Breaking seriyu stone - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Breaking seriyu stone

I want to be able to use seriyu for a nano scape and I am having some bigger pieces. Have anybody tried breaking seriyu to required shape and size? Any tips?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 03:04 PM
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I tried to do this once with both a chisel and a rock hammer, but the stone was too hard to make much progress. I think it might take a sledge hammer to break it effectively.

If you go that route, you might want to wrap it in an old blanket/sheet/something and place it on a hard surface you don't care about (you don't want to put divots in your sidewalk or driveway, for example). Then whack away and let us know how it goes!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sudhirr View Post
I want to be able to use seriyu for a nano scape and I am having some bigger pieces. Have anybody tried breaking seriyu to required shape and size? Any tips?


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I successfully broke many pieces. For the first method I simply whacked a rock hard (sometimes had to hit VERY hard) with a heavy sledge hammer on my asphalt driveaway (hammer on something that either won't crack or you don't care if it does). The problem with this method is that you have almost no control over what pieces you get, and pieces of stone can shoot out in all directions so make sure you have eye protection and you are not around something that could be damaged by shrapnel, like your car.

Then when I was on my first trip to the CO2 shop, which sells lots of welding equipment (Roberts Oxygen where I am), I saw this kind of hammer that apparently welders use called a "chipping hammer"

They had one for $20. It has a pretty sharp blade and it gave me much more control over breaking the rocks. It's not perfect but way better than sledge.

I notice on Amazon there are "rock collector" kits that include hammer and chisel for people who gather them out in the field but personally I think a cheap welding "chipping hammer" is the best and most economic bet, it's like a hammer and chisel combined.

Other tips are that as thickness of the rock goes up, ease of breaking it becomes exponentially more difficult. Look for thinner rocks/thinner sections to break.

BUMP: watch your fingers! If using a chipping hammer, one thing I might try differently is to use some heavy duty tongs (like for a fireplace) to hold the rock while hammering.

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Originally Posted by EmotionalFescue View Post
I tried to do this once with both a chisel and a rock hammer, but the stone was too hard to make much progress. I think it might take a sledge hammer to break it effectively.

If you go that route, you might want to wrap it in an old blanket/sheet/something and place it on a hard surface you don't care about (you don't want to put divots in your sidewalk or driveway, for example). Then whack away and let us know how it goes!
I tried wrapping a stone in a moving blanket (tough and didn't care if it got messed a little). It did not work, the hammer and stone simply damaged and tore the blanket and did not help with breaking the stone. Hammering rock on asphalt is usually better than hammering on pavers or concrete, both of which can crack more easily than asphalt. A cinder block might work if it doesn't crumble.

Last edited by ahem; 10-27-2020 at 05:56 PM. Reason: added missing word
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 07:13 PM
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I tried wrapping a stone in a moving blanket (tough and didn't care if it got messed a little). It did not work, the hammer and stone simply damaged and tore the blanket and did not help with breaking the stone. Hammering rock on asphalt is usually better than hammering on pavers or concrete, both of which can crack more easily than asphalt. A cinder block might work if it doesn't crumble.

oh, you'll definitely destroy the blanket - i just thought it might suppress some of the shrapnel!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2020, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Sure wil try your suggestions, but it does sound scary. But then what in this hobby is not?


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:01 AM
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Following... Let us know how it went. I'm on the same boat and need to do some breaking...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 02:02 PM
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With the chipping hammer I was able to precisely get the little pieces I wanted, of all sizes. It was very rewarding since it is such pretty stone.

Look at the larger rock before you break and think of what smaller rocks would look good based on the striping and try to break it accordingly. Generally rock that is < 2" thick will break easily enough. Thicker and you may have some trouble and/or get more random pieces due to less control over where it will fracture. Thicker rock might require a sledge hammer to break into smaller pieces, then you can attack the smaller pieces with the chipping hammer.

Select thinner flatter rocks to break if you can and especially look for any that appear more "conglomerate" (like some smaller rocks all stuck together). I had some like that and they broke up real easy.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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With the chipping hammer I was able to precisely get the little pieces I wanted, of all sizes. It was very rewarding since it is such pretty stone.

Look at the larger rock before you break and think of what smaller rocks would look good based on the striping and try to break it accordingly. Generally rock that is < 2" thick will break easily enough. Thicker and you may have some trouble and/or get more random pieces due to less control over where it will fracture. Thicker rock might require a sledge hammer to break into smaller pieces, then you can attack the smaller pieces with the chipping hammer.

Select thinner flatter rocks to break if you can and especially look for any that appear more "conglomerate" (like some smaller rocks all stuck together). I had some like that and they broke up real easy.

Thanks for the post. Gives me a lot of hope. Let me go ahead and procure a chipping hammer.

Let me post pics of the prices that I have sourced with dimensions.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 02:40 PM
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One thing I noticed when I broke some Seiryu was that the side that broke was not as attractive as the overall stone. It had no veins it was just solid darker grey. It's not a problem, I was able to hid that side, but just something I noticed.

As mentioned, wear eye protection regardless of how you decide to break them.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 03:13 PM
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There is a good deal of confusion when it comes to breaking rocks as it is not a brute force thing if done correctly. Think of how a jack hammer works to see the difference. Rock is very strong but also brittle so lots of small tap, tap, tap, is the way to go if you want control.
Look for form lines when deciding where to tap as those are natural weak points and then use something like a chipping hammer or chisel to put the force on that line, gradually working your way along to widen to line and it does take time to do it to get the shape you expect.
If you have a lot to do and or do want it quick, rent a chipper that is designed for splitting rocks and concrete.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 08:11 AM
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I use a floor tile chisel and hammer the chisel. that's what works for me.

Thanks, Joey. tanks-CUBE of different sizes.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2020, 06:35 PM
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If its a moderate sized stone i broke my pieces by dropping them off a ladder onto a paver on the driveway.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Was able to successfully (and cautiously) break the stone to nano sized pieces.

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