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Sawing

Sawyer using a saw to profile stone

The Cathedral has one dedicated Stone Sawyer who uses three diamond-tipped stone cutting saws; these have a laser fitted that shines a thin red line on the stone that shows where the blade will cut.

We have one primary saw with a blade diameter of 1.6m (nearly 63 inches in old money). Its main function is to make the first and second cuts to a quarry block, giving a block of stone two sawn sides, which is called a “scant”

We also have two, smaller secondary stone cutting saws with a blade diameter of 0.9m (just over 35”). The scant will be placed on the secondary saw’s bed and will then be sawn on the remaining four sides to create a six-sided block.

Various templates will be applied to this block and drawn around using a tungsten scriber, which gives a permanent line for the sawyer to then cut out more of the stone if required i.e. joints, checks and chamfers, thus making it easier for the Masons to work.

The secondary stone cutting saw can do profiling (shaping) work to some types of stone, this is where the blade runs backwards and forwards and lowers down a tiny bit at a time in order to create the desired profile.

Once the profile, or basic outline, of the template has been achieved it can then be rubbed up, using diamond rubbing blocks. If the stone type cannot be profiled on a saw and/or needs more complex profiling, then one of our Masons will work it with his or her mallet and chisel by hand.

What people don’t often know is that between work on the Cathedral we also undertake all aspects of sawing for external clients, from a piece of stone for your garden to a house or church (or cathedral)! “No job too big or small”, as an example we can cut stone for mantelpieces, fire surrounds or bird baths, please e-mail us your enquiry buildings@salcath.co.uk.