Tools For Stone Work, Cutting and
By Nick Bright
Stonemasonry is celebrated as being one of
civilisation's oldest crafts, going back to at least the
Egyptian pyramid making. The tools used then are not
dissimilar to the tools used now although we now have
the luxury of making them out of stronger material, more
precise and powering them with electricity.
I suppose the most basic tools for working with stone
are mallets and chisels. They come in a dizzying array
of shapes and sizes depending on the application, the
type of stone and the size on one's hands. These would
generally be used by a banker mason. They have the role
of shaping stone into gargoyles and animals and delicate
figures and such like, or by creating lettering on
Point chisels are the main type of chisel and are used
to roughly shape the stone. If the mason was working on
a harder stone like granite, the tip would have a
carbide tip in order to be strong enough.
Tracing chisels are used to create lines on the edge of
a block. These are more accurate than the point chisels.
Toothed chisels are used to smooth out burrs left by the
work of the point chisel. A mason would also use a
chisel called a bullnose chisel which is frequently used
to smooth out rough areas.
In terms of hammers or mallets, a common hammer would be
the Bush Hammer. They come in many shapes and sizes,
powered and unpowered. they have a face on them made
from lots of little pyramids much like a meat
tenderiser. It is used on the face of stone to create a
rough, pockmarked, natural texture while shaping the