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General Rules for Laying All Classes of Stone Masonry 1

mortar and stones


1. Build the masonry, as far as possible, in a series of courses, perpendicular, or as nearly so as possible, to the direction of the pres sure which they have to bear, and by breaking joints avoid all long continuous joints parallel to that pressure.

2. Use the largest stones for the foundation course.

3. Lay all stones which consist of layers in such a manner that the principal pressure which they have to bear shall act in a direction perpendicular, or as nearly so as possible, to the direction of the layers. This is called laying the stone on its natural bed, and is of primary importance for strength and durability.

4. Moisten the surface of dry and porous stones before bedding them, in order that the mortar may not be dried too fast and reduced to powder by the stone absorbing its moisture.

5. Fill every part of every joint and all spaces between the stones with mortar, taking care at the same time that such spaces shall be as small as possible.

6. The rougher the stones, the oetter the mortar should he. The principal object of the mortar is to equalize the pressure; and the more nearly the stones are dressed to closely fitting surfaces, the less important is the mortar. Not infrequently this rule is exactly reversed; i.e., the finer the dressing the better the quality of the mortar used.

All projecting courses, such as sills, lintels, etc., should be covered with hoards, bagging, etc., as the work progresses, to protect them from injury and mortar stains.

When setting cut stone a pailful of clean water should be kept at hand, and when any fresh mortar comes in contact with the face of the work it should be immediately washed off.