A voussoir.

As the time came to go to Tucson and begin actual work, I had to find out first where to acquire chisels (the materials, of course, would come from Dad' own rock collection). I had assumed that I could get them in Tucson rather than carrying them across the country, especially since the University of Arizona is a big school and must have a big art department. But all searches led to either Los Angeles or New York, and I found that one of the country's major sources of sculptural tools was located in my very own neighborhood (Peter Leggieri Sculptural Supply, 415 E 12 St, 212-674-8067). Mr Leggieri was most helpful with advice, and I initially purchased a 30 mm flat chisel, an 18 mm three-pronged toothed chisel, an 8 mm point, a 50 mm heavy-head flat chisel, all made of carbide, and a 2 lb mallet. Those five pieces ran to over $200, but I learned as I went along that the highest quality tools are worth whatever they cost.

After much additional studying and measuring of stone lettering, I revised my initial plan to allow broader surfaces to accommodate the lettering, and also to allow more weight to come down on the outside of the arch for buttressing. The initial proportions looked much better on a computer screen, but I feel that the revised proportions came out just right on the actual site.

Please send comments to the stonecutter.