View Full Version : Anyone with stone (flagstone like) cutting/shaping experience?

Don Morris
04-10-2012, 9:40 AM
LOML liked this Arizona Flagstone to place in our garden as a "decorative sculpture". It didn't cost that much and if it comes out reasonably looking good, we made out well compared to buying some of the expensive stuff we saw. I would like to shape it down in a triangular pattern more or less 20" Wide at the top by 30" at the bottom with some irregularity (interest) to the sides, not straight cuts. It's 1 1/2" thick. We had the place we bought the stone from use their huge wet diamond stone cutting machine to cut it to this 24" X 36" size to at least get it to a starting point for me. I've used brick hammers to trimm plenty of bricks for a brick patio, trimmed western Maryland wall stone with hand chisels, so I've done a little stone work but never a flagstone type. I saved the two 6" X 24" pieces that were cut off to get it to this size to use as practice. I thought someone with a flagstone type stone cutting/shaping experience might save me some grief,229163 and I would be very grateful. Thanks for any helpful ideas. The image is rotated from what I intend to complete.

Greg Peterson
04-10-2012, 9:57 AM
What little I have done involved scoring a line via an angle grinder, then tapping with a hammer. Imperfect edges won't be a problem.

Don Morris
04-10-2012, 11:04 AM
What a wonderful idea! One of the few power tools I don't have. Just wait until LOML hears why I have to have one. There can't be any argument about having it!!! Off to HD. Anybody else with an idea like that before I go?

Belinda Williamson
04-10-2012, 12:22 PM
Beaver Edge Chisel machine. http://www.braxton-bragg.com/index.cfm/m/1/fuseaction/store7catalog.level/bc/0,8450,8673,9456/

It won't cut the stone, just chisel the edges, so you can buy another tool. :D

Or, you could check with a local countertop fabricators to see if they have an edge chiseling machine.

David Weaver
04-10-2012, 12:40 PM
I worked for a tile installer one summer in high school.

We cut it (all the way through) with an angle grinder and a diamond wheel.

A wet sponge against the cutting wheel kept the dust down.

Ron Natalie
04-10-2012, 1:19 PM
A grinder would be the easy way out, but making the score with a broad (cold) chisel is what they did before they had power tools.

But there's no job worth doing if you don't get a new tool out of it.

Don Morris
04-10-2012, 3:14 PM
Lets see...Big Beaver Edge Chisel Machine = $2800.00 (typical lead time is 10 days) or Porter Cable Small Edge Grinder = $39.00. + $30.00 for wet/dry diamond cutting blade (typical drive to HD ia 10min), hmmmm let me think about that.

Belinda Williamson
04-10-2012, 3:36 PM
Lets see...Big Beaver Edge Chisel Machine = $2800.00 (typical lead time is 10 days) or Porter Cable Small Edge Grinder = $39.00. + $30.00 for wet/dry diamond cutting blade (typical drive to HD ia 10min), hmmmm let me think about that.

Hey, I thought you wanted new tools . . . you didn't say how much you wanted to spend. :D I have a stone fabrication shop and don't own the Beaver edge machine.

Todd Burch
04-10-2012, 4:36 PM
A circular saw with a masonry blade will do the scoring (or cutting). You can actually use a carbide blade if you want - flagstone is pretty soft. Or, you can just score with a cold chisel and break it where you want by lining up the cut/break line with a piece of (for example) angle iron under the break line.

Don Morris
04-11-2012, 2:39 AM
Got the Porter Cable small angle grinder and diamond blade for masonry. Scored one of the test pieces on the side opposite the striated side so when (hopefully) tapped it, the pretty striated side would have some irregularity (interest) to it. Used a 2 1/2" wide chisel and tapped in the grove. Whallllllaaaah. Broke off with just enough irregularity on the striated side to please LOML. Probably would have gotten the same result if I took my 4lb hammer and struck the end away from the scored groove. Now to the real thing. Michelangelo's David...that was nothing. I watched the Smithsonian channel on how the Egiptians built the pyramids and the Incas built machu pichu. Thanks all for the ideas and help!

Ron Natalie
04-11-2012, 8:46 AM
I'd go ahead and buy the angle grinder. I didn't think it was going to be too useful to me when I bought mine but there are times like this when it's really handy. I don't do much metalwork, but one day I had to trim a piece for the smoker and looking around I came across the recipe saw (not a pleasant prospect for the small piece I was cutting) and the angle girder with the abrasive wheel. I always see the guys on American Chopper cutting their tins with the grinder so I figured that would work and it did. Also putting the abrasive flap wheel was a great tool for shaping a patch on my boat and removing the mushroomed top of the metal fence post I'd hammered in for my wife's bird houses (the squirrel shield wouldn't fit over the top until I did).

Don Morris
04-11-2012, 9:39 AM

I agree, after you have the tool, you then see applications that when you didn't have it, you wouldn't have come up with it as a solution to that problem. I may not use it much, but probably now that I have it, will put it into the possible "tools to use to solve problem" thought process.

Don M