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Stone Glossary

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Term Definition

The pulling out of stones in a wall to give an effect of ruggedness. The amount each stone is pulled out can vary between 1/2" and 1 1/2". Stones are either pulled out at the same degree at both ends or sometimes one end is pulled out and the other end left flush with the wall plane.


An exceptionally cellular, glassy lava, resembling a solid froth.


The location of an operation where a natural deposit of stone is removed from the ground.


A compact granular rock composed of quartz crystals, usually so firmly cemented as to make the mass homogeneous. The stone is generally quarried in stratified layers, the surfaces of which are unusually smooth. Its crushing and tensile strengths are extremely high. The color range is wide.


A groove separating a bead or other molding from the adjoining members.


Stones at the external corner or edge of a wall emphasized by size, projection, rustication, or by a different finish.


A sinkage in a wall plane.


A narrow flat molding of rectangular profile oten used to cover a joint between two elements.


Carved ornament projecting above s cutaway background plane. The ornament or figure can be slightly raised (bas-relief or low-relief), half projection (mezzo-relief), high- (or alto-) relief.

Relieving Arch

One built over a lintel, flat arch, or smaller arch to divert loads, thus relieving the lower member from excessive loading. Also known as a discharging or safety arch.


Continuation of a molding in a different direction, usually at a right angle.

Return Head

Stone facing with the finish appearing on both the face and the edge of the same stone - as on the corner of a building.


The depth of stone between its outer face and a window or door set in an opening; the thickness of a wall.


The most pronounced direction of splitting or cleavage of a stone (see grain). Rift and grain may be obscure, as in some granites, but are important in both quarrying and processing stone.


Irregular broken and randomly sized pieces of rock used for facing bridge abutments and fills; stone thrown together without order to form a foundation, breakwater or sustaining wall.


Refers to the heights of stone, generally in veneer; the vertical dimension between two successive steps.


An integral part of the earth's crust composed of an aggregate of grains of one or more minerals. (Stone is the commercial term applied to quarry products.)

Rock (Pitch) Face

Similar to split face, except that the face of the stone is inclined to a given line and plane, producing a bold appearance rather than the comparatively straight face obtained in split face; stones laid up in a masonry wall with natural faces as received from the quarry, or dressed to resemble natural stone. See HAND PITCH FACE.


Reinforcement of a structurally unsound marble by cementing reinforcing rods into grooves or channels cut into the back of the slab.


A product term applied to dimensional stone used for building purposes, chiefly walls and foundations, and consisting of irregularly shaped pieces, partly trimmed or squared, generally with one split or finished face, and selected and specified within a size range.

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