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How to Split Fieldstone

Gail Delaney

Fieldstone is often used for fireplaces, stone hearths and building walls. Splitting fieldstone is a process of making a score line or using the natural crack line within the rock and hitting it until the score line breaks the rock in half. Fieldstone is found along streams and creeks.

The hardest part of this task is lifting the rocks and hauling them home.

  1. Inspect the rock to find the crack line. In some rocks, this line is hard to find. To make it more visible, wet the rock and view it in the sunshine.

  2. Lay the rock down onto a flat, hard surface. Put on safety glasses and heavy work gloves.

  3. Decide on which end of the rock to start. Place the chisel at the end and lightly tap the chisel with a hammer along the crack line. If you can’t find the crack line, score the rock where you want to break it.

  4. Place the blade of your hatchet on the score line. Start at one end of the rock as you did in step 3.

  5. Lightly tap the hatchet with your hammer and work your way across the surface of the rock. Continue hitting the hatchet going back and forth across the rock until the rock splits in half.

  6. Tip

    Wear long pants to protect your legs and heavy work boots to protect your feet.