Stone Masonry – An Age Old Profession
A stone mason is a person who is trained to build and repair stone structures. Stone masons are persons who have knowledge in all aspects of stone structures including design, application, fabrication, installation, removal, leveling, finishing, repair, and maintenance of stone structures. Generally, stone masons work on residential homes, businesses, government buildings, museums, or other establishments that require stone structures for indoor and outdoor purposes. They construct, install, repair, and maintain structures using concrete, block, marble, granite, sandstone, slate, travertine, and other natural stone materials.
Most stone masons work on houses. In order to build a house, the initial structure is constructed by a foundation which is followed by the floor, walls, doors, windows, and skylights. Once the foundation, floor, walls, and roof are ready, the interior of the house is laid out. Then the stone mason applies various finishing techniques such as stucco, mortar, glazing, painting, hardening agents, and sealing. After finishing the interior structures, the bricks are placed in the appropriate positions and transported to the site where they are placed.
In order to build stone masonry structures, skilled masons use several types of equipment including concrete hammers, steel wedges, water driven cement mixers, steel rollers, hydraulic presses, hammers, levelers, drills, cutters, handrails, plasters, stilts, rollers, floors, ceiling tiles, wall tiles, lintels, ventilators, etc. Other important equipment used by stone masons includes concrete plant tools, saws, water hoses, gas lines, plumbing systems, electric fittings, electric tools, etc. These equipment and tools are available at local tool workshops and supply houses. However, most stone mason shops have the latest models on hand. Reputable stone masons also provide maintenance services for their equipment and tools, including oiling and cleaning.
Stone construction is a labor-intensive process which requires skill and knowledge of designing and building structures of various kinds. A stone mason’s daily work involves the use of hammer, chisel, cement, sand, water, grinding stone, cutting, etc. The main job of a stone mason includes pouring earth or mortar, building the walls, floors, etc., adding grout and sealing them. Since most stone structures are large and weigh a ton, masons use forklifts to move the large blocks. Usually, it takes four to six weeks for a new structure to be completed.
Although there are many stone masons in the world today, only a few are truly excellent. For this reason, a prospective stone mason must undertake thorough training and practice his craft in order to become proficient. Most stone mason colleges and stone masonry schools offer apprenticeship programs to train students in all aspects of the trade. During their apprenticeship, students will be trained to construct both interior and exterior structures, including homes, offices, parks, malls, bridges, hospitals, government buildings, private residences, churches, chapels, schools, hotels, shopping malls, businesses, residential and commercial buildings, memorials, museums, etc. By attending an apprenticeship program at a certified stone mason school, individuals will be able to take part in one of the most rewarding and enjoyable career choices.