLIT® Stone Splitter, came in the mid-1980’s, when they needed a way to split the stone they took down from the mountains.
In the early 1990’s, they were looking for a way to cut stone after a project request from a famous Washington resident (more on him later). They turned to Park Industries® for a large dimensional saw.
Fast-forward to the early part of 2020, where Marenakos was facing challenges with cutting radius and profiled parts. It was an extremely time-consuming process that required plenty hand grinding, something unfavorable for a safe shop environment. Again, Scott Hackney, Co-Owner of Marenakos, looked to Park Industries® to help solve this bottleneck.
VOYAGER™ XP Eliminates Hand Grinding, Hooray!
A steady stream of Marenakos’s business is cutting radius capstones for stone walls. Scott states, “When we cut these by hand, there is a tremendous amount of grinding and hand labor that needs to be done.”
Scott decided his goal was to eliminate dry grinding in the shop. He called Park Industries® and asked how they could help him achieve that goal. “They showed me this great new saw, the VOYAGER™ XP, that cuts curves with a straight blade.”
Scott then visited the Park Team at TISE in Las Vegas. There, he was able to compare the VOYAGER™ XP to other saws at the show. Ultimately, Scott decided a VOYAGER™ XP was the best fit for his needs.
In the summer of 2020, Marenakos installed a VOYAGER™ XP 5-Axis CNC Saw that changed their world and removed the grinding process (and the headaches that came with it). Scott made his employees t-shirts for the arrival of the new saw, “My team was so elated that they weren’t going to have to hand grind anymore.”
Goal Achieved, Opportunities Found
Scott reflects, “Together with Park, we solved a whole multitude of safety problems in the shop (thanks to the VOYAGER™ XP) and increased our opportunity to do so much more. Adding it was 100% a success.”
One recent example of this, was a custom outdoor countertop Marenakos fabricated. The customer wanted a limestone countertop with a perfect circle cut out to nest around his Big Green Egg grill. Scott was pleased with his new machine’s results. “It would have taken one guy a whole day to lay that all out, cut the hole and get it all done. With the VOYAGER™ XP, we were able to cut the shape of the piece and the hole in a couple of hours. I think we saved at least 50 – 60% on time.”
For Scott, the more important element is the precision and quality of the finished pieces. “They come off the saw customer-ready. We don’t have to touch them up, they’re exactly accurate, ready for the next step.”
Why Park? The People.
Marenakos Rock Center has a long history with Park Industries®. It began in the late 1980s, when the second generation of Marenakos owners purchased a 50cc HYDRASPLIT® Splitter from Park. Scott said, “Park Industries® has always done what they said they would do, something we value very highly.”
More than 30 years later, Marenakos’ relationship continues strongly with Park Industries®. Scott labels the transition to their first CNC as being a smooth one, giving credit to the Park trainer, “He was off-the-charts wonderful. What a pro. He was fantastic. He was patient. He was brilliant. He was perfect for my company.”
It’s the people at Park who make a difference to Scott, “I don’t care how much money you spend on a machine, if you don’t have somebody that teaches you the courage to press the go button, you’re never going to get anything done. That’s a huge part of what Park offers. That takes all the weight off of investing into another process, because you have to know you’re going to come out the other end rockin’ and rollin’.”
Scott said, “I chose Park because of our history with Park and the amazing service we receive. I like having an all-Park shop, it simplifies things for me.”
Scott invites anyone interested in what they’re doing to visit. “Come out to Seattle and see what we’re doing with this new, wonderful VOYAGER™ XP.”
Our neighbor Bill was building a house…
As the Park Team talked with Scott about purchasing each of his machines, he casually mentioned the story of their second machine from Park:
“In 1991, one of our neighbors, a guy named Bill Gates was building a big fancy house on Lake Washington.”
Wait. Did we hear that right? THE Bill Gates? Scott laughed after we asked him to confirm.
“Yeah, THE Bill Gates! He needed a bunch of specialty granite cut. They wanted to use our rock, but we had no way of cutting it, we could only split it at the time.”
The owners at the time, went back to Park Industries® and chose a large 108 gantry saw, with a 9-foot diameter blade on it to do the job. It’s still running and producing in their shop “perfectly” today.