Wedges and shims, or "plugs and feathers", as they are sometimes called, are used to free stone from it's surface, or to reduce it in size. Wedges and shims are available in three part sets (each piece sold individually), comprised of a forged steel splitting wedge that will be used to expand a matching pair of forged steel shims. The combined expansion of a number of wedges and shims placed into a series of drilled holes that causes the stone to split.
Tamco's forged steel wedges and shims are designed to fit drilled holes ranging from 3/8" to 1-3/8" in diameter. The lengths of the wedges and shims will vary according to the thickness of the stone to be split. Thicker and longer blocks of stone require longer wedges and shims to function properly than thinner blocks. Larger blocks also require larger hole diameters than smaller blocks.
To obtain the straightest split, a straight line should be scored onto the surface of the stone with either a hand or machine tracer. Properly spaced holes are then drilled into the stone with a carbide tipped drill along the scored line. A pair of shims is inserted into each drilled hole, with a wedge between them. A hammer is then used to drive each wedge tightly between the pair of shims.
The repeated striking of each wedge in sequence along the inscribed line, one after another, will develop splitting pressure. To obtin the straightest possible split, the stone should be allowed to absorb the pressure of the initial expansion for upwards of a minute before beginning to strike the wedges thus driving them deeper between their respective shims. After several striking sequences, the stone will begin to split along the inscribed line. Once splitting is complete, and the wedges and shims have been removed, the newly split sections can then be moved for futher processing.
Tamco's wedges are heat treated so that each head will become moderately "upset" or mushroomed, by the repeated impact of the hammer. It is a good safety practice to grind off any moderate "upsetting" that may occur on the head of the wedge after prolonged use. Tamco's shims are made of steel selected to resist compression deformation created during the splitting process. As always, all safety equipment shoud be worn when using any tool.
Wedge Part Number
Shim Part Number
1-3/8" to 1-5/8"
** All wedges and shims are sold by the individual piece **