I guess the first thing to talk about would be tools. When I first started out on my own, pretty much all the tools that I used fit in a bucket and a small tool bag. A few hammers, carbide chisels and a trowel along with standard tools like shovels, rakes and pry-bars were pretty much all I needed. I would get grief from a remodeler friend every time he saw my stuff. ” Man, I wish all the tools I need for work were in a bucket” he would say with a sneer on his face. Then he would open the door to his big box store on wheels (he calls it a work van) and promptly got buried by tools, hardware and scrap from the job. Hehehe. Alas, many years later, I have amassed quite a tool hoard and in my mind, I need every single thing. As with any trade, the more you know, the more you need (or want) and the more you can’t do with out. What tools would I say are essential to stonework? Definitely a hammer, 3lb for everyday or 4lb for heavy work. Good chisels… Carbide chisels..expensive chisels. The kind that make you freakout if you break one on your first stone. The kind that your boss makes you pay for when you break his. (yeah, that happened) Trowe & Holden makes outstanding tools and they have many different kinds of chisels, and even instructional videos on their website or on youtube. Another essential item is a good sturdy trowel with nice leather washers for the handle. I like W ROSE the best, the leather provides a positive grip that gets even better when wet and has a tough weld on the blade. I have one that is 9 years old and troweled countless amounts of mortar and it is still in great shape. I don’t really have a specific brand that I buy as far as shovels, rakes etc. Just remember to get them with sturdy handles because sometimes the digging gets rough..maybe rocky soil or a big tree root that just needs a little persuasion then, SNAP!! So, this is really just the beginning of your own tool hoard. Do you need as this stuff if you are not pursuing a career in stonework? Probably not, but remember you can fit most of what you need in a bucket!
My name is Matt Sevigny, and this is where I blog about wood-fired oven related topics (DIY, building, firing, pizza, recipes, etc.), keep a gallery of my projects, and curate information related to building techniques, FAQS, pizza and other topics in our new discussion forum.