During the 14 years of construction not one fatality occurred. Dynamite was used until only three to six inches of rock was left to remove to get to the final carving surface. At this point, the drillers and assistant carvers would drill holes into the granite very close together. This was called honeycombing.
How Long to Carve Mt Rushmore?
Mt Rushmore is one of the most iconic monuments in the United States. It stands as a symbol of the country’s history and the founding of the nation. But how long did it take to carve the mountain into the faces of four of the country’s most iconic presidents? The answer may surprise you.
The first step in creating Mt Rushmore was selecting the site. After much deliberation, sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose the Black Hills of South Dakota as the location for the monument. Construction began in 1927 and lasted 14 years. During this time, Borglum and his team of 400 sculptors and workers used dynamite and drills to carve the mountain. The first face to be carved was that of George Washington, which was completed in 1934. This was followed by Thomas Jefferson in 1936, Theodore Roosevelt in 1937, and Abraham Lincoln in 1939.
The carving was done in three stages. In the first stage, Borglum and his team used drills and dynamite to create the general shape of the faces. Then they used jackhammers to remove excess material and create the facial features. Finally, they used chisels to add details such as eyes, noses, and mouths.