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Stone Glossary

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Term Definition

A fine to coarse-grained, igneous rock formed by volcanic action and consisting of quartz, feldspar, mica, and accessory minerals. Granite-type rocks include those of similar texture and origin.


Stones that have been metamorphosed or otherwise so altered that they have assumed a distinctive greenish color owing to the presence of one or more of the following minerals: chlorite, epidote, or actinolite.


Mortar of pouring consistency.

Hand Cut Random Rectangular Ashlar

A pattern where all the stone is hand cut into squares and rectangles, and where all the joints are fairly consistent. Similar to sawed-bed ashlar in appearance.

Hand Dressed

See DRESSED HAND or MACHINE PITCH FACED also known as ROCK FACED ASHLAR - A finish given to both veneer stone and cutting stock, created by establishing a straight line back from the irregular face of the stone. Proper tools are then used to cut along the line leaving a straight arris and the intended rustic finish on the face.


The end of a stone which has been tooled to match the face of the stone. Heads are used at outside corners, windows, door jambs or any place where the veneering will be visible from the side.


The floor of a stone fireplace on which the fire is laid.

Hearth Stone

Originally the large single stone or stones used for the floor of a fireplace; now most commonly used to describe the stone in front of the fire chamber and in many cases extending on either or both sides of the front of the fire chamber.


Sinkages in the top beds of stones to engage Lewis pins for hoisting.

Honed Finish

A super fine smooth finish.


One of the three main classifications of rock (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic), solidified from molten state, as granite or lava.


To cut inwardly or engrave, as in an inscription.

Jack Arch

One having horizontal or nearly horizontal upper and lower surfaces. Also called a flat or straight arch.


a: Flush, b: Rake, c: Cove, d:. Weathered, e: Bead, f: Stripped


In ashlar patterns, a piece of stone of higher rise than adjacent stones, used to end a horizontal mortar joint at the point where it is set.


The last wedge-shaped stone, or voussoir, placed in the crown of an arch.


A general term applied to igneous rocks such as basalt and rhyolite, that erupted from the earth by volcanic action.

Lead Buttons

Lead spacers in solid horizontal joints to support the top stones until the mortar has set.

Lewis Bolt

A tapered head wedged in a tapered recess in stone for hanging soffit stones.

Lewis Holes

Holes in cut stones for lifting and support during the setting of cut stones and sometimes for permanent support. Holes are checked for the particular lewis (lifting device or hook) to be used.

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