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To save the trouble of keeping the plumb-rule and level constantly in his hands and yet ensure correct work, the bricklayer, on clearing the footings of a wall, builds up six or eight courses of bricks at the external angles (see fig. 1), which he carefully plumbs and levels across.
In work circular on plan, besides the level and plumb-rule, a gauge mould or template, or a ranging trammel -- a rod working on a pivot at the centre of the curve, and in length equalling the radius -- must be used for every course, as it is evident that the line and pins cannot be applied to this in the manner just described.
The workman, beginning at the extreme left of his section, or at a quoin, advances to the right, carefully keeping to his line and frequently testing his work with the plumb-rule, spirit-level and straight-edge, until he reaches another angle, or the end of his section.
Having been carried up three or four courses to a level with the guidance of the line which is raised course by course, the work should be proved with the level and plumb-rule, particularly with the latter at the quoins and reveals, as well as over the face.
I should demand the invariable application to individuality, this day and any day, of that old, ever-true plumb-rule of persons, eras, nations.
The tools and implements employed by the bricklayer are: -- the trowel for spreading the mortar; the plumb-rule to keep the work perpendicular, or in the case of an inclined or battering wall, to a regular batter, for the plumb-rule may be made to suit any required inclination; the spirit-level to keep the work horizontal, often used in conjunction with a straight-edge in order to test a greater length; and the gauge-rod with the brick-courses marked on it.