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Thread: How to use a masons line?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Las Cruces, NM

    How to use a masons line?

    I've seen mason's who could set their line exactly where they wanted the edge of the brick or block to be. Whenever I try to use a line this way, I find that it is easy to get out of alignment on a long run since you can accidentally set a brick that pushes on the line a little. I find it easer to set the line so it is some known distance away from the face of the brick and use something of that thickness to judge how well the brick is set. Which method is the "standard practice"?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Islesboro, Maine
    I've seen the line used both ways. Depends on the mason. Some masons don't use a line and the work will be straight. When I built my house I'd stretch a line to make sure the walls were straight. I'd use a small block of 1/2 ply at the ends under the line nailed to the top plate & use a piece of the same 1/2" ply to make sure the distance was the same to the line along the top of the wall.The bottom I'd snap a chalk line.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Dakota
    Both of you are mentioning or using methods that work best for you and both are acceptable -- or should I say standard -- practice. Personally, I set the string line where the blocks, or bricks are to be set, using one or more units (blocks) on each end (of a wall for example) as a guide. Then I set all the rest of the course of blocks as close to the line as possible without actually touching the line. That way I don't have to fuss with another variable, such as a spacer block or a tape measure. I may let the block touch the line, ever so slightly as I level it in both directions -- front-to-back and end-to-end --but then I tap it away -- again ever so slightly -- until it does NOT touch the string line. My walls are always straight and plumb! Or at least I'll always claim they should be!!
    Watch your fingers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Newburyport MA
    I use them as designed and similar to Wells, barely touching the line or a touch away from it.

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