Hopkins' experience working with stone leads him to believe that one more ingredient, even more basic than sand, will improve the efficiency of the granite cutting: water. Water, Hopkins argues, will wash away dust that acts as a buffer to the sand, slowing the progress.

Adding water, though, makes it harder to pull the copper saw back and forth. While Hopkins is convinced water improves the speed of work, Stocks' measurements show that the rate of cutting is the same whether water is used or not.

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