Rubble walling and random rubble - wall.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rubble walling.
Rubble walling has been extensively used for agricultural buildings in towns and villages in those parts of the country where a local source of stone was readily available. The term rubble describes blocks of stones as they come from the quarry. The rough rubble stones are used in walling with little cutting other than the removal of incon venient corners. The various types of rubble walling depend on the nature of the stone used. 

Those stones that are hard and laborious to cut or shape are used as random rubble and those sedimentary stones that come from the quarry roughly square are used as squared rubble.

The various forms of rubble walling may be classified as random rubble and squared rubble.

Random rubble.

Uncoursed random rubble.

Uncoursed random rubble stones of all shapes and sizes are selected more or less at random and laid in mortar, as illustrated in Fig. 1 16A. No attempt is made to select and lay stones in horizontal courses. There is some degree of selection to avoid excessively wide mortar joints and also to bond stones by laying some longer stones both along the face and into the thickness of the wall, so that there is a bond stone in each square metre of walling. At quoins, angles and around openings selected stones or shaped stones are laid to form roughly square angles. 

Random rubble brought to course.
Random rubble brought to course is similar to random rubble uncoursed except that the stones are selected and laid so that the walling is roughly levelled in horizontal courses at vertical intervals of from 600 to 900 mm, as illustrated in Fig. 11 6B. As with uncoursed rubble, transverse and longitudinal bond stones are used.

 Fig. 116 (A) Random rubble uncoursed (B) Random rubble coursed.

Dowels. Cramps - Walls - Stones.


To maintain parapet stones in their correct position in a wall, slate dowels are used. The stones in a parapet are not kept in position by the weight of walling above and these stones are, therefore, usually fixed with slate dowels. These dowels consist of square pins of slate that are fitted to holes cut in adjacent stones, as illustrated in Fig. 113.

Coping stones are bedded on top of a parapet wall as a protection against water soaking down into the wall below. There is a possibility that the coping (capping) stones may suffer some slight movement and cracks in the joints between theni open up. Rain may then saturate the parapet wall below and frost action may contribute to some movement and eventual damage.
To keep coping stones in place a system of cramps is used. Either slate or non-ferrous metal is used to cramp the stones together.

A short length of slate, shaped with dovetail ends, is set in cement grout (cement and water) in dovetail grooves in the ends of adjacent stones, as illustrated in Fig. 11 5A.

As an alternative a gunmetal cramp is set in a groove and mortice in the end of each stone and bedded in cement mortar, as illustrated in Fig. 115B.

For coping stones cut from limestone or sandstone a sheet metal weathering is sometimes dressed over coping stones. The weathering of lead is welted and tacked in position over the stones.

Fig. 115 (A) Slate cramp. (B) Metal Cramp.

Weathering to cornices, Cement joggle - Stones - Walls

Weathering to cornices.
Because cornices are exposed and liable to saturation by rain and possible damage by frost, it is good practice to cover the exposed top surface of cornice stones cut from limestone or sandstone with sheet metal, The sheet metal covering is particularly useful in urban areas where airborne pollutants may gradually erode stone.

Sheet lead is preferred as a non-ferrous covering because of its ductility, that facilitates shaping, and its impermeability.

Sheets of lead, code No 5, are cut and shaped for the profile of the top of the cornice, and laid with welted (folded) joints at 2 m intervals along the length of the cornice. The purpose of these comparatively closely spaced joints is to accommodate the inevitable thermal expansion and contraction of the lead sheet. The top edge of the lead is dressed up some 75 mm against the parapet as an upstand, and turned into a raglet (groove) cut in the parapet stones and wedged in place with lead wedges. The joint is then pointed with mortar.

The bottom edge of the lead sheets is dressed (shaped) around the outer face of the stones and welted (folded) To prevent the lower edge of the lead sheet weathering being blow up in high winds, 40 mm wide strips of lead are screwed to lead plugs set in holes in the stone at 750 mm intervals, and folded into the welted edge of the lead, as illustrated in Fig. 114.
Where cornice stones are to be protected with sheet lead weathering there is no purpose in cutting saddle joints.

Fig. 114 Lead weathering to cornice.

Cement joggle.
Cornice stones project and one or more stones might in time settle slightly so that the decorative line of the mouldings cut on them would be broken and so ruin the appearance of the cornice. To prevent this possibility shallow V-shaped grooves are cut in the ends of each stone so that when the stones are put together these matching V grooves form a square hole into which cement grout is run. When the cement hardens it forms a joggle which locks the stones in their correct position.

Cornice an parapet walls, Saddle joint - Walls - Stones.

Cornice an parapet walls.
It is common practice to raise masonry walls above the levels of the eaves of a roof, as a parapet. The purpose of the parapet is partly to obscure the roof and also to provide a depth of wall over the top of the upper windows for the sake of appearance in the proportion of the building as a whole.

In order to provide a decorative termination to the wall, a course of projecting moulded stones is formed. This projecting stone course is termed a cornice and it is generally formed some one or more courses of stone below the top of the parapet. Figure 113 is an illustration of a cornice and a parapet wall to an ashlar faced building. An advantage of the projecting cornice is that it affords some protection against rain to the wall below.

The parapet wall usually consists of two or three courses of stones capped with coping stones bedded on a dpc of sheet metal. The parapet is usually at least I B thick or of such thickness that its height above roof is limited by the requirements of the Building Regulations as described in Chapter 4 for parapet walls. The parapet may be built of solid stone or stones bonded to a brick backing.

The cornice is constructed of stones of about the same depth as the stones in the wall below, cut so that they project and are moulded for appearance sake. Because the stones project, their top surface is weathered (slopes out) to throw water off.

Fig.113 Cornice and parapet.

Saddle joint.
The projecting, weathered top surface of coping stones is exposed and rain running off it will in time saturate the mortar in the vertical joints between the stones. To prevent rain soaking into these joints it is usual to cut the stones to form a saddle joint as illustrated in Fig. 113. 

The exposed top surface of the stones has to be cut to slope out (weathering) and when this cutting is executed a projecting quarter circle of stone is left on the ends of each stone. When the stones are laid, the projections on the ends of adjacent stones form a protruding semi-circular saddle joint which causes rain to run off away from the joints. 

Ashlar masonry joints and Tooled finish - Stones.

Ashlar masonry joints.
Ashlar stones may be finished with smooth faces and bedded with thin joints, or the stones may have their exposed edges cut to form a channelled or ‘V’ joint to emphasise the shape of each stone and give the wall a heavier, more permanent appearance. The ashlar stones of the lower floor of large buildings are often finished with channelled or V joints and the wall above with plain ashlar masonry to give the base of the wall an appearance of strength. Ashlar masonry finished with channelled or V joints is said to be rusticated. A channelled joint (rebated joint) is formed by cutting a rebate on the top and one side edge of each stone, so that when the stones are laid, a channel rebate appears around each stone, as illustrated in Fig. lilA. The rebate is cut on the top edge of each stone so that when the stones are laid, rainwater which may run into the horizontal joint will not penetrate the mortar joint.

A V joint (chamfered joint) is formed by cutting all four edges of stones with a chamfer so that when they are laid a V groove appears on face, as illustrated in Fig. 11 lB. Often the edges of stones are cut with both V and channelled joints to give greater emphasis to each stone.

Fig. 111 (A) Channelled joint. (B) V joint.

Tooled finish 
Plain ashlar stones are usually finished with flat faces to form plain ashlar facing. The stones may also be finished with their exposed faces tooled to show the texture of the stone. Some of the tooled finishes
used with masonry are illustrated in Fig. 112. It is the harder stones  such as granite and hard sandstone that are more commonly finished with rock face, pitched face, reticulated or vermiculated faces. The softer, fine grained stones are usually finished as plain ashlar. 

Fig. 112 Tooled finishes.

Stone arch - Crossetted arch.

A stone arch consists of stones specially cut to a wedge shape so that the joints between stones radiate from a common centre, the soffit is arched and the stones bond in with the surrounding walling. The individual stones of the arch are tenned ‘voussoirs’, the arched soffit the ‘intrados’ and the upper profile of the arch stones the ‘extrados’.

Figure 109 is an illustration of a stone arch whose soffit is a segment of a circle. The choice of the segment of a circle that is selected is to an extent a matter of taste, which is influenced by the appearance of strength. A shallow rise is often acceptable for small openings and a greater rise for larger, as the structural efficiency of the arch increases the more nearly the segment approaches a full half circle, The voussoirs of the segmental arch illustrated in Fig. 109 are cut with steps that correspond in height with stone courses, to which the stepped extrados is bonded.

The stones of an arch are cut so that there is an uneven number of voussoirs with a centre or key stone. The key stone is the last stone to be put in place as a key to the completion and the stability of the arch, hence the term key stone.

The majority of semi-circular arches are formed with stones cut to bond in with the surrounding stonework in the form of a stepped extrados similar to that shown for a segmental arch in Fig. 109.

Crossetted arch.
The semi-circular arch, illustrated in Fig. 110, is formed with stones that are cut to bond into the surrounding walling to form a stepped extrados and also to bond horizontally into the surrounding stones. The stones, voussoirs, are said to be crossetted, or crossed. This extravagant cutting of stone is carried out purely for appearance sake. This is not a structurally sound idea as a very slight settlement might cause the crossetted end of a stone to crack away from the main body of the stone, whereas with plain voussoirs the slight settlement would be taken up by the joints.

Openings to stone walls - Lintels.

A stone lintel for small openings of up to about a metre wide can be formed of one whole stone with its ends built into jambs and its depth corresponding to one or more stone courses. The poor tensile strength of stone limits the span of single stone lintels unless they are to be disproportionately deep.

Over openings wider than about a metre it is usual to form lintels with three or five stones cut in the form of a flat arch. The stones are cut so that the joints between the ends of stones radiate from a common centre so that the centre, or key stone, is wedge-shaped, as illustrated in Fig. 108. The stones are cut so that the lower face of each stone occupies a third or a fifth of the width of the opening.

To prevent the key stone sinking due to settlement and so breaking the line of the soffit, it is usual to cut half depth joggles in the ends of the key stone to fit to rebates cut in the other stones. The joggles and rebates may be cut the full thickness of each stone and show on the face of the lintel or more usually the joggles and rebates are cut on the inner half of the thickness of stones as secret joggles, which do not show on the face, as illustrated in Fig. 108. The depth of the lintel corresponds to a course height, with the ends of the lintel built in at jambs as end bearing. Stone lintels are used over both ashlar and rubble walling.

The use of lintels is limited to comparatively small openings due to the tendency of the stones to sink out of horizontal alignment. For wider openings some form of arch is used.
Fig. 108 Stone lintel with secret joggle joints.