Masonry ............................ Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
Dressing of stone
.........A process of providing a proper shape, size and smooth finish to the rough-surfaced broken stone which is collected from a quarry.
The stone found in nature has to be quarried from its thick beds. After excavating large pieces of rock, it is necessary to break them into smaller sizes so that they can be used in buildings. This process is done by either hand tools or machinery.
There are many types of tools uses for the dressing of stones such as pitching tools, mason’s hammer, club hammer, scabbling hammer, spacing hammer, drafting chisel, point chisel, punch chisel, claw chisel, soft stone chisels scabbling pick, puncheon, and ax.
A dressed stone is fit for use in a particular situation in a building.
The operation of stone dressing is generally carried out at the site of quarry so as to reduce the transportation cost.
Stages in the Dressing of Stone
1. Sizing: It is the process of inducing the irregular blocks to the desired dimensions by removing extra portions. It is done with the help of hand hammers and chisels.
2. Shaping: This follows sizing and involves removing the sharp projections. Many stones are used in common construction after shaping.
3. Planing: This is rather an advanced type of dressing in which the stone is cleared off all the irregularities from the surface.
4. Finishing: This is done only in case of specially dressed stones and consists of rubbing of the surface of stones with suitable abrasive materials such as silicon carbide.
5. Polishing: This is the last stage in dressing and is only done on marbles, limestone, and granite.
Examples from Buffalo architecture:
- Left illustration above: Quarry-faced - Trinity Episcopal Church
- Right illustration above: Ashlar -