Stone Carving Tools
The principal stone carving tools needed by the sculptor include the point chisel, tooth chisel (rake), the flat straight chisel and a hammer, all of varying sizes and weights. All are forged from high carbon steel and tempered for strength.
The point removes the primary bulk material and comes in three sizes, small, medium and large. All taper down to a four-sided point and the thickness, or size of the point, will be determined by its heaviness. The smaller the size, the finer or lighter the point.
The tooth chisel or rake, for the second stage of removal, is a flat straight chisel with slightly beveled teeth. It is available in four basic widths, the smallest having four teeth, the next five teeth, the next six teeth, and the largest having eight teeth. The tooth chisel is principally used in the geometric reduction of a larger piece of stone.
The flat straight chisel is the finishing tool used before the final abrasive finishing, rasping, and sanding. It has a straight edge with a slight bevel of possibly 30° and is available in three sizes, small, medium, and large.
There are also specialty tools which are not normally used in standard carving but by intermediate and advanced carvers for added assistance in multiple projects. They include:the diamond shaped point, used for parting ferrules width-wise (In stone carving there are no “v” or veining tools as in wood carving; points do this job.);and the rondel, a rounded curved tool used for concave carving; the cutting edge is a round bevel.
Stone carving hammers come in three weights and are made of soft iron, so the percussion is easier on stone, tool, and user. The sizes of the heads are: 1 pound used for small detail work, 1½ pounds for the most common type of carving, and 2 pounds for larger carving. The handles are heavy strength, the hammer heads attached to the handle through a center hole in the head with several steel wedges ensuring the fit. Unless you are very muscular, the 1½ pound hammer is the tool of choice.
Pneumatic tools, composed of a handpiece and the pneumatic tool and used with an air compressor, can reduce bulk material in about a third of the time standard handheld tools require. Common shapes of the cutting ends of the pneumatic tools are: points, rakes, and straight chisels, and in wood carving are short bent, straight chisel, gouge, fishtail, and parting tool.