What better place to start this page than with a strong foundation? Doesn't get much stronger than bricks, huh?
Imagine you have a brick in your hand. Depending on how it's oriented, the sides all have different names.
Brick of Chicago
has the names nicely labelled with pictures. Labelling without pictures it pretty hard; who would have thought.
- Rustification: making a brick's surface rough and "unfinished" deliberately.
- Ashlar: a finely-worked piece of stone; a brick, for example, is an ashlar. Ashlar don't have to be rectangular; stones are worked so that the bonds between them are thin, and being cubic is the easiest way to achieve this.
- Course/coursed construction: a course is what you find in outer walls of houses: a layer of the same-shaped unit of masonry (aka brick) over and over to produce a neat line. Coursed rubble construction uses randomly-shaped units, but they still make a semi-neat "layer".
- Wythe: if a course is a long line of bricks, a wythe is the part of the wall you see when you walk to one end and look at the line length-wise. The wythe is just the word for that oriention
- Dry stone/stack: the opposite of coursed: this is when randomly-assembled rocks are used to build. These rocks may be quarried/made into ashlar, or just used right away. This means that there is no horizontal "layering".
When you see a metal wall that looks like this:
This is a sign of "hot-dip galvanisation". The markings are the spangle
of zinc--the visible feature of zinc crystals as they harden. The metal (iron or steel) that is "hot-dipped" is dipped into a pool of zinc before being cooled quickly to create a cover to protect from rust.