Please note

Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Slater's Tools

The page from the book "Building Construction" by Henry Adams illustrates and describes 2 traditional tools for working slates, the slater's zax (axe) and slater's hammer. Google Books

Early 20th century slater's tools
"Building Construction" 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tools For laying Cobblestones

Stone paving for roads, sidewalks, and courtyards has been used since about 4000 BC. The stones used can be round river rocks or irregular split stone, called cobbles or cobblestones. Stones trimmed into rectangular shapes are called setts or Belgian blocks. Most old cobblestones that are not river rocks are quarry waste, chunks too small to be used for other purposes. Granite is the preferred rock for paving, if it is available.
Laying cobblestones, Hammond, Indiana
The stones are set in a base of crushed stone (small mixed aggregate), crusher run (mixed aggregate of all sizes), stone dust (the smallest crushed aggregate), sand, or earth. The advantage of the mixed particle sizes is that it is easily shoveled and raked when delivered, and compacts under pressure and water into a cohesive mass. For paving, the cobblestones are usually not cut by the installer since the sizes vary, but they may be trimmed.

Traditional tools for laying cobblestones, setts, and other paving blocks include the following:
Paving hammer, USA
Flat bladed shovel
Rake or other spreading tool
Paving hammer for trimming
Stone chisel
Wooden or rubber mallet
Stiff broom
Mason’s line

Brades Co. City Road paving hammer, UK

Boston pattern paving hammers, USA