Compare and contrast this article with the possible tools the Aymara indians could have made 14,000 years ago.How do granite carving techniques differ from softer stones?
"The one main difference between marble and granite is mineral hardness,
as you probably know. Since granite has quartz in its matrix, steel
won't scratch or cut it
. Secondly, granite granularity is different
from marble because of the combination of quartz, feldspar, and mica
which seems to create little nodules. So, some of the operations you
are used to won't work on granite.
Then you try a diamond saw blade which will be pretty similar between
the two. Both are pretty tough material. You knock off fins between
parallel cuts the same in both materials. But don't bother with
non-diamond blades in granite because the quartz will destroy the saw
blade. And don't bother with bonded diamond blades (made for soft
stone). Granite will eat them for lunch. You must use sintered diamond
Then you try the point chisel. Quickly you learn that pointing in
granite is at best a limited operation. With marble, the point actually
cuts into the marble. In granite, the point just knocks some surface
material loose and quickly wears a steel point out. So, you try a
carbide tipped chisel on the granite. Now the point lasts much longer,
but you have to work hard to make very deep chisel marks. And when you
try to create a long groove with the point, you find it won't go
straight, but glances off side to side. That's when you discover
granite has a lot of structure, like little nodules that deflect your
point off to the side one time or pop out cavities another time.
Now you realize, on no!, another expensive tool I got to have, a die
grinder with sintered diamond grinding points. Yikes! this is getting
to be an expensive operation. But, if you want fine detail in granite,
you are going to have to grind it in. Well, actually, small very sharp
chisels may work for you, if you are determined, methodical, and
patient and don't have to work interior spaces in the stone.
Matrix toughness is similar between marble and granite. Some of each is
soft and some is very hard. Mineral hardness is much, much, greater in
granite, and the quartz in granite will wear steel tools out very
quickly. Sintered diamond saws and grinding wheels are your main tools.
You won't use chisels nearly as much, but carbide tipped chisels are
worth their cost and don't forget to get a couple of good pitching