Although you can only stone and shape the stone with a hammer and chisel, using the right tools will make the job much easier and safer. A variety of tools are available from many manufacturers, but consider a few basics. Before deciding which tools to fit, you need to know what type of stone is shaped, including its composition and density. Some stones contain hazardous substances, and the density of other stones requires special tools. Knowing the tools will allow you to choose the best materials for your project.
Rock Shaping Tools
The stone chips are sharp, so eye protection and a good pair of gloves are necessary. When working with air tools, impact-resistant gloves keep your hands numb. Some stones contain toxic substances. For example, granite contains silica, which can cause lung damage if inhaled. You need a good respirator for granite dust. Hearing protection is essential when working with air tools or diamond saws.
Sharp scissors are used to create a rough shape in the stones and to quickly get rid of excess material. Toothpicks are used to sharpen a rough shape created with a tip chisel, such as leveling peaks and valleys. Flat chisels further refine the structure of the stone. For softer stones and marbles, a hardened steel chisel works, but harder stones require harder tools. You need carbide scissors to work with granite or sandstone, for example. Air chisels are pretty much the same, except for use with an air hammer.
The heavier the hammer, the coarser the result. For more precise work, use a small 1 lb hammer. For general carving, a 1 ½ pound hammer is good. The 3 lb hammer is most effective at removing large excess material. Never use a hardened steel hammer with hardened steel chisels, as an excessive impact can result in metal fragments escaping from the chisel head. Air hammers receive compressed air, receive multiple strokes per second, and come in a variety of sizes: ¾ and 1-inch hammers are best for general carving, while a 1-inch hammer does a good job of removing large chunks of excess material.
Combinations or tone correction tools allow large parts to fall to the edge of a square stone. The handset makes this work faster and is often very efficient. Tracing tools are used in the final design of the stones. They make precision lines around the edges of the stone house.
With softer stones, rasps are used for the final design. Unlike power tools for finishing, rasp gives more control and creates a more natural look. If you want a smoother surface, sand the rasp marks. When sanding, remember to use wet / dry silicone carbide carbon paper and apply water to the stones during sanding to keep dust particles to a minimum. Air polishers create a smoother surface and often adopt different pads for different sand.
Power tools are available for many of these jobs. Small grinders are good for stone carving. Carbide cutting and grinding discs are inexpensive and are often used with softer stones, while harder stones require a diamond blade. Grinders are used to carve softer stones and work well for carving small details. A hammer drill and carbide drills are required to drill the stone.