Stone Sculpture The Pneumatic Hammer

Stone Sculpture  the Pneumatic Air Hammer

Pneumatic  Hammer for stone sculpture.
What is a pneumatic hammer is a fantastic tool that will make your stone Sculpture or Stone Carving job easier? In this way, you will be able to create more stone sculptures in less time this a great advantage that just used a hammer and chisels...

The pneumatic hammer was invented no to long ago
It  Was invented by William Holden, of Barre Vermont, in 1888.


The Trow and Holden partnership was created after Willam Holden invented a small air hammer in 1888 he introduced to the Barre stone cuter business that becomes in demand when in the East Coast experienced an increase in building construction using stone, a lot of which came from Barre that has been knowing for all the granite quarries.
With this new tool, the production of stone carving or stone mason will increase to fulfill the demand after the war world ll...

Stafford and Holden did a pretty good business in agricultural tools until, with the advent of Cyrus McCormick’s mechanical reaper, farms became mechanized. “That ended the pitchfork business pretty fast so it was needed for a new lead that starts when William Holden invented this great tool the Pneumatic Air hammer.

The hammer was a grand hit at 1893 in Columbian Exposition in Chicago. One of its first large-scale monument applications was for Daniel French’s Lincoln Memorial.
And with this small tool, the stone carving and stone mason industry when to another level that you see today the Trow And Holden company to this day provide excellent Air hammer and Chisel...

This great stone carving tool contains a  chamber usually one inch or one inch and a quarter, and there you will find a piston that will move up and down by the air pressure about 3498 to 3596 times for minutes every manufacturer has they own calibration  With this property will create the right vibration that is carried to the Stone Carving Chisels and with that the ability to break or cut the smooth or rough surface of the stone into a beautiful  Stone Carving...

The action of the piston back and forth  call Blows Per Minute BPM.
This term is used to describe the number of times (cycles) The piston goes back and forth (reciprocates) within the air hammer. The lower the BPMs  the harder it hits the chisel. In other words, a lower BPM results in more impact or cutting power in the tool...

The Pneumatic air hammer work with air pressure, it needs about 70psi to 90psi to work properly,  so you need to consider the sizes of your compressor, it is too small like one and half horsepower or even two horsepower will not produce in off air, you will need as minimum about three horsepower and up.  A five horsepower single face work very well that is the type of Air Compressor I used in my shop...

They are a grand variety in the market just get the one will fit your needs but don't  purchase below the  three horsepower it will run out because  your air hammer  will request  alot of air and a small compressor  will over work and finally  will stop working for good so is not worthy  the investment for stone Carving...

List of what you need to Start Stone carving

  • Pattern or designs 
  • Stone for carving
  • Carbon paper
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    Masking tape
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    Stone Carving Chisels
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    Pneumatic  Hammer
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    sand paper
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    work table 
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    air compressor 
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    A lot of desire  to learn stone sculpture 

The Best Way To Start A stone Carving Is to START...

When you have in front a great piece of marble waiting to be transformed into amazing Sculpture just grab your hammer and Chisel and bring the stone into LIFE...

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Best Types of pneumatic Air Hammer for stone Carving

Whach this video and see all what you need
 to know about Pneumatic  hammers...

So why you should  used a Pneumatic  Air Hammer 

Because you will be able to produce more sculptures in less time and time is money, the air hammer will help you carve about three times faster than the hammer and Chisel.
For example, if this type of air hammer was available at  Michael Angelo times he probably was able to create more than double Art Sculptures in his lifetime without no question. 

He was a great master of Carrara Marble he was able to create amazing Art pieces that are standing true history.  
His work is magnificent.

 If you are interested in becoming a Stone Sculpture you should study all the great artist like Michael Angelo, Bernini, Canova., and many more. They said that Michaelangelo work every day for hours. Being Sculptor is a hard job I know by experience  when you grab a hammer and Chisel and sculpt for twelve  or fourteen  hours a day or  five or six days a week  your body will feel the agony  but you will be satisfied with the results, is magical see an image comes to life out a white  Carrara Marble like what Michelangelo did..

So is a great idea to use pneumatic  Air Hammer you will see better  results and you probably  will work less  to crested the same sculpture  by the hammer and chisel but you have to keep in mind that you are going to need Air Chisels and a Compressor so you invest  is mayor that just the hammer and chisels...

Stone carving Pitti tondo

The hands of Michaelangelo creating the Pitti Tondo

How to used a pneumatic
 Air hammer 

What is the best way to use the pneumatic hammer?
Is very simple you will connect to your air supplies and with one hand hold the Chisel and the air hammer with the another, and with the 70psi you will able to carve very icily (I will post videos of how in the future)
They are a few companies that manufacture stone carving pneumatic hammer like the Italian company Caturri they produce one of the best air hammered in the market they specialty are a pneumatic hammer for Marble but in the same time, you could use them in Limestone or any other Stones.

The Caturri Pneumatic  hammer manufacture  Ten (10) different  models the model are from the small  to the large  D, P, E, A, V, U, T, S, R, Z  The z is the largest model and have a powerful  ability  special when you are taking a lot of stone out and it will work very fast and aggressive, the model D is the small one and most carvers used for small details, but at the same time you could have the same results using  a hammer and Chisel...

 Life size sculpture  in Indiana  Limestone for St peter the Fishermen Wisconsin 

Other great companies that produce great air hammer are the Trow and Holden.
This manufacturer is in the USA. They have eight different models, they make four in short strokes and four in large strokes. The short stroke is the Type B pneumatic hammer that is designed to run very smoothly at all power levels. This type is less aggressive and is more for details carving in stone or your stone masonry jobs...
The Type D pneumatic tools provide with the maximum power per size ratio available.  This stone carving tools are the most aggressive and for that reason is most used or shaping the hardest types of stone or to remove heavy materials and fast.  The one inch and two inches are suitable for larger roughing jobs, the 1/2inch and the 3/4inch are perfect for details carvings in your sculpture...

What air pneumatic chisels
are the best for stone carving 

Air Hammer  Are Great Tools To Created Stone Sculptures

As well with the air hammer, you are going to need some stone pneumatic chisels.
They are many types of Air Chisels to the choose from like manufacturer in France, England they are called Arl tools those are the one I used the most. You could find Italians like Benzo Milani, as well made in the USA by Trow and Holden. Any of this manufacturer are great the tools will provide good results you will be used for a life time...

The air hammer is very noisy, they will produce a lot of vibration, and also a lot of clouds of dust, but the stone just crumbles from the edge of the air chisels creating great results in short periods of time...

In conclusion, the use of an air hammer is a great benefit for any stone carver they will provide you great satisfaction of a lot of work done in one day,  so you could produce probably 3 times more sculptures at the same time that will take you by hammer and chisel.
You will feel great because the stone in front of you will crumble into your masterpiece.

The Pneumatic Hammer in some wait is dangerous if you don't take care of yourself from Dust you need a mask to prevent consuming too much dust.  Is a good idea to know how dangerous is the type of stone you are going to use for example:
The Sandstone has silica in another word the main ingredient is silica,  when you are exposed for a long period to a lot of dust it could affect your lungs with a disease call Silicosis,  the Lungs are not able to break the dust particles and will affect your respiratory system. So if you are working with Sandstone is a good idea to wear a mask at all times...

 Limestone is a great stone to use the ingredients are Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral Calcite and it does not affect you too badly but if you are producing a lot of dust all ways wear a mask as well...

Marble is great to work as well it has almost the same properties of limestone. So is best to take care of yourself just used common sense, especially when you are cutting the stone with a dry saw without water or using this type of tool are the ones that produce the most dust. Air hammers will not produce in that quantity...

​Stone Sculpture created by Bernini.

Other equipment to used with Air pneumatic hammers

You will need ​Anti Vibration Gloves.
They are gloves that have been created specially to absorbed the shock or vibration of your pneumatic hammer, usually, are made of two layers of leather and in between, they have a thick layer of silicone rubber that will absorb the vibration of your tools and will protect your hands from harm.

 This equipment will prevent you front having a white finger syndrome that consists in bad circulation in your finger after using your pneumatic hammer for long periods of time without any vibration gloves, this equipment is impresindible you should not work without them! I did for almost two years I was not having the knowledge of how necessary they were I used all the times and my hands are great...
You are going to need ear protection because the pneumatic hammer produces a lot of high pitch noise that could injure you hiring. Used a good equipment.

The Pneumatic Air Hammer is going to break stone pieces very fast and those pieces of stone will fly in the air in all different directions so your eyes are the window of your souls and they are very important.  Get some eye protection they will prevent any injury to your eyes...
Just be safe and Created Amazing Sculptures or Architecture Carvings or Mason Work...


Colombian Artist I am a working artist since 1987 in the mediums of Stone Sculpture, Wood Sculptures and Oils painting...