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Stone working and quarrying?

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posted on Mar, 8 2009 @ 04:38 AM
Hi all, I've recently been researching primitive and ancient methods to quarry and work stone. In the next few days I plan to gather some stone and learn how to work stone using known ancient and primitive methods. I've found some information mostly of known methods in Egypt.

This site is about the most comprehensive one i've found yet, but i'm still looking.

Does anyone here have experience or information on working with stone? I'm not talking about flint knapping and toolmaking, I want to learn to quarry and work stone into such things as containers, bowls, building blocks, and obelisks. I plan to pick up some copper tubing to make a set of coring drills, and some chisels. I'm curious as to how well a set of copper chisels would actually work.

I know building an obelisk isn't an immediate survival need, but when we crawl out of the rubble after the apocalypse, it might be nice to be able to plant a henge of obelisks to use as an astronomical clock/observatory.

posted on Mar, 8 2009 @ 04:50 AM
What nation are you in??? In the US the Hopi indians did some stuff about masonry work which is archived, In the UK there are pot makers and stone working courses available.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 07:22 PM
You NEED steel chisels. Steel is much much harder and stronger than copper, and also less expensive. I don't think you'd even be able to get a copper chisel or what it would be used for..

The Ancient Egyptians used copper because it was ther best metal they had for tools, but you really ought to get steel tools for your stoneworking.

As far as if you plan on doing any really fine stonework, you ought to research the use of abrasives stone-on-stone carving techniques.

[edit on 3/23/2009 by nasdack24k]

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 07:43 PM
I think the Egyptians had a lost method for hardening the copper. I might be wrong about that. I have and do quarry and work with stone so U2U me with specific questions if I forget about this thread.

A lot depends on the rock you will be working as the quarry methods will be different. The best way to save yourself a lot of trouble is to learn to use stone of varying sizes and maybe only worrying about getting the face sides good looking. Learn the way the stones in your area want to split. Learn how to find the grain in granite and cut along that. If you have a hammer and a chisel and are cutting along the right line all you do is score lines around the rock where you want it to break. I have used a 3 pound hammer and an old axe to cut a clean granite step before so it just takes patience.

The harder part is moving the rock with mechanical advantage. You mess up your back and your quarrying days are over. In the winter you can use a sled but year round a cable hoist system is the cheapest, safest and most efficient set up. Search the internet for "griphoist". Once in awhile they show up on ebay for $300 or less used.

Building with stone is fun and I do drystone exclusively. As with everything you build you need a good foundation. After that you build so that pretty much every stone that you lay will move into the structure and tighten it up over time, if it moves at all. There are a lot of books about it but very few really do more than show you pictures with ideal rocks.

Carbide tipped chisels are worth every penny if you are working with hard rocks.

posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 10:28 PM
The nice thing about where i am is that it's a geologist's wildest dream, i can find anything that's mineral, like a big natural junkyard of mineral. I've got my pick of what i want to work igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. I'm thinking i can use some sort of sandstone for structure and facing blocks made from my choice.

As for the copper chisels, that's just an experiment, i'm curious as to how far i'd get with 'em. I plan to get some good hardened steel chisels and a good hammers when it comes time to put in the real labor, but i want to try and work stone with copper to replicate what they supposedly had. I'm also wanting to try a copper hole saw using quratz sand as an abrasive and cutting agent.

As far as moving the stones, i'll figure that out when i find out where they're coming from. Most likely they'd come downhill all the way so i could slide 'em or roll 'em down a trail built for it. I'll also figure out what the largest piece i could move repeatedly once my crew has experience moving stone.

I've got a crew of thugs that are ready to get down building a small scale pyramid, i just need to figure out exactly where, and how. I want one big enough to shelter a few people, like the size of a 4 to 6 man dome tent.

I tried using a small block of quartz and once my quartz wore into a good flat surface i could use a bit of sand and water and get some serious abrasion. I was able to plane and polish about 1 sq ft of surface on some fairly hard rock in a reasonable amount of time to call progress, using about 1.5 sq in of cutting surface on the quartz. I'm thinking if i got a 500lb slab of quartz with a few square feet of cutting surface and used quartz sand as a cutting agent, i could have a team of 2 or 3 men working the surfacing machine by either reciprocal or rotary motion, or both, and make a fairly easy task of getting the tolerances tight when it comes to final fitting, and also for polishing face pieces.

Thanks for the replies all!

posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 01:19 AM

While stone is cheap and durable, it has terrible insulating properties and often promotes mold growth during periods of higher humidity. It would take a lot more fuel to keep a stone house warm than say an rammed earth structure or adobe structure. Stone will be fine for temporary shelter but unless it is really well engineered and properly constructed, it will be tough for long term survival living.

posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 01:38 AM

Originally posted by DezertSkies
Does anyone here have experience or information on working with stone?

I suggest disregarding the "official" story about how the egyptians quarried stone, and find the truth of how they actually really did it.

Then you won't need tools at all...

posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 10:09 AM

Originally posted by NuclearPaul

I suggest disregarding the "official" story about how the egyptians quarried stone, and find the truth of how they actually really did it.

I don't really believe the official story, as far as the more impressive granitework is concerned, but i'm interested in testing it's validity. I'm also planning on doing some experiments with vibrational frequency to see if a piece of granite would have any change in physical properties when resonating. I have a feeling that "sound" of some sort causing a resonance that has some affect on the material. Ed from coral castle supposedly whistled and sang to his stones to move them somehow (or maybe he just liked to whistle while he worked) and as well in AE there are stories that rocks were struck with a special staff and made easier to handle. Sounds like some sort of induction of vibration via a a tuning fork of sorts.

posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 10:22 PM
why do people ` disbelieve ` the " official explaination " of egyptian quarrying ????

it makes perfect sense , and the tool marks and cuts in abandoned quarryfaces / unused blocks show exactly how they did it

whats to disbelieve ??

PS - quarrying techniques really didnt alter significantly from egyptian times untill the introduction of gunpowder for blasting

before anyone comments - i said techniqies - NOT tools - steel tools only allow faster working - and less manpower dedicated to tool redressing / tempering

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