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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
CRANKY YANKEE What did John Henry mean? (27) RE: What did John Henry mean? 12 May 03

Rapaire: Small world, isn't it? I'm also a stone cutter, though I do this very infrequently. I do a lot of wood cutting. John (Fud) Benson taught me all I know about both crafts. All of my ventures into stone cutting have been with "Virginia Slate" except once with marble. I agree, marble cuts like warm butter. I've only done one tombstone and that was when my best friend died and his family couldn't afford a gravestone.
In any case, I'm sure you know that the drawing is the most difficult part of stone cutting. Fud said, "Knsowing where to put the letters is the real trick in being a stone cutter". (or wood cutter) I've never drilled a hole in stone for powder charges, nor used a star drill for any purpose. The only stone cutting I've done was cutting letters and numbers into the face of a piece of stone using a carbide tipped stone chisel and a zink mallet. Oh yes, I've done three or four compass roses and a seven pointed star.
Leadbelly said that John Henry did use both hands.

I've done a couple of lobsters, a loaf of bread, two shamrocks and two horses pulling a fire engine in Honduras Mahogany

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