Step 6: Cut Stones to Fit

cutting stones to fit a patio surface «»
Mark the cut with a pencil on the top face, then scribe the cut-line using a carbide-tipped awl. For straight cuts, use a level as a straightedge to guide the scribe.

Elevate the edge that will be cut off by placing a piece of wood under the cut-line.

Put on safety goggles, ear protection, and a dust mask.

To score a slab, set the saw blade to a ½-inch cutting depth, start the saw, and slowly guide it along the cut-line. Then set the blade to 1 inch and make another, final pass.

With solid premium-grade bluestone—which is less likely to flake or chip—a scoring cut halfway or three quarters of the way through is sufficient. Just knock off the waste side with a hand sledge. A cheaper, lower-grade stone that's prone to fracturing has to be cut all the way through.
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    Tools List

    • metal garden rake
      Steel rake,
      for spreading stone dust
    • push broom
      Push broom,
      for sweeping stone dust
    • pointed shovel
      Spade shovel,
      for digging and spreading
    • square shovel
      Square shovel,
      for measuring and mixing
    • wheelbarrow
      Wheelbarrow,
      for mixing wet material
    • torpedo level
      Builder's level,
      for determining pitch
    • leveling rod
      Leveling rod,
      for measuring pitch with builder's level
    • angle grinder
      Angle grinder,
      for cutting curves in stone
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • circle cutter
      Circle cutter,
      for scribing stone
    • four-foot level
      2- and 4-foot levels,
      for leveling stones
    • pointing trowel
      Pointing trowel,
      for adding cement mix and packing in joints
    • hand rake
      Hand rake,
      for leveling wet material
    • tamper
      Hand tamper,
      for tamping base along walls and siding
    • plate compactor
      Plate compactor,
      rent, if needed, to compact base
    • circular saw
      Circular saw with diamond blade,
      for cutting stone
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet,
      for tapping stone into cement mix
    • sledge hammer
      Hand sledge,
      for driving stakes and snapping stone
    • Skid-steer loader,
      rent, if needed, to clear and dig base

    Shopping List

    1. LEATHER GLOVES

    2. MASON'S TWINE

    for establishing reference points between stakes



    3. GOGGLES

    4. DUST MASK

    5. CARBIDE-TIPPED AWL

    for marking stone



    6. EAR PROTECTION