Category: Features

Mortar In Water and In Color

Mortar comes from Latin mortarium meaning crushed, and indeed, the early mortar makers blended crushed clay and mud. It has been documented as long ago as 6500 BCE at the Mehrgarh ruins in Balochistan in Pakistan, constructed of sun-dried bricks and some form of mortar. For those who have may have wondered how the Egyptians moved some of those gigantic rocks into place for their pyramids and other monstrous structures, think: Mortar. Clever builders that they were, they placed gypsum mortars down to lubricate the path on which large stones would travel. Once in position, however, they might switch...

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New Views: Virtual and Augmented Reality For Mason Contractors

New technology is constantly coming into play for mason contractors, and one of the more unique forms of tech making its way into the construction industry is virtual reality. Virtual reality has the potential to change the masonry construction process all the way from the bidding, building, to project completion stages. Virtual reality is defined as “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.” Of all...

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Sponsored By JAGCLAMP GEN NXT: Kent Bounds

This is the third in our GEN NXT series, which places a focus on highlighting younger professionals within the masonry trade. For this interview, I had the opportunity to talk with Kent Bounds of Brazos Masonry out of Waco, Texas. Kent is the President of Brazos Masonry as of January 2017, and has spent most of his life at the company. We would also like to welcome aboard JagClamp, who has graciously decided to sponsor this important series.  Dan Kamys: So why don’t you tell me a little bit about your background. Obviously everybody knows the family you’re a...

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To Rent or To Buy – That is the Question

The renting vs. buying dilemma emerges all around us in everything from housing, fine china, ponies and bounce houses to construction equipment, cars, boats and airplanes. And there’s a case to be made on both sides of the issue in every instance. People who rent all their lives have avoided property tax liabilities, major repair expenses, and in some cases, having to own a cadre of power tools and lawn and snow equipment. For this, they sacrifice the mortgage deduction, property appreciation value and other perks of home ownership, and the numbers can be convincing over the long haul...

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Understanding How The Masonry Code TMS 402/602 Affects Masonry Contractors

Any masonry construction project, be it large or small, needs to be designed and constructed in a manner so that the final product is safe and aesthetically acceptable. This is accomplished by exceeding the minimum standards set forth in project documents and building code, but where is the code information? When looking at the International Building Code, there is little information on the minimum requirements for constructing masonry, but there is a reference to a document called TMS 402/602. First some history. When looking back on historic codes, masonry provisions were completely contained within the Code, whether it be...

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