How to Use a Bolster Chisel

Written by joel barnard
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How to Use a Bolster Chisel
You can cut paving with a bolster chisel. (paving stones image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

A bolster chisel, or brick set chisel, is used for cutting brick or stone when you require a straight line. This might be, for example, when you are paving a yard or driveway. To use a bolster chisel effectively and achieve this straight line, it is essential you exercise patience and care as well as follow the correct procedure according to the material you are cutting.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Ruler
  • Protective goggles
  • Protective gloves
  • Angle grinder
  • Club hammer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the piece of stone on a patch of flat grass. Measure the stone carefully using a tape measure and chalk a straight line, along a ruler or other straight edge, where you wish to make your cut.

  2. 2

    Put on protective goggles and gloves. Hold an angle grinder firmly, in both hands, at right angles to the stone. Turn on the angle grinder and run the rotating disc lightly along the chalk line, cutting into the stone. Repeat three times, deepening the cut, before switching off the angle grinder and placing it to one side.

  3. 3

    Turn the slab over, measure it carefully and chalk another straight line, along a ruler or other straight edge, in exactly the same place as the chalk line on the reverse of the stone.

  4. 4

    Pick up the angle grinder and turn it on. Cut the stone once more along the chalk line, in the same manner you did the reverse of the stone. Turn off the angle grinder and place it to one side.

  5. 5

    Hold the bolster chisel firmly by the handle with your left hand or right hand if you are left-handed. Position the chisel, blade down, in the groove and at right angles to the stone.

  6. 6

    Hold the handle of a club hammer firmly in your right hand, or left hand if you are left-handed. Lightly strike the chisel repeatedly as you move it up and down, or side to side, along the groove. Gradually increase the strength of your blows until the stone breaks in two.

  1. 1

    Place the brick on a firm surface such as a driveway or pavement. Measure the brick carefully using a tape measure and chalk a straight line, along a ruler or other straight edge, where you wish to make your cut.

  2. 2

    Put on protective goggles and gloves. Hold the bolster chisel firmly by the handle with your left hand, or right hand if you are left-handed. Position the chisel, blade down, on the chalk line and at right angles to the brick.

  3. 3

    Hold the handle of a club hammer firmly in your right hand, or left hand if you are left-handed. Strike the top of the chisel handle firmly with the club hammer while keeping the chisel vertical.

  4. 4

    Strike the chisel handle again, more firmly, if the brick does not break with the first blow. Continue striking the chisel handle with the club hammer until the brick breaks in two along the chalk line.

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