Stone cutting


Old 01-27-01, 07:09 AM
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I want to cut a foundation for a cellar house out of sandstone. Is there anyone who knows how to do this or can lead me in the right direction for this information? Dimensions should be about 2'X 2'X 4'. How do you find the grain in the stone?
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Old 01-27-01, 08:17 PM
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If you intend to dimension smaller pieces a good stonemasonry book is "The Art of the Stonemason" by Ian Cramb. Check the local library. Almost any stonemasonry book includes how to use plugs and feathers for splitting stone, and dimensioning stone with a stone hammer and stone chisels. Other techniques exist, however, they are either ancient and rarely practiced or involve expensive power tools. Quarrying stone is an entirely different subject. The same goes for splitting blocks weighing tons into smaller blocks.

Cleavage (if any) in sandstones vary, because the composition of sandstones vary. Scoring and splitting with plugs and feathers usually produces a clean line. If not, break out the diamond saw. Sometimes "grain lines" are easy to see (like those in wood) and sometimes it requires study. Saw when possible.

If you intend to use sandstone, research it. Sandstone that contains excessive calcium hydroxide, calcite, feldspar, or dissolvable minerals should not be used. Ian Crambs' book contains tests for these substances but he omits the detail. Cramb suggests a rule of thumb absorption standard also. If you aline your thinking with ASTM standards type II "quartzitic" sandstone, and type III "a metamorphic" sandstone would be primary candidates.
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