How to Cut Corners on a Ledge Stone

Rob Kemmett

When you construct the corners of a stone ledge, you must cut the stone so it fits the design of the wall. Stones are natural formations and, if left uncut, no two stones will be uniform in shape or size. Cut the stones for the corner of the ledge or wall you're building to give the completed structure a clean and finished look. The two methods of cutting stones are hammer and chisel, and power saw. Using a hammer and chisel gives the stone a more rustic, classic finish; using a power saw gives the stone a cleaner, modern finish. Use solid stones void of running cracks that may cause the stone to break apart into pieces while cutting.

Hammer and Chisel

  1. Measure the dimensions of the corner with a measuring tape. Measure the corner stone with a measuring tape and mark the same dimensions as the corner onto the top surface of the stone with chalk. The chalk serves lets you know where you need to cut.

  2. Lay the stone on a soft surface, such as dirt or sand. The soft surface is needed to absorb the shock created by cutting the stone. Don't cut stone on top of other stone. The stone underneath may break. Always wear eye protection when cutting stone with a hammer and chisel.

  3. Position the chisel on the stone so the blade touches the chalk mark. Tap the handle of the chisel lightly with a stone hammer to score the stone. Scoring is the act of marking the stone where it will be cut. Don't tap the chisel so hard that it cuts through the stone. Score every inch of the chalk mark. The score should be about 1/8 inch deep.

  4. Rotate the stone so it rests on one of its sides. Use the chalk mark on the top surface of the stone as a guide and score the side of the stone. Repeat with the other side of the stone.

  5. Rotate the stone so the bottom side faces up. You should see the score marks on the sides of the stone. Score the bottom of the stone by lightly tapping the chisel between the two score marks on the sides. Once each side of the stone has been scored, start cutting.

  6. Position the chisel so the blade rests in the scored mark on the stone. Tap the handle of the chisel with a stone hammer, but tap harder than you did when you scored the stone. Tap hard enough to cut through the stone. Cut along the entire length of scored marks until the stone breaks apart into the shape you want.

  7. Cut away the uneven edges of the stone by chiseling them with a narrow-edged chisel or the narrow end of a brick hammer. The more narrow the blade, the more detailed the cut. Cut the uneven edges so the stone fits into the corner of the ledge.

Power Saw

  1. Measure the corner and mark the stone with chalk, just as if you were going to use a hammer and chisel.

  2. Lay the stone on a soft surface such as dirt or sand.

  3. Sit the power saw on a flat surface. Start the power saw by following the manufacturer's instructions. Read the safety precautions and always follow safety procedures to avoid hurting yourself or others. Always wear eye protection, ear protection and a ventilation mask when cutting stone with a power saw.

  4. Stand next to the stone and position the power saw above the stone.

  5. Lower the blade so it touches the chalk mark. Press the blade into the stone and cut along the line of the chalk mark. Cut through the entire stone.

  6. Cut each side of the stone with the power saw so it fits the shape you want.