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Stone Glossary

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Term Definition
Rustification Or Rustication

Recessing the margin or outer edges of cut stone so that when placed together a channel or strongly emphasized recess is formed along each joint. The stone face may be smooth, rough or patterned with its outer edges tooled smooth or beveled.


A flat strip of stone projecting above the floor between the jambs of a door; threshold.

Sand Sawn Finish

Stone surface left as it comes from a gang saw; moderately smooth, granular surface varying with the texture and grade of stone.


A sedimentary rock consisting usually of quartz cemented with silica, iron oxide or calcium carbonate. Sandstone is durable, has a very high crushing and tensile strength, and a wide range of colors and textures.

Sawed Edge

A clean cut edge generally achieved by cutting with a diamond blade, gang saw or wire saw.

Sawed Face

A finish obtained from the particular process employed to produce building stone. Varies in texture from smooth to rough and is coincident with the type of materials used in sawing; characterized as diamond sawn, sand sawn, chat sawn or shot sawn.


Thin lamina or paper-like sheets of rock, often loose, and interrupting an otherwise smooth surface of stone.


A foliated metamorphic rock (recrystallized) characterized by thin foliae that are composed predominantly of minerals of thin platy or prismatic habits and whose long dimensions are oriented in approximately parallel positions along the planes of foliation. Because of this foliated structure schists split readily along these planes and so possess a pronounced rock cleavage. The more common schists are composed of the micas and other mica-like minerals (such as chlorite) and generally contain subordinate quartz and/or feldspar of comparatively fine-grained texture; all gradations exist between schist and gneiss (coarsely foliated feldspathic rocks).


Irregular masses of lava resembling clinker of slag; may be cellular (vesicular) dark-colored and heavy.


A deep concave molding, or gorge, especially at the base of a column.


A finish achieved by rubbing (manually or by machine) the rough or high spots off a stone's exposed surface, leaving a certain amount of the natural surface along with the smoothed areas.


A hydrous magnesium silicate material of igneous origin, generally a very dark green color with markings of white, light green or black. One of the hardest varieties of natural building stone.

Setting Space

The distance from the finished face of a stone to the face of a back-up wall.


A type of stress. A body is in shear when it is subjected to a pair of equal forces in opposite directions and which act along parallel planes.

Shot Sawn

Finish obtained by using chilled steel shot in the gang sawing process to produce random markings for a rough surface texture.


A flat stone used under windows, doors and other masonry openings.


A lengthwise cut of a large quarry block of stone approximately 5'x 8' in size.


A very fine-grained metamorphic rock derived from sedimentary rock shale. Characterized by an excellent parallel cleavage entirely independent of original bedding, by which cleavage the rock may be split easily into relatively thin slabs.

Slip Sill

A stone window or door sill set between the jambs (See LUG SILL).

Smooth Finish

The surface texture produced by planer machines plus the removal of objectionable tool marks; also known as smooth planar finish or smooth machine finish.

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