Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (July 12, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #842,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #87 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Furnishings #152 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Masonry #501 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Outdoor & Recreational Areas
A primer by definition is a book of elementary principals; to this end McRaven succeeded in his intent. The book is full of large color photographs of good masonry used to visually aide in making his points. There are several very good sections on tools required for the job, the type of stone to be used, how stone is moved on the jobsite by the lone mason, and how every mason should start by building dry stack structures to teach them the principals of friction, proper fitting, etc. While While he covers a great deal of projects including retaining walls, patios, dry stack walls, and paths, he severely glosses over three things I was the most interested in;designing and building mortared stone columns, mortared arches, and load bearing structural masonry. As stated above this is a primer, but there is virtually no attention paid these topics. There was scarcely more than a page of typed material about one of the most basic structural element: the arch. Compared with the several pages devoted to tool selection and personal stories of other masons I found that to be troublesome and part of the reason this book receives only 4 stars. I would recommend reading this book because it is thought provoking, and makes you want to go lay a dry stack retaining wall in your back yard, but not build an arch.
Of all of the McCraven books I think this is the best. It offers very solid technical information on the art and craft of stonebuilding as well as inspiring profiles on stone artisans and craftsmen working throughout the US. If you're thinking about or planning a stone project this book will provide both instruction and inspiration.
i now own a handful of books having to do with masonry and stonework, mcraven's 'stone primer' is so far the best. it's well written, his personality comes across nicely providing an enjoyable read. there are also loads of full color pictures of stonework in varying styles and locations. i'll be sure to reference this book often in the future for projects.
I am thinking of doing some stone work INSIDE my house. I looked around and I got this book through interlibrary loan. I liked it so much that I ordered a copy. It has quite a few pictures, but they are interesting and show how things are put together (in addition to diagrams). The narrative supports the pictures with descriptions of how it is done and suggestions for underlayment and support. It also suggests types of stones to use and gave me some good ideas for design. A good investment that I will look at again and again.
Great book, I had already built some small stone walls, I learned a lot from this, it also gave me insight when I went to build a retaining wall from a pre-fab system. Great resource for structure and looks. If you are thinking about building with stone, it will be around for a very long time, hopefully, you should do it right.
To be honest, I'm not done yet. That said, the author is pulling me into the next chapter with a skill I don't usually notice in how-to books. He's got me believing that I can do it although it's not a trivial skill. I especially appreciate the emphasis of what's important and why.My grandiose ambitions are starting already . . .
First read as a Library book among other books on the same subject by various authors i quickly came to realize that Mr. McRaven's work style, attention to detail was a very good fit for my interest level in the construction of stone walls, etc. His detailed information speaks volumes to his experience and high skill level. His 1997 book, STONEWORK and now this 2007 book STONE PRIMER are all i need to further my apprenticeship as a stone mason.
Stone work adds much to a property, whether it be in the form of a patio, staircase, wall, or fireplace - and stonemason and blacksmith author Charles McRaven here provides all the keys to incorporating stone into projects, from choosing between structures to putting together a stone barbecue, retaining walls, and much more. With color photos throughout, interviews with designers and homeowners, and keys to stoneworking success, STONE PRIMER is a top pick for any homeowner's library, and for general lending collections catering to handymen.Diane C. DonovanCalifornia Bookwatch
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