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Plasterer

inches, tools, mouldings, set, length, plastering and cornices

PLASTERER, a workman to whom the decorative part of architecture owes a considerable portion of its abet, and whose art is required in every department of building. In ordinary edifices, he lays the ceilings, and covers the walls with a smooth coat, to render them sightly, and prevent the obtrusion of air through any crevices left by the bricklayer and carpenter, or occasioned by settling. In buildings of greater importance, in addition to this service, he also fur nishes mouldings. ornamental as well as plain, and covers the exterior walls with stucco, imitative of stone.

The tools of a plasterer consist of a spade, or shovel, of the usual description ; a rake, with two or three prongs, bent downwards from the line of the handle, for mixing the hair and mortar together ; trowels of two kinds, and various sizes; stopping and tools ; rules called straightedges; and wood models.

Plasterer's trowels are more neatly made than the tools of the same name used by other artificers ; they are of two sorts, viz., the laying and smoothing tool, which consists of a flat piece of hardened iron, about ten inches in length, and two inches and a half wide, very thin, and ground to a semi circular shape at one end, but left square at the other : on the back of the plate, near the square end, is riveted a small iron rod, with two legs, one of which is fixed to the plate ; and, to the other, a round wooden handle is adapted ; with this tool, all the first coats of plastering are laid on, as are also the last, or the setting, as it is technically denominated. The other kind of trowels, which are made of three or four sizes, are for gauging the line stuff and plaster used in forming cornices, mouldings, &c. The longest size of these is about seven inches in length on the plate, which is of polished steel, and two inches and three-quarters broad at the heel, diverging gradually to a point ; to the heel, or broad end, a handle is adapted, commonly of inahagony, with a deep brass ferule. The smaller trowels are fitted up in a similar manner, only they gradually vary in size downwards to the length of two or three inches.

The stopping and tools are of polished steel, of various sizes, though most generally about seven or eight inches in length, and half an inch in breadth, flattened at both ends, and ground away to somewhat of a round. These

tools are used in modelling and finishing mitres and returns to cornices, as likewise in filling up and perfecting the orna ments at their joinings.

The straightedges are used for keeping the work in an even or perpendicular line ; and the models or moulds are for running plain mouldings, cornices, &c. Of these last, the plasterer requires a great number, as very little of his finishing can be completed without them. With a good mould, an adept in his profession may execute most exquisite mouldings, possessing a sharpness and breadth unequalled by any other method now practised.

Good workmen keep their tools very clean ; after being used, they are wiped free from the plaster that cleaves to them, before they are put away, and they are daily polished by the hawk-boys.

Plasterers have technical divisions of their work, by which its quality is designated, and from which its value is ascer tained; as, lathing ; laying ; pricking-up; lathing, laying, and set : lathing, floating, and set ; screed ; set or putty ; rendering and set, or rendering, floated, and set ; trowelled stucco, &c., each of which will be found fully described in the next article. See PLASTERING.

Plasterers' work is measured and valued by persons known in the trade as measurers, though popularly donominated surveyors. All common plastering is measured by the square yard of nine feet ; this includes the partitions, walls, and ceilings of rooms, inside and exterior stuccoing, &c. Cor nices are measured by the foot superficial. their numbers being girt to obtain their width ; while their length is taken at that of the cornice. Bunning measures consist of beads, quirks, arrises, and small mouldings. Ornamental cornices arc frequently valued by the foot run.

As the labour on plasterer's work is frequently a greater consideration than the materials used, it is necessary for the master to be attentive to the noting down the time occupied by his men in executing their several pieces of plastering ; otherwise he will be unable to put an adequate value on his work.