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onemanband

splitting granite

I got myself some reclaimed granite kerbs.
12 inch x 6 inch cross section . Plus a few at 12 x 8.
I will need to alter a few and I am having a brainstorm as to best way to do it.
I only need 1 'clean' edge and that doesn't have to be perfect.
Options .....

a) hire appropriate kit. Not an option out of principle, plus I will be cutting over several weeks.
b) anything involving an angle grinder. I know a dry diamond blade won't be up to it. Wet grinder see a .Plus it is not the finish I require.
c) drill holes from underside and repeated blows with hammer and bolster to top.
d) c + block paving splitter. 100 2nd hand . Not sure if up to the job, but if I don't break it would be a handy thing to own.
e) proper hydraulic splitter. A few hundred pound 2nd hand. Guess that might be up to the job.
f) home-made splitter...... RSJ welded into u shape, cutting blade fixed to RSJ sliding in web of u shape frame, pelt with sledge hammer. I have RSJ but maybe not hardened steel for blade. Would it work with mild steel ?
g) wedge and feathers. Not sure if they will split clean when making an angle near the end of a stone. New approx 50 for 2 sets.
h) home-made wedge and feathers. Would be very crude and mild steel.
i) like c but use concrete breaker
j) just use concrete breaker

Any thoughts ?
or osteopath recommendations Laughing
Ty Gwyn

Never handled Granite personally,but Wedge and Feathers were normally used in the quarries to cut the blocks to a manageable size by boring a series of holes and driving in the wedges between the feathers.
I`m presuming the kerbs are squared ends and your needing to bevel/splay the ends to lay in a curve?

Combination of wet saw and cold chisel to achieve the required finish.
onemanband

Never handled Granite personally.


Bugger. I thought if anybody on here has experience it would be you.

Some to cut to length, some to trim for drop kerb and some to trim for 'curve'.

Web search shows 2 main ways - splitting with hydraulic press or using feather and wedges.
dpack

for drilling
start with a small bore and go up sizes in stages

diamond drill
lever frame bolted to stone

or star drill ,hammer man and a shaker

a big sds might work but it might not

for split or cut
wedges and feathers are traditional for splitting

a biggish diamond disc wet cutter

maybe mark them up and take them to the local gravestone cutter/stone mason

i suspect hydraulic splitters are for concrete/softstones and good granite will kill them

hammer chisel(or sds chisel)will work but it will take ages and a lot of resharpening
onemanband


maybe mark them up and take them to the local gravestone cutter/stone mason

i suspect hydraulic splitters are for concrete/softstones and good granite will kill them


stone mason I hadn't thought of. There is one down the road. Downside of that is lifting 100-150kg stones onto the back of my truck. I can manoeuvre them on the ground and bed them, but getting onto truck won't be easy(but not impossible) I paid a man with HIAB to drop them at mine.

The hydraulic cutters I saw on youtube where massive things shearing granite blocks with ease. Yep block paving cutters won't be up to it.There's slightly bigger cutters with a bottle jack arrangement - they might be more suitable ? though I suspect not totally suitable.

The cut face achieved with a hydraulic cutter or with feathers and wedge is what I'm looking for.
dpack

if you have a local stone mason i recon a chat would be useful (and probably get them to cut them they might even pop round to do them on site) that might be easy,cheapish and not even require moving them around (or they might have a truck with a crane on it).

for installing them getting hold of a set of stone tongs will be a good idea ,it makes picking them up a lot safer and practical,im not big but with tongs i could place a curb stone accurately without mincing a finger when i did the odd bit of road making etc .

on uneven ground a few short lengths of scaff pole(or similar)for the rollers and a couple of scaff planks to use as a path makes pulling/pushing them around easy(ish) it can be done with only one person rather than 2 or 3 to carry them

a big rubber mallet or wooden marl is the tool for bumping them into the mortar bed which should be a fairly dry mix
onemanband

The bloke I bought them from kept telling me I would need a digger to lay them.
Pah !
plywood, scaffold tube rollers, a bogey, big pry bar, bend at knees etc

I did think about making/buying tongs, but I've started now.....
set kerbs in position on bricks, lifting one end at a time slide 2inch timber onto bricks, shovel in 'dry' concrete mix, remove timber and bricks one end at a time, more concrete, knock down with rubber maul.

I thought some more on making a hydraulic cutter out of RSJ and bottle jacks, but came to the conclusion that if it doesn't work all you can do is add more jacks. So then I thought about building a drop hammer because with repeated blows it will eventually break.

Then I had a more sensible idea, and that is to buy the widest chisel for my concrete breaker. In conjunction with drilling holes and wedges I reckon that might work.

I shall try drilling some holes tomorrow.........
dpack

lever ,roller etc does make it fairly simple

if you can get hold of tongs they are rather useful
Nicky Colour it green

we made our living room hearth out of reclaimed Dartmoor granite - we used an angle grinder to cut where we needed to. onemanband

Well that was easier than I thought it would be.

My sds drill is getting a bit tired and even with a used bit, it drilled okish. It's still going to be laborious but not an epic task.

I also tried my 9inch grinder. Yeh it cut, but at the rate the sparks where coming off and from my experience cutting reconstituted granite/marble paving, I reckon a 25 dry diamond blade will goosed after one stone.
No doubt a wet grinder will be better, but I don't want to pay multiple hires and I still want a sheared edge rather than a 'polished' grinder cut.

So my plan now is .........
Drill holes
Drive in wedges made from ground down high tensile rebar (or if that fails buy feathers and wedges)
Plus 4inch wide chisel bit in concrete breaker to stress cut line and for trimming and shaping.
onemanband

I've done a few cuts now and have it sussed.
I've not had much success with flint knapping or fettling yorkstone before, hence my procrastinating over splitting the granite. However I should have just had faith in the traditional methods.

If I bought a new 18mm drill bit I could split one in under 15mins......
With sledge hammer and bolster go round cut line till there is a visible indentation.
Drill holes
Insert old hinge pin(wedge shaped jobby that is hammered into gate post)
Hit wedge with sledge hammer and bolster along cut line until it splits.

It splits cleanly along line. Perfect. Smile
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