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Stonework: Techniques And Projects

Discover the lasting satisfaction of working with stone. Master stonemason Charles McRaven covers everything you need to know about working with different types of stone to create a variety of durable and elegant features. Clear enough for the beginning stonemason, this guide includes a thorough overview of the proper techniques for handling, cutting, and shaping stone. With illustrated instructions for 22 projects that include garden paths, walls, seats, waterfalls, and even a bridge, you’ll soon be confidently crafting your own inspired stone creations.

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 11th Printing edition (January 10, 1997)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0882669761

ISBN-13: 978-0882669762

Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #343,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #38 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Furnishings #72 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Masonry #230 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Outdoor & Recreational Areas

Wonderful black & white pictures of stone walls, stone arches, stone bridges and sundry projects. The author makes much of ancient Scot stone work. There are a lot of nice pen drawings used for 'step by step' construction programs. There are many, many suggestions regarding stone choice and stone placement. These comments are the best feature of the book. Finally, there are a few pages on handling large stones with hydraulic booms, pick-up trucks and front-loaders. These suggestions are not going to be found in many books.There isn't much said about hand power-tool options, nor stone shaping. There are few 'construction tips'. For example, the details of mixing motar specific to your job are only broadly discussed and there are no aids for determining correct mortar wetness. There are no 'good' and 'bad' stone arrangements to illustrate stone arrangement tricks. If you are looking for a 'first project' guide, the Black & Decker 'Stonework & Masonry projects' book offers more assistance. If you've got a few walls completed and want to take the next step towards being a mason, this is your book.Table of Contents:Intro: Why stone?Part 1: Working with stoneChapter 1: Types of StoneChapter 2: Sources of StoneChapter 3: Handling StoneChapter 4: Selecting Stone for a ProjectChapter 5: Cutting and Shaping StonePart 2: Stonework ProjectsChapter 6: Basic and Inspired (curving) wallsChapter 7: Retaining wallsChapter 8: EntrywaysChapter 9: Stone stepsChapter 10: Stone Projects for backyard and beyond (bbq, birdbath, sculpture, walkway, etc.)Chapter 11: Stone BridgesChapter 12: Stone in Interior Spaces

As a beginner I found the book easy to read, understandable, and a great asset for my beginning projects. The only thing I would like added to this book was some colored photos of Mr. McRaven's work. Also the descriptions of types of rocks would have helped if there where colored photos. For example, when I started to gather my stones together for my project I realized Mr McRaven's comments on being OK to mix types of stone is not universal. Mixing stone is an art and requires experience with an eye on color.Also more photos, in color, of good work verses bad work would help beginners like me visualize what my goal should be. I feel I wasted time doing and undoing my stonework.However, this is still a book for any stoneworker's library.

A guide to the basics of stonework that concentrates on the most common projects: retaining walls, stone fences, foundations and steps, and then adds a bit more for the adventuresome: a fireplace, an arched bridge and a moon gate. A good book for the do-it-yourselfer or to learn what to look for in working with a professional stone mason.

If your looking for a book about stone masonry in general, this will give you a great primer for authentic stone masonry. He details some basic projects and gives you a great detailed how to. I was looking for something a little more advanced but I wished I had a resource like this when I was first starting out. Don't know if I agree with his technique for drystone retaining walls. He says start skinny and step back, I am a hard headed Irishman who believes that your wall should be just as wide at the base as it is tall. I will have to do some more research.Good read, very useful for beginners

Compared to other how-to books in the category, McRaven makes the reader feel very capable of completing the projects without "dumbing down" the material. Let's face it- stonework is somewhat intimidating. By adding some easy jobs like the stone birdbath-fountain, you can build confidence for bigger things. I'm ready for spring!!

Chuck will keep you smiling as your read his books. They contain plenty of humorous stories while they display the stone arts. There are better guides but you should read as many as possible: you'll need it.Stone work is the hardest task you'll probably ever do in your life. If your project is big, it seems to never end and you'll doubt you'll ever finish. One rock can take 2 hours to lay whereas if all goes well, you can lay 5 in an hour. So, if you are interested in stone work, I'd advise to start small on the first few projects. This book is a good guide to helping you along the way.

I bought six or seven books on stonework before I began my project. This one was very direct with lots of useful information. If you are looking to begin a stone project, I highly recommend this book.

This author loves his stone. If you expect color photographs you may be disappointed. I plan a few projects around the yard. This book is great for someone like me who too loves stone and might like to try my hand.

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