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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My house when I bought it was a fix me upper split level. Chimney never burned well smoke rolled inside. Tore her down to the foundation and rebuilt it. Had the fireplace roughed out for a month or two finally got around to finishing it up the last two nights. I've burned it a few times and was very pleased.
 

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mason contractors
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new england fieldstone

Nick looks good .....how long doing stone? Oldtimers note the deep breaths taken when finally getting above the lintel.

I watch my son so as he doesn't give in to the temptation of placing that easy stone on the peir which messes up the pattern.

Many guys don't cut rock well or at all. Just like the French Guy they strew stones all over and look for the right one till they find it.
We all do it to a point but it is time consuming and costly to someone especially if they don't run well that day.
Many times we'd work down to just a few stones on a f.p. face and that's when you learn to cut.
There are jobs where it is virtually impossible to spread stone around, as when a stone wall collapses behind a home on a hillside in the mud etc. If you can't make them fit your history. My father would tell me stories of the depresssion when the boss used to scream "Put the Big Ones In" the foundation or wall and if you didn't the next morning you'd be standing with the unwanted-s at the street corner.

My Grandfather walk his tools along the tracks, 4 towns to Yale and home again along with some other stone masons ....How nice it would have been for him to just shop for the right one! Ya Right!

If you see a stone mason with just a few tools or he turns his head when your cutting [aiming the chips to the opposite direction] he's more a stone shopper.

There is nothing more amazing than watching someone pick up a stone hammer and do wonders with it. The peices that come have great value and are even given names such as pegs; bull heads; dog killers; wedges. etc.
As a kid I'd have to run after them and put them under the sides of the mortar tubs, as they had great value.

In seeing the French Mason Video I noted the shaped pieces I'm speaking off and I knew he spent many hours finding them...especially the rare ones as they suffice such a certain predicament[niche].
They would have names such as wedges;bull heads;shims;dog killers;etc and certain ones were actally one of a kind and rather impossible to be produced by nature.

All in all a stone mason has to have a great eye and be skilled in kowning how to cut stone. Cutting on the staging is the most tiresome especially for fireplaces. I use a 4x6 3/8'' angle iron to back up or many times a large sharpe stone. The old man used to make wood boxes with dead sand in them..good for Granite but back cutting or weakening is many times necessary to avoid a blow out. My job was cleaning the chips out...lol

I wish I did something with the thought I had in the 70's, of making a cutter that would conform with a stone's contour....like they have now. Hydraulic lifters fitted with carbide teeth backed up with wedges
brilliantly easy.
 

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Hey francis what do you mean turning your head when someone is cutting? Do you mean if im working with someone else who is cutting? Even with eye priotection a rock chip on the cheek still hurts lol.
 

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mason contractors
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487 Posts
new england fieldstone

Nick looks good .....how long doing stone? Oldtimers note the deep breaths taken when finally getting above the lintel.

I watch my son so as he doesn't give in to the temptation of placing that easy stone on the peir which messes up the pattern. No implication
ment.

Many guys don't cut well or at all. Just like the French Guy they strew stones all over and look for the right one till they find it.
That is play for pay as I didnt see any hammers or chisels in his video, and in that we all do it, to a point, it is very time consuming and costly to everyone, especially if the stones [the luck in finding the right ones] don't run well that day. This results in pattern blems for the picker type.
Many times we'd work down to just a few stones on a f.p. face and that's when it pays off in having the ability to make a stone fit without marking it all up.

There are jobs where it is virtually impossible both physically or monetarily to spread stone all around to pick them out. For instance when a stone wall collapses behind a home on a hillside or in in the mud etc. If you can't make them fit your history.
My father would tell me stories of the depresssion when the boss used to scream "Put the Big Ones In" meaning the foundation or wall and if you didn't, the next morning you'd be standing with the unwanted-s at the street corner.

My Grandfather would walk his tools along the tracks from 4 towns away to Yale and home again, along with some other stone masons ....How nice it would have been for him to just shop for the right stones and do away with most of the hamers and chisels. Ya Right they had in house blacksmiths constantly resharpening....I worked with those tools still have them and they are fine tools except for the points....they dull fast. In fact even the carbide points don't keep all that long so I bring a two wheel grinder and a bunch of points.

Even stone hammers are so very different in quality. My best medium stone hammer [two handed] is one that I actually found all rusted and pitted. I liked the shape so much that I cleaned it up and put a new handle in it and it never gets dull or chips from over tempering.It has such a nice hit to it it's constantly ending up in my son's end of the job!
Some hammers wanna turn when they hit and some are plain uncomfortable and even hard to make hit the exact spot.

If you see a stone mason with just a few tools, or he turns his head when your cutting even while you are aiming the chips to the opposite direction, he's more a stone shopper.
I had a nosey mason friend whom would often come around to learn ,,,in fact he would often bid against us as he became more well known.
The old man would pick up the stone hammer when he came around and he'd scat lol.

There is nothing more amazing than watching someone pick up a stone hammer and do wonders with it very unlike like many stone breakers I see out there.
The peices that come have such great value and are even given names such as pegs; bull heads; dog killers; wedges,shims;razors etc.
The dog killers were an Italian thing....I asked the old man "why they called them that" when I first started as a kid. He answered, "Eh","They kept the dogs away!"
I'd have to run after them and put them under the sides of the mortar tubs,"they had great value".

In seeing French's Video I noted the shaped pieces I'm speaking of [especially in his dry walls at the cabin and abutting the large granite poasts]and I knew he spent many hours finding them...especially the rare ones as they suffice such certain predicaments [niches].
They would have names such as wedges;bull heads;shims;dog killers;etc and certain ones were actally one of a kind and rather impossible to be produced by nature.

All in all a stone mason has to have a great eye and be skilled in kowning how to cut stone. Cutting on the staging is the most tiresome especially for fireplaces. I use a 4x6 3/8'' angle iron to back up the cut or many times a large sharp edge stone. The old man used to make wood boxes with dead sand in them..good for Granite although back cutting or weakening is many times necessary to avoid a blow out. My job was cleaning the chips out...lol

Amazing in watching a craftsman hit the back of a huge piece of granite at just the right intensity, then turn it over and cut off a chunk without an angle as needed for a jamb. It takes takes years to learn how and when to attempt it but it works well especially when you mark the ends repeatedly.

I wish I did something with the thought I had in the 70's, of making a cutter that would conform with a stone's contour....like they have now. Hydraulic lifters fitted with carbide teeth backed up with wedges.
Brilliantly easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Francis casini thank you very much I appreciate it. I'm fourth generation in this business and have been fortunate to learn from both a grandfather and my father. Family business which seems to closely mirror your own business. I'm 25 years old and have been truly laying stone and brick since I was about 18, with many years of observing and running around prior to that.

I've been fortunate to be surrounded by some good people who have shown me the trade and think at a fairly young age I'm pretty well versed in many different aspects of the trade. There's always more to learn, as we all know!
 
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