Since my original posting another very interesting reply has come in
which I am posting below But there is one question which I don't think
has been mentioned and to which someone might have an answer.
The stone carvers use hammers the head being in the form of a truncated
cone (i.e. a wide cylinder with gently sloping sides).

So the surface coming into contact with the chisel is curved. One might
suppose that this would be more difficult to use than a hammer with a
flat surface

"Edmund Cramp"

Thank you so much for posting the summary of replies to the Stone
question. I don't think I've enjoyed a posting as much in ages! One
does strike me however - did nobody think to go out to the tool shed,
up two or three different hammers and go and bang on some stone?

Perhaps researchers don't have access to a good selection of hammers
days but when I was a young child my father always had a plenty hammers
was very particular that I used the right tool for the job. And when it
came to large chucks of stone is was always a large heavy hammer with a
short handle. It was easier to control and striking the stone with this
hammer did not result in pieces flying everywhere - I was never given
marked) safety goggles and I never felt that I needed them. Even as a
or seven year-old I preferred the heavier hammer to the lighter pin
for chipping and shaping stone.

Anyway, keep up the good work - I look forward to seeing the results of
"humidity" posting (given that I'm now an ex-pat. living in Louisiana).

Edmund Cramp,
Motion Lab Systems, Inc.
4326 Pine Park Drive,
Baton Rouge, LA 70809 USA
+1 504 928-4248 (voice, 2 lines)
+1 504 928-0261 (fax)
My email address is
For information about Motion Lab Systems please visit our web site at
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