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gress, and Construction. With Hints on the Management of Saw 
Mills and the Economical Conversion of 'i'lmber Illustrated 
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M. INST. M.E., A.-M. INST. C.E., 


SHith ^titnerjjus iUustrations. 
^ecoiiU (fitJition, 3ael)i;Seti anU (KnIargcU. 





[J II rights reserved.'] 




The following pages have the honour, and at the 
same time, the disadvantage of being the first work 
published — in this country — on the Conversion of Stone 
by Machinery. The disadvantage to an Author in not 
having books of reference on the subject on which he 
treats is sufficiently obvious ; and some of the short- 
comings of the present work will, the Author trusts, be 
kindly attributed to this cause. Although the conversion 
of stone is one of the most ancient of all the mechanical 
arts, its conversion by means of machinery — in an 
advanced form — is quite of modern origin. Much has 
been done during recent years to develop this branch 
of engineering, and although many obstacles have 
presented themselves, very marked success has already 
been attained. Ample scope, however, remains for still 
further improvements. 

In erecting stone-working machinery it is of the highest 
importance that its principle of working be adapted to the 



nature of the stone to be operated on ; and by judicious 
employment it can, without doubt, be made to effect an 
immense saving over hand-labour. 

The Author having had considerable experience in the 
construction of stone-working machinery, trusts the hints 
he gives may be found of service to those about to erect 
such machinery, as well as to others who have it already 
in operation. 

Appold Street, London, E.G. 
September, 1897. 




I. — Introductory . 1 

II. — Stone suitable for Machine Conversion . . 8 

III. — Arrangement of Stoneworks for General Pur- 

poses 16 

IV. — Stone-sawing Frames 22 

V. — Stone-sawing, &c., with Diamond Points . . 36 

VI. — Circular Saws for Cutting Stone . . . . 40 

VII. — Stone-dressing and Planing Machines . . 52 

VIII. — Stone-moulding Machines 77 

IX.— EuBBiNG OR Surfacing Beds 89 

X.— Stone Kecessing and Moulding Machines . . 98 

XI. — Sculpturing Machinery 103 

XII.— Polishing Beds . 109 

XIII. — Turning Lathes 115 

XIV. — Stone-breaking Machinery 118 

XV. — Slate-working Machinery 124 

XVI. — Miscellaneous Machinery for Working Stones 135 



XVII.— Cutting Tools 138 

XVIII.— Notes on Management of a Stone Works . . 149 

XIX. — Stonewoeking : Hand Labour versus Machinery 155 

XX. — Notes on Masonry, Eecipes, &c 162 

Appendix A 170 

Appendix B. Technical Terms . .. • 173 

INDEX 178 


— t — 

Fia. PAGE 

1. Plan of Stoneworks for General Purposes . .17 

2, 3. Horizontal Stone Sawing Frame . . . To face 35 
4, 5, 6, 7, 9, Cutting Tools . . . . . 44:, 45, 48 
8. Stone Eidges ... ■ 47 

10. Cutter-stocks 58 

11. Horizontal Barrel : Stone-dressing Machine To/ace 62 

12. 13, 14, 15, Chucks and Cutting Tools . . .67, 68, 69 

16. Machine for Top-dressing Hard Stones . To face 70 

17. Machine for Side-dressing Stones .... 72 

18. Horizontal Planing and Moulding Machine . To face 73 

19. Tool and Tool Holder ....... 74 

20. Trier's Patent Vertical Stone-dressing Machine xoface 76 

21. Section of Steel Tool 80 

22. Duplex Stone-moulding Machine 81 

23. 24, 25, 26, Tools and Tool Holders ... 82, 83 



27. Vertical Barrel Stone-moulding Machine \ 

{Back Elevation) ...... 

28. Vertical Barrel Stone-moulding Machine 1 ^ 

(End Elevation) . [ 

29. Vertical Barrel Stone-moulding Machine 

(Plan) / 

30. Horizontal Stone-moulding Machine . Toface 88 

31. Horizontal Rubbing Beds 96 

32. Hand-power Rubbing Disc 97 

33. Tool for Cutting Grooves ...... 100 

34. Horizontal Polishing Machine . . • .' . . 110 

35. Vertical Polishing Disc . 112 

36. Hand Polishing Rubber 113 

37. Stone-breaking Machine 121 

38. Cylinder Drill 137 

39. Turning Tool Holder 147 

40. Section of Moulding 159 

41. Circular Stone Sawing Machine 171 




One of the most ancient of all the mechanical arts is that 
of working and preparing stone for building purposes. 
This is abundantly proved by the remains discovered in 
Egypt, Greece, and other countries ; and that the art of 
the stonemason was also one of considerable importance 
many centuries ago, can hardly be doubted, from the 
constant reference made to it in Holy Writ and other 
ancient histories. Notwithstanding the important part 
the stonemason has played for centuries in the con- 
struction of the great monuments and buildings of the 
world, it is a somewhat astonishing fact that, till within 
comparatively recent years, no improvement of importance 
— so far as at present can be gathered — has been effected 
in the processes of stoneworking, and the ancient mode of 
sawing stone by means of a plate of iron stretched in a 
frame, and reciprocated horizontally by the hands of a 
sawyer seated before it, is still largely practised. 

According to Manetho, Saesorthus introduced the art 
of building with hewn stone ; but the Phoenicians are 
probably entitled to the credit of being the first users of 




the stone-saw, for we read that they erected the Temple 
of King Solomon of stone sawn withm and without. 
The first buildings, however, of stone to which a date has 
been assigned, are the Pyramids of Ghizeh. 

According to Diodorus, the great wall surrounding 
the city of Nineveh was 100ft. high, and so broad that 
three chariots might drive abreast. Xenophon says that 
this wall, up to 50ft. high, was composed of blocks of 
fossiliferous limestone, smoothed and polished on the 
outside. A tower is also in existence composed of large 
blocks of marble, cut with great exactness, and joined 
together without mortar or cement of any kind ; the roof 
consists of four large slabs of stone, reaching entirely 
across from side to side, and measuring about 24ft. in 
length, and 6ft. in width, and from 18in. to 3ft. in 
thickness. The slabs are cut to slope each way from the 
diagonal lines, and were originally carefully clamped 
together with iron clamps. A large portion of the 
masonry of the palace at Khorsabad was of stone, square 
hewn and of great size, laid dry and backed with bricks. 

The obehsks, monoliths, and colossi of Ancient Egypt 
now in existence prove, without shadow of doubt, that 
the art of quarrying stone was well understood by 
the Egyptians thousands of years ago. The obelisks 
transported from the quarries of Syene, at the First 
Cataracts, to Thebes and Heliopolis, vary from 70ft. to 
93ft. in length. The largest monolithic obelisk in 
Egypt is that at Karnak, and is calculated to weigh 297 
tons. The statue of Kameses II., when entire, is stated 
to have weighed 887 tons, and no monuments of bygone 
ages have excited more wonder, controversy, and specula- 
tion, as to the manner of their quarrying, transport, and 
erection, than those of Ancient Egypt. 

Ancient paintings taken from Thebes illustrate the 



various operations of bevelling, squaring, and chiselling 
stone. The straight-edge used, appears to be a taut 
cord, and the chisels and mallets much like our own. In 
a tomb at Thebes workmen are represented mounted on 
a scaffold, and working at a sitting Colossus of granite, 
and in the large platform of the Temple of Baalbec are to 
be foimd worked stones 64ft., 63ft. 8in., and 63ft. long, 
with a height and width of 13ft. 

Of the early history of stone-working by what may 
proi^erly be called machinery, very little is known. 
Ausonius speaks of water-mills for cutting stone being 
erected as early as the fourth century, on the small river 
Eoeur in Germany ; but what these mills consisted of is 
not stated. It is recorded, however, that the earliest forms 
of stone saws consisted of flakes of flint imbedded in a 
wooden blade, and held in position by a composition of 

Pliny conjectures that the saw-mill for cutting stone 
was invented in Caria ; at least he knew of no building 
<30vered with marble of greater antiquity than the Palace 
of King Mausolus, at Halicarnassus. This was erected, 
according to one authority, 350 e.g. This edifice is cele- 
brated by Vitruvius for the beauty of its marble : and 
Pliny gives an account of the kind of sand used for 
cutting it; for "it is the sand," he says " and not the 
saw, which produces that effect." The latter ^Dresses 
down the former, and rubs it against the marble ; and the 
coarser the sand is the longer will be the time required to 
polish the marble which has been cut by it. It appears 
that stones of the soapstone-rock kind, which are much 
softer than marble, were sawn at this period ; but it is 
recorded that far harder glassy kinds of stone were sawn 
or cut also ; for we are told of the discovery of a building 
which was encrusted with cut agate, carnelian, lapis-lazuli, 

B 2 



and ametli3'sts.* The ancient Egyj^tians doubtless prac- 
tised to a considerable extent the art of stone- cutting, as 
man}' arched vaults of cut stone were found amongst the 
ruins of Nineveh, and some are still remaining at Thebes. 
The magnificent masonry of the Parthenon at Athens, 
and many other ancient Greek temples, shows that stone 
conversion was in a considerable state of development in 
several countries many centuries ago, and it is generally 
allowed that in the remains of ancient Greece the best 
models of vuimixed Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian archi- 
tecture are to be found. 

Crassus is credited Avith being the first Roman who 
embellished his house with sawn marble about 90 e.g., and 
it is recorded that several palaces of the Caesars were made 
of it. Cornelius Nepos states that Mamurra, at a little 
later date, was the first to use marble in this way, whilst 
Artemis of Caria states that sawn marble was used for 
building purposes several hundred years before these 

In Italy, the dome of the Pantheon at Rome, which is 
a hemisphere of 139 ft. dia., and the vaulted roofs of the 
halls of the Baths of Diocletian and Caracalla, may be 
cited as simple but grandly-executed specimens of Early 
Italian stonework. The dome of St. Peter's at Rome, 
built from the designs of Michael Angelo at the close of 
the 16tli centur}', affords a great example of the more 
modern Italian school of stone-working. The ancient city 
of Syracuse, in Sicil}'-, exhibits remains which conclusively 
prove, both from its buildings, and the enormous disused 
stone quarries which exist in the neighbourhood, that 
stone quarrjdng and stone-working were practised here in 
ancient days to a vevj large extent. 

* See Jaiinon de S. Laurent's treatise on the cut stones of the ancients, 
in Saggi di Dissertazioni uella Acad. Etrusca di Cortoua, torn. 6, p. 56. 



One of the finest pieces of polished marble-work to be 
seen, perhaps, in the world, is the Taj, about three miles 
from Agra. It consists of an octagon tomb, smnnomited 
by an egg-shaped dome 70 ft. in circumference, and four 
minarets 150 ft. in height. These are all built of pure 
white polished marble, inlaid with one large flower mosaic? 
composed of different coloured stones. The screen of the 
tombs is divided into compartments and panels, and 
runs round marble cenotaphs that lie within. This 
screen is of the purest marble, so pierced and carved as 
to look like a high fence of exquisite lacework, but is 
represented by those who have seen it as being far more 
refined and beautiful. Along the panels are wreaths of 
flowers composed of lapis-lazuli, jasper, heliotrope, chalce- 
dony, carnelian, &c. 

As far as this country is concerned, stone-working was, 
of course, practised to a certain extent during the Saxon, 
Norman, and following periods, and in the time of 
Henry I. the choir of Canterbury Cathedral was paved 
with marble, but it cannot be held that stone-working 
arrived, in England, at any advanced state of develop- 
ment much before the 16th century. 

As regards the literature of stone-working, with the 
exception of the old works by De Lorme (1568) and 
Halfpenny (1725), very little record has been kept of 
the early history of the subject. A few modern works 
have, however, been published; but no treatise, as far as 
we are aware, dealing with stone-conversion by machinery : 
it is the aim, therefore, of the author, in a measure, to 
supply this deficiency. 

It may here be asked. What can machinery do in the 
way of stone- conversion at the present time ? This may 
be briefly summarised as follows : — Stone may be sawn, 
dressed, squared, faced, and polished, architrave mould- 



ings, cornices, ovolos, pilasters, astragals, ogees, scotias,. 
strings and other straight, undercut, and curved mould- 
ings may he shaped and finished in every way superior 
to, and at an immense saving over, hand-lahour. All the 
heavy work in small mouldings, panels, recesses, &ic., 
can also be worked. Hard flagstones, and even granite, 
may be dressed ; landings, copings, steps, channellings, 
&c., may be tooled, granite turned and polished, and 
many other operations may be performed too numerous ta 
recapitulate here. Although much has been done during 
recent years, as regards the introduction of machinery 
for working stone, ample scope still remains for inventors 
in this direction. 

The adaptation of machinery to common uses in these 
degenerate days of strikes, high wages, and short hours, 
is, without doubt, increasingly necessary to promote the 
commercial prosperity and progress of a nation. Mr. 
Euskin's Utopian ideas may, as sentimental theories, 
have something to commend them, but cannot for a 
moment be practically entertained, and engineering 
science must of necessity ever play a more and more 
prominent part in the economy of production. It has 
been many times maintained that the introduction of 
machinery bears heavily on the working classes by dis- 
pensing with manual labour: this fallacious argument 
has, however, been sufficiently disproved by the fact that 
the introduction of labour-saving machinery has not 
lessened, but rather raised, the wages of skilled artisans, 
as it is found the cheaper production creates the greater 
demand. It has also been argued that machinery has 
damaged art progress by reducing the productiun of 
skilled handicraft to a mere dead mechanical level. This, 
however, with men who have any art instincts in their 
composition, is not the case ; nor should it be with any. 



but should rather act as an mcentive for the workman to 
attam to a higher art knowledge, both theoretical and 
practical, the results of which no mechanical contrivance 
can rob him of. At the same time, in stone-working and 
decorative construction, we take it that machinery should 
be a powerful hand-maiden to art workmanship, by doing 
much of the heavy, laborious preparation of the crude 
material, leaving the skilled workman to give the finishing 
touches to the whole. We do not claim for stone-work- 
ing machinery that it can at present produce the *' storied 
windows richly dight," and possibly it is as well in an 
art sense that this is so ; but we do claim that it may, 
by being judiciously employed, be made not only most 
remunerative, but at the same time a help and assistance 
to art, and not a hindrance, as is asserted by what may 
be called the ultra-sentimental school. 




The stones used in building may be classed under fom^ 
general divisions — viz., Limestones, Sandstones, Granites, 
and Slates. Limestone, including magnesian limestone, 
and the oolites in their different varieties, is undoubtedly 
the most important class of stone used in building 
operations, as it combines considerable durability with 
tolerable facility in working. Limestones are composed 
of carbonate of lime, and the carbonates of lime and 
magnesia mixed with foreign matters in variable propor- 
tions, and often with oviform bodies called oolites. 

Sandstones are principally silicious,. and are generally 
laminated, especially if they contain mica; they are 
generally composed of either quartz or silicious grains, 
cemented by sihcious, argillaceous, calcareous, or other 
matter. Granite is of granular structure, and owing to 
its crystallisation and hardness, is extremely difficult 
to work ; it contains, in varying proportions, quartz, 
felspar, and mica, and the variety of the proportions in 
which these are found gives the various colours. 

Stones used in building construction are generally 
known either by the names of the places from which they 
are quarried or from the chief or some special ingredients 
of their composition. The term " freestone " is applied 


indefinitely to that kind of stone which can be wrought 
with a mallet and chisel, or cut with a saw, and it 
includes the two great divisions of limestones and sand- 

Stones used for conversion into mouldings, &c., by 
machinery, should be free and even in texture and 
hardness; very tender stones are unsuitable, as also 
those stones which contain much shelly fossil deposit, 
especially if the shells should be hard and crystalline ; 
but from a casual examination of a stone, owing to the 
varied nature of its constituents, it is almost impossible 
to tell whether it will work satisfactorily ; the best plan 
is to try it on a machine. Stones that are much 
laminated in their structure are not suitable for deep-cut 
mouldings ; they may be used for facings, but should be 
dressed ai>d placed so that their planes of lamination 
may be in a horizontal position, or in the same posi- 
tion they held in the quarry. Should they be placed 
in a vertical position, decomposition will take place in 

The stones of the nature of Bath, Portland, Caen, and 
York, and most kinds of freestones, can be readily worked 
by machinery. For outside moulding, the stone selected 
should be clean and bright, and uniform in colom-, which 
generally implies uniformity of structure. Stones that 
absorb much moisture, or are much affected by frost, or 
the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, should be avoided. 
To ascertain whether a stone is especially susceptible to 
imbibe moisture, immerse it in water for a few days, and 
weigh it carefully before and after immersion. The 
hardest stones are not always the worst to work, those of 
a rough gritty nature being in many cases more difficult 
to operate on. 

If the stones used are somewhat tender,, to avoid 


breaking the arrises when they are being dressed or 
moulded, revolving cutters will be found better for this 
kind of stone than fixed ones, which take a scraping cut, 
and are more likely to " pluck " the stone — that is, force 
pieces out of it below the surface. Hard limestones, 
or even granite, may be dressed to a surface, but are 
extremely difficult to mould. The softer kinds of stones, 
such as Bramley Fall, Newcastle Grit, &c., can, with a 
little care, be readily planed or moulded. Stone that 
is crumbly or short in the grain is unsuitable. Hard 
grit stone or flag paving, magnesian limestones, and 
oolites, may be dressed to a plane surface. 

In selecting stones, it should be borne m mind that the 
hardest stones do not necessarily possess the greatest 
toughness or tenacity ; those which contain a large 
amount of silex are usually very brittle ; and, therefore, 
difficult to work ; they are, however, extremely durable. 
Argillaceous stones, which usually contain a considerable 
amount of iron and argil or clay in their composition, 
are, as a rule, unsuitable for machine conversion, as, after 
exposure, the surface generally shivers off. This is 
attributed to the action of the oxygen of the air, in com- 
bination with the iron contained in the stone, causing the 
latter to swell and shiver away on the surface. 

Alabaster may be readily worked into mouldings if 
carefully handled. Two varieties of stone are called 
alabaster — viz., gypsum and stalactitical limestone, which 
is similar to granular limestone. The gypsum alabaster 
is a sulphate of lime ; but, being very soluble in water, 
is entirely unsuited to outdoor work. Slate, unless it be 
rotten or shaly in its character, can be worked by 
machinery with facility. 

After the stone is obtained from the quarries, and 
before use, it should be exposed to the sun and winds, so 


that the damp or " quarry sap " is dried out of it, and 
the stone thoroughly seasoned, before being placed in a 
building ; the length of time necessary for this seasoning 
process, of course, would vary according to the nature of 
the stone and situation of the quarry ; but from six to 
twelve months is usually sufficient. A considerable 
quantity of freshly-quarried stone is often, without doubt, 
worked up and put into buildings, and with some kinds of 
stone possibly without much detriment: but with the 
softer stones, such as Bath, this practice is very detri- 
mental to its wearing powers. In some quarries during 
the winter the stone is dried by means of coke-fires 
burning in open grates; this drying is, however, only 
partial, and not by any means so effectual as the natural 
air, or summer-drying process. 

No certain rules can be laid down for testing the nature 
of the various stones ; this resolving itself chiefly into a 
matter of practical experience. The foUowing tests are, 
however, sometimes practised. A piece of stone is taken 
fresh from the quarry and squared up, to give sharp edges 
for examination of its texture by a lens, and to test its 
hardness by means of a knife or chisel. Those stones 
that are easily cut or scratched effervesce rapidly by dilute 
hydrochloric acid, and the durability of stone may, in a 
degree, be ascertained by the rapidity or slowness of effer- 
vescence. Most limestones are easily scratched, and 
effervesce rapidly under acid ; magnesian limestones and 
dolomite do not effervesce quickly; and some, like 
gypsum sandstone, do not effervesce at all. The texture 
of a stone can be tested by chipping an angle. The blow- 
pipe is occasionally used for testing stones, and those 
which contain much carbonate of hme are soon reduced 
to quicklime ; some yield copper, lead, &c., and are more 
or less fusible under the action of strong heat. By 



saturating stones with water, and exposing them to the 
action of cokl as produced by freezing mixtures, valuable 
results as to the resistance of various stones to action of 
the weather, may be obtained. Such a plan, however, is 
difficult and tedious, and a Mr. Brard, after many trials, 
found that sulphate of soda very closely resembled in its 
action on stone, the freezing of water. A saturated 
solution of sulphate of soda was made in cold water, the 
stone was immersed, and the solution boiled for half an 
hour ; the stone was then taken out, and put into a plate 
with a little of the solution. It was then left for 24 
hours in a cool place, and was covered with a snowy 
efflorescence, the liquid having disappeared, either by 
evaporation, or by absorption. The stone was then 
sprinkled gently with cold water, until all the saline 
particles had disappeared from the surface. After this 
first washing, the surfaces of the stone were covered with 
detached grains, scales, and angular fragments, and the 
stone being one that Avas easily attacked by the frost, the 
splitting of the surfaces was very decided. 

One writer on the subject says : — The causes of dura- 
bility of stone, and the correspondent causes of failure 
and decay, are either chemical or mechanical, and may 
be described either as decomposition or disintegration. 
Durability also depends much on the power of resistance 
to wear. 

Decomposition is caused by some of the elements of the 
stone entering into such new combinations with water, 
gases, or acids as render them soluble either by the air 
or water. Granite, though the hardest of building stones, 
is liable to serious decomposition when the feldspars are 
alkaline, and will unite with water or acids. Some 
qualities of this stone are rapidly decomposed by the sea, 
and the same is the case with many of the limestones 


Stones containing iron are also liable to decay. In its 
native state it is usually in a low state of oxidation, and 
is liable to be acted upon by additional quantities of oxy- 
gen or carbonic acid. This sort of decomposition is 
much increased by being alternately wet or dry, or by 
frequent changes of temperature. Stones, however, con- 
taining iron in a high state of oxidation as rosso antico, 
porphyry, &c., do not readily become decomposed. The 
most curious discovery of modern times is with regard to 
the magnesian limestones and dolomites. These were 
chosen for the Houses of Parliament on account of their 
durability. The work at Southwell Minster, 800 years, 
old, bears every mark of the tools to the present day, and 
every circumstance seemed to justify its selection. It 
appears, however, that magnesia has a great affinity for 
sulphur; and the consequence is, the sulphurous acid 
which is present in such quantities in the smoke of Lon- 
don, has already caused serious decomposition in that 
building, as well as in the Lincoln's Inn Hall. This acid 
has also so much effect on the softer limestones, that the 
fronts of several important buildings, Bucldngham Palace 
among the rest, have been obliged to be painted to save- 
them from decay. 

Disintegration, as has before been said, is the separation 
of parts of stone by mechanical action. The chief cause 
is the freezing of minute portions of water which get into- 
pores, or fissures, or between the laminte of stones, and 
swell slowly as crystals of ice are gradually formed, and 
consequently burst open the pores, or split the grain of 
tlie stone. The south sides of buildings, in northern 
climates, suffer more than others, as their surface becomes 
thawed and fiUed with wet in the day, and frozen again at 
night, more frequently than the others. A very common 
error in the present day is the not taking care to set 



stones with their laminae or grain, or as the workmen 
call it " bed," in a horizontal direction. If Avork be 
" face-bedded, " the action of the weather will cause the 
laminae to scale off one after the other, just as the leaves 
of a book fall over, if the volume be placed on its back in 
an upright position. 

Resistance to wear is another obvious cause of durability, 
but this depends rather on the toughness, than the mere 
hardness of material, a quality often attended with brittle- 
ness, as also on its situation. The crushing weight of 
Portland is about 10,000, while that of York is about 
12,000, or one-fifth more, but in many situations 
Portland steps will last much longer than York. Again, 
the crushing weight of Peterhead Granite is about 
18,000, or not quite double that of Portland ; whereas if 
used as street paving, it would out-last six sets of the 

The most important building-stones found in Great 
Britain are the following : — 

Granites, produced chiefly in Cornwall, Devonshire, 
Leicestershii-e, Aberdeenshire, and in Wicklow and 
Carlow, the Channel Islands, Isles of Lundy, Anglesea, 
and Man. 

Porphyries, Syenites, Elvans, which are obtained from 
Cornwall, Devonshire, Leicestershire, and many parts of 
Scotland and Ireland. 

Sandstones, the chief quarries of which are in York- 
shire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Monmouth- 
shire, Surrey, &c., and in several of the Scottish counties. 
The Derby Dales, Cragleith, and other celebrated stones 
belong to this class. 

Millstone Grit is found largely in Derbyshire, York- 
shire, and in most of the coal-producing districts. 

Magncsian Limestones or Dolomites are chiefly obtained 


from Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Derbyshire, 
and Nottinghamshire. 

Oolites, found at Bath, Portland, Ancaster, Ketton, and 
other places. 

Limestones. — These are very varied; the Purbeck 
marble, the Derbyshire marbles, the Lias beds, the 
Devonian limestones, and the mountain limestones being 

Slates. — These are obtained in North Wales, Devon- 
shire, and Cornwall, and in some parts of Scotland and 

Kentish Rag is obtained chiefly near Hythe and 





In arranging works for the conversion of rough stone 
into the various finished forms used in building construc- 
tion, the selection of a suitable site, and the general 
arrangement of the building and machiner}- is a matter of 
very great importance in securing economy of working. 
No arbitrary rules can, of course, be laid down ; but 
advantage should always be taken of the site with refer- 
ence to rail, road, ox water carriage, as much money may 
be lost through unnecessary haulage. Each site must be 
judged on its merits. If the stone converter is a quarry 
owner, and the quarry is tolerably easy of access, it may 
be well to erect the stoneworks contiguous to the quarry, 
so that the rough stone may immediately be reduced in 
size and rendered more portable. If, however, a tramway 
is laid to convey the stone to a railway, a mill near to or 
alongside the railway line has some advantages. Again, 
should water-power be procurable in the neighbourhood, 
by all means take advantage of it, if anyway possible, as 
it will pay much better to run a tramway to the water, 
than to use steam or other power. Unless the works are 
very extensive, in which case it may pay to lay down a 
railway of the ordinary 4ft. 8Jin. gauge, a tramway of 2ft. 
gauge will be found suitable : this can be laid with cross 
sleepers and 161b. bridge rails, at a cost of about M15 to 




^eSOO per mile, should no difficulties of site occur. A 2ft. 
tramway will also be found more convenient than a wider 
one for traversing the quarry, machine shop, and finishing 
sheds. ^ The size and shape of the building, containing 
the various stone-working machines, should be varied 
according to the na- 
ture of the work to 
be carried on; but, 
speaking generally, it 
should be as open as 
possible, so that a free 
current of air may 
carry away any dust 
floating in the atmo- 
sphere. Our plan 
(Fig. 1) represents 
stoneworks suitable 
for general purposes ; 
length 110ft. by 50ft. 
wide. This consists 
briefly of a pair of 
lean-to sheds facing 
each other, with an 
overhead traveller for 
lifting the blocks of 
stone and placing them 




on, or removing them from the various machines passing 
between them ; if first cost is no object, however, the 
whole area is best covered in. In this case the buildings 
should be lofty, and the masons' berths arranged on the 
opposite side of the mill,' and at a sufficient distance 
away that the chips and dust from their chisels could 
not penetrate the bearings, &c., of the stone-working 
machines, or they will rapidly deteriorate. The various 
bearings should in all cases be protected from the dust 
made by the machines themselves ; but on these points 
we shall have something further to say. In our plan 
we suppose steam to be the motive power, and this we 
arrange in a building (Nos. 9 and 10) which is entirely 
separated from the works. The engine represented is a 
25h.p. horizontal high pressure or compound, with a pair 
of 15h.p. cross-tubed Cornish boilers. No. 1 represents a 
horizontal double stone sawing frame. No. 2 represents 
a circular sawing machine, for converting large blocks of 
stone as they come from the quarry into slabs or other 
required form, and also for squaring up and facing blocks. 
No. 3 is a stone-rubbing or surfacing table. No. 4 is a 
stone- dressing machine. No. 5 is a combined stone- 
planing and moulding machine with horizontal cutter 
barrels. No. 6 represents a stone-moulding and planing 
machine with vertical cutter barrels. No. 7 is a grind- 
stone. No. 8 is an emery wheel-cutter grinder. No. 11 
is stores, and Nos. 12 and 13 offices. No. 14 under- 
ground shafting. No. 15 tramway. For repairing 
cutters, machines, &c., and tool-maldng, a small shop for 
blacksmith and fitter should be added ; this, in addition 
to the usual tools, should contain a lathe, which could be 
driven from the main shaft. 

It will be found most convenient to arrange the main 
shafting (No. 14), which is 3in. diameter, underground ; 
it should make about 100 revolutions per minute. Owing 


to the stone-dust flying about, especial care must be 
taken as to the lubrication of all bearings, which should 
be closely fitted with sheet-iron guards to keep off as 
much of the dust as possible. As a lubricant we can 
recommend the following: — good lard oil 75 parts, 
powdered plumbago 25 parts. If the bearings are heavy 
and subject to much strain, the proportion of plumbago 
may be increased up to 40 parts. Should a water-wheel 
or turbine be used as the motive power, a reservoir 
should, if possible, be formed, or at any rate a considerable 
reserve supply of water obtained. As regards the most 
suitable types of water-wheels to employ, the user must, 
of course, be guided by the exigencies of the site, water- 
supply, &c. ; but for information on these and other 
kindred points, as regards motive power, we refer our 
readers to our recently-published book.* Should a 
steam-engine be employed to give the motive power, we 
are in favour of a long-stroke engine, running at a 
moderate rate of piston speed — say an engine with 
a stroke twice the diameter of the cylinder. In this case 
the steam should be cut off early and expanded for the 
rest of the stroke. Where low first cost is not an object, 
a compound engine is to be preferred. In selecting an 
engine, it should be borne in mind that large cylinder 
diameter does not necessarily mean large power ; it 
depends also on the mean pressure, and the piston speed. 
All the wearing surfaces and steam passages should be in 
proportion to the cylinder diameter : if this latter is too 
large, the cylinder pressure is reduced, and a considerable 
amount of steam wasted. As regards the boilers, under 
ordinary conditions Cornish or Lancashire boilers fitted 
with cross tubes are perhaps, taken altogether, to be pre- 
ferred ; but should the water used be very pure and the 

* " Saw Mills : their Arrangement and Management." Crosby Lock- 
wood & Co. 

c 2 



attendant efficient, a locomotive or tubular boiler may be 
used with advantage. An overhead travelling crane should 
traverse the full length of the mill and yard, and ample 
facilities in the shape of hoists, blocks, and falls, stone 
trucks, &c., for readily lifting the stone on and off the 
various machines and moving it from place to place, should 
be provided. The plan on which the works (Fig. 1) are 
designed is that the rough stone should enter the mill at 
the end near the engine-house and pass immediately to 
the horizontal and circular saws (Nos. 1 and 2) ; it thus 
becomes at once reduced in bulk and rendered more 
portable on its passage through the various dressing, 
shaping, and moulding machines. Elaborate or recessed 
work, &c., which requires finishing by hand after leaving 
the machines, passes by means of the tramway to the 
masons on the opposite side of the mill. If the blocks 
are brought from a quarr}^ some little distance off, they 
can readily be hauled along the tramway into the works, 
either by the engine itself, or by means of a hauling 
apparatus, which may be fixed below the floor, or carried 
in hanging brackets. Should it be found convenient to 
fix it below the floor, it would be necessary to pass the 
chain or rope over the snatch block, so as to bring it on 
to the level of the mill floor. The apparatus consists of a 
cast-iron barrel driven by toothed gearing, motion being 
imparted by a belt working on to fast and loose pulleys, 
which can be thrown in or out of gear as required. In 
many quarries a water-balance tank on wheels and 
running on an incline is utilised for bringing up blocks ; 
its utility, however, depends on the exigencies of the site, 
but in some cases it may be made very serviceable. The 
centre of the works between the tramways may be used 
for storing blocks of stone, so that they may readily be 
placed on the various machines as required. Sufficient 


space should be allowed between all the machines for the 
ready handlmg of the stone. The floor of the works 
should be kept damp and the stone-dust cleared away 
periodically, as it is injurious both to the workmen and 
machinery. If the establishment is a permanent one, the 
floor should either be of concrete or asphalted. A tunnel, 
passing in a line under the various machines, as is usual 
in modern wood saw-mills, can also be used with ad- 
vantage in getting rid of the stone -dust. In arranging 
the works care should be taken that the motive power is 
ample to drive the various machines, as irregularity in 
driving, through insufficiency of power, is detrimental 
to quality and output. 

Should the boiler-poAver be ample, and it be found 
necessary to erect an additional saw-frame, a small 
horizontal engine with a long stroke may be coupled 
directly on to the saw-frame; for a double frame, arranged 
to cut two stones at the same time, an engine with an 
Sin. cylinder by 24in. stroke will be found suitable. A 
fly-wheel of extra heavy section should be used to balance 
and secure uniformity in running. 

In the stoneworks or quarry, a method of working 
should in all cases be decided on, and good order kept ; 
dirt and confusion are in ever}^ way objectionable. Each 
man should know his own particular work, and be made to 
do it without hurry or bustle. All the plant and tools should 
be under the control of one man, who should be answerable 
for their condition and efficiency. We consider a system 
of piecework advisable wherever it can be practised. 

Before deciding on the exact type of machine or cutters 
to employ for shaping or moulding, the stone should be 
thoroughly Avell tested, as the cutters or type of machine 
that may suit one kind of stone may be quite unsuited to 





The first operation in the conversion of stone, after it 
leaves the quany, is the dividing it into blocks or slabs 
of suitable or convenient size for general building pur- 
poses. In doing this by hand, a blade of soft iron is 
used ; this is usually about 4in. wide, and is fitted into 
a rectangular wooden frame, which is expanded or kept 
asunder by a pole, which rests at each end against a 
loose block of wood, called a bolster; the blade is 
generally kept in position by means of pins, which pass 
through either end of it, and fit into notches, formed in 
the side-pieces or heads of the wooden frame. The blade 
is strained by a chain, arranged in two parts, but con- 
nected by a rod, on which is turned a right and left- 
handed screw, which is fitted into nuts. Holes are 
provided in the rod, in which a lever or "tonmiy " may 
be inserted, to tighten up the chain, as may be required. 
In sawing stone the edge of the blade is usually rounded 
and used with a rocking motion, so as to make it bite 
deeply, first in one place and then in another, rather 
than uniformly all along the cut. We may here remark, 
that the term " sawing," as applied to cutting stone — 
with the exception of Bath and other very soft stones, for 
cutting which, saws with teeth are now generally used — 



with a straight blade of iron, is a misnomer, as the piece 
of iron used is not a saw at all, its edge being smooth and 
unprovided with teeth ; its action is really an abrading 
one, and not a cutting one, the particles of stone being 
separated or divided by friction. As, however, the term 
"stone-sawing" is universally employed, to make our- 
selves understood, we shall continue to use it. The 
stone is divided by the blade acting on sand and water, 
the small hard particles of the former taking the place of 
the teeth of an ordinary saw, the water at the same time 
somewhat softening the stone and keeping the saw-blade 
cool. For cutting soft stone, coarse sharp sand is used, 
wdiilst for hard stone or marble very fine sand is em- 
ployed, and, preferably, that containing flinty particles. 
The sand should be carefully washed and sifted, so that 
the sandy particles do not exceed a certain size, and to 
clear it of extraneous matters, and the cutting-action of 
the saw is thus much improved ; this is a point, however, 
often neglected or lost sight of. The fineness of the 
sand should be varied according to the nature or hard- 
ness of the stone to be cut, as should sand of an 
improper degree of fineness be employed, the work of 
finishing or polishing the stone is considerably increased. 
The quantity of sand and water necessary must be 
left to the experience of the workman. When sawing 
by hand, to overcome the excessive weight of the 
saw and frame, a pole or frame fitted with a cord 
pulley and counterpoise weight is usually suspended over 
the saw ; this of course lessens the labour of working the 
saw backwards and forwards, but its cutting-speed is 
reduced at the same time in proportion to the weight 
suspended. Care must be taken in working that small 
stones do not get under the saw, or it will roll backwards 
and forwards without cutting. 


In sawing stone, whether by hand or machinery, 
extreme care should always be observed in marking out 
the stone, so that it may be converted to the best ad- 
vantage, especially noting any faulty places, so that the 
part of the stone containing them may not be entirely 
wasted. All lines should be carefully plumbed before 
commencing to saw, and very great care taken that the 
saw or saws run in an exact vertical plane, or "galls" 
will be formed, which will have to be ground away 
— with considerable loss of time and labour — on the 

Keeping the saw in a vertical line, when cutting by 
hand, is a matter of great difficulty, the narrowness of 
the blade rendering it specially liable to twist. Taken 
altogether, from its slowness and the constant vibration 
of the saw from the unevenness of the motion given to 
it by the workman, stone-sawing by hand, except for 
small blocks, is a tedious and unsatisfactory process, 
and one that can well be replaced by machinery. We 
shall have something to say as to the guiding of saws 

As these pages may fall into the hands of students or 
others unacquainted with stone conversion, we may here 
with advantage briefly explain the action of a horizontal 
stone-sawing frame worked by steam or other motive 
power. The machine consists of a main iron or wooden 
framework, in which is suspended by four weighted 
chains working over pulleys fitted at the top of the main 
frame, a rectangular iron frame longer and wider than the 
block of stone to be cut. In this frame are fitted, in a 
vertical plane, a number of wrought-iron blades or sr^ws 
set at such distances apart as it is desired to cut the 
stone in thickness. The blades are fed into the stone by 
their own v/eight and that of the swing-frame which is a 


little in excess of the counterbalance weights, which are 
attached to the ends of the chains, by which the saw, 
swing, or vibrating frame is suspended. A horizontal 
reciprocating motion is imparted to the saw-frame by 
means of a slotted pendulum, to which is attached a 
connecting rod and crank, which receives its motion from 
a main or counter-shaft. The saws and frames are raised 
usually by a hoist or pulley blocks, and made to rest on 
the stone to be cut, suspended over which is a little 
apparatus or cistern, which supplies to each of the blades 
the requisite sand and water necessary for them to work. 
As the cutting progresses, the saws gradually pass down- 
wards through the stone, which is thus divided into slabs 
or blocks. 

As regards the date when machinery for sawing stone 
was introduced into England, some doubt exists. It is 
said that machinery for sawing and poHshing marble was 
first established at the village of Ashford, near Bakewell, 
Derbyshire, in the year 1748, water being the motive 
power. Dressed granite is stated to have been used about 
1730 ; and Macdonald and Leslie, of Aberdeen, are cre- 
dited as being the first who sawed and polished granite by 
machinery. Gordon Hospital, erected in 1739, was partly 
built of dressed stones of granite, but even then sand- 
stone was used to form the Hntels and facings. It is re- 
corded, however, that granite ornaments were many years 
before this turned in a lathe and pohshed with sand and 

In the year 1777, Samuel Miller, sail-maker, of South- 
ampton, invented a circular sawing-machine, which he 
called a perfectly new machine, for the more expedi- 
tiously sawing all kinds of wood, stone, and ivory ; and it 
is stated the motive power he employed was a horizontal 
windmill. Devices for working in stone were invented by 



Sir Samuel Bentham, in 1793, and by Joseph Bramah, in 
1802. Bramah claims, in his specification, which consists 
chiefly in improvements in wood-working machinery, 
certain machinery which may be worked by animal, ele- 
mentary, or manual force, and which said effects are to 
produce straight, true, smooth, and parallel surfaces on 
wood, stone, and metals. 

Sir George Wright, Sir James Jelf, and a Mr. Brown, 
early in this century, made various improvements in 
machinery for sawing stone. Sir George Wright' s method 
of cutting a cylindrical pillar is worth recording, and may 
be thus described : — When a completely cylindrical pillar 
is to be cut out of one block of stone, the first thing will 
be to ascertain in the block the position of the axis of the 
cylinder ; then lay the block so that such axis shall be 
parallel to the horizon, and let a cylindrical hole of from 
lin. to 2in. diameter be bored entirely through it. Let 
an iron bar, whose diameter is rather less than that of 
this tube, be put through it, having just room to sKde 
freely to and fro as occasion may require. Each end of 
this bar should terminate in a screw, on which a nut and 
frame may be fastened. The nut-frame should carry thin 
flat pieces of wood or iron, each having a sht running 
along its middle, nearly from one end to the other, and 
a screw and handle must be adapted to each slit ; by these 
means the framework at each end of the bar may readily 
be so adjusted as to form equal isosceles or equilateral 
triangles ; the iron bar will connect two corresponding 
angles of these triangles, the saw to be used two other 
corresponding angles, and another bar of iron or of wood 
the two remaining angles, to give sufficient strength to 
the whole frame. This construction will enable the 
workmen to place the saw at any proposed distance from 
the hole drilled through the middle of the block ; and 



then, by giving an alternating motion to the saw-frame, 
the cylinder may at length be cut from the block, as 
required. This method was first described in the col- 
lection of machines approred by the Paris Academy. If 
it were proposed to saw a conic frustum from such a 
block, then let two frames of wood or iron be fixed to 
those parallel ends of the block which are intended to 
coincide with the bases of the frustum, circular grooves 
being previously cut in these frames to correspond with 
the circumferences of the two ends of the proposed frus- 
tum ; the saw, being worked in these grooves, will mani- 
festly cut the conic surface from the block. 

America claims that Oliver Evans, of Philadelphia, in 
1803, had a double-acting high-pressure steam-engine 
at work grinding plaster and sawing stone, and that he 
drove twelve saws in heavy frames, sawing at the rate of 
lOOft. of marble in twelve hours. We can find no record, 
however, as to the construction or working of this 

Some sixty jj-ears ago, a marble-sawing and polishing 
mill was erected in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny by a 
Mr. CoUis ; it has been represented as being remarkably 
simple and efiicient, and is described as follows : — One 
water-wheel, lOft. diam., with twelve floats, gave motion by 
a crank at one end of its axle to a frame containing twelve 
saws, and by a crank at the other end motion was given 
to a frame of five polishers, and beneath these again was 
arranged another frame carrying eight more saws. It is 
stated that the saws were made of soft iron, and lasted 
about a week ; they were constantly supplied with water 
and sand, the latter taken from the bed of the River Nore, 
and washed till nothing remained but very fine and pure 
silicious particles. The marble taken from the mill was 
first polished Avith a stone called cove stone, which is a 



brown sandstone imported from Chester, and is said to 
be so called from being used in cliimne}^ coves. It was 
afterwards polished b}^ a hone-stone, which is a piece of 
smooth nodule of the argillaceous iron ore, found in the 
hills between Kilkenny and Freshford ; it received its 
final polish in the mills with rags and putty. 

Various other small improvements were from to time 
introduced, but the real father of modern stone-working 
machinery was the late Mr. James Tulloch, of Esher- 
street, Millbank, who invented, in the year 1824, and 
erected, a most complete plant of stone-working machinery, 
including straight and circular saw-frames, rubbing, 
recessing, planing, moulding, and poHshing machines. 
In the patent taken out by Mr. James Tulloch, for 
*' improved machinery for sawing stone," the machinery 
was arranged to work by steam or other power ; and it 
appears from the specification that the patentee applies 
his mechanism in sawing and the forming of grooves, 
mouldings, cornices, pilasters, &c., of marble, or other 
stone, by means of properly indented instruments, which 
are to traverse the face of the stone, suspended in a 
suitable frame. By suspending the saw or tools in this 
manner the inventor considered a great advantage was 
gained, as they were thus kept in a perfectly hori- 
zontal line, so that the face of the stone was acted 
on uniformly in all its parts, and the hardest parts 
reduced equally with the softest. We have before us an 
old engi-aving of this stone-sawing frame, and the neat- 
ness of its general arrangement merits, we think, a short 
description : — The block of stone to be sawn is fixed on 
a truck and operated on by a number of saw^s fixed 
parallel to each other in a frame. The ends of this 
frame are formed on the under-side into inclined planes, 
which rmi upon two anti-friction rollers, so that wdien 



motion is given to the saws, each end of the frame will alter- 
nately be lifted up, and allow the sand and water (supjilied 
from a small cistern) to descend into the fissure. The 
anti-friction rollers are attached to two slides, placed in 
grooves in the upright posts, and are suspended by two 
chains wound round drum-barrels fitted to a shaft which 
revolves in bearings fixed above on the main wooden 
framing of the machine. This shaft carries another 
barrel and a large grooved pulley. Over the latter, by 
means of a rope, is suspended a weight, which partly 
counterbalances the weight of the saws and frame ; a 
chain passes round the third barrel, and is attached at 
the lower end to a sliding piece on a vibrating beam. 
Motion is given to the saw-frame by toothed gearing- 
acting on the separate crank- shafts, which, through the 
medium of connecting rods and the vibrating-beam, gives 
alternate motion to the saws. The several pulleys to 
which the frame is suspended admit of its regular descent,, 
and with a uniform pressure, as the weights of the saws 
and frame are heavier than the counterbalance. Taken 
altogether, this machine must be held to be thoroughly 
practical, and reflecting great credit on its designer ; and 
whilst discussing the various other machines, we shall 
again and again have to refer to TuUoch's name. 

In the year 1833, a Mr. G. W. Wilde took out a patent 
for improvements in the sawing of marble, or other 
stone, by means of a revolving circular metallic plate, 
smooth, or not serrated on the face or edge, and applied 
with sand and water, as is done with the straight saw ; 
and also for marking on the surface or perij)her3^ of a 
metallic or wooden cylinder or wheel, the converse of the 
intended moulding or grooving, by means of which a 
series of mouldings or grooves can be wrought on a 
surface of marble or stone at one operation, with sand 



and water, and in like manner polish with putty, buff, or 
pumice-stone, or other polishing material. 

In 1843, Mr. J. C. Wollaston took out a patent for 
improvements in machinery for cutting marble and stone, 
which included special appliances for cutting pipes or 
tubes of those materials. About the same time (1843), a 
stone saw-guide was patented by Hutchison ; this con- 
sisted, briefly, in making the saw-frame run between 
guides of wood, which extended across the room when the 
saws were at work. 

In a horizontal stone-sawing frame of recent construc- 
tion a new form of skeleton frame has been employed. 
The sawing or swing-frame is made without sides, having 
only a front beam, and a peculiarly formed back beam. 
The sawing plates are tightened by means of rods or 
plates connected to ears or lugs on each of the upper 
portions of the back and front beams. Through the 
centre of the beams are shafts working in bearings fitted 
in adjustable boxes carried by roller carriages. The 
roller carriages have each one or more rollers, or anti- 
friction bowls, to enable them to work freely up and 
down the face of the upright pillar or main framing of 
the machine. Each roller carriage has a projection fitted 
with steps to carry the beam shafts, and each roller 
<;arriage is carried by chain or rope from its own end. 
The chain or rope passes up the face of the pillar over a 
pulley on the top beam, around a shaft or spiked wheel ; 
then along the top beam over another pulley, and down 
the face of the other upright pillar, and attached to the 
other end of the roller carriage, where it is fixed. The 
sawing-plates are cottered and kept perfectly tight by the 
resistance of the rods or plates connecting the ears or 
lugs of the end beams of the saw-frame. 

The author has recently tried with success sawing 



stone and marble by means of an endless steel band, 
after the fashion of a band saw for sawmg wood, but in 
lieu of teeth, the edge of the blade was kept rough, and 
supplied with sand and water or emery in the usual way. 
For irregular sawing this will be found extremely useful ; 
the chief difficulty to contend against is the saw buckling 
and running from the line. Speed of saw about 250ft. 
j)er minute. 

The main framing of stone-sawing machines is pre- 
ferably made of iron, as any little extra outlay thus 
incurred is counterbalanced by increased stability and 
freedom from vibration. With this end in view, it will 
be found advantageous to arrange the trucks carrying the 
stone to be sawn to run on the foundation frame, so that 
the whole weight of the stone and the trucks is concen- 
trated on the machine, and utihzed in overcoming the 
vibration caused by the saws when in motion. 

Should the framework be constructed of timber, it 
should be very firmly braced together, and bound with 
iron at all the joints, care being taken that the timber 
employed is sound and well seasoned. The vibrating or 
swing-frame which carries the saw should combine great 
strength without excessive weight, and with adequate 
arrangements for setting the blades. The chains by 
which the swing-frame is suspended to the cross shafts of 
the main frame should work freely in pulleys, and a 
selection of weights supplied, so that the frame may be 
accurately balanced, and adjusted according to the nature 
of the stone or the speed it is desired to cut. This is a 
point of importance, though often neglected if a series of 
weights are not to hand. A good sawyer, on seeing the 
nature of the stone he is operating upon, should adjust 
his weights, or in other words, the speed of his cut, to the 
greatest nicety. Means should be taken that the swing- 



frame can be readily raised and lowered, and that the 
cutting-blades are kept in an exact vertical plane. The 
pendulum used to give motion to the swing-frame should 
be slotted for a, considerable distance, so as to allow the 
saws to pass through large pieces of stone. The swing- 
frame must have a steady and uniform stroke from top to 
bottom of the cut. Where more than one machine is 
employed, it is preferable to drive them by means of 
cranks and connecting-rods, on to a countershaft fitted 
with fast and loose pulleys, as thus one frame may be 
thrown out of work without stopping both, as is the case 
when the connecting-rod is coupled directly on to the 
main shaft. Adequate means must of course be taken to 
afford the saws a constant supply of sand and water. A 
complete set of packing-pieces or other means of adjust- 
ing the saws to equi-distances apart should in every case 
be to hand. 

Various plans for suppljdng sand and water to the 
blades are in use. The following can be recommended 
on account of its simplicity and efficiency : — Make an iron 
cistern for water about 2ft. 6in. long, by lin. high by 1ft. 
wide, and fit on each side of it, say, 15in. water-cock. 
The water will be allowed to flow slowly through these 
cocks and fall into an equal number of grooves formed 
in the bottom of boxes filled with sand. These grooves 
should be so constructed that the sand and water flow 
out together, through suitable openings on one side of the 
boxes, and directed into the various saw fissures. A 
grooved sand-box should be arranged on either side of 
the cistern, so that two streams of sand and water are 
directed to each blade, one on either side of it. 

For vertical guides to the saw-frame we prefer anti- 
friction rollers fitted in small carriages, and arranged to 
travel freely up and down the face of the vertical pillars 



of the main framing ; this plan will be found to work 
with much greater freedom than the ordinary sliding 
arrangement generally employed. 

Where it is required to saw and polish marble, &c., 
it will be found convenient to arrange a double-ended 
machine or mill, a reciprocating motion being given to 
the saw-frame and polisher at the same time by con- 
necting rods and cranks attached to a main or inter- 
mediate driving-shaft. The saws, or more properly 
speaking, cutting instruments, are made of wrought iron 
plates, and are similar to those used in sawing ordinary 
building-stones, and the general arrangement of the saw- 
frame is the same. The polisher at the opposite end of 
the machine is arranged with a longitudinal motion, and 
the slabs of marble, after being sawn from the block, are 
one by one placed on a travelling carriage, mounted on 
rollers, and running on rails, and to which a lateral 
reciprocating motion is given. The polisher is arranged 
to bear on the surface of the marble, and from the lateral 
motion given to the travelling carriage, is enabled to 
operate on every part of its face. A simple and efficient 
mode of obtaining the lateral motion is to arrange on 
a crank-shaft passing beneath the travelling carriage 
a worm and worm-wheel, and by means of another 
adjustable crank, motion can be given to the worm-wheel, 
but care must be taken that the adjustable crank is at all 
times longer than the crank on the worm-wheel spindle ; 
by this plan the wheel will vibrate through an arc, and 
not make an entire revolution ; thus by using an 
additional toothed wheel, and by attaching a rack to the 
travelling carriage, a lateral reciprocating motion can be 
obtained, which can be varied in the length of its traverse 
by increasing or reducing the throw of the adjustable 
crank before mentioned. The polisher is usually put in 



motion by an upright vibrating frame, which vibrates 
with the stone saw frame at the other end of the 
machine, and receives its motion from the same crank. 

The main framings of all machines used for sawing 
granite, marble, and other very hard stones, should be 
made of iron instead of wood ; they should be of heavy 
section, and designed to overcome excessive vibration in 

For sawing marble slabs mto strips, either a ripping 
bed, carrying a number of discs, or a saw worked by 
hand, called a grub-saw, is generally used. The grub- 
saw is an iron blade notched at the edge, and stiffened by 
a backing of wood, like the metallic back of a tenon-saw ; 
the kerf for the saw is usually started by means of a 
narrow chisel. For cutting marble into cylinders, a rod 
or wire saw, of triangular section, is often employed, the 
marble being mounted on centres, and revolved against 
the saw. 

Taper slabs may be sawn by means of two sets of 
saws ; these may, however, be worked with a cranJi, by 
connecting the two sets of crossbars by means of links, 
so that the adjustment of one determines that of the 
other, and by connecting the crank to the first set, 
motion is imparted to both. The saws may be made to 
cut taper by adjusting one set laterally, by means of the 
crossbars, to any desired angle with the other, the 
movement of the crossbars corresponding to the relative 
inclinations of the guides ; these may be kept in any 
required position by means of bolts. 

The most rapid cutting sand for general sawing is that 
containing a large amount of flinty particles, but the 
difficulty of obtaining this in some districts has induced 
the author to construct a machine capable of breaking 
and crushing 8 tons of flints per day, to a size that will 

Back of 
Not Imaged 


To face page 35. 


pass through a sieve either 10, 12, 14, or 16 gauge to 
the inch as may be required. 

Fig. 2 represents a horizontal stone, granite, or 
marble sawing-machine, with engine attached, from the 
designs of Messrs. Eushworth Bros. The main frame 
of the machine is constructed chiefly of steel and iron 
strongly braced. The swing or saw frame is made of 
mild steel straightened by diagonal strips, which form 
lattice work, thus combining, as far as may be, strength 
with lightness. The swing frame is raised and lowered 
by means of bevel and spur gearing, working two square 
threaded screws fitted with gun-metal bushed nuts ; it is 
suspended from these nuts by four connecting rods fitted 
with adjustable coupling boxes for balling the frame. 
The nuts are fitted to work down the main upright 
pillars of the frame. The reciprocating motion is given 
to the frame from the counter-shaft by means of a crank 
and connecting rod working down the centre of the 
lattice trunk. The different motions of this frame are 
all automatic, and the designers claim that, by an 
arrangement of cone pulleys, they are enabled to readily 
regulate the cutting speed of the frame, according to the 
nature of the stone being sawn, without the machine 
being stopped ; and, from its peculiar construction, that 
it can be run at a much higher speed than is usual with 
machines of this class. It is claimed that under 
ordinary conditions these frames are capable of cutting 
at the following speeds : Portland stone, 21in. in 
depth per hour ; Yorkshire, 15 to 18in. ; Grit, 12in. ; 
Rossendale, 12in.; Blue rock, 12 to 15in.; Granite, 6in. 

D 2 





Stone saws, fitted with diamond or " carbon " points, 
have been used with some Httle success, but chiefly in 
America. They have usually been applied to circular 
saws ; but reciprocating jigger and band-saws have also 
been mounted in this way. One of the difficulties found 
in working carbon-pointed saws is the fastening the points 
securely in their seats, and a number of patents with this 
end in view have been taken out. Some of these hold 
the diamond by fingers clamped in sockets, or embed it in 
the saw by means of sockets or solder, or hold it b}^ clamps 
kept in position by wedges. This difficult}^ being sur- 
mounted, we think the ordinary band-sawing machine, 
so equipped and running at a slow speed — say, the teeth 
or points to travel about 250ft. per minute — should 
prove a valuable tool for curved stone-sawing, such 
as that required in Gothic windows, arches, &c. ; but 
for rough, heavy block sawing — bearing in mind the 
increased first cost, and the difficulty of keeping the 
carbons in their seats — we fail to recognise at present 
the value of diamond saws for this purpose. The 
diamonds usually employed for sawing are black, and are 
chiefly found in Brazil. Like all " carbons " the}' are of 
extreme hardness, and will, w^hen properly held, divide 


granite, marble, and almost any other mineral, the 
difficulty, as we have before remarked, being to hold 
them ; and this difficulty, practically speaking, has been 
admitted by an American exhibitor in the Philadelphia 
International Exhibition, 1867, as he attached to his 
machine a sieve to catch the diamonds when they were 
dragged from their seats, and prevent them being washed 
away. The sockets carrying the diamonds are necessarily 
wider than the saw-plate, but by "setting" them to the 
right and left-hand, in a similar manner to a saw for wood, 
this difficulty is got over. 

Dressing hard stone by means of diamonds has also 
been attempted, and large sums of money have been 
spent thereon ; but with no practical commercial success. 
Diamonds have been used for boring hard rock, granite, 
ka., for blasting or sinking, with very considerable suc- 
cess ; but the action of boring, it must not be forgotten, 
is entirely different from that of sawing, the tearing or 
pulling action on the diamonds being absent. Mr. J. T. 
Gilmore, of Ohio, in 1863, patented a system of dressing 
millstones, fluting columns, dressing building-stones, and 
making mouldings, by means of diamond points mounted 
on a revolving disc ; a considerable number of other 
patents in connection with stone- working by means of 
diamonds have been taken by Young, Emerson, Hus- 
band, Gear, Dickinson, and others. 

Dickinson constructed a variety of carbon tool-points 
for dressing and working stone ; for turning stone he used 
a triangular prism-like cutter ; also for various other 
stone-working operations he designed carbon points in the 
shape of hexahedrons, double-sided trapezoids, drill-faced 
parallelograms, truncated prisms, quadrangular double- 
faced points, quadrangular pyramids, flat octahedrons, 
flat ovoids, tetrahedrons, &c., &c. ; but notwithstand- 



ing the large amount of ingenuity and monej' expended 
in trying to develop stone-working by means of diamond 
points, we are afraid that, with the exception of drill- 
ing, turning, and perhaps grind-stone dressing, at the 
present the disadvantages attending the use of diamonds 
more than counterbalance any supposed advantages. 

The invention of the diamond drill is ascribed to 
Hermann, who patented it in the year 1854, and claimed 
as novel the use of crystals, or the angulai- fragments of 
thick diamonds embedded by alloj^s in a metallic stock, 
for working, drilling, and turning hard stones such as 
granite, porphyry, marbles, &c. For drilling purposes he 
inserted the diamonds in holes drilled for them in the end 
of the drill-rod, the metal being battered down around 
them to form a bevel. The drill was arranged to slide 
vertically, and was rotated by bevel gearing ; water was 
used when drilling. Leschot, from the year 1860 to 1864, 
designed various forms of drills, and Pihet, in 1866, 
introduced the annular drill-head, which is a steel ring 
studded with diamonds ; these, we believe, have been 
used for sinking and blasting purposes at the Mont Cenis 
Tunnel and other large works with success. 

The carbon-points are set in such a manner in the ring 
or cylinder of steel that they project alternately on both 
the inside and outside of the periphery, and thus cut a 
clearance in the rock for the drill-bar. The drill-bars 
are usually made hollow, and the core of rock cut out by 
the drill passes up through the bar. Water under pres- 
sure is supplied to the drill to keep it cool, and wash 
away the rocky particles as cut. 

For cutting grooves or channels in marble, a chain-saw 
with its links mounted with diamonds has been used ; the 
diamonds were held in the ends of split screw bolts or 
clamps, which were tapered and forced into tapering 


holes, causing them to contract upon the diamond. The 
diamond chain-saw was made to run round two wheels, 
with arrangements for feeding it to the stone, and for 
reversing its cutting-action. Diamond points have also 
been used for recessing and mou ding stone. These were 
fixed in a circular tool, mounted on a vertical revolving 
spindle, after the manner of a recessing machine for work- 
ing wood. The overhanging frame was arranged to pivot 
in any direction, and the stone to be worked was placed 
beneath the cutting- stool. The difficulty of safely hold- 
ing the diamond points being overcome, this form of tool 
should be very useful in recessing and comitersinking 
hard stones. 





The earliest form of circular sawing machine used in 
stone conversion was the old ripping bed ; this was 
probably used for the first time in this country about the 
commencement of this century. During the last twenty 
years, machines carrying circular saws of large diameter 
for sawing, facing, and edging stone, have been intro- 
duced. These saws are usually made of wrought iron 
or steel, with adjustable or false teeth fitted into their 
periphery. Circular saws waste a considerable amount 
of stone, and take more power to drive than frame saws ; 
but are very expeditious, as from 150 to 250 running 
feet may be cut in a day of 10 hours in a stone of 
moderate difficulty. The saws are arranged either 
vertically or horizontally, and the shape of the saw-teeth 
or cutters should be varied according to the nature of the 
stone being worked ; but these points, owing to the vary- 
ing nature of stone, can only be correctly determined 
by practically experimenting on the stone itself. For 
edging and squaring up stone, and to save hand labour in 
jointing, two or more saws are mounted on the same 
spindle, and set so far apart that they just cut the edge 
of the stone on either side, and make it parallel ; it is 
then turned round, and set by the square side, and the 


other edges are treated in a similar manner. The general 
arrangement of these machines is usually somewhat 
similar to that of a planing machine for iron ; but in lieu 
of the ordinary cutter- box and slide, a horizontal or 
vertical saw spindle is mounted, the stone to be sawn 
being placed on a travelling table which traverses 
immediately beneath the saws. This table, if of cast iron, 
should be of substantial construction, or it may be liable 
to fracture if a heavy stone is suddenly placed on it ; this 
is especially the case in cold weather. To overcome 
this, tables are occasionally made of oak, firmly jointed 
together, and mounted on iron plates. If timber is used, 
we can recommend its being faced with wrought-iron 
plate, as should the stone be placed directly on the wood, 
it will rapidly become rough and uneven, and difficult to 
move the stone about on. For general builders' work 
the saw- spindle should be made to rise and fall, so 
as to adapt it for checking and other similar purposes. 

If the travelling table is mounted to run in V-slides, 
we can recommend for lubricating purposes the formation 
of recesses at intervals of 6ft., in which an iron plate of 
the same shape as the slide and covered with felt can be 
held in position by a spiral spring, and the recess being 
supplied with oil, it is lifted against the V of the sliding- 
table, and thus keeps it constantly lubricated, and with 
much less waste than is occasioned by the oil being 
carried along the whole length of the slide, as is the case 
in most of the machines hitherto made. The travellino- 
table should be traversed by means of a screw, as it will 
be found steadier than a rack and pinion, and we prefer 
the table mounted on a dovetail slide, as it is less liable 
to jump after each traverse of the cutters or teeth. 

The old ripping bed consists of a kind of bench or 
table, in which a number of circular saws are mounted on 


a rising and falling spindle, by which they can be regu- 
lated to the depth of the cut. The marble, slate, or 
stone to be sawn is fixed on a travelling table, which is 
arranged to run on rails fitted to the main framing of the 
bench. This table is fed slowly forward by a screw or 
counterpoise weight and rope. The saws are discs of 
wrought iron without teeth, and are fed with sand and 
water, in similar manner to straight saws. Ther are 
divided on the spindle by a series of washers, which can 
be regulated according to the width of the slabs to be cut. 
A " feather " extends the full length of the saw-spindle, 
and prevents the saws turning round. The saws are 
usually arranged to cut upwards. 

Stone saws should always be arranged to rise and fall, 
and also have lateral adjustments, so that they may be 
readily set to suit any depth or width of slab. Care 
should also be taken that the stone is securely " dogged " 
or held in position, as, should it be allowed to move in 
the cut the stone will be " galled." In the case of large 
circular saws, the stone should be held especially firm 
when the saw enters the cut. If the saw should be used 
for edging purposes, and a very thin cut taken, it should 
be supported and guided laterally to keep it from running 
out of the cut. In working stone, it is of the utmost 
importance that the cutting-tools employed should be 
shaped and tempered to suit the different kinds of stone. 
For example, some stone may be cut or forced off" in 
large chips, whilst others have to be scraped away. Soft 
or rotten stones are better cut with straight than ciicular 
saws, and by well weighting the swing-frame they can be 
sawn with tolerable rapidity. 

The most important point in connection with circular 
saws for cutting stone are the teeth ; these should be of 
simple form, easily made, and readily removed for 


sharpening. Owing to the constant grinding action of 
the stone, and the consequent friction on the teeth, these 
are invariably made renewable or "false," and the cutting 
is performed by them, instead of by teeth formed in the 
periphery of a plate of steel, as in sawing wood. These 
false teeth undoubtedly waste more stone than an ordi- 
nar}' saw would ; but this is more than counterbalanced 
by the fact that by their use the saw always remains the 
same diameter, whilst the ordinary plate would be rapidly 
worn away and rendered useless. 

The invention of movable tools or teeth for sawing and 
working stone is due to Mr. George Hunter, who, in con- 
junction with the late Sir W. Fothergill Cooke, made 
many improvements in machinery for the conversion of 
stone : in fact, they must be considered, without doubt, to 
be the pioneers of the more advanced type of stone- 
working machinery. These improvements extended over 
a number of years, commencing in the year 1865, and 
they claim the invention of movable tools or teeth 
capable of application to machinery for a variety of pur- 
poses : firstly, to the sawing of blocks and slabs of rock 
of considerable thickness for building or other purposes ; 
secondly, for facing the surface of squared-up stones in 
an ornamental manner ; thirdl}^ for undercutting stone, 
slate, or coal in situ, when the rock lies more or less on 
the incline, and also for the vertical cutting of the living 
rock.* These machines were manufactured by the late 
firm of Powis, James, & Co., under the superintendence 
of the Author, and very excellent work was produced by 
them, in Bath, Portland, York, and other stones. 

Fig. 4 represents the movable cutting-tool invented by 
Hunter, fixed in its socket or holder. It consists of a 
bolt made of the best rod steel ; the head is forged into a 

* See Journal of Society of Arts, Vol. XV., p. 19. 



FTG. 4. 

cupped or trumpet form, turned at the edge and then 
hardened. "When in use it is simply slipped into its 
socket, which is also made of steel. When the edge is 

dulled or chipped, the tool is 
turned in its socket so as to 
offer a fresh cutting margin, 
and as it wears away on the 
advancing side, the tool will 
offer several fresh cutting 
surfaces before it is entirely 
worn out. These tools are 
varied in size according to the circumference of the saw- 
plate, and range from 4in. to Sin. long, and the cutting 
head itself from |-in. to l^in. wide. The length of the 
tool allows of the head being softened, again set up, 
turned, and hardened, until it is too short for further 
use. The stems of the sockets are of the same thickness 
as the saw disc that receives them, and are slipped into 
grooved openings made in the periphery of the disc. 

The other tools for stone-dressing, used by Messrs. 
Hunter and Cooke, are illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6, and. 

FIG. 5. 

as in stone conversion, the cutting tools are, without 
doubt, the most important factors of successful working, 
we shall briefly describe them. 

Fig. 5 represents a tool which consists of a disc of 
steel punched from a plate, and shaped precisely similar 



to the head of the bolt-like tool just described. It is 
ready cupped and sharpened, and made with a boss 
behind to fit into a corresponding groove in the back of 
its holder, and with a hollow in front to receive a set-screw. 
These discs can be punched into the exact form required, 
and only need tempering to be fit for use. The holder of 
the disc-tool so grasps it that its cutting-rim projects only 
very slightly beyond the holder ; it thus offers very little 
leverage to the resistance of the stone, and therefore 
rarely becomes loose. Fig. 6 represents another form of 

cutting-tool : it is formed out 

of a symmetrical, acute-angled \ ^ 
trapezium, cut from a ribbon 
of steel, two or three-six- 

teenths of an inch thick, according to the roughness of 
the work it has to do. To convert these strips of steel 
into the required form of tool, they are bent sharply on 
their middle, so as to bring the acute angles opposite to 
each other, but slightly turned out of their cutting-angles. 
These tools are cut from ribbons of steel, and a number 
of the flat slips are screwed up together in the vice and 
sharpened ; they are then bent and hardened, and are fit 
for use. The socket for this form of tool is extremely 
simple (Fig. 7) ; it is merely a hole 
into which the tool slips, and in ^xpzzzz:^;;::^^ 

which it is held by the spring of its 
own arms. It was designed for 
roughing down the face of the stone, 
preparatory to the use of the facing- ^ 
tool. Messrs. Hunter and Cooke 
also employed flat, concave, and other forms of tools for 
giving ornamental surfaces to ashlars, quoins, sills, &c. 

In the design of their early circular sawing- machine, 
which worked these cutters, there was no especial 



novelty ; it consisted of a table moving on Y-grooves, or 
on friction pulleys, to which the stone to he cut vsras fixed 
hy cramps, or when very massive and rough by chairs. 
The table was fed forward by a screw, at a speed varyiig 
from three to six inches per minute, the speed being 
varied according to the nature of the work being done. 
The saws were mounted in collars, which could be ad- 
justed laterally, and from one to four were used at a time. 
They also claimed the use of a succession of travelling 
tables for carrying the stone, which were always advancirg, 
and on which blocks were prepared before the saws were 
ready to receive them. This was with the idea of saving 
the time of running back, unloading, and preparing 
another block ; the table was then either to be sent for- 
ward with a fresh load to another saw, or lifted by a craae 
on to a line of rails parallel to the series of saws, and run 
back to commence its course again. There are, however, 
several practical objections to this plan, and we have 
never heard of its being brought largely into use. 

A further application of Messrs. Hunter and Cooke's 
movable cutting tools was for dressing and facing stone. 
To perform this, the saws were removed from the hori- 
zontal spindle, and in their place a removable cylinder 
was slipped on or bolted on the spindle in halves, and 
this received the cutting tools. These were fixed in tool- 
holders, placed spirally round the cylinder. The object 
of the inventors in arranging the tools spirally was to 
obtain a divided and regular pressure upon the face of the 
stone at intervals of 2in. or 3in., always nearly uniform, 
but ever passing spirally from right to left, this plan 
doing away with the objection of a large number of cutters 
striking the stone at the same time, as it will readily be 
seen that with tools arranged spirally only a few of them 
would be acting on the stone at the same time the 


remainder entering and leaving the cut at the same 
moment. As many of the latest forms of machines and 
cutting tools for working stone have heen based on 
Messrs. Hunter and Cooke's patents, including the Eidge 
stone machine for cutting ridges out of each other, thus: 

FIG. 8. 

— we think they are fully entitled, as we have before re- 
marked, to be considered the forerunners of modern 
stone-working by machinery. As regards the earlier 
constructors of Stone-working Machinery of which we 
have any reliable records, the names of Mr. James 
Tulloch of London and Mr. James Hunter of Forfar- 
shire will always hold a foremost place. 

In practice circular saws are occasionally mounted on 
vertical spindles, the collars on which the saws are fixed 
being fitted with a feather, which works in a corre- 
sponding groove on the spindles, thus allowing the 
adjustment of the saws up or down to suit the work. The 
stone is cramped on a travelling table, and fed forward in 
the usual manner by means of a screw or rack-feed ; but 
we think saws arranged on a horizontal spindle will be 
found generally more handy and easy of adjustment. 

The objection urged against cutting stone with circular 
saws is the cost of the cutters or teeth ; this objection in 
some cases was tenable, and has gradually led to the 
abandonment of the more complicated forms of cutters, 
which may possibly theoretically have been of the correct 
form ; but their first cost, constant renewal, and difficulty 



of keeping in order lias led to the adoj)tion of the simplest 
forms, at a considerable saving, and we may here observe 
the cost of tools for cutting, say, 200ft. run of sandstone 
should not exceed 5s. 

Some years ago circular saws with solid teeth were tried 
with some success, but the cost of renewals was found to 
be excessive ; the saw-plates were ^-in. thick, and there 
was l^in. set on each side of the teeth, thus giving a cut 
Vm. wide ; the speed of the saw at the periphery was 
about 108ft. per minute. 

Whatever teeth are employed in circular stone saws, 
[hey must, to be commercially successful, be of the 
simplest possible form, easy to make and renew. Our 
illustration, Fig. 9, represents saw and facing-disc cutters 

FIG. 9. 

(Stevenson, Eea, and Dunlop's patent), and also cutter- 
holder or socket. An advantage claimed for these cutters 
is that the sharp edge they have when new is retained till 


they are worn out ; they certainly also have the advantage 
of simplicity, and are apparently based on one of Hunter's 
cutters, Fig. 5. 

For cutting window-sills, coping-stones, steps, &c., a 
number of saws can be mounted on the same spindle, and 
five or six cuts taken through a block at the same time, 
and thus also a large amount of stone often thrown on one 
side may be converted into useful and saleable articles. 
Unless the blocks are large the saws need not exceed, say, 
4ft. diam. These are arranged to cut uphill, and the 
stone must be securely cramped on the table. When the 
saw spindle is placed below the travelling table, the saw 
must be arranged to cut downwards, or the saw teeth will 
strike the stone abruptly with a direct jarring blow, which 
will in many cases twist and buckle the saw-plate and 
strip the teeth. 

As regards the cutting-speed of circular saws for stone, 
no arbitrary rule can be laid down, as this must depend 
on the nature of the stone operated on. A speed at the 
periphery of from 50 to 200ft. per minute, or with a 
cutting-speed varying from Sin. per minute in hard stone 
up to 12in. in soft stone, will be found suitable. 

In cutting very difficult stone, such as that containing 
pyrites, the cutting-tools should run very slowly indeed, 
say 40ft. per minute, or they will be found to heat red- 
hot, and will, of course, at once be rendered useless. The 
feed should not exceed 2in. per minute. Some difference 
of opinion exists as to the advisability of sawing stone 
with circular saws, with or without water. Some stones 
can, without doubt, be readily sawn dry, but from our 
experience we prefer wet sawing, as it keeps the tools 
cool and prevents unnecessary dust. 

In machines for sawing heavy blocks, the saw should 
be raised and lowered by means of self-acting gearing, as 


raising by hand is a slow and laborious process. All 
bearings should, as far as possible, be protected from 
dust. The discs carrying the teeth or cutting-tools are 
usually made of wrought ii'on, but should by preference 
be made of steel, which, although somewhat more difficult 
to fit up, are more rigid in work, and less likely to buckle, 
and they can also be made of a slightly thinner gauge. 
If steel is used, it should be of mild temper. 

In contrasting machines for circular sawing and planing 
stone, with those for wood, it will be found the principles 
of operation involved are directly opposite. In working 
wood, the action is either a splitting one— with saws— or 
a cutting one, with plane and other irons ; the number of 
revolutions of the tools is also very great. In the case of 
stone-working, the action with fixed tools in which there 
is a dead contact with the stone, is essentially a grinding 
one, and with revolving cutters the stone is " spauled " 
or levered off; the speed of working is also slow, the 
pressure, however, on the cutting tools and bearings 
is usually much greater than that of wood. With circular 
saws for cutting stone this is especially the case, the 
spindle carrying the saws should therefore be strongly 
supported by massive side standards, and have ample 
bearing surfaces ; the whole framework of the machine 
also should be of massive construction, to overcome 
excessive vibration in working. Should there be a jar on 
the saw cutters or teeth in working, they will be found to 
deteriorate much more rapidly, and the work turned out 
will not be so true on the face. 

With a well constructed circular saw the stone should 
leave the machine sufficiently true on the face that it 
may be bedded or jointed without further preparation, 
either by hand, or on the rubbing bed or planing 
machine. For rapidly squaring large blocks of stone for 


liarbour and similar works, circular saws will be found 
especially valuable, and, as they become better known, 
their use should be largely extended. For dividing very 
large blocks, two circular saws, placed one above the 
other, but working in the same vertical line, may be 

For joining flat stones, such as paving, all hand labour 
may be saved by mounting two saws so as to trim two 
edges and make them parallel, and by reversing the stone 
and setting it square by these sides, the other edges may 
be served in a similar way. 

Circular saws for cutting stone have been constructed 
of as large a diameter as 13ft., and two of these were 
erected by Mr. George Hunter some years since for the 
Tyne Navigation Commissioners. The following are 
some of the dimensions and weights : — Saw shaft, 15 Jin. 
diameter, weight, 3 tons; driving wheel, 3 tons, standards 
3 tons each, saw plates with collars, 3 tons 2 cwt. ; height 
above floor, 17ft. ; cut, 5ft. 6in. ; width of cut, If in. ; 
speed of tools, 18ft. per minute; feed of table for cut. 
Sin. per minute. 





In designing machines for dressing stone to a plane 
surface, the first idea that appears to have struck the 
greater majorit}^ of inventors was to imitate the action 
of the mason's chisel or quarry axe by mechanical means, 
and the whole of these have ended either in absolute 
failure or in the very smallest degree of success, and the 
reasons for this are not very far to seek. To make a 

steam stone-mason " commercially successful, it must 
be able to turn out a large amount of work, and to do this 
necessitates the use of a considerable number of masons' 
chisels. To successfully work these mechanically, may 
not appear very difficult in theory, but in practice we 
invariably find, where a large number of tools are 
employed, they vary in wear from difference in temper, 
material, or the work they have to do ; and this is, with- 
out doubt, one of the great reasons of the failure of this 
class of machines, whether for working stone, wood, or 
other materials. There are, however, other reasons why 
the action of the mason's chisel has not been imitated 
successfully ; it is in a degree elastic, and can be varied in 
strength and angle at the will of the operator, who can at 
the same time pick out the weaker points of the stone, 
and by attacking it here throw off larger chips than he 


otherwise could do. On the other hand, a blow given 
by mechanical means is a positive one, and although it 
may be made elastic by a spiral spring or other means, 
its strength or the inclination of the cutting tool cannot 
be varied at will, as is the case when worked by hand. 
Again, when a number of chisels are employed mechani- 
cally, there arises the difficulty, not only of their 
variation in wear, but of keeping them sharp, necessitat- 
ing (even if made reversible) constant stoppage of the 
machinery ; but the mason's quarry-axe 01 chisel is kept 
constantly sharpened by his turning it about and chang- 
ing his hand, or reversing the direction of his work. 

Revolving tools of various types, having a circular 
movement in a parallel i^lane to the face of the stone, are 
emplo3^ed for stone-dressing ; and vertical cutting blades 
acting as a knife, and toothed-blades, each tooth acting as 
a chisel, have also been used. We are strong!}'- against 
high-speeded cutters for dressing stone, unless they can 
be managed with a rolling contact, in which case the 
attrition is much reduced ; and we think it ma}^ be taken 
as an axiom that in all tools used for dressing stone 
those which produce the largest chips without "pluck- 
ing " the stone, or make the least dust, are to be preferred, 
as the tool wdiich produces much dust is rapidly grinding 
itself away, from its dead contact with the stone. A large 
number of cutters should in all cases be avoided, owing, 
as we have before remarked, to the practical impossibility 
of keeping the temper and consequent wear of them all 
alike. It is important whatever system is employed that 
the surface of the stone is not crushed or bruised in the 
working, or when fixed it will be found to mach more 
rapidly deteriorate. 

As regards the materials used for tools for stone-dress- 
ing, chilled cast iron and steel are those almost entirely 



employed, but there remains ample scope for an invention 
in this direction. What is wanted is a material combin- 
ing hardness and toughness in the greatest possible 
degree, to withstand the enormous strain and abrasion to 
which the tools are subjected. 

Various other plans for planing and dressing stone by 
mechanical means have been tried ; in most of these the 
stone is dressed by tools fixed in a stationary tool-box or 
holder, whilst a travelling table on which the stone is 
fixed passes beneath them, after the manner of an 
ordinary planing machine for working iron. One system 
consists in arranging a series of cutters on a hollow 
revolving cylinder, which is provided with small perfora- 
tions or openings near each cutter, and also with a 
stuffing-box and pipe, through which water may be con- 
ducted to the stone at the point where the tool is acting. 
In another plan cutters are attached to a rotating-wheel, 
and act upon the face of the stone, which is fixed on a 
travelling table, traversed by rack and pinion gear, A 
dressing-wheel has also been worked — but, we beheve, 
with only small success — with slits across its periphery, 
and arranged to hold sand, which acted in lieu of steel or 
iron cutters upon stones fixed on a table which traversed 

We believe that the first machine made for dressing 
stone in this country was that patented by Mr. James 
Hunter, of Leyonide, Forfarshire, about the year 1834 ; 
it was generally known as the Forfarshire stone-planing 
machine, and no improvement in the principle of working 
in that class of machine has since taken place, although 
the framing and general details have been strengthened. 
Eoughing and facing tools were employed, and these were 
so arranged that whilst at work the attendant could 
adjust them to any desired cut, and could bevel or set to 


any cutting-angle the facing tools. For dressing York- 
shire flags a very ingenious arrangement for throwing 
over the tools after each stroke was employed. We 
believe that tertiary limestone was also successfully 
worked by this machine, some samples of which, although 
rather hard, are not much more difiicult to work than 
the soft stones commonly employed for building purposes. 

There was a stone-planing machine exhibited in the 
Industrial Exhibition, New York, 1858, adapted for 
dressing hard stone. This machine consisted of an 
upright frame, in which revolved a vertical shaft, carrying 
three horizontal arms. At the extremit}'- of these arms 
were fixed circular cutters, inclined outwards about 45° 
from the perpendicular, or about the angle at which the 
workman would hold his chisel. They were about lOin. 
in diameter, and fin. thick, made of steel and bevelled on 
both sides, leaving a sharp edge. They were fitted upon 
axles, and were at liberty to revolve loosely in their bear- 
ings as their edges struck the stone. The cutters were 
carried round by the shaft at the rate of about 80 revs, 
per minute when planing freestone, and 60 when planing 
granite. The stone was moved forward on a bed to which 
it was keyed ; the cutters struck its surface obliquely as 
they were carried round on the revolving arms, turning 
at the same time on their own axles, and chipping and 
breaking off the projecting portions at every cut. The 
machine is reported by Whitworth to have planed the face 
of a stone 4ft. long by 2ft. wide, in seven minutes. 

Another modification of this machine, which was not 
so economical, was employed when it was necessary that 
the face of the stone be left in lines as it came from the 
tool. The stone was keyed on a travelling bed and 
passed under a frame, in which worked a sliding-carriage, 
driven by a crank ; in this carriage was fixed the circular 



cutter at the required angle, and as the stone was carried 
along, the cutter was driven backwards and forwards 
across its face at right angles to the direction in which it 
moved, and chipped off' parallel breadths of stone at every 
cut. The cutters could be used for planing from 300 to 
400 square feet of freestone surfaces, and about 150 
square feet of granite, without being ground. 

This latter statement is given by Sir Joseph Whitworth, 
in his report of the Exhibition ; but if it could be borne 
out by facts, we are at a loss to understand how it is 
machines giving apparently such favourable results have 
not been largely manufactured and introduced. As 
regards dressing the granite, this is especially incompre- 
hensible, as up to the present date we are not aware of 
any commercially successful machine for this purpose, 
although much money has been spent, and many 
improvements in the principles of construction and 
manner of working have been introduced. 

The Earl of Caithness, many j^ears ago, invented a 
stone-dressing machine, which has chiefly been used in 
dressing the Caithness flags. In this machine, the 
cutters are arranged to strike the surface of the stone 
vertically ; and the apparatus consists of a set of vertical, 
parallel bars of metal arranged in suitable guides in a 
substantial framing, and furnished at their lower ends 
with steel or hardened metal cutting or reducing edges. 
These bars are actuated by cams, which elevate them to 
a certain predetermined height, when they are allowed to 
drop on the face of the stone or other substance under 
treatment, and thus chip or cut away the surface, the 
stone at the same time being fixed on a bed, and made 
to traverse slowly beneath the cutter. 

The framing of the machine resembles that of a 
planing-machine for iron. It consists of two cast-iron 


standards, carried upon a timber base, each standard 
having a front bracket carrying a bearing for the cam- 
shaft which lifts the cutter-bars. These bars, which 
are all guided vertically in the framing, are shod at 
their lower cutting ends with serrated or notched steel 
faces for chipping the stone. Each of them carries an 
adjustable stud-arm, against the under-side of which the 
revolving cams of the shaft strike in working. The cam- 
shaft is cast with all its cams— one for each cutting-bar 
— solid upon it. It is driven by a belt and pulleys, and 
as it revolves, the cams, being disposed helically upon it, 
lift up and let fall the cutters in succession. This gives 
a dressmg or chipping action right across the face of 
the stone beneath, and produces the finished surface 
necessary in footways. The stone is carried by rollers 
mounted on a travelling carriage, which is moved forward 
after each revolution of the cam shaft, to present a new 
surface to the cutting action. In some instances it may 
be necessary to elevate the whole of the cutters from the 
stone at the instant the latter is traversed forward ; this 
is accomj^lished in the present machine by a cam. On 
the end of the main shaft the feed-motion of the stone is 
affected by a link-rod worked by a stud-pin from the 
main shaft, the lower end of this rod being connected to 
the racket action of a central traversing chain pulley 
shaft beneath the stone. The notches of all the cutting 
faces except the two outside ones run in the line of the 
feed-motion ; the two outside cutters have their notches 
running the transverse way to avoid injury to the arrises 
of the stone. 

The cutters in a machine invented by Mr. Jos. E. 
Holmes, of Mold, about 15 years ago, were arranged 
to act horizontally, the power being applied by a driving- 
belt direct from the engine to a rocking crank driving- 


shaft, to which the cutters are attached. At the opposite 
end of this driving-shaft was an arrangement of bevelled 
gearing, whereby the cutters were put into or taken cut 
of gear, and by which also the power was transmitted to 
a vertical spindle, which by a worm wheel operated on 
the travelling table. In working a block of stone do;vn 
to a rough surface, two sets of cutters were employed, 
and so adjusted that when the motion of the table vas 
reversed, the one set cut away the ridges left between 
the groves cut by the other set. For granite, bkck 
marble, and the harder kinds of stone, grooving points, 
rather than chisels, were used for the rough cutting 
down to a uniform level. The finishing tooling vas 
done by a broad chisel working across the entire face of 
the stone. The accompanying sketch (Fig. 10) will 

FIG. 10. 

convey an idea of the form and action of the worldng 
arm and cutters. The rocking shaft at A gives the 
scooping action to the range of cutters. When the stone 
has passed for its whole length under the cutters, the 
motion of the table is reversed, the pin at B is taken 
out, and the amis are joined again at E, and the cutters 


or dressing tool, as the case may be, at D are brought 
into action. 

It is evidently an attempt to imitate by mechanical 
means the elbow-and-wrist-movements of a stonemason 
whilst at work ; but, like all other machines designed on 
this principle, was not permanently successful. 

In the early patterns of Mr. Holmes' stone-dressing 
machine, the face of the stone to be dressed is placed in 
a vertical position, and acted on by cutters, which are 
mounted in a cutter-stock, carried by travelling arms. 
The cutting-tools are arranged in pairs, and by means of 
a lever a rocking motion is given to the cutter-stock, 
causing the right and left-hand tools to act alternately on 
the face of the stone. The lever is actuated by an eccen- 
tric of adjustable throw on a vertical shaft, carried by the 
outer ends of the travelling arms, and driven by a bevel- 
wheel which traverses on the main shaft. The feed- 
motion is given to the travelling arms by two longitudinal 
screws driven by a pawl and ratchet-wheel. The pawl is 
reversed at each end of the traversing motion, so as to 
reverse the direction of the feed. The stone is held in 
position by clamps and wedges, and by inclining the bed- 
plate or table on which it was mounted, surfaces could be 
dressed at oblique angles to one another. 

Mr. G. Hunter's first machine for sawing and dressing 
stone was patented in the year 1855, but we have already 
noticed it at length. 

Schwartzkopff and Phillippson, in the 3'ear 1859, 
patented the adaption of the principle of the steam- 
hammer for dressing stone, adjusting the blows of the 
hammer to the nature of the material under operation. 
The steam cylinder was mounted by the inventors on a 
sliding bracket or frame which traversed up and down the 
face of the main framing b}'' raising or lowering the 



sliding frame ; the piston-rod which carried the cutting 
tool was either lifted from, or hrought closer to, the stone 
being operated on, at the option of the workman. The 
steam for working the piston was admitted to or shut off 
by a rotating valve, actuated by two cams (carried by a 
cross-head attached to the piston-rod), which acted on a 
projection on the spindle of the valve, and caused it to 
rotate. In order that the steam-pipe which admits 
steam to the valve -box of the cylinder may be moved up 
or down when the cylinder is moved, its end passes 
through a stuffing-box in the top of a chamber in the 
upper part of the main frame, into which chamber the 
steam is first admitted. In dressing stones the whole 
apparatus was mounted on a slide with horizontal and 
vertical movements similar to those found in a planing 
machine for working iron. 

The stone was mounted on a truck running on rails, 
and brought beneath the cutting-tool by means of a Avorm 
and rack worked by a hand-wheel. After each blow of 
the piston-rod containing the tool, on the stone, it was 
forced back to its original position b}^ means of springs. 
We believe this machine has never been practically used 
in this country, but we think that the plan is sufficiently 
original, and of enough promise to merit further experi- 
ment in this direction. For dressing granite or other 
very hard stone, if the cutting-tools could be made to 
stand, this machine should be as successful as any other 
that has been tried for this purpose ; but as most 
machines for dressing granite have hitherto been par- 
tially or wholly failures, this is perhaps not very high 
praise, and there is no doubt a really practical and 
commercially successful machine for dressing granite yet 
remains to be invented. 

In the year 1860, Mr. C. Schiele, of Bebbington, 


patented a machine adapted for cutting or dressing-stone, 
amongst other operations. The general arrangement of 
the machine may be described as follows : — On a 
revolving shaft was fixed a large boss or centre-plate, on 
which were linked, but free to swing, a number of arms, 
and when employed for dressing stone a cutting hammer 
was mounted at the end of each arm. On the cutter 
spindle being set in motion, the arms were thrown out to 
a radial position, from the centrifugal force imparted, 
and operated on the stone blocks to be dressed, which 
were fixed on a truck arranged to travel beneath the 
cutting-tools. The cutting tools employed were fashioned 
after the manner of those used by stone-masons — whose 
actions they w^ere intended to imitate — for dressing 
purposes ; each of these tools w'as fixed by its handle, 
strengthened by a taper hoop, holes being drilled through 
the handle for the tool to swing in, round a pin secured 
to another hoop of wrought iron. A number of these 
hoops w^ere fixed side by side on a shaft in such a way 
that when the shaft was put in motion they delivered 
their blows on the stone in succession ; each hoop was 
provided with an elastic cushion. To prevent injury 
from the tools fljing off — w^hich we should imagine they 
would be likely to do — guards were placed over them, 
and small jets of water were used to keep the tools cool 
and lessen the dust. We believe this machine was unsuc- 
cessful — never came into practical use ; but as an 
attempt to imitate the hand-labour of the stonemason by 
mechanical means, it is worthy of note. 

A machine for dressing stone was exhibited by Mr. 
Jos. E. Holmes, of Mold, at the International Exhibition 
of Vienna, 1873 ; its general arrangement was somewhat 
similar to a planing machine for iron. The table was 
traversed on rollers, and driven by a rack and pinion ; 



the stone was held in its place by brackets fastened on a 
table by adjustable bolts. The cutter-barrel or spindle 
was made adjustable, and two kinds of cutters were em- 
ployed. For roughing out, a series of independent tools 
or punches mounted in two rows were employed, and for 
finishing, a plain blade or cutter the full length of the 
block was used. By means of a very ingenious vernier 
combination or disc arrangement, the cutters could be set 
to take a greater or less cut, according to the angle at 
which they were fixed. 

The system of stone-dressing pursued in the Cook and 
Hunter patent machines of the earlier types, was to 
mount the cutting tools spirally round an axle or 
cylinder, the shortness and sharpness of the tool-cut 
being regulated by the diameter of the axle or cylinder, 
the number of cutters, and the rate of feed. For face- 
dressing the softer kiyds of stone, this system has some 
advantages ; but for working hard stones, we consider 
another system of revolving circular cutters, arranged 
with a rolling contact, altogether superior. It can 
however, be used with advantage in moulding Bath, 
Portland, Caen, and other soft stones, and under this 
head we shall further describe it. 

Our illustration. Fig. 11, represents a machine of the 
horizontal-barrel class from the designs of Mr. Holgate. 
As will be seen from the drawing, two cutter barrels are 
arranged, the first carrying narrow cutters about fin. wide 
for roughing out the face of the stone, and the second 
barrel carrying cutters about Ifin. wide for finishing 
the surface. The cutters are forged from bar steel l^in. 
by T% and lin. by lin. respectively. The travelling table 
which carries the stone is arranged with a quick return 
motion. The cutter barrels are arranged to be raised 
and lowered either by belts or hand as may be preferred. 

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A few years since, a machine for dressing stone was 
patented by Messrs. Brealey and Marsden. The general 
arrangement of the machine is similar to an ordinary 
planing machine for iron. On the horizontal cutter-shaft 
are mounted a number of eccentrics — apparently in a very 
similar way to that employed by the Earl of Caithness 
many years before — all having the same throw but ar- 
ranged spirally round the shaft. Each eccentric carries 
two rods, which are set at an angle of 45° ; to each of the 
rods small brackets are bolted for carrying the cutters, 
which are made of thin steel plates of different forms, 
according to the work to be performed. Slots are made 
in the cutters for adjusting them, but they are not allowed 
to project far for fear of springing. Two sets of cutters 
are employed, one set serrated for roughing out, and the 
other set plain. Either of these sets of cutters can be 
brought into operation by means of a rocking quadrant 
frame worked by a hand-wheel, and the cutters set to 
meet the stone at any desired angle. The cutters operate 
by a rapid succession of blows across the slab. 

The general arrangement of this machine is massive 
and well designed, but its weak point is, without doubt, 
the large number of cutters employed. 

The most efficient machines for dressing plain surfaces 
on hard stones, with which we are acquainted, are 
those made under the patents of Messrs. Brunton and 
Trier. These are based on principles differing essentially 
from other machines in use, and from their novelty are 
deserving of an extended notice. The pith of the inven- 
tion, as described by the patentees, consists in giving to 
circular cutters a determinate rotation on their own axes 
at the same time that they are carried round in a circle, 
their cutting-edges describing a circular path. The aim 
of the inventors has been to so adjust the rates of cutter 



rotation and movement round the circle, relatively the 
one to the other, that the cutting edge shall exactly roll in 
the circular path or track. The patentees claim that with 
a nicely-adjusted rolling action there is very little attri- 
tion, and that this is chiefly due to the forward movement 
of the stone ; at the same time little heat is produced and 
the cutter-edge wears away very slowly. This latter 
jjremise must, however, of course, depend on the nature 
of the stone, as should they have to pass through pyrites, 
or what quarrymen call " flock," the wear and tear of the 
cutters must of necessity he largely increased. The 
velocity at which the cutters are speeded for ordinary 
purposes is 2,000ft. per minute ; but this may be 
increased according to the nature of the stone being 
operated on, as the inventors' experience has shown 
that the greater the velocity of the cutters the better 
the}^ act. 

In an interesting paper on their stone-dressing ma- 
chinery,* Messrs. Brunton and Trier claim that their 
machine, as contrasted with others in use, takes hold of a 
new principle of action — the action, namel}'', of circular 
rotating cutter, operating by rolling to chip off from the 
stone the inequalities of its surface. This, they say, 
constitutes the elementary principle, and may be stated 
as a rolling pressure brought to bear at the base of a 
certain projecting portion of stone, with the intent to 
force it off". The great power of such a pressure to effect 
the desired object, is due to the fact that its incidence 
at any given moment (or what may be called the tread 
of the cutter) extends over a very small space, and that 
upon this small space the whole force in exercise is con- 

We have in stone a material composed for the most 
* Ri^ad before the Institute of J.Iechanical Engineers, January, 1S81. 


part of particles hard enough to cut and Avear away the 
hardest steel, but held together by a cohesion relatively 
far feebler than that which holds together the molecules 
of steel or chilled cast iron. Hence it will be evident 
that in attacking such a substance by a metal tool, it is 
of the first importance that attrition be avoided. If this 
enters in any considerable measure into the conditions of 
the contest, the metal will be worsted ; but if it be a ques- 
tion of simple pressure, the stone will inevitably be 
overcome. The first application of the principle was to 
the turning of stone, especially granite. The simplicity 
of this appHcation was due to the circumstance that the 
constantly-revolving stone presented a continuous surface 
for attack ; and the contact of the edge of the rotating 
cutter with the surface was therefore unbroken. The 
cutter, once set in motion by contact with the stone, con- 
tinued rolling, and, being placed at an angle of about 25"" 
to the axis of the stone, chipped the surface away 
incessantly in a spiral line, as the slide-rest and tool- 
holder moved along the bed of the lathe. The concur- 
rent revolutions of the stone and the cutter reduced attri- 
tion to a minimum, and considerable speed of surface 
rotation was attainable. With two cutters, one on each 
side of the column, an inch and a half or more would be 
taken olf in a single traverse. But when plain surfaces 
had to be dealt with, many difficulties presented them- 
selves. The contact of the cutters with the stone was 
necessarily intermittent. To accomplish a useful quantity 
of work speed was required ; but to bring cutters into 
rapid rotation by a contact with the stone, which was 
made and broken at every moment, involved much attri- 
tion, and consequent wear. Although it may seem a very 
simple remedy for this difficulty to drive the cutters — in 
other words, to give them mechanically an independent 



rotation, such that their edges should roll on the stone- 
yet this simple remedy was not thought of till a consider- 
able time had been spent in efforts to dress plain surfaces 
by simple contact. 

An essential feature in the machines under notice is 
the construction of the tool-holder or chuck employed. 
These are arranged to carry three or more circular 
saucer-shaped revolving cutters, made of chilled cast-iron 
or steel. Each cutter is mounted on a spindle, and set 
at an angle to the plane of its rotation. These spindles 
carry also small toothed wheels, which gear into a much 
larger one mounted in the centre of the chuck, and 
which imparts to the smaller toothed wheels, and, 
therefore, the cutters, a rotary motion. The chuck 
itself is carried on a hollow shaft, through the interior of 
which passes a second shaft or spindle, on to which the 
before-mentioned large toothed wheel is keyed. Motion 
can thus be imparted to the chuck and cutter in 
proportion to their relative diameters, and the speed 
thus varied according to the nature of the material being 
operated on. The cutters may be inclined either towards 
or from the centre of the chuck, thus giving rise to two 
types of chucks, internal and external, the internal 
cutting with the inner edge of the cutters, and the 
external with the outer edge. Each type has its own 
merits, and we illustrate them herewith (Figs. 12 and 13) 
They are thus described by the inventors : — 

Fig. 12 represents an internal chuck, having the cutters 
incHned towards the centre. If the stone can be brought 
within the circle of the track of the cutters, it may be 
moved in either direction against them. If the stone is 
too large for this, the bed must be inclined to the plane 
of the chuck sufficiently to allow the rough undressed 
surface of the stone to pass, as shown at a. Chucks of 


this type are usually of considerable diameter, and are 
chiefly used for dressing large blocks. 

Fig. 13 represents an external chuck, that is, having 
the cutters inclined from the centre. The stone moves 


from the outside of the chuck against the revolving 
cutters. An inclination of tV of an inch in the diameter 
of the chuck, to the plane of the dressed surface, is given 
to the axis of the chuck, in order to obtain hack 
clearance. The inclination or tilt given to the chuck is 
too slight to produce any perceptible hollow in the 


FIG. 13. 

surface of the stone, and it is reversible, permitting the 
stone to travel in either direction. This type of chuck is 
usually employed for dressing stone of moderate size; 
but wide surfaces may be dressed in successive breadths 
by moving it across the face of the stone. 

To produce a sharp arris, it is necessary that the line 
of the centre of the chuck be outside the edge of the 
stone (see Fig. 14) ; and to attain the best result, that 
the cutters roll off the stone, as shown by the arrows, and 
not on it. 

The cutters both in internal and external chucks are 
set so as to cut in three or more planes or steps (see 
Fig. 15). When set in three planes, the cutters are dis- 
tinguished as X, y, or z, the upper or commencing cutter 
being x, and z the finishing. They foUow one after the 
other in rotation as the chuck revolves, each being on its 


FIG. 15. 



own separate spindle. The advantages claimed for this 
arrangement by its inventors are that a considerable 
depth of cut may be taken at each passage of the cutters, 
and thus ordinary quarry-scabbled stone may be dressed 
at one operation. It is claimed that "plucking" of the 
stone is avoided, as although the chips forced off by x 
may break away below its plane, it is unusual in the case 
of y, and practically impossible with z, owing to the 
overlying stratum of stone, and any pluck marks that 
may be produced by x are obliterated by z. It is also 
claimed for this principle of working that the face 
pressure of the cutters is greatly diminished, and very 
sharp arrises are obtainable. 

Our illustration, Fig. 16, represents a machine for top- 
dressing hard stones, such as those usually employed for 
flags, landings, steps, &c. As will be seen from the 
engraving, the chuck employed is of the external type, 
and is arranged with a self-acting vertical and transverse 
traverse. The stone to be dressed is placed on a travel- 
ling table, which passes beneath the cutters, and is 
actuated by means of a rack and pinion. The main 
framing of the machine is made of massive construction 
to overcome the vibration in w^orking. Many difficulties 
have been surmounted by the inventors in developing this 
principle of working, and, from samples of stone dressed 
on their machines that we have recently inspected, the 
surface leaves little to be desired. As regards the 
adaptability of these machines for dressing all kinds of 
stones generally used in building construction there can 
be but little doubt, but as to dressing the very hardest 
stone, such as granite, we are of opinion that many 
difficulties have yet to be overcome, if not an entirely 
new principle of action invented, before granite dressing 
by machinery can be made commercially successful. 

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In all classes of stoneworking machinery, where the 
pressure on the cutters is heavy, or where sand and grit 
has a chance of getting on to the working surfaces of the 
hearings, especial means of lubrication must be taken. 
In the machine last noticed, the chucks, with their 
spindles and gearing, are lubricated by means of soap and 
water, introduced through the central shaft, which is 
made hollow for this purpose, and thence passes to the 
various working parts. 

Fig. 17 represents another type of machine especially 
adapted for dressing the sides of stones of a moderate 
degree of hardness, as generally used in building con- 
struction, for ashlar mullions, copings, sills, &c. Long 
stones can be dressed on the ends and jointed by them ; 
and it possesses the advantage of cheapness over the 
machine already described. The chuck employed is of 
the internal type, and dresses the whole surface of the 
stone at one sweep, and the table carrying the stone is 
speeded to travel from lOin. to 20in. per minute. The 
chuck revolves in a fixed position, but can be adjusted 
laterally against the face of the stone. 

The inventors construct another machine of the same 
type as the one last described ; but instead of the chuck 
revolving in a fixed position, it can be raised or lowered 
automatically, so that stones may be dressed in successive 
breadths. When it is necessary to dress pillars they are 
mounted in cradles or fence brackets bolted to the table, 
and these are arranged to give any desired angle to the 

Messrs. Coulter and Harpin patented, in 1872, improve- 
ments in machinery for dressing or facing and shaping 
stone, marble, or granite. The improvements claimed 
are the use of straight cutting tools, which are so 
arranged that they turn over after every single traverse of 


the table carrying the stone, and present a fresh cutting 
edge ; they are thus kept constantly sharpened, and 

operate on the stone during both the back and forward 
journeys of the table. 

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To face page 73. 


As will be seen from the illustration, Fig. 18, an 
ordinary planing machine for working iron is the basis 
on which their improvements are founded. The cross- 
slide bed is mounted on an axis in brackets, which can slide 
up and down the upright standards. The cross-slide bed 
is slotted to receive a tool-box, thus bringing the tools 
through the centre of the bed, and consequently the 
pressure on the tools has no tendency to lift or move the 
cross-slide during the cut. The tool-box is arranged 
with a transverse movement by means of a screw in the 
ordinary way. The turning over of the cross- slide bed for 
reversing the position of the cutting tools is made self- 
acting in conjunction with, and actuated by, the reversing 
motion of the travelling table carrying the stone. In 
order to check the fall of the cross-slide bed when turning 
over, an air-cylinder and piston are used, the cylinder 
being charged with air, which is compressed by the fall 
of the cross-slide bed, the air then passes through per- 
forations in the piston, thereby allowing the full weight of 
the cross-slide bed and tool-box with tools to act as a 
resistance against the pressure on the tools. The travel- 
ling table carrying the stone runs on angular- shaped rails, 
so shaped to avoid an accumulation of sand or grit, as 
would be found were the ordinary V-shaped slides used. 
The general arrangement of the machine is well thought 
out, and taken altogether it must be considered to be a 
good example of its type. For working curbs and chan- 
nels, mouldings and general mason's work, a rocking table 
can be employed with advantage, as the stone, when once 
properly fixed, can readily be set to any desired angle, or 
turned any side up, as may be required. Fig. 19 repre- 
sents a tool-holder and tool. 

In some stone-dressing machines of recent construction, 
in place of the ordinary fixed tool-box and tools employed 



in a planing machine for working iron, one or more 
cutter-barrels are arranged horizontall}^ The cutters 
are usually forged from plain bars of steel, and if two 
barrels are used it will be found best to arrange the first 
barrel with narrow cutters for roughing out, and the 

would be the case were the}^ arranged in straight lines. 

But any machine of this type, employing a number of 
cutters, as we have before remarked, labours under the 
serious disadvantage of inequality of wear in the tools. 
The cutter-barrels should in all cases be raised by power, 
as much time is lost when manual labour is employed. 
As the pressure and strain on the bearings carrying the 
cutter-barrels is very considerable, they should be made 
of increased length, say about three diameters, and pre- 
ferably made of phosphor bronze. The travelling table 
should be fitted with a quick return motion, should run 
on rollers, as the ordinary V-slides would be rapidly 
ground away by the grit and dust made in working. 

FIG. 19. 


second barrel with broader 
cutters for finishing. The 
cutters should not project 
from the barrel more than 
three or four inches, or the 
leverage and consequent attri- 
tion on the cutters will be 
largely increased ; and it will 
be found advantageous to ar- 
range them spirally on the 
cutter-barrels so that the 
blows on the stone and con- 
sequent jar and vibration will 
be distributed, and not be one 
sudden concussion across the 
whole length of the stone, as 


Plain disc surfacing machines for stone have been used 
with some little success, especially for tolerably soft stone. 
They consist briefly of cast-iron discs arranged to 
revolve vertically or horizontally. Around the periphery 
of the discs is arranged a series of cast-steel cutters which 
act on the stone. The stone is mounted on a table, and 
traversed either past or beneath the cutters. Eectilinear 
reciprocating machines for dressing stones have also been 
tried ; in these the cutting tools are mounted in a travers- 
ing slide, and are arranged to operate on the stone at 
every traverse of the slide. For scabbling large blocks 
from the rough, this latter arrangement may be used with 
advantage in the quarry ; but for finishing purposes, it is 
hardly good enough. The tools are generally made with 
double noses, so that they may cut both waysof the traverse. 
For dressing ashlar, or for bedding stones in lieu of a 
rubbing bed, plain flat steel cutters fixed in movable 
cutter-blocks, mounted on horizontal or vertical revolving 
spindles, may be used with advantage. The travelling 
tables of planing or moulding machines should in all cases 
be arranged with variable rates of speed, to suit different 
classes of stone. 

The dressing of granite by mechanical means is a pro- 
blem that has engaged the attention of engineers for 
many years, and is still, practically speaking, unfulfilled. 
The invention of rotating cutters for turning and dressing 
granite is generally, and, I believe, rightly attributed to a 
Mr. Newton, who spent large sums of money in con- 
structing machines for granite dressing, which were, how- 
ever, not practically successful. Mr. Wm. Johnson, of the 
Hayton Granite Co., also took out a patent about 40 
years ago, with the same object in view, and a number 
of others have since been taken ; but we cannot learn 
of any one of them being a success. The nearest ap- 


preaches, however, are those of Messrs. Brunton and 
Trier. Fig 20 represents Trier's Patent Cutter-chain 
Vertical Stone-dressing Machine. 

The machine illustrated is a Side Dresser, to which 
the following description chiefly applies : The circular 
cutters, AAA, are fixed to spindles, which are free to 
revolve in adjustable bushes carried on the boxlike slides, 
B B B. These slides are hinged together, and form 
the links of an endless chain, which passes round 
sprocket wheels, borne on the standard, J). 

Guides are provided on each side of the standard, 
through which the slides or links of the chain pass, so 
that the cutters are firmly guided in straight lines, both 
ascending and descending, and as the}^ come into contact 
with the advancing stones, and split off the irregularities 
b}^ their rolling wedge action, they produce good surfaces, 
with straight toolmarks at right angles to the length of 
the stone. By raising one end of the stone, diagonal 
marking to any desired angle will result. 

The Side Dressers are provided with a bed, E, on one 
side or on both sides of the standard, according to the 
desire to dress one stone or two stones simultaneously. 
The table, F, to which the stone is fixed, with the side to 
be dressed overhanging the edge, has wormrack, slides 
and wheels. The table is rolled on rails up to the bed, 
on to which it is drawn by a wormshaft, and by which it 
is pushed off on to rails at the other end. By means of 
cross trolleys and return rails, two or more tables can in 
this way be circulated, and the loss of time involved in 
changing stones is practically done away with. 

The cutter-chain, with its considerable number of 
cutters moving continuouslj'^ in one direction, permits the 
valuable principle of stepcutting with several cutters to 
be carried out without sacrificing the speed of dressing. 


To face page 76. 

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The art of moulding stone by manual labour is of very 
lancient origin, but of the implements employed, and their 
nature and composition, comparatively little is known. 
Wilkinson is of opinion that the action of cutting and 
grinding the faces and making ornaments in relief or 
intaglio was performed with emery, probably imbedded in 
some soft metal. The early form of cutters used for 
stone or marble moulding by machinery, consisted of 
solid cylinders of cast iron, tm-ned to the counterpart 
form of the required mouldings. These were mounted 
on horizontal or vertical spindles, as required for flat, 
circular, or edge moulding, the table being traversed 
beneath or past the cutters, as in the machines at present 
in use. Amongst the early machines must be mentioned 
the old ridge roll which has been used for many years for 
rounding the edges of slate slabs. 

In the year 1833, as we have elsewhere mentioned, 
Mr. G. W. Wilde took out a patent, and in this was 
included some improvements in moulding stone by 
means of sand and water, acted on by a metallic 
cylinder on the periphery of which was formed the 
converse of the intended moulding. 

The old form of machines were termed "moulding 



beds," and several of these were constructed by Mr. 
James Tulloch. They were constructed somewhat after 
the fashion of the old ripping bed we have already 
described ; but in place of the disc of sheet iron he 
mounted a circular cutter block, on the periphery of which 
was turned the counterpart of the moulding to be pro- 
duced. The strip of marble to be moulded was fixed 
with plaster of Paris to a board or table, which was 
capable of being moved slowly forward by a rope and 
counter-balance weight. The "faithful historian," in 
describing this machine, says: " The cutter being set into 
rapid rotation the marble is brought up to it, and is cut 
away by the action of the revolving iron. The marble 
advances onwards as fast as it is cut, and then presents a 
series of parallel mouldings on its surface, the counterpart 
of those in the cutter." With all due deference to the 
" faithful historian," we are afraid that if no other cutting 
or abraiding material was employed, the work turned out 
on this machine must have been, to say the least of it, 
rough, or else the marble must have been very soft and 
the cutters very hard. There is little doubt, however, 
that a constant supply of water and very fine-grained sand 
was introduced between the periphery of the cutter and 
the marble. The writer has recently tried several ex- 
periments in moulding marble, with, so far, very encourag- 
ing results. In lieu of iron cutters and sand, he has used 
a certain quality of emery disc or wheel with the profile 
of the desired moulding formed in its periphery ; this he 
found to cut with considerable rapidity, and with certain 
modifications in the constituents of the disc, and in hold- 
ing and feeding the marble, it should be made practically 
and commercially successful. 

About the year 1853 Messrs. Knowles and Bellhouse, 
of Manchester, patented a series of machines for cutting 



and shaping marble and stone. In one of these they used 
a rotary cutter or rubber combined with a template guide 
for the direction of the shaping surface in the accurate 
contour line of the intended shape of the article to be pro- 
duced from the rough block or slab, as it lay upon a 
traversing table. When symmetrical or circular mould- 
ings were required, the inventors attached a set of shaping 
or moulding blocks to a revolving disc ; this was mounted 
on a vertical spindle and brought on to the work by 
means of a lever. In another machine for circular 
moulding, the necessary working pressure was obtained by 
means of weights or springs, whilst the table carrying the 
stone was arranged with rotary and traverse motions, so 
that, if necessary, it could be made to revolve as well as 
the cutters. We have drawings of these machines before 
us, and they appear thoroughly practical, and reflect credit 
on their designers. 

Moulding machines for working stone may be divided 
into two classes : (1) those in which the cutter spindles 
or barrels work in a horizontal position. (2) Those in 
which they work in a vertical position. As we are 
inclined to favour the latter t^ype, we will discuss these 
first. In the earliest machines, as we have already 
mentioned, the converse of the moulding required was 
turned in cast iron and afterwards chilled. Flat cutters 
of steel mounted in a vertical revolving spindle followed 
these. And also a kind of hollow saucer cutter, made of 
chilled iron, which was attached to the foot of a vertical 
spindle. This was guided in its action by a pointer 
attached to the slide which carried the spindle, and by a 
grooved pattern attached to a portion of the table, which 
was made to rotate. 

In one type of vertical moulding machine, the stone is 
mounted on a travelling table, and traversed by means of 


a screw-feed past a vertical cutter-barrel, in which are 
fixed several sets of roughing tools, usually six — these 
roughing-down tools are plain rolled bars of steel, of a 
section similar to Fig. 21. These can be advanced or 

retired in their tool-box to 
suit any profile of mould- 
ing required. The cutting 
edge of one set projects a 
little over the previous set, 
so that each time the stone 
is traversed six cuts are 
made, the result being great expedition in roughing the 
stone down to the approximate shape of the moulding 
required. The roughing tools are kept in position by 
suitable packing pieces, and only one set is required for 
any section of moulding that may be desired. As soon 
as the stone is roughed down by these tools to the ap- 
proximate shape of the moulding, it is scraped to its 
exact outline, and finished by a scraping cutter, which is 
fixed in the tool-holder or cutter-barrel on the right- 
hand side, or behind the roughing tools. This finishing 
cutter is brought into action, and the amount of its cut 
regulated by a hand-lever, under the immediate control 
of the workman. If the roughing cutters are carefully 
adjusted, little work need be done by this tool, and a 
finish and sharpness of outline is j)i'oduced quite un- 
attainable by hand. 

The table which carries the stone can either be used 
horizontally, or placed at an angle which will be found 
convenient for undercut and other mouldings. The table 
is traversed by a screw-feed worked by two sets of pulleys, 
one for moving the table forward whilst cutting, and the 
other for running it back at a higher speed, preparatory 
to taking a fresh cut. 



Amongst the most advanced machines for moulding 
stone must be included Hunter's Patent Duplex machine, 
which we illustrate herewith (Fig. 22). In this machine 
the stone is subjected to the action of both revolving and 
scraping tools. The improvements consist in mounting 
two vertical spindles which carry revolving cutters, one 

on each side of a reciprocating or travelling table, upon 
which the stone to be worked is fixed. The cutter 
spindles are driven by screw or worm gearing ; the two 
worms being inside right and left handed, the thrust of 
each partly counteracts that of the other. The table is 
driven by means of a worm working into a rack fixed on 
the underside of the table ; this worm is made slightly 
taper on a shaft somewhat inclined, so that the outer end 
of the shaft to which is applied reversing bevel gear is 
sufficiently low to permit the table to travel over it. 

The mouldings are roughed out by the small trumpet- 
shaped steel cutters similar to those used for circular saw- 
ing, and shewn in Fig. 4 ; these are mounted horizontally 

FIG. 22. 




on flat malleable iron tool holders, similar to Fig. 24 ; 
these are arranged on the vertical spindles in rotation, 
the sizes of the tool holders being graduated according 
to the depth of the various members of the moulding. 

For scraping and finishing the stone, flat profile steel 
cutters are used ; these are fixed in tool holders, 
mounted on vertical columns with elevating screws ; on 

FIG. 23. 

the upper part of these columns are fixed cross tubes, in 
which the tool holders are fixed. These are adjustable 
horizontally across the travelling table by means of 
screws, so as to bring the tool to act either on the side 
or on the upper surface of the stone as required. 

The one tool scrapes or planes when the table travels 
the one way, and the other when it travels the reverse 
way, so that no time is lost in running the table back for 
a fresh cut, as in other machines of this class. The top 
of each tool holder is fitted with a swivel to hold an adjust- 
able cross bar for planing an inclined face. 

Mr. Hunter adopts a simple plan for holding the 
cutting tools ; this is illustrated by Figs. 23 and 24. It 
consists of a casting having holes for the reception of the 
tools, and transverse steel keys fitted on inclined beds. 
The tool being inserted into the hole is fixed securely 
therein by drawing up the key by means of a nut. The 



key is fonned with a V-edge, which slightly impresses 
itself into the tool, and prevents it from moving. Two or 
more tools can be fixed in one holder, and each tool is set 
so as to overlap that in the next holder. These tool- 

FIG. 24. 

holders or blocks are for some kinds of stone mounted in 
trunnions, thus presenting a fresh cutting edge to the 
stone when the spindle is reversed. Figs. 25 and 26 
show the method adopted by the inventor for mounting 

FIG. 25. FIG. 26. 

the scraping tools, which are adjustable horizontally 
through the cross tubes before alluded to. Fig. 4 repre- 
sents one form of cutting tool employed by Mr. Hunter. 
The general arrangement of this machine is compact and 
good, and the combination of revolving and scraping 
cutters is not, we believe, found in any other machine of 
this type. For moulding the softer kinds of building 

G 2 



stones this machine should be especially serviceable. 
For moulding and surfacing semicircular windows and 
such like curved work, a revolving table is generally 
employed, the cutters being usually made adjustable in a 
slide, but stationary", the table carrying the stone being 
arranged to revolve against them. For working the 
softer stones this machine can be made to effect a large 
saving over hand labour. 

In moulding or planing stone, it is of the utmost 
importance that the blocks are verj^ firmly fixed. There 
are several ways of doing this. If a number of pieces of 
the same size have to be worked, a good plan is to make 
a strong skeleton frame of hard wood, and fix it securely 
to the travelling table. Into this frame the stone can be 
lowered and wedged up. This dispenses with the ordi- 
nary method of cramping, and is more expeditious. To 
further support the tools and stone whilst bemg moulded 
some engineers form the lower part of the box carry-ing 
the cutting tools as near as possible to the profile of the 
desired moulding. 

For holding shafts or pillars in position whilst being 
moulded or planed, a centre head or head stocks of 
modified form are usually emploj'ed. These can be 
moved about on the table, and made adjustable to blocks 
of varying lengths. The stone can also be fixed at any 
desired angle. 

When working mouldings, a template of the profile of 
the required moulding should, in all cases, be made in 
sheet iron and marked on the stone. The cutting tools 
can then be more readily adjusted to suit. 

In dressing and moulding machines where a number of 
cutters are employed, or where they are difficult to adjust, 
it will be found well to sharpen them in their places. 
This can usually be done without much trouble, by means 

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of a revolving emery wheel, mounted in centres, and 
driven by an elastic band. 

In making bevelled mouldings the stone should, if pos- 
sible, be sawn to an angle before being put on the 
machine, as the cutters having thus less stone to remove 
are subjected to less strain, and consequent wear ; at the 
same time the stone is less liable to pluck in the working, 
or break at the arrises. For " checking " deep mouldings, 
a circular saw may be used with advantage, this is fixed 
on the top of the other cutter holder, and cuts into the 
stone before the cutters following it come into play. In 
moulding stone, all complex forms of cutters should be 
avoided ; and many members of the same moulding 
should not be formed on one cutter — except for scraping 
and finishing purposes — or considerable trouble will be 
found in keeping the iron to the desired outline : at the 
same time, it is much more liable to twist or crack whilst 
being hardened. The temper of the cutters should be 
adjusted according to the hardness or nature of the stone 
being worked. We can recommend the following plan for 
hardening cast-steel tools, the edges of which — provided 
the steel be good — will be found to stand well : Take four 
parts of powdered yellow resin and two parts of train oil, 
mix them carefully, and add one part of heated tallow. The 
object to be hardened is dipped into this mixture red-hot, 
and is allowed to remain in it until it is quite cold. 
Without having previously cleaned it, the steel is again 
put into the fire, and is then cooled in boiled water in the 
ordinary manner. We purpose giving elsewhere some 
further directions as to tempering the cutting tools ; the 
subject being one of the utmost importance in securing 
the efficient working of the various machines. 

Our illustrations (Figs. 27, 28, and 29) represent a 
stone moulding and planing machine from the designs of 



Messrs. Western & Co. The cutter barrel is a fixture 
and arranged vertically, and plain bars of steel of taper 
section first of all rough out the profile of the desired 
moulding, which is afterwards scraped smooth by a steel 
cutter formed to the exact outline required. In working 
soft stone, such as Portland, a considerable amount of 
stone can be removed at each cut. The stone to be worked 
is fixed on a table, which is traversed by means of a screw 
past the cutters till the moulding is shaped to the desked 
outline. It will be found well adapted for dressing steps, 
string courses, sills, and other builders' stonework. The 
table carrying the stone is fitted with a false top, hinged 
in front, and adjusted by screws, so that mouldings can be 
worked whose outline would otherwise be undercut from 
the face of the tools. The tools are readily adjustable, 
being divided by packing pieces, and held firmly in posi- 
tion by set screws. 

Those stone-moulding machines in which the cutter 
barrel is arranged to work in a horizontal position, have 
hitherto been modifications of either planing machines 
for working iron, or circular stone-sawing machines. In 
one type of machines the cutter-barrel is made to revolve, 
the cutters being fixed in its periphery, whilst in another 
the cutters are fixed in a stationary tool-box after the 
same manner as tools used for planing iron. For rough- 
ing out mouldings a number of small saws, varying in 
diameter according to the profile of the moulding, are 
occasionally employed, instead of specially shaped tools ; 
they are, however, too expensive for general use. 

The travelling table which carries the stone can be 
airanged with a reversing motion, and by the employment 
of double-nosed tools they may be made to act on the 
stone during both passages of the table. Two tool boxes 
may be employed — one on either side of the table — the one 


being used to finish a moulding, whilst the other is rough- 
ing out. For working architraves, strings, cornices, &c., 
in soft stone, the fixed tool boxes used in this and the 
vertical type of machines should be useful ; but for 
facing or heavy moulding purposes, especially with stone 
of any degree of hardness, we do not approve of the 
system, as the dead contact of the tools and the stone is 
too prolonged. The framing of this type of machine 
should be of massive section to overcome the vibration in 
working. In working soft stone by this method, the 
table should travel at about 4in. per minute for roughing 
out, and about 10ft. per minute for finishing with the 
scraper ; these speeds, however, should be modified 
according to the nature of the stone being worked. By 
fixing — in addition to the moulding cutters — two circular 
saws on the cutter-barrel, the sides of a block of stone 
may be squared up at the same time as the moulding is 
being cut. 

For edge moulding and trueing up slabs, ccc, vertical 
spindle machines somewhat similar to those used for 
moulding and shaping wood have been used with some 
success. These machines consist of one or more vertical 
spindles which project above the surface of a cast-iron 
table ; feeding tables which carry the stone or marble are 
arranged on each side of the machine, and bring the stone 
under the action of the cutters. The cutters are usually 
made of steel, and of a shape converse to the moulding 
required, but vary according to the nature of the work, 
some being arranged with perforations for supplying 
emery or other abrading material. The stone to be 
shaped is very securely clamped on the table, and slowly 
traversed past the revolving cutter, usually by hand. 
The travelling table is generally arranged with two 
motions, one tangential to the circle described by the 



revolving cutter, and the other at right angles to this. 
The bottoms of the vertical spindles run in footstep bear- 
ings ; these should in all cases be made adjustable for 
wear, and especial means taken for their lubrication. 
The cutter spindle should be made of steel, and the main 
framing of the machine of substantial section, to overcome 
as far as possible the vibration of working. 

Our illustration (Fig. 30) represents a machine for 
moulding and planing stone by Messrs. Kotheroe, Sher- 
win, & Co. The machine, as will be seen from the sketch, 
is an adaptation of an ordinary planing machine for iron ; 
the travelling table is fitted with reversing motion, and 
two double boxes are fitted which can carry, if required, 
two tools, so that the stone maybe, if necessary, operated 
on during both traverses of the table. The stone is 
roughed out with a double-nosed tool and finished with a 
steel cutter shaped to the exact profile of the required 

In concluding our remarks on stone-moulding machines 
we may say we are decidedly in favour of using a combina- 
tion of revolving cutters for roughing out, and stationary 
scraping cutters for finishing, in preference to two 
stationary sets of cutters ; the dead contact of the roucrh- 
ing cutters with the stone being less, consequently the 
wear and tear and power required to drive is less in pro- 
portion and there is less liability to " pluck." 

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Rubbing beds usually consist of large discs of cast 
iron mounted on the top of a vertical spindle, to wliich a 
rotary motion is given by suitable toothed gearing. 

The rough stone to be faced is placed on this disc and 
furnished with a supply of sand and water. The disc 
being set in motion, a perfectly true and smooth face is 
formed on the stone, which is kept flat on the disc usually 
by its own weight, and prevented revolving by means of 
a fence or fences placed across the table, and one or more 
pieces of stone may be faced at the same time. 

Mr. TuUoch's grinding bed differed considerably from 
those now commonly in use : in his machine the slab to 
be ground was placed horizontally on a moving bed, and 
the grinding produced by sand and water, by means of a 
large flat plate of iron resting upon the surface of the 
slab. The two surfaces were traversed over each other 
with a compound motion, partly excentric and partly 
rectilinear, so as to continually change their relative 

The machine consisted of a frame about 9ft. long, 6ft. 
wide, and 8ft. high. About 2ft. from the ground is 
mounted a platform that is very slowly reciprocated hori- 
zontally for a distance of from 1 to 2 feet, according to 



the size of the slab, by means of a rack and pinion placed 
beneath, and worked alternately in both directions. Above 
the platform are fixed, vertically, two revolving shafts, 
having, at their upper extremities, horizontal toothed 
wheels of equal diameter, which are driven by means of 
a central toothed wheel hinged on the driving shaft. The 
two vertical shafts are thus made to revolve at equal 
velocity, or turn for turn ; and to their lower ends are 
attached two equal cranks, placed parallel to each other, 
the extremities of which, therefore, describe equal circles 
in the same direction. To these cranks the iron grind- 
ing plate or runner is connected by pivots, fitting two 
sockets placed upon the central line of the plate. The 
cranks are made with radial grooves, so that the pivots 
can be fixed by wedges at any distance from the centre 
of the crank. When the machine is put in motion, the 
grinding plate is thus swung round bodily in a horizontal 
circle of the same diameter as the throw of the cranks, 
which is usually about 12in., and, consequently, every 
portion of the surface of the grinding plate would describe 
a circle upon the surface of the slab if the latter were 
stationary. But by the slow rectilinear movement of the 
platform, the slab is continually shifted beneath the plate, 
so as to place the circles, or rather the cycloids, in a 
different position ; and it is only after many revolutions 
of the cranks that the same points of the surfaces of the 
grinding plate and slab are a second time brought in 
contact. The grinding x>late is raised for the admission 
of the slab by means of four chains suspended from a 
double lever, and attached to the arms of a cross secured 
to the centre of the upper surface of the plate, which is 
thus lifted almost like a scalepan. For slabs that are 
much thicker or thinner than usual, the principal adjust- 
ment is obtained by the removal or addition of separate 



beds or loose boards, laid upon the platform to support 
the slab at the proper height. Slabs that are too large 
to be ground over the whole surface at one operation are 
shifted once or twice during the grinding. The weight 
of the horizontal plate supplies the pressure required for 
grinding ; and the pressure can be regulated, if necessary, 
by a counterpoise weight attached to the double lever. 
The sand and water required for the grinding is thrown 
upon the grinding plate, which is pierced with a number 
of holes, and is surrounded by a ledge, so as to form a 
kind of shallow tray. The sand and water find their way 
beneath the plates through these holes, and gi-adually 
work their way out at the edge. 

About the year 1859 Messrs. Coulter and HariDin, of 
Huddersfield, erected several machines for rubbing build- 
ing stones. The machine consisted of a circular iron 
table on which the stone was laid ; this table was made 
to revolve after the manner of the circular rubbing beds 
now in use, and on the top of it was placed an iron frame, 
arranged to rise and fall according to the thickness of 
the stone on the table. Stones were fixed loosely in this 
frame, and it was made to traverse backwards and for- 
wards over the face of the stone fixed on the moving 
table. Water and sharp sand were used, and the two 
faces of the stones worked at the same time. It is 
reported that at the trial of this machine the revolving 
table was packed with rough building stones to the extent 
of about 80 square feet, and the upper frame was filled 
with paving stones, as they came out of the quarry ; the 
machine was set in motion and ran for twenty-five minutes, 
when it was found that both sets of stones were smooth 
and level, more especially the top stones, which were 
stated to have been as smooth as ice. The amount of 
stone rubbed at a trial in Glasgow in less than half an 


hour was 150 super, feet, which is about equivalent to 
the work of eleven men for one day. 

As the stone approaches completion on the rubbing 
bed, the sand is changed graduall}' for finer kinds, and if 
a very smooth surface is required, the finish is usually 
given with the finest silver sand. If the stone is carefully 
handled, the work turned out on a rubbing bed will be 
found far superior to hand labour, and it can be produced 
at a much less cost. Another advantage accruing from 
its use is that the mason can make a much neater and 
closer joint, and in less time than with hand-prepared 
stone. For facing ashlar, rubbing beds will be found 
extremely useful, as the rubbing does not bruise the 
stone as is often the case with mason's hand work. The 
pores of the stone are also closed by the rubbing, and its 
general appearance is superior to hand work. The cost 
of rubbing stone may be set down at from IcZ. to 3(Z. per 
foot, according to its nature. Heads, sills, steps, &c., can 
also be readily faced on a rubbing table, and a number of 
small pieces may be wedged together. 

For rubbing or facing long pieces of stone, some 
masons prefer to mount the stone on a traversing table, 
and rub its top surface with a disc, instead of placing the 
stone face downwards on an ordinary rubbing-table, as 
they maintain they can obtain more uniform work. In 
facing long pieces of stone there may be some truth in 
this, as it will be readily seen that that part of a large 
rubbing disc near the periphery will travel much faster, 
and, consequently, cut quicker than that near the centre ; 
thus more stone is removed from the end of the block 
near the periphery than that near the centre. A skilful 
mason can, however, remedy this in a great degree by 
regulating the supply of sand and water. It is important 
that the table be capable of adjustment both horizontally 



and verticall}^ and in the larger sizes, in addition to the 
ordinary footstep bearing supporting the vertical shaft, 
a further support should be given to it rather more than 
half-way up. This can readily be done by means of a 
rest, and one or more wrought-iron girders. 

The footstep bearing should be made of steel or 
phosphor bronze, carefully fitted, and especial means 
taken for its lubrication, or it may give some trouble in 
working owing to the excessive downward pressure. This 
bearing should also be made adjustable for wear ; if it is 
not, and the vertical spindle be allowed to sink, the bevel 
toothed driving wheel and pinion will become too deeply 
in gear, and breakage will be the result. The revolving 
bed should in all cases be surrounded by a trough for 
carrying away the waste sand and water. A constant 
supply of different grades of sand should be at hand, so 
that the workman may use that best suited to the work 
in hand. Adequate means should also be taken for 
lifting the stone on and off the bed, so that no time is 
lost in this way. 

As horizontal disc rubbing beds are of considerable 
weight, being made in some cases of as large a diameter 
as 14ft. or 15ft., to secure their satisfactory working, it 
is of the highest importance that they are truly fixed on 
very substantial foundations. These foundations can be 
of stone, brick, or concrete, ^Dreferably the first. Imme- 
diately below the vertical spindle a chamber should 
be formed for the driving gear to run in, but sufficiently 
large to admit a workman for adjustment and repairs. 
The foundation bolts holding the footstep pedestal block 
and pinion shaft should pass entirely through the founda- 
tion, as in working a considerable amount of strain is put 
on these. 

In another arrangement for surfacing and polishing 


the stones are attached to face plates fitted on tables 
arranged with a horizontal traverse ; the face plates are 
made adjustable, so that the stones can be advanced to or 
from each other, the plane surface of the stone being 
produced by the rubbing of one stone against the other. 
The traverse speed of the table is arranged according to 
the nature of the stone being worked, and an output of 
from 150 to 200 superficial feet per day can be looked for 
with a stone of moderate hardness. 

For facing and polishing stone and marble of awkward 
section, or when fixed in an awkward position, a flexible 
shaft (Stow patent) may be used with advantage ; this 
may be used for transmitting rotary motion to a rubbing 
disc or plate in any direction from the motive power. 
This shaft is made up of a series of coils of steel wire 
wound hard upon each other, each alternate layer 
running in an opposite direction, and the number of 
wires in different layers varying according to the work for 
which the shaft is adapted. About one and a half inch 
at each end of the shaft is brazed solid, and to these 
solid ends the fittings are attached, the one to receive the 
revolving tools, the other to receive the power from the 
pulley inclosing it, which in turn receives its power from 
a belt. The shaft is inclosed in a case, consisting of a 
single coil of wire, its internal diameter being a loose fit 
for the outside of the shaft, covered with leather or other 
flexible material. This method of construction insures 
great torsional strength, at the same time entire flexibility 
at right angles to the axis ; it is thus enabled to reach 
round corners and out-of-the-way places. 

For facing and shaping stone, slate, or marble, a 
circular plate, arranged with a rotary motion by means of 
bevel gear, is employed. This can be attached to the 
flexible shaft by means of a clutch. The emery, sand, 



or other abradant is used solid, in the shape of a disc, 
and inserted in a turned recessed plate, which is held 
firmly on the work to be faced by the attendant. When 
a change of grinding discs is necessary, the plate contain- 
ing the disc is unscrewed from its spindle and another 
put in its place. The coarseness or fineness of the discs 
can thus be varied at will, according to the surface re- 
quired, or the nature of the material being operated on. 

Stone rubbing or facing is due to the action of an 
abradant or of mutual abrasion, usually with sand, 
between two surfaces. Various other forms of rubbing 
or facing tables than those described are in use. In 
some of these a flat face on one stone is produced by the 
rubbing or friction of another. A good way to carry out 
this plan is to mount the grinding stone, and the carriage 
carrying the stone being ground, on different centres ; an 
excentric motion is thus obtained, and the carriage being 
moved along longitudinally, all parts of the stone are 
brought under the action of the grinder ; or two stones 
may be made to face or dress each other, by arranging the 
upper one in a frame with a rotary motion, and mounting 
the lower one on a table or carriage with a longitudinal 
movement. Where heavy friction is not required to 
produce a smooth surface, the little machine we illustrate, 
Fig. 32, will be found extremely useful. This is worked 
by hand, and consists, briefly, of a horizontal rubbing or 
scouring disc, worked by bevel gearing. The rubbing 
disc is connected to the vertical spindle by means of a 
universal joint. The machine is pushed over the surface 
of the stone by hand ; and for scouring and other 
purposes on a building contract, where large machines 
are not available, we can recommend it. 

Our illustration (Fig. 31) represents a stone-rubbing 
and facing table from the designs of Mr. E. P. Bastin. 


Its general arrangement requires little explanation ; the 
centre shaft carrying the table is well supported, and the 
footstep beai'ing is made adjustable for wear. A cast-iron 

FIG. 32, 

trough, supported by cast-iron pillars, for catching the 
waste sand and water, surrounds the table. The general 
design of the machine and arrangements for fixing appear 
compact and good. A set of pulley blocks for lifting the 
stone on and off the table are arranged overhead. 




For recessing and moulding small figm^es and designs in 
stone, an overhanging vertical spindle machine, somewhat 
similar to that used for the recessing and internal shaping 
of wood, is employed. The vertical spindle carrying the 
cutting tool is driven by a belt and mounted in a frame 
arranged with several flexible or elbow joints, so that it 
may be rapidly moved to any point of the table which 
carries the stone to be worked, and which is placed 
beneath it. The stone with an open pattern placed over 
it is clamped on the table, which is arranged to rise and 
fall. The cutting tool, which usually consists of a number 
of diamond points, is mounted on the end of the vertical 
spindle, and is raised or depressed by means of a lever or 
handle, as may be required to suit the inequalities of 
the work, whilst a jet of water is brought constantly to 
bear on the point where the cutting tool is in operation. 
This machine is also well adapted for drilling purposes. 
For moulding large circular slabs four arms, are usually 
employed ; these are of equal length, and are mounted on 
the overhanging vertical spindle at right angles to one 
another. At the end of these arms the cutting or 
scraping tools are fixed ; these consist of pieces of wrought 
iron, bent and shaped to the curvature and outhne of the 


moulding required. By setting the scraping tools nearer 
or further from the centre, smaller or larger circular 
mouldings may be produced. The action of the cutters 
is really an abradant one, the track of the cutters being 
furnished with a constant supply of sand and water. 
Either the revolving arms or the vertical spindle must be 
counterbalanced, so that as the moulding becomes deeper 
they descend in like manner into the stone or marble. 

For cutting out circular holes, wrought-iron cylinders 
are employed ; these are fitted to the bottom of the ver- 
tical spindle, and vary in size according to the diameter 
of the holes required, and the fissure formed by the cutters 
is supplied with sand and water in the usual way. Dia- 
mond points may also be employed for cutting holes with 
advantage in very hard stone or marble. 

For working small irregular or straight mouldings on 
-chimneypieces, edges of shelves, washstands, brackets, 
marble console tables, and the like, a simple and cheap 
machine may be made by modifying a wall-drilling 
machine and mounting a chilled iron cutter block in 
place of the drill. It will be found advisable to mount 
the marble to be moulded on a table with a rotary motion, 
and fixed on a trolley arranged with horizontal and 
transverse movements. The table can be made to run 
horizontally in V-slides, the trolley itself tranversly on 
metals : both of these movements may be regulated by 
means of chains and counterweights. The marble to be 
worked must be firmly fixed on the table, and a template 
of the required moulding should be made in sheet iron. 
Care must be taken that the oil from the bearings is not 
allowed to drop on to the marble being worked. 

For moulding purposes, cutter blocks are made of 
chilled cast iron, steel, composite metal, brass, emery 
<;omposition, and even of stone itself. 

H 2 



Where revolving cutter barrels are employed, in lieu of 
the ordinary forms of cutters used, a series of thick circu- 
lar saws of small but varying diameters will be found 
extremely useful for roughing-out purposes, and can be 
so arranged on their barrel or spindle that mouldings of 
considerable depth and some degree of complexity may be 
roughed out with a minimum amount of " plucking " on 
the stone. The mouldings thus produced must, how- 
ever, be finished by a fixed scraping cutter shaped to the 
desired outline, or by hand. 

For cutting gains or grooves in stone, separate groups 
or gangs of chisels are usually employed ; these chisels, 
which are pointed similar to Fig. 33, are worked by steam, 
and have a reciprocating movement. They are 
mounted in frames arranged on either side the 
main frame of the machine, which moves hori- 
zontally on rails over the stone to be channelled. 
The chisels or cutters work outside the rails 
carrying the machine, and the frame carrying 
them should be arranged to swivel, so that the 
cutters may be set to work at any desired angle. 
The machine should be fitted with varying rates 
of feed, which should be regulated in speed ac- 
cording to the nature of the stone being worked. 
This form of machine is also employed in quarrying, 
and by making gains in the stone it can be more readily 
split off in layers. 

Some years ago, Mr. George Hunter brought out a 
machine for cutting stone, &c., out of the living rock in 
the quarry itself ; and, although the subject is slightly 
beyond the scope of these pages, the machine, from its 
ingenuity, is deserving of a further notice. 

In this machine, the cutting tools, instead of being 
placed in a single row round the periphery of a disc, were 

FIG. 33. 


fixed in rows of twos and threes alternately across the 
margin of the wheel-lilie disc, so as to clear away a wider 
space. The outer portion of this wheel-like disc was a 
ring of fine malleable cast iron, armed on the outside with 
tools, and carrying a cogwheel outline. Not to enter into 
small details of fittings, this cogwheel is made to revolve 
on a broad metal plate as its axle. This broad plate is of 
great strength, and forms four-fifths of the diameter of the 
entire cutter, and can be firmly bolted to the machinery 
frame by any part of its surface nearest to the cogged 
wheel which carries the tools, and the latter so held is 
made to revolve by a pinion around it. This arrange- 
ment allows eccentrically-held cutters to penetrate the 
rock to a depth exceeding the semidiameter of the disc. 
In the cu-cular saw, with a central axle, the blade can 
only penetrate to so much of its semidiameter as is clear 
of the axle and collar, and great force would be required 
to hold such a cutter up to its work in the rock ; but in 
the machine now before us, the cutter wheel is buried in 
the cut up to the point at which it is held, and, prac- 
tically, allows of a cutter of 3ft. 4in. diameter burying 
itself to the depth of 2ft. 3in. ; and as the cutter cuts out 
at a chord smaller than the diameter, the tendency of the 
out-coming tools is to draw the cutter into the cut, 
instead of forcing it out. A machine of this kind, cutting 
horizontally, works with great freedom, and advances 
rapidly through slate rock upon which it is employed. 
But when a cutting wheel on this principle is applied to 
make a vertical cut, a still smaller surface of the broad 
axle-plate is occupied by the holder, as it can in that 
joosition be grasped on both sides, and the axle carrying 
the pinion can be passed through the wheel and supported 
on double bearings. 

The machinery, including the cutter wheel, for vertical 



cutting, is fixed on a carriage running upon rails, and 
worked by a wire rope. The cutter wheel is gradually 
brought down from its travelling position b}' a worm and 
worm wheel to press upon the rock till it buries itself up 
to the holder, when it is fed forward by a self-working 
screw, attached by chain and swivel to some point in 
advance, or by winding directly upon a chain. 

A tolerable level having been first obtained on the face 
of the quarry, and a line of rails pinned down in the direc- 
tion of the cut to be made across the greatest length, the 
machine commences its advance, leaving a deep groove 
behind it 2in. or Sin. wide, and 2ft., 3ft., or 4ft. deep. A 
series of parallel cuts may afterwards be made, or two disc 
cutters on the same carriage frame may be advantageously 
used to make two cuts at a time. An opening at the com- 
mencement of the first cut end must then be got out by 
blasting or otherwise ; but afterwards, if the rock has any 
sort of cleavage or layering, it maybe wedged up from below. 
The rock from the first two cuts being thus removed, the 
vertical cutter may readily be applied to cross-cut the longi- 
tudinal grooves into squared blocks to be removed by under- 
wedging, or partial undercutting, when there is not a favour- 
able cleavage. The principle of the undercutting machine 
is precisely the same as that of the vertical cutter. The 
cutter plate, however, has to be held horizontally by one 
side only. The cutter lies under the frame that carries it, 
and is advanced into its cut by worm and worm wheel, as 
already described. AVhen buried up to its holder in the 
rock, the cutter traverses along a slide-frame 12ft. long. 
At the end of the 12ft. the slide and its carriage frame 
are pushed forward on the wheels for another length, and 
there fixed so as to leave the cutter free in its previous cut ; 
it again proceeds on its journey, fed forward by its self- 
acting screw, and so on to the end of the opening. 





Many attempts have been made to construct carving 
and sculpturing machines ; these have met with a very 
small degree of success, and there still remains in this 
direction ample scope for inventive genius. 

The best-known machinery is that patented by Mr. 
Jordan, of London, in 1845, and a variety of machines 
based on this patent have since been constructed. It 
was designed for carving and copying irregular forms in 
wood or stone. The material to be shaped, and the 
model, or dummy," were fixed on a horizontal table 
running on wheels transversely on another table or frame, 
which was arranged to move in a longitudinal direction, 
so that by the straight line movement in two directions 
tiie table could be made to have a motion in every part of 
its own plane. The model and material to be shaped 
were made to swivel on centres, and so arranged that by 
means of a lever each could be turned simultaneously on 
its axis. The cutters were carried on a vertical slide 
this vertical slide was raised or lowered to the work, 
which was fixed on the travelling table beneath by means 
of a treadle. A tracer guide acting on the model pro- 
duced, by the aid of the cutters, facsimiles in the piece or 
pieces of material. 


Kennan, of Dublin, some years since, adapted a lathe 
to sculpturing purposes. The cutter, which was driven 
at a tolerably high rate of speed, and the guide, or tracing 
point, were mounted on a triangular steel bar, working 
on a universal pivot at one end, attached to the fixed 
head of the lathe, and suspended freely at the other end 
by a balance weight and cord over a pulley. The model 
and the block to be sculptured were fixed upon chucks 
mounted on two carnages, which were adjusted in position 
on the bed of the machine, according to the required 
proportional dimensions, when, of course, the relative 
distances of the model and the block from the pivot of 
the bar must correspond with the tracer and the cutter. 
The chucks were turned simultaneously on their centres 
by means of two worms on one rod, turned by means of 
a hand wheel at the end of the machine, and gearing into 
worm wheels on the chuck spindles, so that every part of 
a round object accompanied by the block may be brought 
before the tracer and the cutter respectively. The driving 
band was kept at a uniform tension by being passed over 
straining pulleys on a weighted lever at one side of the 

In another machine for copying sculpture, the model 
and the block are placed on two revolving tables, turned 
in unison by a worm shaft. With a dummy point, or 
tracer, at the model, as a guide, a small drill or cutter, 
turned by a cord passing over pulleys carried by a swing 
frame hung from above, operates upon the block. The 
point and the cutter are raised by a vertical screw in the 
frame. A ball-and-socket frame is applied for turning 
and undercutting, or to descend upon a horizontal surface. 
For cutting basso-relievos, a parallel traverse on two 
guides is employed with the screw. 

The great engineer "Watt also constructed a sculpturing 



machine, which is said to have copied busts with some 
success. This machine has recently been fully illustrated 
and described.* It appears Watt constructed two 
machines, one for reproducing busts or bas-reliefs of the 
same size as the original, and the other one for making a 
copy of a reduced size. The first machine Watt called 
an " Eidograph," and it consisted, firstly, of an ordinary 
lathe, with treadle and fly-wheel, to supply the motive 
power ; and secondly, of two tall uprights about seven feet 
high, carr^dng at the top a slide on a strong horizontal 
bar, the slide being capable of motion horizontally, either 
at a slow or quick speed. Then, hinged to this slide is a 
light square frame of metal, and, at the outer edge of this, 
another light square frame of metal is hinged, so that the 
lower edge of such frame is capable of motion up and 
down, or in and out, like an elbow joint, and horizontally 
when the top slide is moved. The weight of these frames 
is balanced by levers and balance weights and chains 
above, and the lower edge of the second frame is furnished 
with a " feeler " or " guide," to traverse over the original 
model, and a drill driven at a high speed by a light cord 
to cut the work or copy ; so that by handling the feeler 
carefully, and tracing over the original in all directions, a 
piece of marble or alabaster or wood, placed in the machine 
alongside of the original is cut to a perfect copy by the 
machine without fear of any mistake, and without any 
special skill on the part of the operator. 

The slow motion to the slide above, carrying the frames 
and feeler and drill, is worked by a convenient handle and 
tangent- screw when cutting, and the quick motion can be 
thrown into gear with the lathe wheel to run back. The 
quick motion has a coarse traversing screw, having a nut 

* Proceedings of Inst. Mecli. Engineers, Nov., 1883.— Paper by E. A. 


in halves, that can be closed or opened ; and the slow- 
motion has a fine-threaded screw with a similar nut, so 
that it also can be thrown into gear or released. There 
is a noticeable feature in the frames above mentioned, and 
that is, that in order to prevent their springing or going 
" winding," they are practicall}' formed into " solids " by 
the erection of the outlines of a pyramid on each ; this 
plan gives extreme stiffness at the expense of very little 
weight. Specimens of the work done on this machine are 
in existence, and both the original and copy can be 
mounted in their places on the machine, and be turned 
precisely together by a pinion gearing into the two wheels 
on the mandrels of the carriages on which the articles are 
placed, so that undercutting could be properly accom- 
plished, as well as straight cutting into the work by the 
drills. The drills, circular cutters, and other cutting 
tools are excellent, some being formed for roughing-out 
apparently, and made to cut in steps, some in the forms 
of globes with the whole surface formed into numerous 
cutting edges, so that it was a cutting globe so to speak, 
and could go anywhere, as it could cut in any direction. 
Watt called his second machine for making reduced 
copies a " Diminishing Machine." The machine consists, 
firstly, of a lathe bed, with fly-wheel and treadle for ob- 
taining the motive power for driving the drill ; secondly, 
of a stout hollow tube, forming a long lever, fulcrumed 
at one end on a universal joint, so that the other end can 
be moved in any direction about the centre. This lever 
carries a "feeler " or blunt point near its outer end, and 
a drill near the fulcrum, so that whatever motion the 
feeler has, the drill has (say) one eighth part as much. 
The lever is balanced. The slides above named slide on 
the bed of the lathe, and are moved by a pentagraph or 
arrangement of levers, to give one eighth as much motion 



to the work to be cut, as to the original, so that every 
dimension shall be in proportion. A further motion is 
provided for turning round the original and the cop}^, as 
is sometimes necessary when undercutting a bas-relief, 
and, of course, when copying the round figure. 

In the London International Exhibition of 1862, 
Messrs. Cox & Son, of London, exhibited a machine for 
carving in wood ; applicable also for carving in stone and 
marble. It was founded on Jordan's well-known patent ; 
and by means of revolving cutters and a tracer-guide, it 
copied from a model in duplicate and triplicate. In place 
of the tracer and cutter moving over the model and the 
work, as in some other machines of this class, they were 
stationary in a balanced frame, with freedom for vertical 
motion only. The vertical spindles are reported to have 
made from 5,000 to 7,000 revolutions per minute — this 
speed, however, was for working wood — whilst the model 
and the work were traversed under the tracer and cutter 
on a table capable of horizontal movement transversely 
and longitudinally. This machine was said to be capable 
of roughing-out four panels in four hours, which were 
finished by one man in a day, and which would take a 
man four days to carve by hand. 

We believe this or a duplicate machine was worked with 
success for some years in the Belvedere-road, Lambeth ; 
but we are unaware whether it is at present in use. 

Many other attempts have been made to utilise the 
Blanchard copying lathe, &c., for sculpturing purposes, 
but without any permanent commercial success. Although 
there may be considerable difference of opinion — in an art 
sense at any rate — as to the advisability of reducing 
sculpture, when possible, to a mechanical process, much 
can be said on the other side as to the gain occasioned, 
in the art education of the masses, by the reproduction by 


mechanical means of standard examples at a nominal 
cost ; or, at any rate, by allowing machinery to do all the 
rough work, leaving the artist or art workman to give the 
finishing touches. Before, however, even this can be 
accomplished successfully, great improvement in the 
already-existing machinery must be made. 





These have undergone comparatively little alteration 
for many years. The polishers are usually actuated 
by a crank from the main or an intermediate shaft : 
this, by means of a connecting rod, sets in motion a 
swing frame acting as a pendulum; from the base of 
this swing frame rods run horizontally to the rubbers, 
or polishers, which work to and fro on a bench or table. 
The swing frame is usually suspended on centres fixed 
to beams above the machine, and the rubbers can be 
adjusted to the width of the marble or slate by moving 
their rods transversely on the bottom rod of the swing 

Whitworth describes an American polishing machine 
in which the stone is polished by a flat circular disc of 
soft iron, which is made to revolve horizontally. The 
axis of a disc is fixed at the end of a heavy frame, which 
moves round a strong centre shaft in a radius of about 
12ft. The polishing disc revolved at 180 revolutions per 
minute ; it was driven by a strap, to which motion was 
given by a driving pulley, fixed on the centre shaft ; the 
disc was guided and its pressure regulated by hand. It 
was represented as being capable of poKshing about 400 
square feet of surface in a day of ten hours. Our illus- 

t lO 


tration, Fig, 34, represents 
a horizontal polishing ma- 
chine for marble, granite, 
stone, &c. It will be seen 
from the sketch that the bed 
on which the stone to be 
polished is placed, receives by 
means of a crank a horizontal 
motion at right angles to 
the travel of the polishing 
blocks : this arrangement 
effectually prevents lines 
being formed on the face 
of the stone. 

The chief grinding and 
polishing materials are given 
by Knight as follows : — (1) 
Abrasive substances used in 
the solid form : — Grind- 
stone, hone, oilstone, char- 
coal, emery composition, 
fish-skin ; (2) abrasive sub- 
stances used in powder, 
stated in about the order of 
their hardness : — Diamond, 
sapphire, ruby, corundum, 
emery, sand, flint, glass, 
tripoli, Turkey- stone dust, 
rottenstone, slate, pumice, 
chalk, oxide of iron, colco- 
thar, crocus or rouge, oxide 
of tin or putty powder. 

The abrasive powders are 
applied by circular discs, or 



sheets of iron, which cause them to act as saws. On the 
periphery of wheels, which act as grindstones, glazers, 
or buffs, according to the quality of the material and the 
terms of the trade ; on the plane surface of discs which 
form laps, on the ends of rods which act as drills, and on 
slips of wood which act as files. They are also spread 
upon cloth, paper, leather, &c. 

For the guidance of the uninitiated, we may say a 
grinding or polishing lap is a wheel or disc, or a piece of 
soft metal, used to hold cutting or polishing powder. 
They are made of brass, cast iron, copper, lead, and 
various alloys. Laps are usually made to revolve on a 
vertical or horizontal spindle; but their arrangement, 
of course, varies with the nature of the operation 
carried on. 

In polishing marble, &c., sharp fine sand, pumice, or 
snake stone is first employed, afterwards a finer, and 
sometimes a third ; after the finest sand is used, emery 
of different grades is employed. Tripoli powder is then 
used, and the polishing process is completed with putty 
powder (oxide of tin). The polishing plate for sand is 
made of iron, and its size, length of stroke, &c., is varied 
according to the area of the material being polished. A 
polishing plate made of an alloy of lead and tin is gener- 
ally employed with the emery, and for the finishing 
process old linen cloths and rags forced tightly into an 
iron frame. A small but constant supply of water is also 

The polishing process is, however, varied according to 
the nature of the work and the degree of finish required ; 
in working dark marbles up to a fine surface crocus is 
often used before the oxide of tin is applied. It is im- 
portant that the marble is carefully washed after each 
separate polishing material is used; as, should the 


different particles become mixed, the work would in 
many cases become considerably damaged by scratches. 
It is important also that the sand employed should be 
of uniform quality and the particles of equal hardness ; 
as, should some be much harder than others, deep 
scratches will be the result. To secure this uniformity 
the sand should be levigated and washed, and the harder 
particles, being usually of a greater specific gravity than 

the rest, may be sepa- 
rated with tolerable faci- 
lity. Washing the sand 
will, in practice, be 
found much preferable 
to sifting. 

For rubbing or polish- 
ing blocks of moderate 
dimensions, a modifica- 
tion of a wall drilling 
machine may be used 
with advantage. As will 
be seen from the sketch 
(Fig. 35), to the end of 
the vertical spindle is 
attached a flexible or 
universal jointed shaft, 
which is under the im- 
mediate control of the 
workman, who can regu- 
late the pressure and 
position of the polishing 
disc, which is fitted to 

FIG. 35. 

the bottom end of the 
shaft. The sliding bracket which carries the vertical 
spindle can be raised or lowered at will, it being sus- 


pended and counterbalanced by a chain and weights 
passing over pulleys attached to the ceiling. Motion is 
given to the spindle by a pair of bevel wheels. The table 
carrying the stone is, in the sketch, a fixture ; but where 
large quantities of heavy stones are polished, a series of 
these machines should be mounted and a travelling 
carriage, carrj-ing several blocks of stone at once, made 
to traverse on rails beneath the polishing discs. In this 
case the discs are mounted on the ends of the vertical 
spindles, and the flexible shafts are dispensed with. 
Motion can be given to the first disc spindle by a pair of 
bevel wheels in the usual way, and communicated to the 
other spindles by intermediate toothed gearing. 

For pohshing small slabs, a variety of hand-rubbers 
are in use, one of which we illustrate (Fig. 36). The 

FIG. 36. 

polishing material is carried in the chamber formed in 
the rubber-block, and is allowed to escape, as required,, 
through a hole in the front of the block, by touching the 
trigger shown in the sketch, which opens and closes a 
valve. The polishing pad usually consists of folds of 
linen, but in Italy a slab of lead is used instead of linen. 
Several patents for marble-polishing machines have been 
taken out, including one by Maloy. In this machine the 
marble slab is placed on a slide, and polished by means 
of an endless belt, which is kept tight by an adjustable 
idler " pulley. Another plan for grinding and polishing 



marble is to mount a long grinding c3^Hnder on a spindle, 
and to give it a combined rotary and reciprocating move- 
ment, the slab of marble to be acted on being placed on a 
table beneath. 

In grinding and polishing lithographic stones, a slow 
compound angular and reciprocating motion is re- 





Marble, granite, and many kinds of stone can be 
turned in a lathe with tolerable facility. Stones of a 
moderate degree of hardness can be turned by a piece of 
square cast steel drawn down to a point. We need 
hardly say, however, the steel employed should be of a 
high grade. For turning granite, rolHng cutters are now 
generally employed. These are made of hard cast steel, 
and their dead contact being small, the friction or 
grinding action on, and consequent wear of, the cutters 
is largely reduced. After the object is roughed out, 
the tool marks are removed or ground out, usually with 
a series of sandstone, snake stone, pumice stone, and 
other materials, which are graduated in fineness, till all 
the marks and scratches are obliterated. For polishing 
purposes flour of emery, putty powder (white oxide of 
tin), and other substances are applied by means of a lap 
or a bundle of cloth. 

For cutting circular slabs, &c., revolving cylindrical 
cutters of wrought iron, constructed on a similar principle 
to the crown saw and mounted on a disc, can be used. 
This is usually fitted on an adjustable vertical spindle, 
somewhat similar to that used in a recessing machine for 
working wood. For cutting large circles the cutters can 


be mounted at the perii)liery of a large disc, or at the end 
of cross arms. 

For turning granite, marble, and very hard stone,. 
Brunton and Trier's revolving cutters are the best that 
we are acquainted with, as, owing to the great reduction 
in friction accruing from their use, the number of revo- 
lutions of the stone can be largely increased ; conse- 
quently, the amount of work turned out is much in excess 
of that produced by the ordinary steel tool acting with a 
dead pressure on the stone. We believe the first appli- 
cation of the principle of revolving cutters was to the 
turning of stone, and the cutter being once set in motion 
by contact with the stone continued rolling, and being 
placed at an angle of about 25° to the axis of the stone 
chipped the surface in a spiral line, as the slide rest and 
tool holder moved along the bed of the lathe.* It was 
found that the concurrent revolutions of the stone and 
the cutter reduced the attrition largely, and a considerable 
speed of surface rotation was therefore attainable. The 
stone, before being placed in the lathe, should be dressed 
to a rough octagon shape ; and where taper columns are 
produced, the lathe should be fitted with double expand- 
ing beds. These revolving cutters are made of steel for 
working granite and hard limestone ; but for gritstones, 
sandstones, and freestones chilled cast iron answers well. 
The steel cutters are made either in the form of flat discs 
or cones ; the cast-iron cutters always in the form of 
cones. The advantages of the conical form are that the 
edge is always on the hardened or chilled surface, and, in 
the case of cast iron, the rest of the thickness of this 
cutter is comparatively soft, and therefore more quickly 
ground. The diameter of the cutter also is much less 
reduced by wear than is the case with disc cutters. A 

* I. M. E., January, 1881. 



simple and efficient plan of fixing these cutters on their 
chuck- spindle has been devised : a split nut is used, the 
conical part of which enters into a corresponding hole in 
the cutter. When screwed up, the nut grips tightly the 
thread of the spindle. 

The advantages claimed by the inventors for this 
system of rolling cutters for turning purposes are : — (1) 
That the friction between cutter and stone being ab- 
sent, no water is necessary to keep the temper of the tool, 
thus preventing the effect water has in opening the soft 
veins of marble, &c. (2) Absence of dust. (3) Greatly 
diminished pressure on the column, even whilst taking 
much heavier cuts than is possible with the ordinary tool. 
(4) Complete absence of "plucks," a perfectly regular 
and, therefore, quickly polished surface. (5) Granite 
columns perfectly round and true, and without holes, as 
is often the case in columns masoned by hand. We our- 
selves have seen these cutters turning Cornish granite, 
marble, &c., and they must, we think, be held to be 
a decided step in advance over the old system of stone 

In turning stone it is important that it is truly and 
firmly held in the lathe ; for turning the smaller articles 
in marble, &c., a chuck, consisting essentially of an en- 
larged centring head, is often employed ; this receives 
and retains the article to be turned. The centring head 
is provided with a centring " spud," and an open-ended 
adjusting cap, the latter constructed so as to be longitu- 
dinally adjustable, and of such form as to securely hold 
the article against lateral displacement. The barrel of 
the head is screw-threaded on its outer surface, and the 
cap is constructed to hold the article at a point outside 
the centring head. 





Although stonebreakers can hardly be considered to be 
stone-working machines, their products are largely used 
in roadmaking and similiar contractor's work, and it may 
not be out of place here to notice them briefly. 

Machinery for breaking stone possesses an immense 
advantage over hand labour, and the stones are more 
uniform in size. The stone is usually broken by means 
of jaws of chilled cast iron, to which a kind of rocking, 
knapping, or reciprocating motion is given. In the best 
tj^pes of machines, when road metal or stone is required 
broken to a certain size, what are knowai as cubing jaws 
are fitted ; or when a fine material is wanted, the cubing 
jaws are replaced by crushing jaws. In addition to 
breaking stone, this class of machines may be used with 
advantage in crushing or breaking hard rocks, ores^ 
fossils, pyrites, flints, coprolites, limestone, emery, 
phosphates, fireclay, coal, and other materials. In some 
cases the machine may be employed with advantage in 
the quarry itself, the broken material being removed by 
means of an elevator. In the earlier forms of crushing 
machines the movable crushing jaw, when forced for- 
ward, was made to compress a spiral spring imbedded in 
indiarubber ; this withdrew the crusliing jaw after it 


had completed its stroke. This plan, although acting 
tolerably well, consumed a considerable amount of power. 
A simpler and better plan for performing the same 
operation has, however, latterly been introduced. This 
consists of an arrangement of levers which are adjusted 
as required. We have recently seen working a multiple- 
action stonebreaker, of somewhat novel construction. 
In this machine the crushing jaws are divided, either 
half being worked by a separate eccentric attached to a 
main eccentric shaft, each eccentric operating a separate 
connecting-rod and set of toggles ; they are also arranged 
to balance each other whilst in motion, thus reducing the 
strain on the machine and consequent power required to 
drive. One jaw only operates on the stone at the same 
time ; but the double connecting-rods employed travel 
through twice the space of the single rods employed on 
most machines. The crushing jaws are withdrawn after 
each stroke by operating one on the other by means 
of coupling the rods of the jaws by a cross lever mounted 
on a stud at the end of the machine. The main framings 
of this machine are of lighter construction than is 
usually employed, the inventor claiming that, through 
the balancing of the moving parts, excess of metal is not 
required. Another plan recently introduced is to arrange 
a rocking lever vertically on a fixed centre at its lower 
end, the rocking motion necessary for crushing being 
obtained by an eccentric operating on the other end. 

A movable crushing jaw is arranged on either side of 
the lever, and connected with it by loose toggles, kept in 
position by an adjustable rod. When in work, the 
rocking motion of the lever imparts an alternate motion 
to the crushing jaws, and by adjusting the jaws two 
different sizes of stone can be broken at the same time. 

For crushing road metal, a very simple arrangement — 



and one which does away with the revolving screen 
usually employed — is to combine a lever jaw and a chilled 
<3ast-iron roller with corrugations at right angles (Archer's 

In the construction of stonebreakers, strength, with 
simplicity of construction or renewal, are the points to be 
aimed at. The cubing or crushing jaws should be made 
adjustable and reversible. Chilled cast iron is the best 
material to employ ; for use in remote districts, loose or 
adjustable jaw faces should also be fitted. The shaft 
giving motion to the crushing jaws should be of steel, as 
frequently a large amount of strain is put on them ; and 
if not of good material and of considerable strength, they 
may be either bent or broken — rather an awkward cir- 
cumstance should the nearest engineer's repairing shop 
be some hundreds of miles away. As the friction on 
the bearings is also great, especial attention should be 
given both to their construction and lubrication. 

Our illustration. Fig. 37, represents one of Blake's 
patent stonebreakers, by H. E. Marsden. As will be 
seen from the illustration, it is of massive construction, 
to overcome the great strain and vibration in working. 
It is fitted with reversible cubing jaws, made in sections 
and with faced backs. It is arranged with steel-bar 
toggle bearings and improved grooved expanding toggles. 
The sizes of the cubes of stone can be readily regulated, 
and the jaws set to break as small as the finest gravel if 
required. A modification of this machine is also con- 
structed for grinding cement, limestone, silica, shale, 
flints, &c., to a powder ; and by combining an elevating 
and sieving apparatus with it, a very considerable degree 
of fineness may be obtained. The illustration shows a 
side view or elevation (sectional). A is the main frame ; 
F is the fly-wheel shaft, which should make about 250 


revolutions per minute, and by means of the belt from 
the engine on to pulley 0. The larger circle inclosing F 
shows the eccentric. H is the connecting-rod, which 

connects the eccentric with the toggle plates, J and K, 
which have their bearings forming an elbow or toggle 
joint. These bearings, it will be seen, are all removable ; 
and the same may be said of all the pillows and bearings 



throughout the machine. C is the cutter for taking up 
the wear of the pillow or bush in which the eccentric 
works in the connecting-rod head ; I is the cotter for 
keeping securely in their places the bearings of the 
toggle plates. B is a false back, accurately planed on the 
surface and bedded to the frame. A, C, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are 
jaw-faces, which are fitted with patent metal strips on 
their backs, and thus find a firm and even bed for them- 
selves, preventing sudden strains which they necessarily 
have to encounter, causing them to break and give way ; 
E is the shaft of the spring-jaw, which is cottered to it 
and itself rests upon each side of the main frame A ; J is 
the key for keeping in position the spring-jaw faces C, 3 
and 4 ; D is the spring-jaw itself ; C, 5 is a cheek, of 
which there are two, one on each side of the mouth, and 
which keep the fixed jaw in j)osition and prevent the 
stone from wearing into the sides of the main frame ; P 
is the fly-wheel ; L is the toggle block and wedge. The 
toggle block, as will be seen, takes the cushion or bearing 
of the toggle plate K, and itself is held in position at one 
height, always by means of lugs on each side of the frame ; 
whereas the wedge L moves up and down at the will of 
the user of the machine, thus reducing or increasing the 
opening of the jaw at the bottom, and so regulating the 
size of the product. The hook bar underneath the 
machine has an indiarubber spring attached to it at the 
end, which is compressed by the forward movement of 
the jaw, and aids its return. Every revolution of the 
eccentric causes the lower end of the spring-jaw D to 
advance toward the fixed jaw about |in. and return ; 
hence when a stone is dfopped in between the jaws, it is 
broken by the next succeeding bite ; these fragments then 
fall lower down and are broken down, until they are 
small enough to fall out at the bottom. The distance 


between the jaws at the bottom limits the size of the 
product, and these distances, as before named, can be 
regulated at pleasure by turning the screw nut which 
raises or lowers the wedge L. Greater variation may 
also be made by substituting the toggle J, another longer 
or shorter, extra toggles of different lengtlis being 
furnished for this purpose. 





Before we notice machines used for quarrying slate, 
it would be well to consider briefly the peculiar geologi- 
cal features of its formation. It is usually found in 
large beds divided by fissures or joints of other sub- 
stances ; but it differs from ordinary stones by being 
capable of being split into thin sheets or plates. The 
direction of these laminae in the slate always lies either 
vertically or obliquely to the plane of the bed, and never 
parallel with it. The object to be borne in mind, 
whether quarrying by hand or machine, is how to cut out 
or detach suitable blocks of slate with the least amount 
of waste and labour. 

In quarries where there are many "faults" or "dykes," 
of greenstone, &c., and where the cleavage is interrupted, 
machine quarrying is not very applicable, as the results 
obtained are not in proportion to the outlay for machinery, 
&c. ; but in large quarries of tolerably uniform strata, 
there is little doubt a well-constructed machine devoid of 
complexity can be worked with very economical results. 
There are several varieties of slate found, including 
talcous, mica, flinty, and clay. The last is the one chiefly 
used ; it varies considerably, however, in quality in 
different districts, but is generally found suitable for 
machine conversion in some form or other, except where 



it is soft or rotten in texture, or where it contains much 
felspar or hard rock. 

Of late years slate has, in addition to roofing purposes, 
been largely employed in the manufacture of mantel- 
pieces, billiard tables, cisterns, &c. ; and slate, where the 
cleavage is bad, may in many cases be used with advan- 
tage for these purposes. After the slate is quarried, if 
suitable for roofing or writing slates, it is split and sorted 
according to its quality or size. If the block is better 
suited to other purposes, it is converted into suitable 
slabs by horizontal reciprocating or circular saws ; it is 
afterwards faced on a rubbing-bed, and moulded if 
required. When the slates are used for roofing purposes, 
they are first of ail split to the desired thickness by 
means of a wedge and mallet, or in some cases by a 
machine. This is usually done as soon as the slate 
leaves the quarry, as it becomes difficult, and in some 
cases impossible, to split the slate into leaves should the 
quarry-damp or water be dried out of it through exposure 
to the sun and air. A plan often practised to see if a 
slate is of fine quality is to heat it very hot in a fire and 
plunge it into cold water : if it will stand the test without 
fracture, its quality may generally be relied on. For 
squaring the edges of roofing or other slates, machines 
are employed, worked either by hand or power. With 
the hand-power machine the slate is laid on a table and 
trimmed by means of hinged knives worked by levers. 
These knives are sometimes made curved ; but, in any 
case, whether worked by hand or steam, they should be 
arranged so as to give a kind of shearing cut to the 
slate, which renders it less liable to break than if the 
whole width of the blade acted on the slate at the same 
time. In machines worked by power, to prevent the 
breakage of the slates, they are usually held between 


spring cushions, which receive the jar or vibration 
caused by the knife or knives striking the slate ; the 
knives in this case are arranged to act after the fashion 
of a guillotine. A machine used considerably for dressing 
slates in the Welsh quarries is Francis' patent, known as 
the " sword arm," made by De Winton & Co., Carnarvon. 
This consists briefly of an imitation by mechanical means 
of the elastic shearing cut of the ordinary dressing tool. 
This is accomplished by mounting one end of the "sword 
arm " upon a rocking shaft moving in suitable bearings. 
Elasticity in the cut is obtained by suspending the arm 
by a spiral spring at about one -third of its length from 
the rocking shaft. Motion is given to the arm either by 
a foot-treadle movement or other motive power. This 
machine is of the simplest construction, and is rapid and 
clean in its cutting. At a trial of its capabilities some 
time since, a machine worked b}'' a treadle finished 207 
slates, of various sizes, of a total superficial area of 358ft., 
in twenty-five minutes, a somewhat remarkable feat. 

Another machine for dressing slates, but driven by 
steam or other power, is Gream's Patent. It consists 
briefly of a cast-iron frame carrying a spindle, on one end 
of which is fitted a fly-wheel and driving pulleys. On 
the spindle between the sides of the frame are keyed two 
cast-iron rings or hoops, to which are bolted opposite to 
each other two curved knives made of steel. These 
knives are made to revolve, and when in motion pass 
close to a steel cutting edge fixed on the top of the 
framing on which the slate to be dressed is held, and the 
knife coming round shears it through with a scissors-like 
cut. An adjustable fence is fitted for instantaneously 
gauging the sizes ; at the same time it serves as a stop to 
hold one cut side against when dressing the next side, thus 
insuring the slates to be perfectly square. The driving 



pulleys make about 30 revolutions per minute. It is 
important that the fly-wheel, &c., in this machine is 
accurately balanced, so that the strokes of the knives are 
even and without jump. Should the wheel be out of 
balance, and any centrifugal force set up, the slates being 
dressed are much more liable to fracture. 

Amongst other machines designed for cutting and 
trimming the edges of slates, may be mentioned one 
introduced at the Maen Ofteren slate quarries, Festiniog, 
some years since. This consisted of a fly-wheel working 
on a horizontal axis, with a number of knives for 
trimming the slates fixed at equal distances on the sides 
of the wheel ; or, if two slate cutters worked at the same 
wheel, knives were arranged on the other side of the 
wheel in alternate order. The knives were fixed at such 
distances from the spokes of the wheel as to admit the 
slate being presented to the knife without the projecting 
end coming into contact with the spokes of the wheel. 
The knives were arranged radially from the axis of 
motion, so that the inner end of the knife struck the 
slate first. The slate to be cut was rested obliquely on 
a cutting edge fixed on the framework of the machine, 
and received the revolving knives progressively from its 
inner to its outer extremity, it thus giving a shearing 

For edging and trimming slabs of slate, circular sawing 
machines of the class already described for sawing stone 
are employed, the operations of rubbing, polishing, and 
horizontal or straight sawing are also practically the 
same. For rounding the edges of slabs, an old machine 
known as the " ridge roll" is still largely employed. 

Amongst the most advanced machines for sawing slate 
is De Winton's Patent Hydraulic Feed Circular Saw. 
In this machine the spindle carrying the circular saw is 



driven by pulley and belt in the usual manner. The 
patent consists in the arrangement for giving indepen- 
dent travel or motion by hydraulic pressure to the table 
which carries the slabs or blocks to be sawn. The table 
is connected on its underside by a bracket and nut to the 
piston-rod head of an hydraulic cylinder, which is bolted 
underneath the table to the framing. A supply pipe 
leads to both ends of this cylinder from a valve box, 
which is connected with a main pipe having a pressure of 
about 601b. per square inch. 

On shifting a slide valve in the valve-box by means of 
a lever, the water pressure is admitted to the front or 
back end of the cylinder as the case may be, and the 
piston is then driven along carrying the table with it. 
Whichever end of the cylinder is under pressure the pipe 
from the opposite end serves as an exhaust to carry away 
the water which filled that end of the cylinder at the 
previous stroke, and it is by regulating the area of the 
exhaust outlet on the valve-box by a screw valve that the 
speed of the travelling table is controlled, and can be 
varied and regulated as required. A fast or slow move- 
ment can thus be given to the table, according to the 
thickness or hardness of the slate being cut, and quick 
return motion of the table, preparatory to making a fresh 
cut, may readily be obtained. The makers claim that a 
very small quantity only of water is required to work this 
feed, a Sin. main pipe being sufficient to work twelve 
pairs of saws. This form of feed motion possesses the 
advantage of being very steady and even in its move- 
ments, thus preventing the saw from being forced, or the 
slate jagged and marked, which is occasionally the case 
with chain or rack feed. 

So great is the demand for school slates, which are 
made from a slate of a fine and soft quality, that a variety 


of very ingenious machines have been invented, with the 
object of lessening the cost of their manufacture. One 
of these is a modification of a planing machine for wood, 
adapted for planing and dressing the slate frames. The 
frames are fed forward through the machine and brought 
under the action of horizontal and vertical cutters, which 
plane the sides and edges and round off the corners. 
One machine for grinding and polishing school slates, 
used considerably in America, possesses some novel 
features of arrangement, which may be described as 
follows : — The slates are supported on carriages mounted 
on wheels or rollers. These carriages are connected by 
arms with a vertical shaft, by which they are caused to 
move slowly round in a circular track, arranged with a 
series of inclines. The distance apart of the correspond- 
ing parts of each similar incline is exactly equal to that 
between the front and hind wheels of the carriage, which 
is thus caused to remain perfectly level, as it rises to 
present the surface of the slate to the grindstones, which 
are arranged above them, and falls during its forward 
movement. The manufacture of slate pencils possesses 
also some features of interest. Knight briefly describes 
one process as follows : — The slate is first split into slabs 
lin. to 2in. thick, which are then sawn into blocks Gin. 
to 7in. long, and 4in. or 5in. wide. With a thin blade of 
steel and a hammer these are split into plates about one- 
third of an inch thick, which are next passed between two 
flat-edged knives to plane them. The plate is then fed 
to a machine, in which it is passed successively beneath 
a series of grooved cutters, each of which cuts a row of 
deeper incisions into the slab, until, on emerging from 
the machine, its upper side is covered with convex 
flutings, the channels between which penetrate half 
through the stone. It is then transferred to a second 



macliine, where its other side is subjected to the action 
of a series of similar cutters, by which the pencils are 
completely rounded and separated from each other. They 
are next sawed to uniform lengths, the sizes varying from 
3|in. to 6in., and, finally, pointed on a grindstone. In 
some cases they are afterwards painted. 

The dust and waste, which is said to amount to 90 per 
cent, of the original material, is utilised bj^ grinding to 
an impalpable powder, which is used for mixing with 
paper-pulp to give it body and enable it to receive a 
satin surface. As the stone contains over 30 per cent, 
of alumina, the refuse is also available for the manufac- 
ture of alum. 

Slate pencils are also made from quarry waste ; the 
process of manufacture may be thus described : — Broken 
slate from the quarries is put into a mortar driven by 
steam, and pounded into small particles. Thence it goes 
into the hopper of a mill, which runs it into a bolting 
machine, such as is used in flour mills, where it is 
bolted, the fine, almost impalpable flour that results 
being taken into a mixing tub, where a small quantity 
of steatite flour, manufactured in a similar manner, is 
added, and the whole is then made into a stiff dough. 
This dough is thoroughly kneaded by passing it several 
times between iron rollers. Thence it is carried to a 
table where it is made into charges — that is, short 
cylmders, four or five inches thick, and containing from 
eight to ten pounds each. Four of these are placed in a 
strong iron chamber, or retort with a changeable nozzle, 
so as to regulate the size of the pencil, and subjected to 
severe hydraulic pressure, under which the combination 
is pushed through the nozzle, in a long cord, like a 
slender snake sliding out of a hole, and passes over a 
sloping table, slit at right angles with the cords to give 


passage, with a knife which cuts them into lengths. 
They are then laid on boards to dry, and after a few 
hours are removed to sheets of corrugated zinc, the 
corrugations serving to prevent the pencils from warping 
during the process of baking, to which they are next 
subjected in a kiln, into which superheated steam is 
introduced in pipes, the temperature being regulated 
according to the requirements of the articles exposed 
to its influence. From the kiln the articles go to the 
finishing and packing room, where the ends are thrust 
for a second under rapidly-revolving emery wheels, and 
withdrawn neatly and smoothly pointed ready for use. 
They are then packed in pasteboard boxes, each con- 
taining 100 pencils, and these boxes in turn are packed 
for shipment in wooden boxes containing 100 each, or 
10,000 pencils in a shipping box. 

In planing slate, a modification of the ordinary planing 
machine for iron is usually employed. In lieu of the 
ordinary tool for cutting iron a wide sheet-steel cutter is 
used ; this is mounted in an adjustable slide and used in 
the ordinary waj'-, the slate to be planed being traversed 
to and fro beneath it. 

For holing slates, a machine, arranged with one or 
more punches, is used. These are usually brought down 
to the slates by a lever acting directly on to a quick- 
threaded screw, or by a lever acting on a horizontal 
spindle, mounted in a slide, and carrying two pairs of 
bevel wheels and pinions acting on screws, which give a 
combined rotary and downward motion to the punches or 

Many attempts, more or less successful, have been 
made to cut out slate, stone, or marble from its natural 
position in the quarry or mountain. One of the latest is 
that of Mr. George Hunter, who has recently (1882) 

K 2 



patented improvements in machinery for tunnelling and 
quarrying slate, and the methods of employing it, so as^ 
to quarry slate cheaply and rapidly, and obtain it in 
pieces of form and size suitable for being worked into 
commercial slates or slabs. 

In constructing the tunnelling machine, the inventor 
employs as framing two three-armed end frames,, 
connected together by a central tube. The arms of the 
frames are provided at their ends with setting screws, 
which can be screwed against the interior surface of the 
part of the tunnel already bored, so as to secure the 
machine firmly in position. Two of the arms of each 
end frame, which extend obliquely downwards, have 
mounted on them wheels or rollers, on which the 
machine can be run along the floor of the tunnel, when 
the setting screws are released. Through the central 
tube passes a strong shaft, which carries at its end a two- 
armed boring head, each arm having at its outer end a 
circularly-curved plate, at the front edge of which are 
fixed the cutters. The shaft is caused to revolve slowly 
by a worm working a worm wheel on the shaft, the worm, 
being itself on a cross shaft mounted in bearings in the 
upper part of the frame. This cross shaft, or a shaft 
geared to it or connected to it by a strap, may be driven 
by bands from a distant motor, or by a compressed-air 
engine mounted on the framing of the machine. By the 
arrangement of three-armed framing having the lower 
arms spreading out, and having all the gearing above the 
central shaft, the inventor claims that great convenience 
is secured for the removal of the core of the boring after 
it is detached from the rock. For feeding the boring 
head onwards, the inventor applies at the rear end of the 
central shaft a screw, driven at a differential speed or 
kept at rest while the shaft revolves ; gearing is arranged. 



to reverse this screw so as to withdraw the boring head 
rapidly when it has cut its full length. 

The undercutting machine is arranged so that it can 
cut either above or below, or both above and below, the 
mass of rock to be removed. For this purpose a vertical 
shaft is mounted in a framing, and caused to revolve by- 
worm gearing, which may be worked in a similar manner 
to the tunnelling machine already described. 

This vertical shaft has at either of its ends, or at both 
ends, a revolving saw armed with cutters at its edge, 
either saw being removable and capable of being slid 
along the shaft, so that the distance between the saws 
when both are used can be varied as required. 

The frame is fitted to slide along two horizontal bars 
secured to girders, which are fixed in the working, and a 
feed-screw is provided to cause it to slide slowly along 
the bars, according as the cut affected by the saw 
advances. The frame is arranged so that the bars can 
be inclined, and the inventor thus inclines them for 
beginning the cut, the saw entering the rock obliquely 
from a part already opened until it has descended in an 
inclined line to the required depth, whereupon the bars 
can be set level, and the cut continued in a horizontal 
direction. When the saw-shaft and gear have travelled 
along the bars to their end, the screws that fix the 
framing are released, and while the saws remain sta- 
tionary in the rock, the framing is advanced its own 
length, and when it is fixed again the cut is continued. 
By arranging the lines of the cut so as to cross the 
cleavage of the slate, blocks can readily be separated by 
the chisel from the body of the rock ; and when two saws 
are employed together, or when one saw is employed 
under a floor already laid bare, it is advantageous to 
make the space between the saws or the depth of cut 



under the floor correspond with a dhnension of commer- 
cial slates or slabs, so that the blocks separated can be 
cleft without material waste. 

In cases where a floor is already cleared, the saw 
spindle may be driven by a wheel of considerable size, as 
it may partly extend over the cleared floor while the saw 
is cutting at the desired depth below the floor. The 
tunnelling machine can be used to drive a boring into 
the body of the slate, and then, after clearing a space, it 
can be turned into an attitude to drive other borings at 
angles to this, so as to suit the character of the stratifica- 
tion, and the saws can then be employed to cut into the 
exj)osed faces, leaving pillars, where necessary, to 
support the roof. Sometimes, in order to separate a 
mass along which saw cuts have been run, the inventor 
employs the following method : — A bar, made in halves, 
has each half hollowed, so that when the two halves are 
put together they make an internal cavity, or hollow; 
this hollow is charged with explosive, and the bar 
inserted along the bottom of the saw-cut, so that when 
the explosive is fired the mass receives from the explosion 
a blow which separates it from the body of the rock. 
The general arrangement of Mr. Hunter's machine is 
ingenious and practical, and as slate quarries become 
exhausted and the necessity for the more economical 
working of those remaining are essential, this and 
kindred machines should, and probably will, be more 
largely introduced, as there can be but little doubt that 
the greater proportion of the quarries are at present 
worked in an extremely wasteful manner. At the same 
time, by means of a well-arranged quarrying machine the 
slate or stone can be got in a much cleaner and more 
marketable form, thus increasing its value in the rough, 
and it subsequently requires less dressing. 




A CONSIDERABLE variety of special or miscellaneous 
machines for working stone have been constructed to 
suit the special requirements of a business or process. 
Amongst sawing machines may be mentioned an endless 
band rope arrangement. The rope is of steel, and passes 
over pulleys ; it has a vertical motion, and combined with 
it a twisting one, which allows the strands of steel wire 
to cut their way into soft stone, it is said with consi- 
derable speed. 

Amongst other machines, Mr. Hunter, senr., invented 
a chairing and boring machine for railway blocks ; this 
was employed for facing the seat for the chair and boring 
the trenail holes. 

Amongst quarrying machines may be mentioned one of 
American origin, especially adapted for cutting marble. 
In this machine a chain saw, armed with diamonds, is 
used. The diamonds are held in split screw bolts or 
clamps, which are tapered and forced into tapering 
cavities, causing them to contract upon the diamonds. 
The diamonds are applied on the edge of a rotating disc 
or the links of an endless chain, and the supporting 
standard of the disc or chain is so connected to the driv- 
inc^ mechanism that it may be fed in either direction. A 



small steam engine is mounted on a travelling carriage, 
and, fitted with suitable intermediate gear, gives motion 
to the chain ; and arrangements are made to feed the saw 
to its work and vary the direction of the cut as may be 

A variety of machines for dressing mill-stones are in 
use ; in one of these diamond points, mounted on discs, 
are used. The discs are made to revolve rapidly, and, the 
diamonds being brought into contact with the face of the 
stone, parallel grooves are cut in a similar manner to 
hand tooling. A guide bar is fitted so that the stone may 
be dressed right or left handed as may be desired. In 
another machine, the radial grooves in the stone are cut 
by means of a tool raised and dropped by a cam and 
advanced automatically along a radial arm attached 
to a central axis. In a hand machine, we believe of 
American origin, a number of pick plates of tempered 
steel are held in a hollow sliding block arranged Avith a 
vertical motion. A cap fits over the top of the pick plates, 
and is bolted to the hollow block ; this cap is struck by 
the workman with a mallet, and the picks are forced into 
the stone. The bed of the apparatus is placed on the 
face of a mill-stone, and the hollow block is arranged to 
slide transversely in guides as well as vertically. 

For quarrying purposes rock drills are employed 
largely; these are worked by steam or compressed air, 
and effect an immense saving, especially with very hard 
stone or granite. 

For drilling a series of holes in a straight line by hand 
or power, the drills are usually raised and dropped by a 
series of cams, mounted spirally on a horizontal shaft. 
For cutting out holes in quarried stones, hollow cylinders 
of sheet iron are often employed ; these are fitted to a cast- 
iron disc or tool-holder, which is screwed to the bottom 


of a drill spindle; this can be raised and lowered or 
advanced and retired at will, and according to the nature 
of the stone being worked. Notches are made in the 
lower edge of the cutter to admit 
the sand and water necessary for 
cutting (see Fig. 38). 

For trueing the face and fur- 
rows of miU-stones, &c., and 
cutting down irregularities of 
surface, rubbing stones are em- 
ployed. These are made of a 
composition in which carbonate, kiq. 33. 

bort or diamond dust are used ; 

the composition is usually moulded in the shape of a 
brick, which is fitted into a frame and rubbed over the 
surface of the stone to be cut by hand. 

Amongst miscellaneous stone-working machines we 
must not forget to mention a very useful little apparatus 
for dressing up grindstones (Brunton's patent). This 
consists briefly of a slide-rest, which is bolted to the 
grindstone trough in such a position that the centre line 
of the tool spindle is in line with the centre of the grind- 
stone spindle. The cutting is performed by means of a 
revolving disc of chilled cast iron or steel, as already de- 
scribed. In this case the cutting tool is set in motion by 
the revolution of the grindstone itself, against which it 





Much has been written with reference to the forging 
and tempering of tools for cutting iron, wood, and other 
materials ; but, so far as we are aware, nothing as regards 
tools for working stone. We need hardly say that, in the 
first instance, the steel employed should be of the highest 
possible quality, combining in its nature, as far as pos- 
sible, toughness with hardness. Where sheet steel is 
used for scraping cutters, as in moulding machines, we 
prefer to use wrought-iron cutters, faced with steel, in- 
stead of solid steel, as they are easier to make and less 
liable to fracture, either when being hardened or when in 

If chilled cast iron is used it should be of good quality, 
and not too short in the grain. In forging or hardening 
tools, it is important that they should be heated as evenly 
as possible. If one part of the tool is made thinner than 
the other, care must be taken that the thin part does 
not heat more rapidly than the rest, or it may become 
" burnt," or break off at the nose or cutting edge whilst 
in work. In heating the tools for tempering, they should 
be repeatedly turned over in the fire, and withdrawn from 
it now and then. In the case of moulding cutters, if the 
cutting edge is heating too rapidly, it should be pushed 



through the fire into cooler coals. The cutting or scrap- 
ing edge should be well supported at the back by iron, 
which should not be ground to an acute angle, as is the 
custom with moulding and planing irons for working 
wood. If a number of tools or cutters are employed on 
the same machine, great care must be exercised in tem- 
pering as nearly alike as possible. This is a matter of 
great difficulty, and, as we have elsewhere pointed out, is 
the chief drawback to the use of this class of machines. 
Owing to the varied nature of the material operated on, 
no arbitrary rules as to tempering the tools of stone- 
working machines can be laid down. This can 
only be determined after trying both the stone and the 
steel, and must, therefore, be left to the experience of the 
workman. Speaking generally, for scraping and thin 
steel cutters, a light straw colour is usually suitable for 
stones of a moderate degree of hardness. Where the 
tools are stouter and the cutting edge more obtuse, the 
temper should be slightly harder in proportion. 

It is important, in tempering any kind of tools or 
cutters, that there is a gradual shading of colour in the 
temper. If there is a distinct line between two colours 
towards the edge of the cutter, it will probably chip or 
break at this line. The point to aim at is to have the 
edge of the cutter tolerably hard, and this hardness to be 
gradually reduced the farther you go from the cutting 
edge, and the softer metal at the back will be found to 
strengthen and support it. In working stone, tools of 
extreme hardness are not always necessary or advisable, 
as with some kinds of stone the cutting edges will readily 
break or crumble away. 

In machines where solid bars of steel are used, a tem- 
per colour of a deep blue, shghtly tinged with violet, will 
with most stones be found suitable ; the nature of the 


steel used must, however, be borne in mind, as some 
steels require greater or less hardening than others. 
The degrees of temperature necessary to effect the 
practical colour on hardened steel for the various pur- 
poses to which edge tools are applied are given by 
Templeton as follows : Chipping chisels, planing irons, 
hatchets, &c., and other percussive tools, 500° to 520°, 
light straw colour, a brown yellow or yellow slightly 
tinged with purple ; do. 530°, light purple ; springs 550°, 
dark purple, do. 570°, dark blue. As the colours appear 
and change colour slowly, ample time is afforded to see 
when the exact shade of colour has arrived, when the tool 
should be at once dipped and withdrawn several times — 
should boiled water be used for hardening — as this ]ias a 
greater tendency to toughen the steel, than if it is plunged 
into the water and allowed to remain there till quite void. 
We can strongly recommend the following method for 
hardening cast-steel tools : Take four parts of powdered 
yellow resin and two parts of train oil and carefully mix 
them, and add one part of heated tallow. The object to 
be hardened is dipped into this mixture red hot, and is 
allowed to remain in it until it is quite cold. Without 
having previously cleaned it, the steel is again put into 
the fire and is then cooled in boiled water in the ordinary 
way. After a Httle experience the eye of the workman 
will readily detect the exact shade of colour best suited to 
the steel and the stone he is working, and should he try 
the above process he will find the edges of tools thus 
hardened wear excellently. With some grades of steel 
salt water has been found to make an excellent hardening 

It must be admitted there is a considerable amount of 
art in tempering steel tools properly, as owing to the 
varying amount of carbon contained in different samples 


of steel, the amount of tempering required varies accord- 
ingly, and the exact temper necessary can only be ascer- 
tained by one or more trials. It should be borne in 
mind that steel known as high-tempered steel is that 
containing a large amount of carbon, and low-tempered 
that containing little ; but as there are numerous grada- 
tions between high and low tempered, so will the points 
at which tempering should cease vary accordingly^ ; the 
folly, therefore, of treating all kinds of steel alike, which 
is sometimes done by the workman, will be at once 

It may be taken as a rule that if it is necessary to heat 
steel so hot that when it is annealed it appears coarser 
in the grain than the bar from which it was cut, it may 
safely be concluded that the steel is of too low a temper 
for the required work, and a steel of a higher temper 
should be selected. A steel tool, when properly tempered 
and suited to the work in hand, should always be of a 
finer grain than the bar from which it Avas cut. We need 
hardly say that the action of tempering should be gradual, 
as the steel becomes toughened and less liable to fracture 
by slow heating and gradual softening, than if the process 
is performed abruptly. The steel being, of course, in 
the first instance, hardened, or made of a considerably 
liigher temper than is necessary for the work it has to do^ 
when the proper heat has been reached, the tool should 
be removed from the fire, and not allowed to " soak 
with the blast off, as is sometimes done. 

If the steel should crack with a moderate degree of 
heat, it probably contains too much carbon, or is of too 
high a temper for the purpose required. Try, therefore,, 
a lower steel — i.e., one containing less carbon, which will 
probably be found to be what is required. In ordering 
steel from the maker, always say exactly for what purpose 



it is required, as he will then be able to send a steel 
which he considers best suited to the requirements of 
each individual case. In many cases steel has been 
rejected as bad, when it has been of first-rate quality, but 
its temper, or the amount of carbon it contained, rendered 
it unsuitable to the work in hand. It may be taken as 
a general rule that steel of a high temper should be 
annealed at a low heat, in some cases even dark red will 
be suitable. We need hardly say nothing is so dear as 
*' cheap " steel for tools, as, after putting a considerable 
amount of labour into it, it is soon thrown away by the 
steel rapidly wearing away, especially if it is operating on 
difficult materials like some kinds of stone. For welding 
cast steel, the following composition is effective : Boil 
together borax 16 parts, sal-ammoniac 1 part, over a slow 
fire ; when cold, grind into a pov/der ; and use the same 
as sand. Bear in mind in forging, welding, or tempering 
steel tools, that an excess of heat over what is absolutely 
necessary is detrimental, as it opens and makes the grain 
of the steel coarse ; also that the steel should be heated 
as regularly as possible, as irregular heating causes frac- 
tures, and irregular grain and strength. If a tough 
temper is required, the cooling or letting down should be 
as slow as possible. 

In tempering tools, where many are employed, a frame 
with holes in it to equalise the distance tempered may be 
used. This is fitted in the hardening tank, and allows 
the tools to drop any desired distance into the water or 
tempering mixture. 

As regards the shape of the tools for dressing stone, 
we have already spoken ; but if a machine similar to an 
ordinary planing machine for iron be employed, in which 
the tool-box is stationary, and a point tool used, it will 
be found well — at any rate with stone of a moderate 



degree of hardness, and where tolerable finish is required 
— to make the cutting point of the tool as nearly on the 
moving plane of the work as possible. The best cutting 
angle for all kinds of stone will generally be found between 
45° and 90°. The heel of the tool should only be raised 
slightly above the front or cutting edge. As much metal 
as possible should be left to support the cutting point, 
allowing only sufficient clearance to give a proper angle 
to the cutting edge ; it will be found necessary to vary 
this angle somewhat, according to the nature of the stone 
being worked. If the tool, when in work, is found to 
spring much, or dig into the work, it will require, in the 
first place, strengthening, and the cutting angle will 
require modification ; at the same time, if too great a cut 
is taken, the tool will have a tendency to dig into the 
stone. It will — as with some tools for cutting iron — 
with difficult stones, be in some cases advisable to make 
the tool so that the cutting edge is behind the fulcrum or 
point of support, and should any very hard spots be found 
in the stone, such as crystalline or fossil deposits, it will, 
as a rule, yield to them instead of breaking. With stones 
easy to work, double-nosed tools may be used, the tool 
box and speed of the travelling table carrying the stone 
being so arranged that a cut may be taken during both 
the back and forward traverse of the table. The width 
of the cutting tool may be varied according to the nature 
of the stone. The easier the stone, the wider the tool ; 
but for a roughing cut, where much stone has to be 
removed, it should not exceed about fin. 

In those stone-dressing machines in which the cutters 
are reversed so that each edge of the tool is brought into 
contact with the stone, comparatively little sharpening is 
required, as the rubbing action of the stone itself is found 
to keep the edge of the tool in tolerable condition. In 



machines in which the tools are fixtures, or are non- 
reversible, the condition of their cutting edges should be 
carefully attended to. In stone-converting works of large 
size it will be found well to appoint an intelligent man to 
sharpen and look after the whole of the tools, and if he 
can forge and temper them as well, so much the better, 
as he will by experience be able to secure what is a matter 
of great importance — i.e., a tolerably uniform temper, 
and one suited to the stone being worked. For grinding, 
an ordinary Newcastle grindstone with Water-of-Ayr stone 
attached, will be found suitable. It will be better to 
sharpen moulding irons by grinding than by filing, as the 
process of softening the steel and re-hardening is at the 
best uncertain, and the quality of the steel is certainly 
not improved.* For grinding moulding irons some half- 
dozen Bilston grindstones about 14in. diam., and of 
thicknesses varying from lin. to 2|in., are generally 
employed. These are mounted on a spindle fitted in a 
cast-iron trough supplied with water. The stones are 
turned up to suit the shapes of the moulding irons most 
commonly in use. 

For grinding down and shaping moulding irons the 
emery wheel will be found much more rapid and economi- 
cal than either files or grindstone ; prejudice, and the 
introduction of emery discs of an inferior quality have, 
however, in a measure retarded their general use. If an 
emery disc of a good quality is used, and a fair trial given 
to it, it will, we feel sure, be found a most labour-saving 
and valuable implement. Emery wheels should not be 
used for putting a finishing edge on irons, but for reducing 
the back of the cutting edge and the iron generally to the 
desired profile. If much steel has to be ground away it 

* See "Saw Mills: Their Arrangement and Management," by M. 
Powis Bale. 



will be found better to go over the iron two or three 
times, than to put too great a pressure on the wheel, as 
the iron will become of a dark blue colour, and hard and 
liable to crumble away at the edge when in work. In 
working emery wheels, for whatever pm-pose they are 
employed, great care should be taken that they are run 
at a correct speed ; for general purposes a speed at the 
periphery of 4,500ft. to 6,000ft. per minute, but not above, 
will be found suitable. If emery wheels are run too fast 
they may fly to pieces, and if too slow they will not cut 
properly. In selecting a steel for stone-working tools do 
not choose one too short in the grain ; as we have before 
remarked, one combining a certain amount of toughness 
with hardness will, as a rule, be found most suitable. 
Some steels will stand almost a white heat and yet temper 
well, whilst others have to be worked at a low red heat, 
so no arbitrary rules as to tempering colours can be made; 
it simply resolves itself into a matter of actual practical 
experience. When a steel suitable for working the stone 
in hand has been found, stick to it, and do not keep 
constantly changing. 

For planing stone by fixed tools, either sohd bars of 
steel are forged to the desired cutting shape, hardened 
and tempered, and mounted in a tool box, or, more 
recently, in lieu of bars, small pieces of steel mounted in 
tool holders, have been employed with advantage. The 
tool holders are of wrought iron, and the cutting tool 
is held in position by means of set screws, wedges, dove- 
tail grooves, or other similar plans. In some planing 
machines steel of tapered section is employed, and this 
can be used without much forging ; the desired cutting 
angle for stone being obtained by grinding. Bars of steel 
of a trapezoidal section — that is, the one edge of the bar 
is somewhat wider than the other edge — are also used for 



tools for moulding and planing usually in machines 
arranged with a vertical cutter barrel. One end of the 
steel bar is ground obliquely, so that the bar at its wider 
edge stands somewhat further forward than at its back 
edge, the front wide edge forming the cutting edge of the 
tool. With some kinds of stone the end of the tool is 
ground square, and set a little obliquely in its rest. As 
we have elsewhere remarked, we prefer a system of rolling 
cutters for dressing stone, to a plane surface ; we shall 
not notice at length, therefore, this form of machine tools, 
which are nearly allied to those used for iron planing. 
Whatever tools are employed, care should be taken that 
they are of sufficient strength and sufficiently self-sup- 
ported, that they do not spring whilst working. 

When, by experiment, the best form for the cutting 
angle and clearance angles of tools for dressing various 
stones has been ascertained, it is of great importance that 
a registry of them be kept, and care taken that they are 
exactly adhered to in all tools used for that class of stone. 
This can be secured by adopting a mechanical system of 
re-grinding, and by making sets of sheet-steel standard 
angle gauges, to which the various tools can be ground. 
The rule of thumb should in all cases be avoided, as no 
matter how carefully carried out, where several cutters 
are employed a certain amount of irregularity must exist, 
the result being the stone requires an extra amount of 
finishing on the rubbing-table, when rubbed faces are 
required. A graduated adjustable slide-rest should in all 
cases be fitted to the grindstone, as it is impossible to 
secure accuracy by means of hand-grinding, and as we 
have elsewhere remarked, it will pay well to have one 
man especially to keep the cutting tools in order, and 
from experience he will soon learn exactly what is re- 
quired, and be able to judge from the nature of the stone 



what width of cut may be safely taken. Where possible 
with easy working stones, we recommend broad cuts, at 
any rate for finishing purposes, say up to 1| wide, as a 
more accurate surface is obtained, and a considerable 
saving in time effected. 

If ordinary straight tools are employed for planing or 
turning they will occasionally be found to spring and dig 
into the work, especially if a deep cut be taken ; this can 
generally be remedied by either cranking the cutting end 
of the tool or increasing its section ; if the tool is strong 
this cranking may be done by grinding a hollow in the 
top side of the bar near the end. Thus, when in work, 
the tool having a certain amount of pliability, if it springs 
at all it will spring outwards, and not dig into and score 
the work. It is very important that the cutting angle of 
the tool be suited to the stone being turned, and when 
this is found it will in the end be the most economical to 
use steel of a section sufficiently strong to prevent its 
springing appreciably in either direction. If a short 
cutting tool and a tool holder be employed, the former 
should be strongly supported. 

One of the best and simplest forms of tool holders for 
turning lathes with which we are acquainted is that of 

FIG. 39. 

Messrs. Smith and Coventry, which we illustrate by 

39. As will be seen from the sketch, the tool holder is of 

L 2 


square section with a boss forged on its front end. A bolt 
passes through this boss ; through the centre of the bolt 
immediately above its head, which is placed below the 
boss, is cut a vertical rectangular slot, and through this 
is passed a piece of steel of taper section, which performs 
the cutting. The tool is held in position by being fitted 
into slots cut into the upper face of the head of the bolt, 
and in a thick washer placed above the cutting tool and 
immediately below the boss of the tool holder. These 
slots are cut so that the steel tool stands with its upper 
face inclined to the horizontal, and gives the usual 
amount of top rake required. The nose of the tool can 
be ground to any desired shape, and the tool can be 
swivelled to any horizontal angle Avith the axis of the 
work, whilst the tool holder itself always remains per- 
pendicular to that axis. One of the advantages claimed 
for this tool holder is that the cutting tool can be 
instantly set to any desired horizontal inclination^ 
according to the shape of the work being turned. The 
shape of the cutting tool allows it to be ground to any 
desired rake, and gives it stiffness in working. With refer- 
ence to the circular cutters already noticed, for hard lime- 
stone steel is necessary, but for gritstones, sandstones, 
and freestones, chilled cast-iron answers well, as it is as 
hard as steel and very inexpensive. The steel cutters are 
made in the form of flat discs or cones, but the cast-iron 
cutters always in the form of cones. 

In practice, where a tolerable thickness of stone has to 
be removed, say, about lin. in depth, it will be found 
preferable to take two cuts instead of one, as with some 
classes of soft stone the cutting tool will be found to dig 
downwards and "pluck" the stone. This, however, is 
more particularly the case with straight steel tools ; at 
the same time the friction on the tool is largely increased. 




In the management of the yard or mill for stone conver- 
sion, it is important that ample appliances for lifting and 
transporting the stone are to hand. In a large works a 
steam overhead travelling crane can be used with advan- 
tage for lifting up to, say, 20 tons. The frames and 
crossbeams may be made of oak or pitch pine, but for 
heavier weights iron girders should be used. A very 
steady traverse of the crane may be obtained by using 
worm and worm-wheel gearing from the engine crank- 
shaft, working spur and bevel gear fitted to the wheel of 
the travelling carriage. The hoisting gear should be 
arranged with single and double purchase. The different 
transverse motions should be arranged to work either 
separately or simultaneously. A capstan or warping 
drum can be fitted with advantage to the framework of the 
crane, and utilised for bringing the stone trucks into 
position for unloading. This capstan should be arranged 
to drive independently of the travelling wheels. 

In establishments of moderate dimensions a hand- 
power overhead travelling crane may be sufficient. It will 
be found most convenient to work the lifting, transverse, 
and longitudinal travelling motions from below. To pre- 
vent accidents a powerful brake and catch arrangement 
should, in all cases, be fitted. The works should be 


amply provided with crab winches fitted with brake, pulley 
blocks, stone bogies, stone shears, chain shngs. Ionises, 
and several sets of masons' and quarrying tools. In 
lifting from quarries of considerable depth, perhaps the 
best plan is to use steel wire rope arranged to pass from 
the crane to a winding barrel. The necessary gearing 
can be fitted to a crane in any suitable postion. This 
plan will be found simple and expeditious, or strong 
timber stages fitted with travelling frames may be used • 
in this case upon the travelling frames powerful travers- 
ing crabs are employed. These should, in all cases, be 
fitted with double purchase gearing and powerful brakes,, 
and best tested lifting chains. The spindles should be 
bushed with gun-metal or phosphor bronze. 

In establishments where many moulded or plain bevelled 
surfaces are produced, it is important that the travelling 
table carrying the stone, or a cradle mounted on it, are 
capable of adjustment laterally to various degrees of 
inclination, so that the stone can have its edge or face 
inclined, according to the angle or pattern of the mould- 
ing to be cut on it. 

In a stone-converting, as in all other works, manual 
labour should be reduced to the lowest limits by the 
introduction of all kinds of labour-saving apphances, and 
by having the building or yard, and its arrangements, well 
suited to the work to be performed. The division-of- 
labour system should, as far as possible, be carried out ; 
when a steady and uniform business is in vogue, this is 
particularly to be recommended, as it will be found that 
the workman, by constant repetition of the same work, 
will increase the output of his machine 15 or 20 per cent.* 
As regards the labour employed, the highly- skilled and, 

* See "Saw Mills: Their Arrangement and Management," by M. 
Powis Bale. 


consequently, the highly-paid workman is, as a rule, the 
cheapest ; the first difference in cost being soon counter- 
balanced by an increased output from the machine and a 
better average quality. We are strongly in favour of 
piecework where it can be managed ; it also has the 
additional advantage of offering a premium to the operator 
for keeping his machine and tools in constant use and in 
the highest state of efiiciency. Accuracy of workman- 
ship should in all cases be insisted on. If a number of 
dressing tools are employed on one machine, care should 
be taken that they are all ground to the same angle, and 
tempered as nearly ahke as possible. 

We need hardly say it should be the aim of the manage- 
ment to waste as little stone as possible ; all blocks should 
therefore be carefully inspected and measured, so as to 
work them up to the best advantage. The cost price of 
work should be constantly taken out, and it is advisable 
that the workmen should in all cases book their time on 
all the work they are employed on without exception ; 
although in some cases this may not be altogether 
necessary, it acts as a check on day workmen if they 
imderstand their time is likely to be dissected. All stores 
should be charged against each machine, and it will be 
found well to give each a number. 

It is important that a thoroughly good works foreman 
be employed — a man who knows what to do and how to 
do it — and we are in favour of allowing a foreman, in 
addition to his weekly wages, a small bonus or commission 
on results above a certain point. 

Owing to the dust floating about a stone-works, especial 
care must be taken that the various bearings are well 
lubricated and protected. As regards a lubricant, we can 
from experience recommend either of the following mix- 
tures : Good lard oil, 75 parts ; plumbago, or sulphur 



powdered very fine, 25 parts. If the spindles are light, the 
amount of plumbago may he reduced ; should they he 
heavy, running at a low speed, and subject to constant 
and great pressure or strain, the plumbago may be 
increased with advantage up to 40 parts. Oils containing 
acids or alkalies and low grades of mineral oils, should in 
all cases be avoided, as they are acrid in their nature, and 
their oleaginous properties are small. Amongst the fatty 
lubricants, sperm oil, lard oil, and Eussian tallow, hold 
the foremost rank, and if they are carefully used they will 
last much longer than oils of low grades, and the bearings 
also will keep in better condition, as thin poor oils are 
rapidly absorbed or expelled. 

The shafting employed should be carefully arranged 
and fitted, and short centres should be avoided. Where 
large power is transmitted from a pulley, a bearing should 
be placed on either side of it. The plummer blocks used 
should be adjustable ; the best with which we are ac- 
quainted is made on the principle of the universal or ball 
and socket joint. The advantage of tliis plan is that, in 
whatever direction the shaft may incline, there is an 
equal wear or strain upon the whole surface of the bear- 
ing, and should the plummer blocks be set somewhat out 
of truth, the ball and socket joint allows the bear- 
ings to adjust themselves in line. As we have before 
remarked, we prefer the shafting to be mounted on 
standards and fixed underground, as it is easily got at and 
is out of the way. 

All driving belts should be kept pliable. Tight belts 
should be avoided. If more driving power is required, 
increase the width of the belt. An application of Tanner's 
dubbin for leather and linseed oil varnish for cotton 
driving belts will make them pliable and increase their 
driving power. Belts should be kept free from moisture. 


Wherever possible, the machinery should be so planned 
that the belts never have to run in a vertical line. Avoid 
the use of resin and other mixtures sold to increase the 
grip of the belt, as in most, if not all, cases they act in- 
juriously on the leather. 

A mixture of mutton fat and beeswax will be found a 
capital dressing, and will not injure the leather. Castor 
oil is also an excellent dressing for belts ; it should be 
mixed in equal proportions with tallow or oil. 

Profile templates of the various stone mouldings 
generally in use should be made. 

In managing a stone or any other works economically 
it is important, if steam power is used, that the steam is 
not wasted. This can, in a measure, be guarded against 
hy the employment of an engine fitted with an automatic 
expansion slide, which regulates the consumption of the 
steam to the power required to drive the machines 
actually in motion. The draught to the boiler should be 
regulated by a damper; this, if possible, should be 
arranged to work by steam automatically, as it requires 
no attention, and is regular in its action, and effects a con- 
siderable saving over the old form of slide-damper worked 
hy hand, as its regular working is often neglected by the 
fireman in charge. A steam-damper can be arranged to 
act at any desired pressure of steam ; and, as the fire is 
automatically damped when that pressure is reached, a 
very considerable saving in fuel is thus effected. A feed- 
water heater should also be employed — if in combination 
with a filter so much the better. If the water contains 
iron or acid sulphates it must be purified and softened 
before use. 

As we have elsewhere remarked, it is of much import- 
ance to the health of the workman that the stone dust is 
kept down as much as possible, by being damped and 



cleared away at stated intervals, which can be judged from 
the nature of the stone, some making much more dust 
than others. As illustrating the injurious effects of stone 
dust, Wiseman, in his book on Surgery, relates a case in 
which a stone-cutter's man had the vesiculae of his lungs 
so stuffed with dust that, in cutting, the knife went as if 
through a heap of sand. 

It is important that where stone has to resist the effects 
of the atmosphere, or to be polished, that its surface 
should be dressed true and be "unstunned." If the 
machine therefore that is employed to dress it, leaves the 
stone with an irregular " plucked " face it may be con- 
cluded, that either the type of the machine employed is 
unsuited to the stone or the stone is not suitable for 
machine conversion. As regards the best tj-pes of 
machines, speaking generally, for dressing and planing, 
especially for the harder classes of stone, we are in favour 
of the use of revolving chucks and cutters, and for 
moulding purposes, a combination of revolving roughing 
and stationary scraping cutters. 




Although there is little doubt that machinery has a 
vast economical advantage over hand labour in the con- 
version of stone, it is— owing to the varying nature of the 
work and prices paid— a somewhat difficult task to com- 
pare the two systems by absolute figures. In calculating 
and comparing the cost of machine and hand labour on 
the one hand, we must take the cost of steam power, 
labour, renewal of cutters, oil, &c., and interest on 
capital sunk, with a certain allowance for depreciation. 
On the hand-labour side, we must put cost of labour, 
tools, &c., not forgetting the increased length of time 
necessary to produce a given amount of work, which 
means an increased rental. 

Taking, first, ordinary stone dressing : the number of 
superficial feet which can be dressed by a machine in a 
day will, of course, depend greatly on the nature of the 
stone being worked, and in the way the machine is kept 
constantly supplied with stone. It is important, there- 
fore, in order to secure the best results, that little or no 
time is lost in fixing and unfixing the stone. The size 
of stone being dressed will also affect the number of feet 
produced in a day, as with a machine it will take almost 
as much time to dress a small stone as a large one. 



With the ordinary stones used in buikling construction of 
a moderate degree of hardness, a well-designed machine 
should, on a fair average, dress about 30 superficial 
square feet per hour ; the cost of this, allowing two men 
and one boy to supply stone and attend to the machine, 
would amount to about 2s. ; whilst an average price to 
dress the same by hand would be about 5s., leaving a large 
profit and surplus for contingencies. 

In the case of hard grit stones, an output of rather 
more than one-half the above— say, 220 superficial feet 
per day of 10 hours— should be considered an average 
day's work. 

The makers of Brealey's Patent Stone Dressing 
Machine assert that one of these machines, to take in 
4ft. wide by 2ft. high and 9ft. long, will tool or face from 
300 to 500 superficial feet of flags or landing, according to 
quality, per day of nine hours, at a total cost of 12s. per 
day. If we take the medium of, say, 400ft. per da}^, 
which if worked by hand labour would cost l^d. per foot, 
we find that the cost would be £2 10s. ; whereas by the 
aid of a machine the work can be better done for about 
one-fourth the sum. 

Messrs. Brunton and Trier state that their machine has 
dressed to a perfectly good surface in sand and gritstone 
1,296 superficial feet in 49 hours, and in granite as much 
as 175- square feet in an hour. 

A comparison of the cost of working moulding in stone 
by hand and by machinery has been published by the 
Builders' Trade Circular, The work on which the cost 
price was taken was a number of staircase steps in 
white Portland stone, 5ft. long by Tin. deep, with a 
moulding girting about 12in. They were cut one out of 
the other by steam stone saws, the cost of sawing being 
less than 2d. per foot. The moulding machine used was 


by Eotheroe, and would take a stone 10ft. long by 5ft. 
6in. wide. It was a modification of an ordinary planing 
machine for working iron, and was fitted with a travelling 
bed with reversing action, and with two double tool boxes, 
so as to operate on the stone, if required, during both the 
backward and forward traverse of the table. The steps 
were reduced on the machine, with an ordinary point 
tool, to within a quarter of an inch of the correct size, 
and then scraped or finished with a tool made of sheet 
steel shaped to the exact profile of the moulding required. 
The number of steps thus moulded by the machine 
during several months averaged 18 per, diem, giving as 
the day's work about 90 superficial feet of moulding. 
Two men worked the machine, and the steel tools were 
made on the premises, and the cost of these was about 
£2 5s. per week ; one smith being pretty constantly, 
though not entirely, occupied in making, altering, repair- 
ing, sharpening, steeling, &c., as required. The first 
cost of the machine was ;£B00, exclusive of foundation 
and labour fixing. 

From these data, the cost of a day's work was given ; 
but several of the items would vary in different localities, 
such as the cost of labour and steam power. The 
estimate of cost was as follows : — 

Two labourers, one day each, 20 hours at 
Xi\d. per hour. (N.B.— They were active, 
intelligent men) . . - • .£092 
Tools as above, per week 4os., per day ..076 
Steam power, say about . - • .050 
Interest upon outlay at 5 per cent., say .. 0 3 6 

£15 2 

At the ordinary price of London labour, 90ft. of 
Portland moulding, at Is. 2cL per foot prime cost for 



liand labour, would amount to £5 5s. 4d. Assuming the 
machine does this work at £1 5s. 2d., a very large margin 
for profit and contingencies is left. By the ordinary 
system of London measurement, all carving and setting 
is put on the price of the stone ; the price. Is. 2d. per 
foot, as quoted above, being for the labour of moulding 
only : the comparison, therefore, is absolute. Whatever 
the nature of the work, nearly the same superficies of 
moulding was worked, and the day's work given is the 
average of many days. 

In different localities, of course the conditions will 
vary. We think, however, the cost of machine moulding, 
as given above, is somewhat low, especially the wages of 
the attendants : and in practice we think it will be found 
more economical to employ one man, of a higher class 
than a labourer, who can sharpen and adjust his cutters, 
and be able to overcome any little difficulties that may 
arise owing to the varying nature of the stone worked, &c. 
However, should the cost of producing the 90ft. of Port- 
land moulding amount to 30s. — which sum, we think, 
will be found nearer the mark, except under special cir- 
cumstances—a very large margin of profit is still left. 

Another advantage that machine moulding will be 
found to have over hand moulding is that the work 
generally is better done, the lines being perfectly straight, 
and the edges beautifully sharp; and should a large 
number of pieces of one moulding have to be worked they 
will be found absolutely alike in section. 

The amount of work turned out per day will of course 
vary with the size and nature of the stone, section of 
moulding, and if the supply of stone is constant, and also 
if many changes of work are necessary. For working 
smaller stones, at any rate— such as stair steps, string- 
courses, sills, &c., and builders' work generally — a mould- 


ing machine with a vertical cutter barrel is undoubtedly 
to be preferred, as it is more easily worked, and the tools 
more readily adjusted or exchanged. The first cost, 
also, should be less than a machine with a horizontal 

An advanced type of vertical barrel machine should 
be capable of cutting a straight mould- 
ing girting, say 15in., on a piece of 
Portland 4ft. long, similar to sketch. 
Fig. 40, in thirty minutes: this we 
ourselves have done. 

The following statement of work 
done by a Duplex barrel moulding and 
planing machine working in Portland 
stone was taken from the book of a 
workman:— string 1ft. deep, 7in. projection, 50ft. run per 
day of 12 hours. Moulded steps, 24 per day worked both 
sides, with 4 steps on the machine at once. 

Window jambs 6in. face, full of mouldings, worked 
both sides, 150ft. run per day. 

As showing the large amount of work that may be pro- 
duced by the use of tools with a rolling contact, in 
preference to those with a dead contact, we have, on the 
authority of Messrs. G. and J. Fenning, of the Shap 
Granite Works, Westmoreland, that they turned in a 
lathe, with Brunton's patent cutters, 42 granite columns, 
of all sizes above Sin. diameter, amounting to 1,100 
superficial, in 383 hours ; and they estimate one mason 
would have spent 4,428 hours in doing the same work. 
In the case of columns under 8in. diameter, the lathe 
turned 71 lineal feet in 114 hours ; to do the same amount 
of work, a mason would have been occupied about 648 

Although a very large saving can be effected over hand 


labour in the conversion of stone by the employment of 
machinery, it is important that the machinery selected or 
tools used should be suited to the nature of the stone and the 
work to be carried out. If in ever}^ case, before purchasing, 
the builder or quarry owner had the stone he chiefly used 
or sold tried on several t3'pes of machines, he would then 
be able to select the one best suited to his requirements ; 
and, in some cases, much loss and annoyance would be 

In comparing the cost of horizontal-blade machine and 
hand sawing, the saving effected — although considerably 
in favour of machine conversion — will not be found so 
large as in moulding or dressing machines. The number 
of superficial feet sawn will, of course, depend largely on 
the nature and size of the stone and the number of saws 
employed. In sawing soft stone, such as Bath or Port- 
land, the cost of machine sawing may be fairl}^ set down at 
about 2(i. per foot, and the output with 6 saws at about 72 
square feet per day of 10 hours. The cost of hand sawing 
will generally average about ^^d. per foot ; but the work 
is not so truly done, and therefore requires more finishing 
on the rubbing table. At the same time the process is 
much slower. For sawing soft stone, steel-toothed saws 
have latterly been introduced with very satisfactory 
results as regards production. The harder kind of free- 
stone will not average more than about one-half the 
above output. 

Circular saws will be found much more expeditious for 
sawing stone than straight ones. They, however, have 
the disadvantage of taking greater power to drive, and at 
the same time the waste of stone is greater. Notwith- 
standing these drawbacks, the author can strongly recom- 
mend circular saws for converting Portland, Bath, York, 
and similar classes of stone. A well-constructed machine 


of this class will cut from 150 to 250 running feet per day 
of 10 hours ; the output, of course, varying according to 
the nature of the stone being operated on. Should cir- 
cular saws be employed for dressing the faces of the stone, 
they can be made to turn out from 3in. to Gin. run per 
minute, and for this purpose they are really very valuable. 
The cost of rubbing or facing building stones on a large 
well-constructed machine may be set down at from Id. to 
%d. per superficial foot, according to the nature of stone. 
In turning granite with revolving cutters, a well-constructed 
lathe will give an output of at least 3 times the amount 
that can be produced in a lathe in which the turning tool 
is a fixture; in soft stones, however, the difference in 
output is not so great. 

The Author desires it to be understood that the figures 
as regards the outputs of various machines were obtained 
in most cases from the makers, and he declines therefore 
the responsibility as to their correctness, with the ex- 
ception of the Hunter Duplex Moulding and Planing 
Machine and Circular Saws, the output of which he has 
taken from absolute work done. 





In districts where stone is abundant and is largely used 
for building, ordinary walls are built of rubble stone, and 
measured by the cubic yard, or some other local standard, 
in Ireland by the running perch (21 ft.) of a given height 
and thickness, or by the square perch of 21 ft. super., at 
a standard thickness of 18 inches. 

A cubic yard of rubble masonry will, as a rule, require 
•5- cubic yard of mortar and I3- cubic yard of stone. 

In the West of England, the square perch is employed, 
of 18 ft. super.; at a standard thickness of 2 ft., to which 
walls of any thickness are reduced. In other parts 
masonry walling is measured by the rood of 36 square 
yards, or 24 cubic yards, the standard thickness being 2 
feet, or by the rod of 272 feet super., as in brick wall at 
a standard thickness of 18 in. or 2 feet. 

The superficial content of the surface work is paid for 
separately by the square foot, yard, or rood of 36 square 
yards, including jointing or pointing, and such squaring 
to beds and joints as may be required, quoins, &c. ; of 
selected stones being often paid for at so much extra per 
foot run. 

Block stone, for the cut stonework in buildings, is 
generally sold at the quarries, or delivered by the cubic 


foot, or in large rough blocks by the ton, of from 13 to 
17 cubic feet, 1 in. being allowed each way for irregu- 
larities and waste. 

Quantity of stone of different kinds, equivalent to a 
ton in weight. 

Feet, Cube. 

Vein Marble 13 

Statuary Marble ........ 13J 

Granite 13^ 

Purbeck 14 

Yorkshire 13 to 14^ 

Graigleith 14| 

Portland 15 to 16 

Derby . . 15 

Bath 16 to 17 

Inches. Feet, Super. 

2J York Paving 70 

3 York 58 

2| Purbeck .... 68 

3 Purbeck „ 56 

3 Granite „ 54 

6 Granite „ 27 

7 Granite Curb 23 

The following constants, chiefly for work on stone, are 
taken from the "Student's Practical Guide to Measuring," 
by E. Dobson. The factor to be applied is the daily 
rate of wages for a mason. 

Labour on Portland or similar stone, per foot super- 

N.B. — Sawing to be taken as half plain work. 

per foot super. Day. 

Plain work to bond stones -14 

„ to beds and joints -181 

„ rubbed face -209 

r, ,, circular -291 

Sunk work, rubbed -25 

„ „ circular -313 

M 2 



Moulded work, rubbed -21)2 

„ circular -417 

Circular work to shafts of columns having the neck 
moulding or part of the base worked in the same 

stone -334 

Circular — Circular or spherical work to domes or balls -5 

If rubbed, add extra -049 

Labour, squaring and laying York or Purbeck paving -021 

If in courses, add -01 

Taking up, squaring, and relaying old paving . . -042 


One ton of 6-inch granite paving will cover 4 yards super. 

7-inch „ „ 3i ,, 

„ 8-inch „ „ 8 

„ 9-inch „ ., 3J 

One ton of pebble paving will cover from 4 to 4| yards. 
„ ragstone „ „ „ 5 to 5J „ 


To compute the depth of keystones for segmental 
arches of stone (Trautwine). 

First class of arch.— -36 V of the radius at the crown. 

Second class of arch.— '4 V of the radius at the crown. 

Brick or rubble. — "45 \/ of the radius at the crown. 

In viaducts of several arches. Increase the above 
units to '42, '46, and '51. 

Marble, White.— Specific gravit}', 2,706 ; weight of a 
cubic foot, 169 lbs. ; weight of a bar 1ft. long and lin. 
square, 1*17 lb.; cohesive force of a square inch, ISlllbs.; 
extensibilitj^, of its length ; weight of modulus of 

elasticity for a base of an inch square, 2,520,000 lbs.; 
height of modulus of elasticity, 2,150,000 ft. ; modulus of 
resilience at the point of fracture, 1'3 ; specific resilience 
at the point of fracture, 0*48 (Tredgold) ; is crushed by a 
force of 6060 lbs. upon a square inch (Rennie). 


Stone, Portland. — Specific gravity, 2'113 ; weight of 
A cubic foot, 132 lbs. ; weight of a prism 1 inch square 
and 1 foot long, 0*92 lb. ; absorbs of its weight 
oi water (R. Treclgold) ; is crushed by a force of 3729 lbs. 
upon a square inch (Rennie) ; cohesive force of a square 
inch, 857 lbs.; extends before fracture -ttW of its length; 
modulus of elasticity for a base of an inch square, 
1,533,000 lbs; height of modulus of elasticity, 1,672,000ft. ; 
modulus of resilience at the pomt of fracture, 0*5 ; 
specific resihence at the point of fracture, 0'23 (Tred- 

Stone, Bath. — Specific gravity, 1*975 ; weight of a 
cubic foot, 123*4 lbs. ; absorbs of its weight of water 
(R. Tredgold) ; cohesive force of a square inch, 478 lbs. 

Stone, Craigleith. — Specific gravity, 2*362 ; weight 
of a cubic foot, 147*6 lbs. ; absorbs -sV of its weight of 
water ; cohesive force of a square inch, 772 lbs. (Tred- 
gold) ; is crushed by a force of 5490 lbs. upon a square 
inch (Rennie). 

Stone, Dundee. — Specific gravity, 2.621 ; weight of a 
cubic foot, 163*8 lbs. ; absorbs ^i- part of its weight of 
water ; cohesive force of a square inch, 2661 lbs. (Tred- 
gold) ; is crushed by a force of 6630 lbs. upon a square 
inch (Rennie). 

Stone-work. — "Weight of a cubic foot of rubble-work, 
about 140 lbs. ; of hewn stone, 160 lbs. 

Slate, Welsh. — Specific gravity, 2*752 (Kirwan) ; 
weight of a cubic foot, 172 lbs ; weight of a bar 1 foot long 
and 1 inch square, 1*19 lbs. ; cohesive force of a square 
inch, 11,500 lbs. ; extension before fracture, -nrrTr; weight 
of modulus of elasticity for a base of an inch square, 


15,800,000 lbs. ; height of modulus of elasticity, 
13,240,000 ft. ; modulus of resilience, 8'4 ; specific 
resilience, 2 (Tredgold). 

Slate, Westmoreland. — Cohesive force of a square 
inch, 7870 lbs.; extension in length before fracture, y-sTo 
weight of modulus of elasticity for base 1 inch square, 
12,900,000 lbs. (Tredgold). 

Slate, Scotch. — Cohesive force of a square inch, 
9,600 lbs. ; extension in length before fracture, tsVs J 
weight of modulus of elasticity for a base 1 inch square, 
15,790,000 lbs. (Tredgold). 

Alabaster Cement. — Plaster of Paris, 1 part ; yellow 
resin, 2 parts ; mix and apply hot, warming the faces of 
the fractm-e or joint ; or sulphur or shellac, melted witli 
plaster of Paris, or plaster of Paris alone. 

Granite Cemeint. — Gum dammar, marble dust, fel- 
spar ; the mineral ingredients are reduced to an impal- 
pable powder, and the mass is incorporated by gradual 
heating. It should be applied warm to the warmed faces 
of the fractured portions. The black felspar is preferably 
used, to iDrevent the detection of the joint. For a hard 
cement : dried and pulverized claj^ 8 parts ; clean iron 
filings, 4 ; peroxide of manganese, 2 ; sea-salt, 1 ; borax, 
1 ; triturate, reduce to paste with water, use immediate^, 
heat after using. 

Marble Cement. — Plaster of Paris steeped in a 
saturated solution of alum, and recalcined. Mix with 
water, and apply as plaster of Paris ; this cement is 
susceptible of a high polish, and may be coloured to 
imitate marbles. A composition of gum-lac, coloured to 
suit the occasion. 


The rust cement is also used, composed of hydro- 
chlorate of ammonia, 2 ; flour of sulphur, 1 ; iron filings, 

For coating insides of cisterns, pulverized baked bricks, 
2 ; quicklime, 2 ; wood-ashes, 2 ; olive-oil to make a 

For stone seams and joints, pulverized tiles or hard 
brick, 6 ; white-lead, 1 ; litharge, 1 ; oil to compound. 

Hydraulic cement, 12 ; triturated chalk, 6 ; fine sand, 
6 ; infusorial earth, 1 ; all mixed with soluble soda-glass. 

Stone Cement. — Fine sand, 20 parts ; litharge, 2 ; 
quicklime, 1 ; linseed oil to form a paste. 

A mineral compound for uniting stone and resisting 
water is made by mixing 19 lbs. of sulphur, with 42 lbs. 
of powdered glass or stone ware ; over a gentle heat the 
sulphur melts, and the whole is stirred till a homo- 
geneous mass is obtained, when it may be run into 
moulds. It melts at 248° Fahr., and becomes hard as 
stone, and will resist boiling at 230°. Fahr. 

Cement for Joining Stone. — Sulphur, bees-wax, and 
resin, equal parts ; the sulphur and resin are to be 
melted together : the wax is then added, and the whole 
intimately mixed. The edges of the stones to be joined 
are to be gently heated, and in that state anointed with 
mastic, and then pressed tightly together until they are 
quite cold. 

Roman Cement. — Parker's analysis. One part of 
common clay to 2^ parts of chalk, set very quick. 

Concrete. — Eight parts of pebble, or pieces of brick, to 
4 parts of scrap river-sand ; and 1 part of lime mixed 
with water, and grouted in, makes a good concrete. 


Lime Mortar. — One part of river-sand to 2 parts of 
powdered lime, mixed with fresh water. 

Hydraulic Mortar. — One part of pounded brick- 
powder to 2 parts of powdered lime mixed with fresh 
water. This mortar must be laid very thick between the 
bricks, and the latter well soaked in water before laid. 

Hydraulic Concrete, by Treussart. Thirty parts of 
hydrauhc lime, measured in bulk before slaked ; 30 parts 
of sand; 20 parts of gravel; and 40 parts of broken 
stone — a hard limestone. 

Cement for Stone and Brickwork. — Two parts of 
ashes, 3 of clay, and 1 of sand, when mixed with oil, will 
resist the weather. 

Waterproof for Cistern Stones. — (1), whiting 100 
parts ; resin, 68 ; sulphur, 18^ ; tar, 9 ; melt together. 
(2), sand, 100 parts; quicklime, 28; bone ashes, 14; 
mixed with water. 

Artificial Stone can be made of clean sand and 
sihcate of lime. 

Preservation of Stone. — Zyerelmey's plan is to 
saturate with a silicate, and apply asphaltum varnish. 
Ransome's is to saturate with silicate of soda, and then 
with chloride of calcium. Kibble's plan is to paint with 
a compound of ground lime, turpentine, flax seed oil, 
silicate of lead, and burnt copperas. Davies proposes 
sulphur and flax seed oil. Barff and Sullivan, treatment 
with alumina, carbonate of zinc, and silicate of potash. 
Bernay's, fluo-silicic acid, washed with alkaline solution. 
Rust and Mossop ; solution of caustic barytes, washed 
v/ith fluo-silicic acid. Gros's plan ; a paint of wax, 10 
parts ; oil, 30 ; litharge, 1 ; heated to 212° Fahr. Spiller's; 


superphosphate of Ihne, followed by ammonia (for Mag- 
iiesian limestone). Crooke's ; fuller's earth in a dilute 
solution of hydrofluoric acid. 

For tempering mill hills and other tools for working 
hard stone, we have heard the following plan very well 
spoken of. 1. — Take 2 gals, of rain water, 1 oz. of 
corrosive sublimate, 1 oz. of salammoniac, 1 oz. of 
saltpetre, 1| pints of rock salt. The picks should be 
heated to a cherry red, and cooled in the bath. The 
salt is intended to give hardness and the other ingre- 
dients toughness to the steel. 2. — After working the 
steel carefully prepare a bath of lead heated to the 
boiling point. In it place the end of the pick to the 
depth of 1| inch until heated to the temperature of the 
lead, then plunge immediately into clear cold water. 
The principal requisite in making mill picks, &c., are (1), 
good steel ; (2), work it at a low heat ; (3), heat for 
tempering without direct exposure to the fire, the lead 
bath is intended as a protection against the heat, which is 
usually too great to temper well. 


Since the publication of the first edition of this book, 
some progress has been made in stone-working by 
machiner}^, both by the introduction of new machines and 
by improvement of details and methods of working the 
older ones. 

Horizontal Saw Frames are now largely built of steel 
and iron instead of wood and run at a higher speed. 
Instead of single cranks or pendulums for driving, double 
cranks and connecting rods are largely employed, these 
are usually connected to the swing or saw frame either at 
the centre or back end, thus obtaining the advantages of 
long connecting rods with increased steadiness in working 
in a lessened ground space. Improved self-acting 
downward feeds, and new forms of sanding boxes for 
feeding the grit to the blades, have been also introduced. 
In addition to sharp sand various preparations of 
powdered steel and chilled iron, &c., are used for cutting ; 
these are known under various titles such as " chilled 
shot," " diamond grit," " krushite," &c., and will cut 
much faster than sand for certain classes of stone. In 
lieu of ordinary plain blades for cutting, some made with 
grooves or corrugations, with the object of conveying the 
cutting material more rapidly to the stone, have been 
introduced, but the author has so far had no opportunity 
of testing their merits. 

Back of 
Not Imaged 


To face page 171. 



Circular Saws for cutting Stone. — A considerable 
number of these machines have lately been introduced, 
and for rapidly sawing, facing and edging building stone 
of a moderate degree of hardness, such as Portland, are 
found to be very expeditious. 

We illustrate herewith a machine of recent construction 
from the designs of Mr. G. Anderson. The framing and 
gear is of massive construction to overcome the vibration 
of working. The table carrying the stone is traversed by 
a screw feed fitted with a quick return motion, its speed 
being varied to suit the nature of the stone. The gearing 
for driving the saws is of double purchase, and all the 
wheels and pinions are of strong pitch and heavily pro- 
portioned. The cutting teeth are adjustable, they are of 
the Hunter type, and can be readily made or renewed by 
an ordinary blacksmith. By mounting a disc on the 
spindle with the cutting tools projecting from its side, 
these machines can be adapted for rapidly facing as well 
as sawing the stone. 

Stone-dressing and Planing Machines. — Some re- 
cent progress has been made with these machines, 
notably with those for dressing very hard stones, an 
illustration of which we give elsewhere. In machines 
for building stones based on the ordinary planing 
machine for iron, various modifications have been intro- 
duced, and most of them by automatically reversing the 
cutting tools are made to cut during both the backward 
and forward traverse of the table, and the cross-head 
carrying the tool box is raised and lowered by a belt. 
Supplementary canting tables are also fitted on the main 
table so that the stone can be dressed on three sides at 
any desired angle without re-setting. A rectilinear 
stone planing machine especially adapted for dressing 
flags, pavement coping, &c., has also been introduced; 



this consists briefly of a heavycast-iron slide, arranged 
to move on four turned rollers transversely across the 
face of the table carrying the stone. Four tools are 
employed, two roughing and two finishing, these are 
mounted in pairs in adjustable tool-holders, fixed on 
rocking pins at either side of the cast-iron slide or 
saddle. Both sets of tools are worked independently, 
and can be applied to different stones if desired. All 
the operations are automatic. 

EuBBiNG Beds. — In lieu of the ordinary type of 
machines, which require a pit and somewhat expensive 
foundations, the writer can recommend them being built 
self-contained, as they are much more readily fixed or 
removed, and the only foundation required being a bed 
of concrete. The frame of the machine should be 
massive, and the bed supported by friction rollers, as 
there is less trouble with the footstep bearing, at the 
same time the machine can be run at a higher rate 
of speed. 

Stone or Marble -turning Lathes. — In the most 
recent practice for turning granite, marble, &c., the 
lathe is made of very substantial construction, and by 
preference, fitted with double beds, and each bed fitted 
with a strong saddle and arranged with a compound 
slide rest, with a swivelling tool-holder for the circular 
revolving steel cutters. The slides should have hand 
adjustments and the saddle have a self-acting motion. 
The beds should be carried on sole plates, and so 
arranged that they can be set either parallel or to a 
taper of say lin. in 4ft. The fast headstock should be 
fitted with a speed cone and double purchase spur 





Architrave— is a term applied to the assemblage of members or 
mouldings which surround a door or window. 

Archivolt— an ornamental moulding running round an arch. 

Argillaceous shale or clay slate has the same constitution as Mica 
slate ; but the particles are so line as not to be distinguished. 

Arris— the line of concourse, edge, or meeting of two surfaces. 

Ashlar— when each stone is squared and dressed to given dimensions. 
Bastard— is ashlar work, backed up with inferior work. 
„ Boasted — same as chiselled. 

„ Chiselled — a random tooled ashlar wrought with a narrow 

„ Herring-bone— has a tooling of oblique flutes in ranks running 
in alternate directions. 
Nigged — a building block dressed with a pointed hammer. 
Pick, or hammer-dressed : it is known as common ashlar. 
Plane — a block in which the marks of the tools are dressed 

„ Pointed— the face marking done by a pointed tool or one very 

Prison— the surface is wrought into holes. 
„ Random-tooled — a block whose groovings are irregularly cut 

with a broad tool. 
„ Bough Ashlar — a block of Freestone as brought from the- 


Rusticated— the face of the block projects from the joint, 
arrises being bevelled. It may be rough or smooth faced, or 
variously tooled. 

Smooth — a block dressed ready for use. 



Ashlar, Tooled — a block in which the surface has parallel vertical 

A smooth face around the joint is called a margin-draft. The 
face of an ashlar is the front exposed surface when built into 
the wall. Flanks, are the sides. Beds, are the upper and 
lower surfaces. Backs, are the rear surfaces. 

Band— denotes any flat low member, or moulding that is broad and not 
very deep. 

Bed-mouldiner— a collective term for all the moulding beneath the 
corona or principal projecting member of a cornice. 

Bedding' stone — a marble slab accurately level and on which pieces of 

stone or bricks are tried to prove the truth of their faces. 
Beds of a stone — the upper and lower surfaces of a block. 
Birdsbeak — a complete moulding used in the Greek Doric order. 
Bituminous shale — is a slate clay impregnated with bitumen. 

Blocking: course — a course of masonry laid on the top of a cornice 
crowning a wall. , 

Boasted or chiselled— wrought by a narrow chisel. 

Boaster — a stone-mason's chisel, having an edge two inches wide, used 
in dressing down the surface of stone. It is intermediate in width 
between the inch tool and the iroad tool, which are respectively 1 inch 
and 3J inches wide. 

Borcer — a tool for boring rocks. 
Boss — a sculptured keystone. 

Boultine — a convex moulding whose periphery is a quarter of a circle 
next below the plinth in the Doric and Tuscan orders. 

Boulder — made up of rounded unwrought stones. 

Broached — hewed by mallet and chisel. 

Cantilivers — are trusses when used under modillions in the frieze. 
Chisel draught — a plane surface formed along the edge of a block of 

stone by the mason before commencing to dress the surface. 
Chlorite slate— is of a dark green colour, similar to talcous slate. 
Churn jumpers — so called from their method of working. 

Claying bar— an implement for driving in dry clay into the hole made 
by the jumping tool, if found too damp for the introduction of the 
blasting material. 

Cleaving' grain — lines in the stone parallel to the planes of cleavage. 



Console — is an ornament like a truss carried on a key -stone. 

Compound mouldingrs — are the cyina recta, which has the hollow 
uppermost and projecting. The cyma reversa, which has a similar 
contour, but adapted for a base moulding to a wall or plinth. 

Coursed work— in which the stones are squared more or less and set in 

Cramp or dowel — a piece of iron, copper, or wood usually of a dovetail 
form, used with lead for joining masonry. Dowels are sometimes made 
with hard stone, run with cement. 

Cutter barrel, cutter head, cutter block, tool box. Apparatus for 
holding the working tools or cutters in stone-dressing machinery. 

Dentils — are ornaments used in the bed moulds of cornices. 
Dowel jogeles — are usually hard pieces of stone cut and let into corre- 
sponding mortices in the two stones to be joined together. 
Dressing — is the working on the faces and beds. 

Dressing's — the mouldings, and sculptured decorations of all kinds 
which are used on the walls and ceiling of a building for the purpose 
of ornament. 

Droving work — is first droved and then broached. 
Enriched mouldings — the above mouldings carved. 

Feathers — are inverted wedges with circular backs. 

Flutes channels running down columns. These channels are some- 
times partly filled by a lesser round moulding ; this is called cabhng 
the flutes. 

Freestone — is applied indefinitely to that kind of stone which can readily 
be wrought. It includes the two gi-eat divisions of limestone and 

Grit— Coarse sand, rough hard particles of sandstone. 
Ground table stones— the projecting course of stones in a wall above 
the plinth. 

Hammer dressed — squared and picked by the hammer. 
Herring-bone — when the surfaces of the stone are formed with zig-zag 

Hornblende slate— resembles mica-slate, but is less glistening and does 
not break into such thin sheets. 



Impost — a horizontal moulding for an arch to spring from. 

Joggled stones — are jointed together when a projection is worked out 
ou one stone to fit into a corresponding hole or groove in the other. 

Jumping: tool — implement for boring. 

Key-stone — the stone in an arch which is equally distant from its spring- 
ing extremities. 

lantel or traverse — the cross top. 

^licaceous — stones laminated with mica. 

Mica slate — a rock composed of quartz and mica. 

Modillions — small brackets under the corona in the cornice. 

Mouldings — may be divided into two classes, the simple and the com- 
pound ; the former are : — 

1st — The Eoman ovolo, or quarter round ; or the Greek ovolo, with an 
elliptic or conic section. 

2nd — The eavetto or hollow. 

8rd — The torus or round. 

Nigged -work — is that in which the work is picked with a scabbling 
hammer until the surface is nearly of the intended form. 

Ogee — a moulding which has the round uppermost and overhanging. 

Oolites or roestones — are composed of oviform bodies cemented by 
calcareous matter of a varied character. 

Ovolo — a convex moulding mostly used in classical architecture. 

Parpoint — squared stones laid in courses, with courses of headers at 
intervals of, say, five feet. 

Plane ashlar — rubbed smooth. 

Planes of clearage — stone which occurs in contiguous strata presents 
a number of contact surfaces called planes of clearage. 

Plucked — a dressed stone with an uneven and holey surface is plucked. 

Point, inch, tool, boaster, broad tool— are mason's tools usually em- 
ployed for dressing the face of stones. 

Beedings — are several beads placed together. 


Hough — axed on the face. 

Rubbed work — when the surface of the stone is smoothed by means of 
sand or grit stone. 

Rubble — a filling in with irregular stone. 

Rubble work — in which the stones are not squared. 

Rustic masonry — if the joints of the masonry are sunk in channels the 
work is called rustic. 

Scabbling: — dressing the surface of the stone in the quarry with pointed 

Scotia — is formed of two hollows, one over the other, and of different 

Scotia — the hollow moulding in the base of an Ionic column. 

Scraper — a tool for clearing the hole of stone chips and dust made by 
the boring tool. 

Slate adbesive — of a light greenish grey colour, is readily broken, and 
adheres to the tongue. 

SoflELt — is the under part of a lintel or cornice. 

Spaulled — the action of splitting or scaling ofE small flakes of stone. 

Stone axe, Jedding: axe, Scabbling bammer or cavil — is used 
previous to the operation of hewing, in order to bring the stone nearly 
to shape ; one end of the jedding-axe is flat, and is used for knocking 
ofE projecting angular points, and the other end is pointed for reducing 
the different surfaces nearly to the intended form. 

Strokingr — dressing stone by successive nan'ow flutes or grooves. 

Talcose slate — contains talc instead of mica, has a more greasy feel than 

Tamping-bar — a tool for filling up a bore-hole made for blasting. 

Tbrougrb-stones — or bond stones, are those placed with their greatest 
length going through the thickness of the wall at a right angle to its 

Truss — is a modillion enlarged and placed flat against a wall, 
XJnstunned — even on the face, not " plucked." 

Weather moulding: — a dripstone over a door or window tx) keep off 
water from the parts beneath. 




ARRANGEMENT of shafting, 152 
stone- works, 16 

Art of stone- working, origin of, i 

BAND-saws wdth diamond points, 36 
Bearings, lubricant for, 19 
Bed, old moulding, 77 
ripping, 41 

— polishing, 109 

— rubbing or surfacing, 89 
Bedding, stone, 14 

CARVINa machinery, 103 
Chairing and boring machine for 
railway blocks, 135 
Checking deep mouldings, 85 
Circular, revolving, or rolling cutters for 

dressing stone, 63 
Circular saws, construction of, 50 

' for cutting stone, 40, 171 

■ for roughing out mouldings, 100 

hydraulic feed for, 127 

speed of, 49, 161 

teeth of, 42 

Construction of stone-sawing frames, 

Cost of stone-working by machinery, 

Cutter blocks, moulding, composition 
of, 99 

Cutters, complex forms to be avoided, 

— rolling for turning, 117 

— tempering, 85, 139 
Cutting difficult stone, 49 

— marble, 34 

— speed of circular-saws, 161 

— tools, 138 


Cutting window sills, coping-stones, 
&c., 49 

Cylindrical pillars, method of cutting, 

DECOMPOSITION of stone, 12 
Diamond drill, 38 
Diamond points for sawing, 36 
Disc surfacing machines, 75 
Disintegration of stone, 13 
Dressing and planing machines for 
stone, 52 

— granite, 75 

— millstones, 136 
Driving belts, 152 

Duplex stone-moulding machine, 81 

EDGE moulding, 87 
Emery wheels, speed of, 145 

FACING stone of awkward section, 

First machine for dressing stone, 54 
Foundation of rubbing bed, 93 
Frame, saw, for marble, 33 
Frames, stone-sawing, 22 

construction of, 31 

guides for, 32 

skeleton, 30 

— wooden, for holding stone, 84 

GRANITE dressing, 75 
— its composition, 8 

— turning, 116 

Grinding and polishing materials, 110 

— moulding irons, 144 
Grindstone dressing machine, 137 
Guides for saw frames, 32 



HAND rubbers for polishing, 113 
Hajd stone dressing with diamond 
points, 37 
, Head stock for holding pillars, 84 
Holing slates, 131 
Horizontal saw frame, 170 
Hydraulic feed circular saw, 127 

JREEGrULAR moulding machine, 99 

LABOUR, hand, versus machinery, 

Lathe for stone-turning, 115 
Limestone, its composition, 8 
Lubricants for bearings, 19 

MACHINE conversion, stone suitable 
for, 8 

Machine, first, for dressing stone, 54 
Machinery for breaking stone, 118 

dressing slate, 126 

millstones, 136 

planing slate, 131 

working slate, 124 

— hand labour versus, 155 

— miscellaneous, for working stone, 

Management of stone-works, 149 
Marble cutting, 34 

— quarrying, 135 

— saw frame for, 33 

— white, 164 
Masonry, Notes on, 162 

Materials for grinding and polishing, 

Motive power for stone- works, 19 
Moulding irons, grinding, 144 
Moulding machines, classes of, 79 

edge, 87 

for stone, 77 

horizontal barrel, 86 

irregular, 99 

Mouldings, "checking" deep, 85 

PILLARS, cylindrical, method of cut- 
ting, 26 

— headstock for holding, 84 

Plan of stone-works for general pur- 
poses, 17 
Planing machines for stone, 52 
Polishing beds, 109 

— hand- rubbers for, 113 

— marble, 33, 111 . ;.. i 

Polishing materials, 110 

— stone of awkward section, 94 

QUARRYING machinery, 100, 131, 

RECESSINGr machinery, 98 
Kecipes, 162 
Rolling cutters for turning, 117 
Rubbing or surfacing beds, 89, 172 

— - — construction of, 93 

cost of, 92 

foundations of, 93 

Q AND and water, supplying, 32 
kj — for sawing, 34 
Sandstones, their composition, 8 
Saws, circular, construction of, 50 

for cutting stone, 40 

teeth of, 42 

Scraping tools for mouldings, 82, 83 
Sculpturing machinery, 103 
Shafting, arrangement of, 152 
Slate dressing machine, 126 

— holing machine, 131 

— pencils, manufacture of, 129 

— planing machine, 131 

— Welsh, 165 

— working machinery, 124 
Speed of circular saw, 161 

emery wheels, 145 

table for moulding, 87 

Stone, Bath, 165 

- — breaking machinery, 118 

— the bedding of, 14 

— conversion of, to best advantage, 24 

— Cragleith, 165 

— decomposition of, 12 

— difficult cutting, 49 

— disintegration of, 13 

— dressing and planing machines, 52, 171 

— Dundee, 165 

— found in Great Britain, 14 

— grooving machine, 100 

— moulding machines, 77 

— polishing of awkward section, 94 

— Portland, 165 

■ — preservation of, 168 

— recessing, 98 

— sawing frames, 22, 30, 33 

construction of, 31 

■ — guide for, 32 

jli^{^itiefy,,ijitrotluftion of, 2£ 




Stone Sawing, the term a misnomer, 22 
with diamond points, 36 

— saws, circular, 40 
— • seasoning, 11 

— suitable for machine conversion, 8 

— surfacing or rubbing beds, 89 

— testing, 11 

— turning lathe, 115, 172 

— the hardest not always worst to 
work, 9 

Stone-working, hand labour versus 
machinery, 155 

— art of, supposed origin of, 1 

— machinery, miscellaneous, 135 
Stoneworks, arrangement of, 16 

— management of, 149 

— motive power for, 19 


TECHNICAL terms, 173 
Tempering cutters, 85, 139 
Tools, Cook & Hunter's Patent, 43 

— cutting, 138 

— for moulding machine, 80, 81 

— reversible, 73 

— revolving, 53, 63 

— with diamond points, 37 
Turning lathes, 115 

— granite, 116 

VERTICAL moulding machines, 79, 

WINDOW sills, coping stones, &c. 
cutting, 49 


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ELECTRICAL ENQINEERINQ. A First- Year's Course for 

Students. By Tyson Sbwell, A.I.E.E., Assistant Lecturer and Demon- 
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Third Edition, Revised, with additional Chapters on Alternate Current 
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cloth. 442 pp., with 274 Illustrations Net Y/6 

OHM'S Law— UNITS Employed in Electrical Engineering— Series and 
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Measurement of Electrical Resistance — Measurement of potential Dif- 
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tinuous Current Dynamo— Direct Current Motors— Alternating Currents 
—Transformers, Alternators, Synchronous Motors— Polyphase working- 
Appendix OF Questions and Answers. 

"Distinctly one of the best books for those commencing the study of electrical engineering. 
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Fundam antal Principles— Electrical Currents— Solenoid Coils— Galvono- 
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for the Design of Electrical Circuits. By Arthur Vaughan Abbott, C.E., 
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Introduction— THE Properties of wire— The Construction of Aerial 
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Note.— This Volume forms an indispensable Work for Electrical Engineers, Railway and 
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ing its Application to Purposes of Railway and Cml Engineering in 
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DER Dimensions.— THE Utilisation of Steam in the engine.— Stroke of Piston. 
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Valves.— Various Kinds of Valve Gear.— Piston rods.— Pistons.— Connecting 
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Murray, C.E. Eighth Edition, thoroughly Revised, with Additions by 
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Tramway Construction, &c. By D. Kinnbar Clark, M.Inst.C.E. With 
400 Illustrations. 8vo, 780 pp., buckram. ....... 28/0 


TRUSSES OF WOOD AND IRON. Practical Applications 

of Science in Determining the Stresses, Breaking Weights, Safe Loads, 
Scantlings, and Details of Construction. With Complete Working Drawings. 

By W. Griffiths, Surveyor. Oblong 8vo, cloth 4/g 

"This handy little book enters so minutely into every detail connected with the con- 
struction of roof trusses that no student need be ignorant of these matters."— Pracrtca/ Engineer. 

TUNNELLING. A Practical Treatise, By Charles Prelini, 
C.E. With additions by Charles S. Hill, C.E. With 150 Diagrams and 
Illustrations. Royal 8vo, cloth -j g/Q 

TUNNELLING, PRACTICAL. Explaining in detail the Setting- 
out the Works, Shaft-sinking, and Heading-driving, Ranging the Lines and 
Levelling underground, Sub-Excavating, Timbering and the Construction of 
the Brickwork of Tunnels. By F. W. SiMMS, M.Inst.C.E. Fourth Edition, 
Revised and Further Extended, including the most recent (1895) Examples of 
Sub-aqueous and other Tunnels, by D. Kinnear Clark, M.Inst.C.E. With 
34 Folding Plates. Imperial Bvo, cloth £2 2s. 

TUNNEL SHAFTS. A Practical and Theoretical Essay on the 
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Resident Engineer, L. and N. W. R. With Folding Plates, 8vo, cloth 1 2/0 
"WiU be regarded by cMl engineers as of the utmost value and calculated to save much 

time and obviate many mistakes."— Co//Mr)' Guardian. 

WAGES TABLES. At 54, 52, 50, and 48 Hours per Week. 

Showing the Amounts of Wages from One quarter of an hour to Sixty-four 
hours, in each case at Rates of Wages advancing by One Shilling from 4s. 
to 55s. per week. By Thos. Garbutt, Accountant. Square crown 8vo, 



WATER ENGINEERING. A Practical Treatise on the 

Measurement, Storage, Conveyance, and UtiJization of Water for the Supply 
of Towns, for Mill Power, and for other Purposes By Charles Slagg, 
A.M.Inst.C.E. Second Edition. Crown Svc. cloth . • . . . 7/Q 

WATER, POWER OP. As Applied to Drive Flour Mills and 
to give motion to Turbines and other Hydrostatic Engines. By Joseph 
Glynn, P'.R.S., &c. New Edition. Illustrated. Crown 8vo, cloth 2/0 


liam Humber, A.M.Inst. C.E., and M.Inst.M.E., Author of "Cast and 
Wrought Iron Bridge Construction," &c., &c. Illustrated with 50 Double 
Plates, I Single Plate, Coloured Frontispiece, and upwards of 250 Woodcuts, 
and containing 400 pp. of Text. Imp. 410, elegantly and substantially 
half-bound in morocco ........ Net £6 Ss 

List of Contents:—!. Historical Sketch of some of the means that have 


THE Foreign matter usually associated with it.— HL rainfall and evapora- 
tion.— iv. Springs and the Water-bearing Formations of various Districts. 
—V. Measurement and Estimation of the Flow of Water.— VL on the Selection 
of the Source of Supply.— vil Wells.— VIII. Reservoirs.— IX. the purification 
OF Water.— X. PUMPS.— XL pumping Machinery.— xii Conduits.— XHL Distribu- 
tion of Water.— XIV. Meters, Service Pipes, and House Fittings.— XV. the Law 
and Economy of water-works.— XVI. Constant and Intermittent Supply — 
XVIL Description of Plates.— Appendices, giving Tables of rates of Supply 
Velocities, &c., &c., together with Specifications of several works illus- 
trated, among which will be found : Aberdeen, Bideford, Canterbury 
Dundee, Halifax. Lambeth, Rotherham, Dublin, and others. 

" The most systematic and valuable work upon water supply hitherto produced in English, or 
in any other language. Mr. Humber's work is characterised almost throughout by an 
exhaustiveness much more distinctive of French and German than of English technical treatises." 


TION OP WATER-WORKS. A Practical Treatise for the Use of 

Engineers and Students of Engineering. By W. K. Burton, A. M.Inst.C.E., 
Consulting Engineer to the Tokyo Water-works. Second Edition. Revised 
and Extended. With numerous Plates and Illustrations. Super-royal 8vo, 
buckram. • • 25/0 

I. Introductory. — II. Different Qualities of water. — III. Quantity op 
Water to be provided.— IV. On Ascertaining whether a Proposed Source of 
Supply is Sufficient. — V. ON Estimating the Storage Capacity required 
to be Provided.— VI. Classification of Water-works.— VII. Impounding Reser- 
voirs.— VIII. Earthwork Dams.— IX. Masonry Dams.— X. The Purification of 
Water.— XI. Settling Reservoirs.— XII. Sand Filtration.— XIII. Purification 
of Water by action of iron. Softening of Water by Action of Lime, Natural 
Filtration.— XIV. Service or Clean water Reservoirs— Water Towers— Stand 
Pipes.— XV. The connection of Settling Reservoirs, Filter Beds and Service 
Reservoirs.— XVI. pumping Machinery.— XVII. Flow of water in Conduits- 
Pipes and Open channels.— XVIII. Distribution Systems.— XIX. Special pro- 
visions FOR the Extinction of Fires —XX. pipes for water-works.— XXI. pre- 
vention OF Waste of Water.— XXII. Various Appliances used in Connection 
with Water-works. 

Appendix I. By Prof. JOHN MILNE, F.R.S.— considerations concerning the 
Probable Effects of Earthquakes on Water-works, and the Special Pre- 
cautions TO be taken in Earthquake Countries. 

Appendix II. By JOHN DE RIJKE, C.E.— On Sand Dunes and Dune Sand as 
A Source of water Supply. 

" We congratulate the author upon the practical commonsense shown In the preparation of 
this worlc. . . . The plates and diagrams have evidently been prepared with great care, and 
cannot fail to be of great assistance to the student." — BuUdet. 

WATER SUPPLY, RURAL. A Practical Handbook on the 

Supply of Water and Construction of Watei works for small Country Districts. 
By Allan Greenwell, A.M.Inst.C.E.. and W. T. Curry, A.M.Inst.C.E., 
F.G.S. With Illustrations. Second Edition, Revised. Crown 8vo, cloth 5/0 

" The volume contains valuable Information upon all matters connected with water supply. 
. . It is full of details on points which are continually before water-works engineers." — Nature. 


A.R.I.B.A., and G. R. Burnell, C.E. Revised Edition. Crown 8vo, 
cloth 2/0 

"Solid practical information, written in a concise and lucid style."— //■<)« and Coal Trades 


TICE. A Handbjok (or the use of Electrical Engineers, Students, and 
Operators. By Jambs Erskine- Murray, D.Sc. , Fellow of the Royal 
Society of Edinburgh, Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. 
Demy 8vo, 338 pages, with over 130 Diagrams and Illustrations. 

[Just Published. Net 1 0/6 

Adaptations of the Electric Current to Telegraphy— Earlier Attempts 
at Wireless Telegraphy— Apparatus used in the Production of High Fre- 
quency currents— Detection of short-Lived Currents of High Frequency by 


OF High frequency by their hffects on Magnetised Iron— Thermometric De- 
tectors OF Oscillatory Currents of h igh Frequency— Electrolytic Detectors 
—The Marconi System— the lodge-Muirhead system— the Fessenden System— 
the hozier-Brown System— Wireless Telegraphy in Alaska— The de Forest 
System— The Poulsen system— The telefunken System— directed Systems- 
Some Points in the theory of jigs and Jiggers,— On Theories of Transmission— 
World-Wave Telegraphy— Adju.stments, Electrical measurements and Fault 
Finding— On the Calculation of a Syntonic Wireless Telegraph Station- 
Tables and Notes. 


WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY; Its Origins, Development, In- 
ventions, and Apparatus. By Charles Henry Sewall, Author of " Patented 
Telephony, "The Future of Long-Distance Communication." With 85 
Diagrams and Illustrations. Demy 8vo, cloth .... N'et 10/6 

WORKSHOP PRACTICE. As applied to Marine. Land, and 
Locomotive Engines, Floating Docks, Dredging Machines, Bridges, Ship 
building, &c. By J. G. WiNTON. Fourth Edition, Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 
clotii 3/6 


Rules, Tables, and Data. For Engineers, Millwrights, and Boiler Makers ; 
Tool Makers, Machinists, and Metal Workers ; Iron and Brass Founders, &c. 
By W. S. HuTTON, Civil and Mechanical Engineer, Author of "The Practical 
Engineer's Handbook." Seventh Edition, carefully Revised, and Enlarged. 
Medium 8vo, strongly bound .... [Just published 1 5/0 
„„ Stationary and Locomotive Steam-Engines, Gas producers. Gas- Engines, 


I " volume is an exceedingly useful one, brimful with engineer's notes, memoranda, and 
rules and weU worthy of being on every mechanical engineer's bookshelf."— Mechanical IVorld. 



MESSRS. CROSBY LOCKWOOD and SOxV, having been appointed 
Official Publishers to the ENGINEERING STANDARDS 
COMMITTEE, beg to invite attention to the List given below of 
the Publications already issued by the Committee, and will be prepared to 
supply copies thereof and of all Subsequent Publications as issued. 

The Engineering Standards Committee is the outcome of a 
Committee appointed by the Institudon of Civil Engineers at the instance 
of Sir John Wolfe Barry, K.C.B., to inquire into the advisability of 
Standardising Rolled Iron and Steel Sections. 

The Committee as now constituted is supported by the Institution of 
Civil Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution 
of Naval Architects, the Iron and Steel Institute, and the Insdtution of 
Electrical Engineers ; and the value and importance of its labours— not 
only to the Engineering profession, but to the country at large— has been 
emphatically recognised by His Majesty's Government, who have made a 
liberal grant from the Public Funds by way of contribution to the financial 
resources of the Committee, and have placed at its disposal the services (on 
the several Sub-Committees) of public officials of the highest standing 
selected from various Government Departments. 

The subjects already dealt with, or under consideration by the Com- 
mittee, include not only Rolled Iron and Steel Sections, but Tests for Iron 
and Steel Material used in the Construction of Ships and their Machinery 
Bridges and General Building Construction, Railway Rolling Stock, Under- 
frames. Component Parts of Locomotives, Railway and Tramway Rails 
Electrical Plant, Insuladng Materials, Screw Threads and Limit Gauges' 
Pipe Flanges, Cement, etc. ' 

These particulars will be sufficient to show the importance to the 
Trade and Industries of the Empire of the work the Committee has 

Reports already Published : — 

I. BRITISH STANDARD SECTIONS (9 lists). — Angles. 
Equal and Unequal.— Bulb Angles, Tees and Plates.— Z and T 
Bars.— Channels.— Beams. j^et l/Q 


By Professor W. C. Unwin, F.R.S. Net 2/6 


(Included in No. 6.) -j 

WAYS, j^gi -, 0/6 


Diagrams, Definitions, Tables, and Formulae. Net 5/0 





STANDARDS COMMlTrKK— (continued.) 









MATERIALS. Net 1 0/6 


Net 2/6 








JVet 1 /O 



25. ERRORS IN WORKMANSHIP. Based on Measurements 

carried out by the National Physical Laboratory. Net 1 0/6 




(Running Fits) Net 2/6 



POSES, Net 2/6 


Net 2/6 

32. STEEL BARS (for use in automatic Machines.) Net 216 



on Card and varnished. ) Net 6d. 

London : Crosby Lockwood & Son, 



3 3 T2 5j