Stone carving considerations
Stone shaping and tools
- Percussion tools for hitting - such as mallets, axes, adzes, bouchards and toothed hammers.
- Tools for rough shaping of stone, to form a block the size needed for the carving. These include feathers and wedges and pitching tools.
- Chisels for cutting - such as lettering chisels, points, pitching tools, and claw chisels. Chisels in turn may be hand held and hammered or pneumatic powered.
- Diamond tools which include burrs, cup wheels, and blades mounted on a host of power tools.These are used sometimes through the entire carving process from rough work to final finish.
- Abrasives for material removal - such as carborundum blocks, drills, saws, grinding and cutting wheels, water-abrasive machinery and dressing tools such as French and English drags.
- The masons stroke, in which a flat chisel is used at approximately 90 degrees to the surface in an organized sweep. It shatters the stone beneath it and each successive pass lowers the surface.
- The lettering stroke, in which the chisel is used along the surface at approximately 30 degrees to cut beneath the existing surface.
- Lettering chisels for incising small strokes create the details of letters in larger applications.
- Fishtail carving chisels are used to create pockets, valleys and for intricate carving, whilst providing good visibility around the stone.
- Masonry chisels are used for the general shaping of stones.
- Stone point tools are used to rough out the surface of the stone.
- Stone claw tools are used to remove the peaks and troughs left from the previously used tools.
- Stone pitching tools are used to remove large quantities of stone.
- Stone nickers are used to split stones by tracing a line along the stone with progressive strikes until the stone breaks along the line.
- Heat treated high carbon steel tools - Generally forged
- Tungsten carbide tipped tools - Generally forged, slotted, and carbide inserts brazed in to provide a harder and longer-wearing cutting edge.
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