Career and Job Search Guide

Brickmasons, Stonemasons and Blockmasons

Stone, block, and brick masons design and install sturdy surfaces. These professionals can be responsible for laying a simple sidewalk or creating a highly decorative exterior surface on a skyscraper. Block or brick masons, also known as bricklayers, create and maintain floors, walls, chimneys, and other brick and concrete structures. Certain brickmasons are experts in industrial or firebrick furnace design and fitting. Stonemasons specialize in stone finishes and walls. Stonemasons use stones in their natural state, such as granite, or artificially created stone built with concrete, such as marble chips, to complete projects. They are often hired to complete projects in buildings where people do not live, for example, churches, but occasionally they are contracted to complete projects at homes.

During structure design, brickmasons utilize the corner pole or lead method. The corner lead method involves building structures where bricks are pyramided into structure corners. After this step is completed, brickmasons fill gaps between walls and corners. Utilizing this method takes a lot of time since precise work from expert bricklayers is required.

Since creating a corner lead can be very expensive, brickmasons often utilize corner leads, also referred to as masonry guides, to construct walls. They place poles in proper positions to set up a wall line position and extend line through it. The line then acts as a point of reference for brick placement. After this is completed, they begin to install bricks by applying mortar to bricks and placing them in place. Brickmasons frequently alter brick shapes with a chisel to insert them around doors, windows, or other structures. After bricks are installed, sealing and finishing work is completed to create a beautiful exterior appearance. To support structures, they utilize supports made of steel or construct brick arches.

Stonemasons frequently use blueprints where stones are individually marked. Their assistants usually identify the proper stones during a project before stones are installed. When working with heavy stones, derrick operators are hired to move and place stones in proper positions with a hoist.

During stone wall construction, masons place stones to be used first in a small pool of mortar. After this is done, masons insert stones into their designated positions once they have been properly leveled. Before project completion, masons place mortar into joints previously filled with wedges. If big stones are used, masons weld brackets to the wall to hold them in place. To create a lustrous finish and speed up the drying process, masons clean walls with a special solution.

Before laying a stone surfaced floor, masons must first cover the surface with moist mortar. After this, they use a variety of tools to lay stone upon the floor surface. Then joints are filled and stone is polished.

To alter a stone's shape or to cut it, masons utilize specially designed chisels and hammers. When cutting rare or expensive stones, masons use saws outfitted with diamond blades. Certain masons work exclusively with marble. Masons of all trades also maintain and repair damaged or cracked structures. Most buildings not constructed to be homes are built with tile, marble, stone, or concrete block walls, and since any of these various materials can be used in wall construction, masons specializing in nonresidential building construction need to be flexible.

Refractory masons work exclusively with refractory tile and firebrick used in furnace, boiler, and other rooms where high temperatures are generated. Refractory masons work mainly in factories and steel mills where molten compounds are transferred to other machines within the factory.