Stonework is something I'd like to take a swing at some day, since stone is abundant on my property to the point of being a nuisance. (I'm just starting to get over the strangeness of that- I grew up in southeast Georgia, where there was clay, but just NO stone at all. When I'd read books where a character picked up a stone to throw it, or sat down on a stone to rest, that was equivalent in my mind to spaceships and dragons. Stone just laying there all over the ground? That's only in books.)
So here's the question. If I were to make a set of stonework tools, what should I include? I've got access to material and equipment. I've done lots of heat-treating. But I don't know which stonework tools are indispensable, which are nice-to-have, and which are specialty or once-in-a-while pieces.
I guess it comes down to old school vs modern. I would (since I have it on hand) use a 4-1/2" grinder with a diamond blade. This would be the stone equivalent of carving stumps with a chainsaw instead of chisels. Dust mask and goggles would be a must!
You can do a lot with rock a few sets of feathers and shims along with some rock drills would be a good start. My experience has been with sculpting but the tools are similar for rough work. Toothed chisel for smoothing.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
I do carve stone...sometimes on a regular basis and quarry in several traditional fashions including "salvage" and "erratics" quarrying methods. I was lucky to even do a last production run in an Amish slate quarry with mule. I have been meaning to start a thread with a similar title to this on...so it is serendipitous that it is now has been made. I will start with the basics for to read through, and consider. After that, please let me know if I can answer more detailed questions.
The basic stone kit is made up of a mix of power and hand tools all dependant on need, skill level, and goals:
Lifting and prying tools...
Rough working tools...
Finer Carving tools...
I would start with a source that has been around in the same Blacksmith shop, and forge for well over 100 years...Trow and Holden I am biased as I know the owner and most of his team. There are others with similar histories (most tie back to T&H in some way.)
Below are an example of what can be achieved..."scarf joint in granite."
I have done some dry stone walling , limestone ,in the north of England with nothing more than a "scutch hammer " but here in France its a sort of whitish blue grain granite or slate any suggestions of a few simple tools for working these .
Living in Anjou , France,
For the many not for the few
If you are working hard stone, a set of carbide tools is very nice. Trow and Holden makes very nice tools. It looks like a good share of the tools in Jay's photo are Trow and Holden. They are expensive - so learn how to use them properly (their short videos are worth watching). I started with their stone masonry set (Stone Buster, Mason's Chipper, Hand Point) and added a couple other chisels. I also have a couple cheap non-carbide chisels for when finesse is not needed and damage to the tools is more likely. Learn to read the stone also - lineation, foliation, etc. of the stone will guide where the stone wants to split.
I also keep the angle grinder, drill, feathers and wedges nearby - though they don't get used as much.
So much depends on the type and size of stone you are working and what your goals are. I am mainly working river rock - so I try to find the right stone for the place and keep the chisel work to a minimum.
It is really difficult to suggest modalities of shaping without touching the stone itself...There is just so much to that level of intimacy and communication between Artisan and material...I am afraid I could give false information. Often what appears to be a "granite" is not...but some other hard igneous or metamorphic that may or maynot have a homogenous interstitial matrix.
True granites...or a well heeled form...can be split in just about any direction and shape, while stratified slates, limes, sands and related stone have a clear..."drift and grain." Photos "may" (and may not) tell more of the story should I be of more help...
Diamond blades and grinders are of great help but are very dusty, and expensive when over used.
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