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Stone masonry - masonry work

Stone Masonry

The term stone masonry construction is generally used to express the construction of building using stones.

Trowels, Pans, measuring boxes, spade, sieve mesh, Hammer, chisel, chipping tools, line thread, plumb bob, straight edge, level tube, right angle, buckets, brush, measuring tape, spirit level.

Quality of stone :

  • Quality of stones used for masonry works in construction should be hard, strong, good size, and free from defects such as shake and vent.
  • Stones should be just moistening with water on top and side surfaces, but not to be dripping in water before its use.
  • The idea of light watering the stones is to prevent the absorption of moisture from the cement mortar.

Preparatory work :

  • Clean the area where masonry work  is carried out, properly with brush, and water, so that stones should be laid on their natural bed with hard surface.
  • Dimensions:  Check the dimensions with working drawings or Architectural drawings, if there is any discrepancy between actual and drawing measurements, it should brought to the notice of Architect.
  • Unless otherwise specified, all stone masonry works namely rubble masonry,random rubble masonry,coursed rubble masonry and dry rubble masonry work, Ashlar masonry works (will be explained shortly in future article) should be constructed in CM with ratio 1: 6.

Masonry work :

  • The CM used for masonry should not be spread much before the work, which will create a poor bondage with stones laid in the course.
  • Mortar thickness to be maintained for courses as well as both horizontal and vertical joints, should not exceed 25 mm.
  • All joints to be packed thoroughly and should give pointing finish to receive good bond with plaster at later stage.
  • As far as possible, the masonry should be raised uniformly and limited to 1 meter height at a time during day’s work.

First course : 

  • Placing of very first course is very important, care should be taken, for its alignment, level and plumb.
  • If this is done accurately, then subsequent courses will be constructed with reference to the first course.
  • Cap stones : Each course of masonry laid at the corner, should be checked by means of plumb bob, and the center portion of remaining stones are aligned by tying line thread between the extreme corner stones or capstones.
  • Like this way, above courses are constructed and vertical faces of stones also can be checked by plumb, alignment by line thread or straight edge and level of course to be checked by tube level.
  • Headers : Select always, the headers in the face of the wall are the same size for all courses and extend minimum 300 mm into the backing.
  • Frequently reduce the thicknesses of the courses, if varied in size due to the scarcity of stones, from the bottom to the top of the wall.
  • stocking : Always have sufficient number of stones stocking at project.

Bond stones or through stones :

  • Advice: Use as much as possible bond stones or through stones, which gives proper bondage and enough strength for the wall against foundation settlement.
  • It is highly advisable to go for bond stones at every 1 m intervals in stone masonry.

Curing : As curing is concerned, stone masonry should be cured for 7 days.

  • Nail test : Strength of Mortar joint can be checked by means of striking a nail in to the mortar joints, after the wall is cured for 7 days, nail driving is difficult and not easily going in to the wall, then the mortar joint is attained a good strength.
  • Idea: If size stone masonry is to be construct along the building as external masonry, then it is recommended to go for waterproofing plaster for these external surfaces, as a precautionary measure against seepage of water in the earth, or water entering into the building from other areas.
  • Adopt suitable types of scaffolding method and particularly Double scaffolding method for construction of stone masonry to carry out works at higher level.
  • Note that the stone masonry section should always be designed to take compression stresses and not the tensile stresses.
Rising of columns in progress after stone masonry with curing period
Stone masonry below plinth beam in progress using stones found during excavation
Random rubble stone masonry under progress
Ashlar stone masonry under progress using machine cut uniform stones
A live example for ashlar stone masonry work with machine cut quality stones being
Water bodies constructed using ashlar stone masonry and observe the top surface

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