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How Stones Are Cut and Shaped

Need to split a giant rock in half? It’s surprisingly easy. Or at least, it is if you have the proper bad ass tools, like a gas-powered cut-off saw with a diamond blade or a rotary-hammer drill with a masonry bit.


Once you get your hands on the tools, all you need to do is drill some holes into the stone, stick some wedges in, and then hammer at the wedges to crack it open. If you do it right, it splits right in half.

This Old House explains this method and other ways to shape stones. It’s really neat to see the different tools they use for each task (trimming jagged edges, cutting at different points, etc.). Just watch your thumbs.


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You definitely want to be wearing a mask as well if you are cutting stone. For some the dust will be straight up toxic, others it can do you a fair bit of damage long term. People used to think lung damage from dust only happened with coal dust, but it happens with everything and it’s worse in natural stone that may have various carcinogenic compounds in it.