What Is Stone Masonry And It’s Types

In this article We Briefly discuss what is stone masonry and it’s types, uses of stone masonry, tool required for stone masonry.

What Is Stone Masonry

The construction of stones bonded together with mortar is termed as stone masonry where the stones are available in a abundance in nature, on cutting and dressing to the proper shape, they provide an economical material for the construction of various building components such as walls, columns, footings, arches, lintels, beams etc.

Uses Of Stone Masonry

Stone masonry construction used in

  • Building foundations, dams, monumental structures
  • Building walls, piers, columns, pillars, light houses and architectural works.
  • Arches, domes, lintels and beams
  • Roofs, flems, paving jobs
  • Railway, bullets, black boards and electrical switch boards

Selection Of Stone For Stone Masonry

The selection of stones for stone masonry depends upon

  1. Availability
  2. Ease of working
  3. Appearance
  4. Strength and stability
  5. Polishing characteristics
  6. Economy
  7. Durability
What Is Stone Masonry And It’s Types

The table given broadly outlines the different types of stones used for different purposes

Sr.NoPurpose Stones Used
1Heavy engineering works
Ex: stocks, break waters, light houses, bridges, piers
Granite, Gneiss
2Buildings situated in industrial townsGranite and compact sandstone
3Pavements, railway ballast, door sits and stepsGranite slabs and slate
4Electrical switch boardMarble slabs and slate
5Fire resistance worksCompact sandstone
6Carving and ornamental worksMarble and laterite
7Face work and architectural purposesMarble, granite closer gained sand stone

Tools Required For Stone Masonry Construction

What Is Stone Masonry And It’s Types-Required Tools
  • Trowel: This used to lift and spread mortar
  • Square: This is made of flat steel having each arm about 0.5m long
  • Plumb rule and bob: This is used to check the vertically of walls
  • Spirit level: This is used to chick the horizontality of walls
  • Line and pin: This is used to maintain the alignment of the work in progress
  • Bevel: The instrument used to set right angles
  • Pick axe: This is employed for dressing of rough stone and split the stones in the quarry
  • Crowbar: This used to make stones in query
  • Chisels: They used to dress stones
  • Spall hammer: This is heavy hammer used for rough dressing of stones
  • Mallet: The wooden hammer used for driving of wooded headed chisels
  • Iron hammer: This used for carving of stones
  • Scabbling hammer: This is used to break small projections of stones
  • Pitching tool: This used to make the stones of required size
  • Gauge: This employed to dress stones for spring course, comice, coping etc
  • Claw tool: This is employed for dressing the surface of stones
  • Nicker: This is employed to draw fine chisel lines on the stone surface
  • Jumper: They are used for boring holes
  • Wedge and feathers: They employed for cutting the stones after they have been bored with jumper.
  • Gad: A small steel wedge used for splitting of stones
  • Drag: This is employed to level a stone surface
  • Punch: This is employed to dress roughly the stones
  • Handsaw: This used to cut soft stones
  • Cross-cut saw: This is used to cut hard stones
  • Frame saw: This used to cut large blocks of stones

Types Of Stone Masonry

Based on the arrangement of the stone in the construction and degree of refinement in the surface finish, the stone masonry can be classified broadly in the following two categories

  1. Rubble masonry
  2. Ashlar masonry

General principles in the stone masonry construction

  • The stones to be used for stone masonry should be hard, tough and durable.
  • The pressure acting on stones should be vertical
  • The stones should perfectly dressed as per the requirements
  • The heads and bond stones should not be of a dumb bell shape.
  • In order to obtain uniform distribution of load, under the ends of griders, roof trusses etc large flat stones should be used
  • The beds of the stones and plan of the course should be at right angles to the slope in the case of sloping retaining wall
  • Wood boxing should be filled into walls having fine dressed stone work to protect it during further construction
  • The mortar to used should be good quality and in the specified faces.
  • The instruction work of stone masonry should raised uniformly.
  • The plumb bob should used to check the vertically of erected wall
  • The stone masonry section should always designed to take compression and not the tensile stresses
  • The masonry work should properly cured after the completion of work for a period of 2 to 3 weeks
  • As per as possible broken stones or small stones chips should not used
  • Double scaffolding should used for working at higher level
  • The masonry hearting should properly packed with mortar and chips if necessary to avoid hallows
  • The properly wetted stones should used to avoid mortar moisture being sucked

1) Rubble Masonry

In this category, the stones used either undressed or roughly dressed having wider joints. This can further subdivided as uncoursed, coursed, random, dry, polygonal and bint.

Uncoursed rubble masonry:

This is the cheapest, roughest and poorest form of stone masonry. The stones used in this type of masonry very much vary in their shape and size and directly obtained from quarry. Uncoursed rubble masonry can divided into the following.

a) Uncoursed random rubble masonry:

The weak corners and edges removed with mason’s hammer. Generally, bigger stone blocks employed at quoins and jambs to increase the strength of masonry.

b) Uncoursed Squared Rubble:

In this type the stone blocks made roughly square with hammer. Generally the facing stones given hammer-dressed finish. Large stones used as quoins. As far as possible the use of chips in bedding is avoided as shown in fig

Coursed Random Rubble:

This type of masonry commonly used in the construction of low height walls of public buildings, residential buildings, abutment and piers of ordinary bridges. The stones of 5 to 20cm size used in each course as shown in fig

Coursed Squared Rubble:

This type of masonry made up of hammer squared stones facing with bonded backing of uncoursed random rubble masonry. The stones employed in each course are of equal height. The backing and facing construction, should be carried simultaneously. In order to avoid thick mortar joints, small chips may used as shown in the fig

Built To Regular Course:

In this type of stone masonry the uniform height stones used in horizontal layers not less than 13cm in height. Generally, the stone beds hammered or chisel dressed to a depth of at least 10cm from the face. The stones arranged in such a manner so that the vertical joints of two consecutive curse do not coincide with each other as shown in fig

Polygonal Rubble Masonry:

In this type of masonry the stones roughly dressed to an irregular polygonal shape. The stones should so arranged as to avoid long vertical joints in face work and to break joints as much as possible. Small stone chips should not used to support the stones on the facing as shown in fig

Plint Rubble Masonry:

This type of masonry used in the areas where the flint is available in plenty. The flint stones varying in thickness from 8 to 15cm and in length from 15 to 30cm arranged in the facing in the form of coursed or uncoursed masonry as shown in fig

Dry Rubble Masonry:

This type of masonry used in the construction of retaining walls pitching earthen dams and canal slopes in the form of random rubble masonry without any mortar. The hallow spaces left around stones should tightly packed with smaller stone pieces as shown in fig

2) Ashlar Masonry

This type of masonry built from accurately dressed stones with uniform and fine joints of about 3mm thickness by arranging the stone blocks in various patterns. The backing of ashlar masonry walls may built of ashlar masonry or rubble masonry. The size of stones blocks should be in proportion to wall thickness. The various types of masonry can be classified under the following categories as shown in fig

  1. Ashlar fine
  2. Ashlar rough
  3. Quarry faced or ashlar rock
  4. Ashlar facing
  5. Ashlar chamfered
  6. The Ashlar block in course
Ashlar fine
The Ashlar chamfered
Ashlar facing

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2 thoughts on “What Is Stone Masonry And It’s Types”

  1. From flooring to the wall, masonry is ubiquitous in the building envelope. Some of our clients consult us about what they need to DIY their masonry construction since they want to save money. But then, when we mentioned the needed tools and techniques for how to do the job, they hire us. Why? I would say that you mentioned here the reasons. Thanks!


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