Stone Glossary

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Term Definition

To drill or cut out material left between closely spaced drill holes. Also, a mason's sharp pointed chisel for dressing stone.

Bull Nose

Convex rounding of a stone member, such as a stair tread.




Placing mortar on stone with a trowel before setting into place.

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.


A sheltering roof, as over a niche or doorway.


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.


The head or cap of a column.


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


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.


To bevel the junction of an exterior angle.

Chat Sawn Finish

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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

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