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.
Originally Posted by EmotionalFescue
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.