Stone sculpting and engraving is an art form that requires the skill and patience to work with hard materials to create everything from sculpted statues to headstones for graves. Stone sculpting began in the latter part of the 19th century, and the methods for cutting and engraving stone have changed little from the earliest days of stonework.
Hand Engraving Methods
Tooth chisels to sculpt and engrave stone have been the preferred method of engraving stone for centuries. A heavy hammer and chisel are still in use today by craftsmen who feel the old way of engraving stone remains the best. In fact, using a good set of chisels, both flat and toothed, can offer better degree of control over stonework than power tools. The types of chisels in use include chisels with teeth. The fewer teeth in a chisel, the quicker and rougher the cut will be. Tooth chisels are ideal for roughing out your engraving design and ideal for creating raised letters and designs. Flat chisels provide the smoothing and detail work.
Power Engraving Tools
Use a pneumatic hammer to save time when carving stone. These hammers are powered by air, and chip away stone at a fast rate. Pneumatic hammers use various attachments for roughing out and detailing, very similar to hammer and chisel, but without the labor. A pneumatic hammer is the easiest method available for stone engravers and sculptors, and a good investment if you plan to do stone engraving on a regular basis.
A newer method of stone engraving is the laser engraving method. Lasers are ideal for engraving, especially on fine-grained stones. Polished stone, marble and granite are excellent examples of ideal stone for laser engraving. Laser engraving allows you to achieve a wide range of engraving effects, both deep cut and surface, with high contrast. Laser engraving machines are expensive and not a recommended option for the hobbyist, though there are a number of laser engraving services where you can have the engraving done at a reasonable price.
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