If you have a small project, then using a chipping chisel (see Flagstone Supplies & Tools ) is fine.
Cutting with a Masonry Saw is very loud and dusty. It's best to run it during a time when you will not disturb your neighbors. You might also want to consider wearing ear plugs or headphones to protect your ears. We wear them every time we make a saw cut.
It is also wise to wear a mask, because the saw will generate tons of dust. The dust will settle all over, so you want to cut where you can wash it down easily.
Below is the Masonry Saw that we use!
On the video below, we will teach you how you can get
better edges from our FREE DVD!
You do need to watch out for the exhaust coming out of the 2 Stroke Engine. It will burn the grass. That has happened to us where the grass around the cutting area was totally dead. Just lay the saw on the concrete or get a board to put under the saw.
When you make a flagstone cut, don't force the saw down with your own strength. Just let the weight of the saw do the cutting. If you push too hard, it is very easy to curve the cut. Curving the cut will make the flagstone cut look unnatural and it will ruin your blade quicker.
If you rent the saw, the rental agency will usually measure the diamond blade with a micrometer and charge you according to the wear and tear on the saw, so don't force the cut too strongly.
The photo above shows a straight line ready for flagstone cutting. It is best to cut along the whole line quickly for two reasons. First, the dust from the saw will not have a chance to block out the line and secondly, the cutting is smoother on the blade when you go gently back and forth.
If you cut the stone with a Straight Chisel, you need to strike along the line a couple of times and then flip the stone over and strike it on the other side. You'll have to repeat that several times until the stone finally busts. Don't pound too hard, or you'll crack the stone. It's fairly easy to do, so go slow!
If you have a circular saw, you can get a masonry blade from your local hardware store to cut with. It won't be able to make flagstone cuts as fast as a Masonry Saw, but it will cost you less money. It's hard to cut all the way through a stone using a circular saw, but you don't need to cut all the way through. By cutting 3/4 of the way into the stone, you can gently tap the stone where the cut is and the stone will snap.
If you are using irregular stone (Stone not pre-cut by a stone yard.), you need to expect a lot of cuts. You'll definately want to rent or get a hold of a masonry saw if you will be cutting a lot of irregular stone.
To cut irregular stone requires you first to lay the pattern roughly out how you want the stone to be installed. The stone will of course lay over each other, but just get a general idea.
You then have to decide how big of a cement joint you want between the stone. That will be your guide to where you need to start cutting on the stone.
For most irregular stone, you should only need to cut each stone once, sometimes twice. Cut one side of the stone to match up with its adjacent stone.
That is why we lay the rough pattern out first, so we see which stones match up best with certain stones. It also cuts down on a lot of flagstone cutting.
We also have a rough layout, so we can make the pad look better. You want big stones mixed up with little stones. Don't clump the same types of stone together! It doesn't look good.
A little planning with irregular stone is a must. Go slow and it will look great!
Keep in mind too that flagstone cutting is not like cutting
tile. If it isn't perfectly straight or matching perfectly up against
another stone, it will still look good. The cement in the joints hides
a lot of imperfections and irregularity is part of the charm of stone
I will have many more tips and tricks that you can use for your home and garden, so make sure to sign up for our free newsletter below!