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S-IRON. Generic term (because the "S" shape
is so common) for exposed retaining plates on the ends of turnbuckled
tie rods set between two masonry walls to prevent them from spreading
or to secure an interior framing wall to a masonry wall. Star motif
and other decorative shapes also used.
SADDLE. A strip of stone used as a threshold.
SADDLE JOINT. A vertical joint along which the stone is lapped
on either side to rise above the level of the wash on a coping sill,
thus diverting water from the joint.
SADDLEBACK. A coping stone with its top surface shaped to wash
(slope) in opposite directions, with the apex in the center of the width.
SAG. A depression in a horizontal line, meaning there is a slight
fall below the level. Referring to a bricklayer's line.
SALT GLAZE. A gloss finish obtained by thermochemical reaction
between silicates of clay and vapors of salt or chemicals.
SAND. An aggregate for use in masonry mortar and grout. ASTM
C144 and C404.
SAND-SAWED FINISH. The fairly smooth surface resulting from using
sand as the abrasive agent carred by the gangsaw blades in stone fabrication
SANDSTONE. Sedimentary rock composed for sand-size grains naturally
cemented by mineral material.
SATURATION COEFFICIENT. ASTM C67. The ratio of waterweight absorbed
by a masonry unit during immersion in cold water to weight absorbed
during immersion in boiling water.
SAWED FINISH. Any stone surface left by a sawing process. The
term is uninformative, but the names of the special sawed finishes,
for example, sand-sawed and shot-sawed, are more used and more descriptive.
Also called sawed face.
SCHIST. Metamorphic rock with continuous foliation caused by
the planar crystalline alignment of mica and other platy and lathlike
SCONCHEON. In the side of a door or window opening that is rebated
for a frame, the strip extending from the slot (or frame) to the inner
face of the wall.
SCORE. 1. To rout a channel or groove in a stone finishing with
hand tools or a circular saw to interrupt the visual effect of a surface
or to otherwise decorate. 2. To roughen the surface of stone or concrete
with straight gouges so that stucco or plaster will adhere.
Scored Block. Block with grooved patterns, as, for example, to
simulate raked joints.
SCOTIA. One of the classical ornamental moldings, in profile
showing a slightly asymmetrical concave curve.
SCPI. Structural Clay Products Institute, now called Brick Institute
of America (BIA).
SCR. Trademark of the Brick Institute of America.
SCR Acoustile. A side-construction, two-celled facing tile, with
a perforated face backed with glass wool for acoustical purposes. See:
Structural clay research.
SCR Brick. Brick whose nominal dimensions are 6 by 2-2/3 by 12in.
SCR Masonry Process. A process providing greater efficiency,
better workmanship, and increased production in masonry construction
using story poles, marked lines, and adjustable scaffolding.
SCREEN BLOCK. Concrete masonry units for use in masonry screen
SCULPTURE. 1. Statuary cut from stone or brick. 2. Statues modeled
or cast rather than sculptured.
SCUTCH. A mason's tool resembling a small pick used to trim units
to a designed shape.
SECTILIA. A pavement made up of fitted hexagonal stones or tiles.
SERPENTINE. A group of minerals consisting of hydrous magnesium
silicate, or rock largely composed of these minerals. Most commonly
occurs in greenish shades, and is used for decorative stone, being the
prominent constituent in some commercial marbles.
SERPENTINE WALL. A wall that is sine wave in plan.
SET. A change in mortar consistency from a plastic to a hard
SETTING PLACE. The distance between the finished face of the
wall and the backup wall as in masonry paneling or veneering.
SHALE. Clay that has been subjected to high pressures until it
has hardened rock-like.
SHEAR WALL. A wall that resists horizontal forces applied in
the plane of the wall.
SHINER. See bull stretcher.
SHORING. Temporary bracing for support.
SHOVED JOINTS. Vertical joints filled by shoving a brick against
the next brick when it is being laid in a bed of mortar.
SILL. A flat or slightly beveled stone set horizontally-at the
base of an opening in a wall.
Sill Block. A solid concrete unit used for sills and openings.
Sill Course. A course set at a window-sill level and commonly
differentiated from the wall by projecting, by finish, or by being sill
thickness to continue the visual effect of the sill(s).
SLAB. A broad, flat piece of stone cut or split from a block after
quarrying. Especially used to mean the tabular sheet, ready for further
fabrication, that comes from the gangsaw or wire saw.
SLATE. A hard, brittle metamorphic rock consisting mainly of
clay minerals. It is characterized by good cleavage that is unrelated
to the bedding in the earlier shape of clay from which it is formed.
SLENDERNESS RATIO. Ratio of the effective height of a member
to its effective thickness. (H/d). (UBC)
SLURRY. A thin, watery mixture of neat cement, or cement and
SLUSHED JOINTS. Vertical joints filled, after units are laid,
by "throwing" mortar in with the edge of a trowel.
SMOKE CHAMBER. A space in a fireplace above the throat where
smoke collects before passing into the flue.
SMOOTH FINISH. Masonry units whose surfaces are not altered or
marked in manufacture, but left as a plane surface as formed by the
SOAP. A masonry unit of normal face dimensions, having a nominal
SOAPSTONE. Massive soft rock that contains a high proportion
of talc and that is cut into dimension stone.
SOFFIT. The underside of a beam, lintel or arch.
SOFT-BURNED. Clay products which have been fired at low temperature
ranges, producing relatively high absorptions and low compressive strengths.
SOLAR SCREEN. A perforated wall used as a sunshade.
SOLDIER. A masonry stretcher set on end with face showing on the
SOLID MASONRY UNIT. A unit whose net cross-sectional area in every
plane parallel to the bearing surface is 75 percent or more of its gross
cross-sectional area measured in the same plane. ASTM C43.
SPALL. A small fragment removed from the face of a masonry unit
by a blow or by action of the elements.
SPANDREL. 1. The facing of the area on buildings supported
by a skeleton structure between the sill of one window and the top (or
lintel) of the window next below. 2. A flat vertical face in an arcade
bounded by the adjacent curves of two arches and the horizontal tangent
of their crowns. When a lintel is used above an arched doorway or archway,
two half-spandrels may sit astride the arch.
Spandrel Wall. See wall.
SPLAY. A reveal at an oblique angle to the exterior face of the
SPLIT-FACE FINISH. A rough concrete masonry face formed by splitting
slabs in a split-face machine.
SQUARED RUBBLE. Wall construction in which squared stones of
various sizes are combined in patterns that make up courses as high
as or higher than the tallest stones.
STACK. (Chimney) Any structure or part thereof which contains
a flue or flues for the discharge of gases.
STACK BOND. A bond pattern in which the masonry units are not
lapped longitudinally in the face of the wall but are stacked vertically
immediately over each other so as to form continuous joints both vertically
and horizontally. (See bond)
STEREOBATE. A pedestal-like structure or continuous basement
wall supporting the higher parts of a classical building, but not carrying
STEREOTOMY. Cutting solids in three-dimensional shapes. The term
is especially used to mean formal stone cutting by the rules of solid
geometry, and by extension means the layout and design of such work
and its placement in a structure.
STICKING. Trade term used in the marble-fabricating industry
for cementing together broken or separated stone.
STONE. Rock selected or processed by shaping, cutting, or sizing
for building or other use.
Stone Slate. Thin-bedded stone slabbing or flagging, irregular
in size and shape, and generally limestone or sandstone, used as a rough
shingling on a roof. Unlike true slate, which is a metamorphic rock
that splits along its cleavage, the stone slates separate along their
Stonemason. A craftsman skilled in constructing stone masonry.
Stonework. 1 Masonry construction in stone. 2. Preparation in
setting of stone for building or paving.
STOOL. Interior window sill, shelf, or ledge.
STOP CHAMFER. A chamfer that curves or angles to become narrower
until it meets the arris.
STORY. That portion of a building included between the upper
surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above,
except that the topmost story is that portion of a building included
between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof
above. If the finished floor level directly above a usable or unused
under-floor space is more than 6 feet above grade for more than 50 percent
of the total perimeter or is more than 12 feet above grade at any point,
such usable or unused under-floor space is considered a story. (UBC)
STORY POLE. A marked pole for measuring masonry coursing during
STRETCHER. A masonry unit laid with its greatest dimension horizontal
and its face parallel to the wall face.
Bull Stretcher or shiner. Any stretcher that is laid on its edge
to show its broad face.
STRIKE. To finish a mortar joint with a stroke of the trowel,
simultaneously removing extruding mortar and smoothing the surface of
the mortar remaining in the joint.
STRING COURSE (BELT COURSE, BAND COURSE). A horizontal band of
masonry, generally narrower than other courses, extending across the
facade of a structure and in some structures encircling such decorative
features as pillars or engaged columns.
STRINGING MORTAR. The procedure of spreading enough mortar on
a bed to lay several masonry units.
STRUCK JOINT. See joint types.
STRUCTURAL CLAY TILE. Hollow masonry units composed of burned
clay, shale, fire clay, or combinations of these materials.
End-Construction Tile. Tile designed to be laid with the axis
of its cells vertical.
Facing Tile. Tile for exterior and interior masonry with exposed
Fireproofing Tile. Tile designed for protecting steel structural
members from fire.
Furring Tile. Tile designed for lining the inside of exterior
walls and carrying no superimposed loads.
Header Tile. Tile with recesses for brick headers in masonry
Loadbearing Tile. Tile used in masonry walls carrying superimposed
Non-Loadbearing Tile. Tile designed for use in masonry walls
carrying no superimposed structural loads.
Partition Tile. Tile designed for use in interior partitions.
Screen Tile. Tile manufactured for masonry screen wall construction.
Side-Construction Tile. Tile intended for placement with the
axis of the cells horizontal.
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