There are some scenes with a bit of wood, but this post is about (back-breaking)
hand tool stone work (no wood-working). Some interesting stone cutting tools
are shown (the ‘wolf’ I had never heard of before).
This B&W video (in German, but with auto-generated English subtitles available)
shows the cutting of giant mill stones and grindstones at a quarry, as well as
loading and transporting the heavy stones by horse drawn carriage. The stone
diameter was limited to just over 3 meters because of the limitation of railway
passes and tunnels. It shows the cutting of the stones, all done by hand, as
well as some of the daily blacksmithing required to maintain the hand tools, and
I found it interesting.
Health and safety was obviously never a priority over getting the job done in
The video is here:
Happy New Year everyone and Cheers from Waterloo Ontario
Saw that video a while back. Excellent. The series has other traditional
crafts as done in Germany, almost all work being done by old duffers. I guess
they must have combed the woods finding recently-retired workers who were
willing to cut those logs, split those shingles, carved out those grinding
stones, make those shoes, just one more time, for posterity.
I absolutely loved it!! And it blew my mind.
Holding my breath over so many things that could have gone so horribly
wrong and somehow didn't.
I just watched it silent. Did I miss much? Did they explain those
Holy Mackerel they had a lot of weight on a cantilevered piece of wood.
Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca 96039
Hi Brother John
It will depend on your OS/browser/device/ad blockers, etc, but there should
be a small gear icon on the lower part of the screen… you have to select
the default subtitle (which in this case would be in German) and then click
it again to reveal “other languages” beneath it, and a dozens of choices
appear in alphabetical order. Scroll down to your choice.
Obviously at this crude auto translate level, some of the translation will
be way off (especially with German with all its super-specific words), but
it’s enough to get the idea of what the narrator is saying.
Hope this helps
My paternal Grandfather was a stone mason. He plied his trade in Sicily before
coming to the US pre-1900. He died just before I was born, but I have stories
from my father....
He told me that Grandpa made millstones in Sicily. This would have been in the
1870-1890's. He was a big man, strong. His brother, who outlived him had GIANT
hands. It was said he could lift a piece of granite for curbstones by himself.
His brother, my grandfather, was stronger!
Only now do I understand how he most likely made millstones..... and understand
to some degree the hard life it was.
Thank you for sharing.....
Yeah so they wore no protective clothing or helmuts and were in a position
to hammer each other inadvertently, but I learned by watching them to let
the weight of the tools do the work. Raise the pick and drop the pick, but
no need to put one's back into it. gravity does the hardest work. at
least that's what i saw.
Claudio sent us a link about cutting millstones from a quarry before machines. A
provincial park near Nanaimo, BC, Canada includes the remnants of a quarry used
for extracting millstones and even sandstone columns. Steam-powered machines
were used, but I still found it interesting to explore the quarry in person.
Using your favorite search engine, do a search for "images Newcastle Island
quarry" if you are interested.
The millstones from this quarry were mostly used in pulp mills and transported
More photos can be found here:
north of Seattle USA
The jack they used was like my trusted High Lift or Sheepherders jack . I
really liked their Binder to tie that big stone to the trailer . It looked
to me that when the guy hitting the wedges at the beginning for breaking
vertically he was using a 20 lb sledge (let the hammer do the work) . A 20
pound sledge is a good way to get into shape , or break your self !
Awesome video . Stone cutting hasnt really changed since Christ was a
Corporal till recently . With a Star drill, Feathers and wedges you can
have a lot of fun .
On Fri, Jan 7, 2022 at 4:03 AM Claudio DeLorenzi