I have a stacked stone fireplace in my dining room with a gas insert. It has two flat stone pieces that extend out further than the rest of the stones that you would use to sit something on. The two pieces are offset from each other and at different levels. I would like to get rid of these two stones by basically cutting off the part that protrudes out so that the whole fireplace face is flush. I this possible? If so, what is the best way to do it?

  • sure, but it'll be messy. You'll be best suited using an angle grinder I suspect. You can keep the stone wet to cut down on dust in the air.
    – DrewJordan
    May 22, 2015 at 19:14
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    You could cut it just enough to score it, then use a chisel to break it off.
    – mbeckish
    May 22, 2015 at 19:27
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    Do not use an angle grinder. May 22, 2015 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


Modifying a dry stone wall is a tricky operation. Normally you need two kinds of chisels, a pointing tool and a pitching tool. You can buy them from a masonry supplier like Micon. I would get PKM-19 and SM40-R. Get a mallet too (1031-A).

Grave a deep furrow where you want to break off the stone, set the pitching tool in the furrow, then give it whack. If everything goes well, the stone will split clean off. There is a certain amount of feel that is required. Making sure the furrow is nice and deep will help ensure success.

Why you don't want to use an angle grinder. (In response to comment) The immediate problem with a grinder is that it will make a very unnaturally smooth face that will look nothing like the faces of the other stones, so the ones you cut off will stick out like a sore thumb and look even worse than they do now. The other reason is that cutting rock with an angle grinder, especially indoors, is a bad idea at multiple levels. First of all, if the rock is somewhat hard, like slate, it will take forever. You could have a diamond blade and be standing there cutting for 15 minutes and make it through 1" of stone maybe. Meanwhile you will be surrounded by plumes of dust and toxic fumes as shards of slate go flying in all directions at literally bullet-like speeds.

  • Out of curiosity, could you expand on the "don't use an angle grinder" advice? Is it dust? Too clean a line? Something else? May 23, 2015 at 14:19
  • Appreciate the clarification. May 24, 2015 at 0:21

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