Brick masons and stonemasons are tradesmen who build walls and other structures. Apart from them are the Freemasons, a modern private organization as well as an ancient fraternity that utilizes the symbols of masonry within its practices. An examination of these various masons shows similarities and differences. The distinction between ancient and modern Freemasons shows the evolution of the fraternity.
Stonemasons are wall builders, but they also lay floors made of stone. They wok with natural stones such as marble and granite, and artificial stones such as concrete. Hammers and chisels are the tools for their trade, and sometimes they use a diamond blade when they need to make unusual cuts. They work from sketches, and when building they start with a mortar base. They make sure that the stones line up by using a level.
As stonemasons build, they fill the areas between stones with mortar. A tool called a tuck pointer is used to smooth over the mortar. Then the stone mason cleans the stones.
For floors, masons utilize a trowel to spread mortar on the ground. Tools such as mallets and crowbars are then used to align stones within in the mortar. The finishing touch is cleaning the stone slabs and filling any cracks.
Brick masons, who are also known as block masons, utilize different materials. They use blocks of brick to build walls, and they often work on walkways and brick fireplaces. One of their harder techniques is a corner lead to construct a pyramid structure leading from four corners; only the most skilled masons can achieve the desired results. Their assistants draw lines to show where further bricks go after the lead bricks. The arrangement of these lines is called a course.
An easier, less expensive way is to use corner guides, which allow masons to build the entire wall without lead bricks and course drawings. This can be done because the mason connects poles through ropes to guide how the structure will be built. He uses mortar applied with a trowel, then lays the bricks on top of that. The mason uses chisels for difficult fits, and makes everything smooth and clean.
Ancient Free Mason
Another type of mason is a Freemason, a member of a fraternity so old that no one knows the exact start date for the organization. Modern theory suggests that his fraternity probably originated out of organized groups of stonemasons during the Middle Ages. They took as their symbols a square and compass. In America they were active in the colonies well before the American Revolution, and they met secretly in taverns or any place where they could secure a private room. Some famous early colonial masons included George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
Modern Free Mason
Although the organization is very old there are some differences in modern Freemasons. Members are international and on a larger scale, with millions of members. The members of modern lodges work in the cities and towns where they are located. Lead members are elected to perform any necessary internal practices. If a man wants to be a member, he must initiate contact. Although Freemasons used to be thought of as a secret society, modern Freemasons are easily identified. They often wear markers of membership, such as lapel pins or rings. However, their proceedings of their monthly meetings are secret. Modern Freemasons are very involved in their communities and work to raise money for charities around the world.
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