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Tools For Stone Work, Cutting and Carving
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 monuments.

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 stone.


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