Monday, August 25, 2008

7, Base and Plinth course.

November 1995 and my learning curve for stone masonary was getting incredibly steep. When construction on my place was first beginning I had no intention of doing the stonework on my own, however, as things started to happen no stonemasons were knocking on my door and nobody in my acquaintance new of anyone capable of such work. Me, being the impatient, pig headed person I am, just started to lay the stone myself. I used the Beeac church stone as it came to build the base walls to a height of 900mm, onto this I needed a plinth course with a dressed bevel to bring it up to floor level. My original plan was to use Limestone for this as well as the window cills.
A close friend of mine had procured some bluestone plinth blocks from an earlier demolition near the barwon river in Geelong, he had them stored in his backyard for quite some time, waiting for his own special project. After much pestering he finally bowed to my pressure (and his wife's!) and allowed me to "borrow" them. The quantity looked quite impressive, however, when laid end to end there were only enough to do the west wall, this meant that I was going to have to make my own matching blocks for the rest of the house. This work occupied most of my spare time for the next few months, with each block taking more than a full day to complete.

I roughly cut the dressed edges using a diamond blade fitted in a nine inch power saw set to the right bevel, the hours were then spent using a hammer and chisel to dress the edges to the true angle and plane. The faces were then pitched using a pitching chisel.

The same plinth block shown above roughly wedged into position. The gaps left in the stonework are for the sub floor vents (cast iron).

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