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4.5 out of 5 stars
Building with Stone
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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 1998
This is an excellent first book for those who want to learn about building with stone as an old-world craftsman, rather than a money-hungry contractor or assembly-line modern mason. Charles McRaven does not fill his book with theory, but with practical methods and ideas which are true to proper masonry techniques but allow even the most novice to begin to lay stone right away. The anecdotal style of this book makes it an easy read, and inspires confidence to pick up that trowel for the first time!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2002
This book seems to have a bit of everything that has to do with traditional stone masonry. It shows how to build different types of buildings and objects. Pictures are only in Black and White. If your looking for a full colour glossy paged book on stone architecture this is not for you.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2005
This book was better than I expected. I was hoping for color photographs, but it has B&W only. Doesn't get into a lot of details, but covers quite a few topics on the subject of stone masonry. I agree with previous review. Would have been great if the section on Mortaring Stone could have been more detailed. All in all, a good starting book to refer to.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
An excellent introduction for anyone who is interested in learning more about stone work and masonry.

I enjoyed the book for the breadth of coverage, and for the anecdotal stories. It is one thing to be told safety tips and procedures, but the lesson is much more effective with a good story. I had hoped for a more comprehensive discussion of the tools used, how to use them, and how to shape the stone. However, lack of this does not detract from the usefulness of the book. The closest I have come to stonework was moving stones around for landscaping, but now if I were armed with a set of stonework tools, I would be tempted to try something more complex.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2007
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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2008
This book is informative with good use of photos, which I expect in a book of this type. What else you get, is a really well written and entertaining book as well.

The author is humorous and also a blacksmith among other things. He talks about doing things in the old ways with the help of modern contraptions where they will actually help.

If you are interested in American History or primitive skills (not to mention building with stone) you should read this. It may even help make you a better person.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2013
I wanted to give a stone step and wall a try. I am not strong enough to work with stone, but I can snoopervise. Only, I needed to look like I knew what I wanted my son-in-law to do. Well, this book made it seem like I had constructed a hundred stone projects. The book passes on a whole lifetime of stone building by merely reading. I recommend McRaven's book to anyone building a stone project, or to get an idea if the person building your stone project is doing the job properly. Either way you will know how to do stone properly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2012
As a stone mason in the making this was a good book to read. Even if you have no present project that you have under hand, it may either get you to start one or just inform about an art that however pushed to the background by modern building practices is still very much alive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2012
This book is an execellent manual for building in stone and offers sound reference to the engineering behind the construction principles. Highly recommended. The author is obviously passionate and philosophical about his craft which makes it a good read too!
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on March 2, 2015
I purchased this book with a few others on Stone,Brick,Block & Concrete Work. Since we are building a new custom home & I will be the General Contractor as well a performing alot of the tasks to ensure Quality, Save Money as well a sense of Satisfaction!

The book came in about 2 weeks it arrived in a plastic bubble wrap envelop.
The book was in excellent condition I Purchased it Used. I paid around $1 for the book, & $4 Shipping. I couldn't be more pleased.

The book was written by well known Stone Mason Charles McRaven. He has restored a lot of historical buildings.

The book is a must have for any apprentice stone mason as well as any D.I.Y. Home Owners. Tons of useful information on Stone Work, Laying Out The Job. Types of Stones Difficulty working with durability etc.. He even talks about collecting stones from wooded areas, river banks, farmers fields.

The book talks about not only building stone walls with mortar but dry stack walls. Garden Walls. Stone Homes, Arches, discussion on tools, etc. Projects like Stone BBQ, Stone Fire Place, etc...
Even a few funny stories.

Read the book in a few hours. The book is easily understandable.

I highly recommend this book for anyone wishing to tackle a stone masonry project.

Thanks for reading my review if it has been helpful to you then please Check The Box √ YES This Review Was Helpful.

If you would like to see more of my reviews on masonry books, please feel free to Click On All Reviews By This Person.

Take Care, Bill Kearney. :-)
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