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Welcome > Resources > Glossary
  Each job has its vocabulary. Here you will find the main terms used in the world of stone together with their definitions.

A FRAME Metallic structure used for storing slabs in the workshop or for transportation
BED Rocky strata clearly distinct from other substrata by a stratification joint which is usually fairly soft or even sunken
BEDDING PLANE Natural direction of rock sedimentation, not always
BLOCK Parallelepiped raw product which comes out of the quarry
BREAKING DOWN Action of cutting rough, extracted blocks of stone into smaller elements
BROACH Metal spike, 0.25 – 0.35 m long
BUSH HAMMER Square-headed hammer tipped with points, used to produce an even surface on a stone
CANT Exterior edge of a stone’s surfaces
CHAMFER Small bevel made to a corner
CHANEL Cut, in the direction of the natural sedimentation bed of the stones
CHISEL Flat-bladed tool which cuts in the natural direction of the stone’s fault-line
CRINOID Marine organism, may be seen in abundance in a fossilised
CROSS CUT Outil plat qui tranche par un de ses bouts suivant une direction naturelle de faiblesse de la roche
CROWFOOT/TERRACE Irregular joint appearing in the form of a dark line in the stone
CUTTING Area dealing with any stone cutting as well as mechanical surfacing (texturing, flaming…)
CUTTING MACHINE Machine intended to carry out deep cuts parallel or perpendicular to the rock stratification in order to facilitate its extraction
DIAMOND WIRE Cable set with diamonds dragged in water to cut the rock
DRAINING Action of emptying out water which has infiltrated a rock. Also known as “dewatering”
FACE Central area of the exposed surface of a stone
FALSE BED Position of a stone in a different direction to that of the bed
FINE CUT Thin edge of a finely cut stone element
FINISH Treatment of the surface of the stone. There are various finishes available including textured, flamed, sawn, milled, honed, polished etc.
FLAGSTONE Finished product with standard dimensions
FOSSIL Belgian Blue Stone is made up of many fossilised organisms of a special morphology. The fossils can be white, grey or black, crinoids are the most commonly found fossils in Belgian Blue Stone
FRAME SAW Metallic frame in which many metallic strips used to saw the blocks into slabs are hung
GEODE Spherical, hollow rock mass lined with crystals
GLAUCONITE Silicate hydrate containing iron, a dark green mineral present in certain sedimentary rocks.
GLYPTOGRAPHY An academic subject related to history, involving the study of signs made on stones.
HELICAL WIRE Metallic wires wound into a spiral which cut the rock by dragging sand and water across it. Old method of cutting rock.
KARSTIC Said of limestone which has been attacked by the erosive action of water on its surface and underground, forming potholes as it infiltrates the cracks
LIME Fine vein, often of white calcite
LOWER BED Lower surface of a stone, to be placed on top of another
MARBLE For those professionally involved with stone, the word marble encompasses various calcareous hard rocks able to take a polished finish. When genuine marble is specified, it refers only to metamorphic calcareous rocks.
MARBLE WORKSHOP Surfacing the slabs and flagstones (sanding, polishing…)
PALETTE Periphery of a cut element, treated differently to the central face
ROCTEUR Worker working "at the rock" to extract blocks
ROUGH HEWING Method of preparing the shape of a moulding or sculpture starting from a parallelepiped and removing prisms which become increasingly thin, until the definitive volume is reached
SAWING Cutting a block into slabs
SCHISTOSITY The splitting into layers of certain argillaceous rocks in response to deformation stresses
SHAPING Process by which machines reproduce traditional sizes from the slabs
SLAB Semi-finished product resulting from the sawing of a block into thin sheets (in the region of a centimetre). The slab is sawn in parallel to the quarry bed
SPALLING Action of splitting a stone in the direction of the layers of stratification
SPIGOT Metallic corner to break the stone along the perforation holes
SPLITTING Action of splitting the stone along the natural lines of the lamellar layers
SQUARING Action carried out to produce a more or less square sided block
STEREOTOMY Science dealing with the cutting of solid items (stone, wood etc.) ; method of cutting and assembling stones using descriptive geometry
STRATIFICATION Arrangement of beds or varieties of stone in superimposed layers
STYLOLITES Fine joins in sedimentary rocks, parallel to the layers and marked by a concentration of clays
SURFACING Action consisting of levelling all the surfaces of an untreated stone
SUR SART Thick slabs (15 centimetres and more) sawn perpendicular to the quarry bed
TOOTHED CHISEL Mason’s chisel, markedly tapering in form and jagged, generally used for roughing out
TOOTHED POLKA Hammer with double claws, turned inversely to the handle.
UPPER BED Upper surface of a stone to serve as a support for a new block
VEIN White linear structure present in the stone