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Stone Glossary

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Term Definition
Calcite Limestone

A limestone containing not more than 5 percent of magnesium carbonate.

Calcite Streaks

White or milk-like streaks occurring in stone. The streak is a joint plane usually wider than a glass seam; it has been recemented by deposition of calcite in the crack and is structurally sound.

Canopy

A sheltering roof, as over a niche or doorway.

Cantilever

A projecting element, such as a beam, supported at a single point or along a single line by a wall or column, stabilized by a counter-balancing downward force around the point of fulcrum.

Capital

The head or cap of a column.

Carve

Shaping, by cutting a design to form; the trade of a sculptor.

Caryatid

A draped female human figure used as a sculptural column or pier, often flanking a doorway, or used as a decorative detail, especially on fireplaces.

Cement Putty also Cream or Butter

A thick creamy mixture made with pure cement and water, which is used to strengthen the bond between a stone and a setting bed.

Chamfer

To bevel the junction of an exterior angle.

Chat Sawn Finish

A rough gang saw finish produced by sawing with coarse chat.

Cladding

The lightweight outer skin of a building that does not carry any weight nor support the building, but which protects it from weather elements.

Cleavage

The ability of a rock mass to break along natural surfaces; a surface of natural parting.

Cleavage Plane

Plane or planes along which a stone may likely break or delaminate.

Clerestory

The upper part of a wall pierced by windows to bring light into the center of a building, as in the nave of a church.

Cobblestone

A natural rounded stone, large enough for use in paving. Commonly used to describe paving blocks, usually granite, which are generally cut to rectangular shapes.

Column

Freestanding or self-supporting structural element carrying forces mainly in compression, whether stone, steel or brick.

Commercial Marble

A crystalline rock composed predominantly of one or more of the following materials: calcite, dolomite or serpentine, and capable of taking a polish.

Coping

A flat stone used as a cap on a freestanding wall, usually to protect the wall from weather.

Cornerstone

A stone forming part of a corner or angle in a wall. Also a dedicatory stone laid at the formal inauguration of a building's construction, prominently located but not necessarily at the corner, and usually bearing the date of erection and often an inscription.

Cornice

A molded projecting stone at the top of an entablature or at the meeting of a roof and wall.