Stone is one of the most durable building materials there is. If you need any proof of this statement, consider the many ancient structures that were built from stone that are still standing today. While steel will rust and wood will rot, stone will erode, but it erodes very, very slowly. One huge benefit of using stone on a house is that the stone will not need paint or stain. You won't have to worry that the wind will peel away the stone like it might do with vinyl siding. Your stone will take the weather for years and years to come. The one serious drawback of stone is that you have to cut stone from a quarry and cut it to size. While stone cutting is far from impossible, it is also far from easy. |
When you are cutting a stone to size, you can really can start by looking for a natural fissure or crack in the rock that you want to cut. By driving wedges into this crack, you can split the rock along the lines already formed by the crack. The crack might give you trouble anyway, so splitting a large stone along cracks is a great way to break a stone down into smaller pieces. Sometimes cracks are easy to find, but sometimes it is not easy to find a crack to work with. When you find that you have no cracks to work with, you will have to find another way to split your stone.
One problem with using a crack as a starting place for splitting a stone is that you never know which direction the crack might run. When you want to be precise with how you cut a stone, you will need to make sure that you have some way of controlling the way a stone breaks. One way to do this is to drill holes into a rock at a distance of about a foot from one another, You will need to drill this holes in a straight line from one side of the stone to the other.
Next, you will want to clean out any dust from these holes. Next, you place a wedge into each hole. You will also want to place shims on either side of the wedge. Next, you go from wedge to wedge taking a couple taps at each wedge as you go. If you do your starter holes correctly, the cracks you create as you drive your wedges into the stone will spread from starter hole to starter hole. Thus, you don't have to worry about cracks spreading in any direction. You will need to take your time when you use this method.
If you move too quickly or use too much force, you will not give time for the cracks to spread like they should. If you have patience, this is one method of stone cutting that has worked for thousands of years and still works today. There are more modern methods of stone cutting, but these usually will cost more money than the price you will pay for a drill and drill bit for drilling into stone, a sledge, and some stone cutting wedges.
Modern methods will give you quicker results and more controlled cutting. If you have the ability to buy or rent large stone cutting tools, you will want to make sure that the amount of stone cutting you plan on doing justifies the price. If you will only be doing a small job, then there is no need to build a tractor specially designed to harvest stone from a mountainside. Stone cutting is hard work, but it can be fun.
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