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Site. (Lat. Situs.) The situation of ;i building
the plot of ground on -whieh it stands.
Skew. The sloping top of a buttress where it slants off into a wall,or the coping of a gable
Skew Back. In a straight or curved arch, that part of it which recedes beyond the
springing from the vertical line of the opening.
Skew Corbei,. See Summer Stone.
Skiffling. See Knobbling.
Skirting or Skirting Board. The narrow board placed round the margin of a floor
which, where there is a dado, forms a plinth for its base
; otherwise, it is a plinth for
the room itself. Skirting is either scribed close to tlie floor or let into it by a groove
in the former case a fillet is put at the back of the skirting to keep it firm.
Skirts. Several superficies in a plane, which would cover a body when turned up or
down without overlapping.
Skirts of a Roof. The projection of the eaves.
Skueen. See Screen.
Skylight. A frame consisting of one or more inclined planes of glass, placed in a roof to
light passages or rooms below. See Lantern light
; Lighting.
Slab. An outside plank or board sawed from the sides of a timber tree, and frequently
of very unequal thickness. The word is also used to express a thin piece of marble,
consisting of right angles and plane surfaces.
Slab. The/row;; AraWA of a fireplace. The Metropolitan Buildings Act, 1855, requires
that "
There shall be laid, level with the floor of every story, before the opening of
-every chimney, a slab of stone, slate, or other incombustible substance, at the least twelve
inches longer than the width of such opening, and at the least eighteen inches wide in
front of the breast thereof:That on every floor, except the lowest flcor, such slab shall
be laid wholly upon stone or iron bearers, or upon brick trimmers ; but on the lowest
floor it may be bedded ou the solid ground :
and That the health or slab of every
chimney shall be bedded wholly on brick, stone, or other incombustible substmce, and
shall be solid for a thickness of seven inches at the least bene;ith the upper surface of
such hearth or slab." Such precautions are too frequently neglected in country houses,
to their ultimate destruction by fire. No timbers should be placed under the hearths
on any account. See Timbers.
Slate. A species of argillaceous stone, an abundant and very useful material. It can
be sawn to a very large sizeor split into thiu plates, of any required thickness
being non-
absorbent it is used for roofing, and for water cisterns. There arc varieties of blue,
red, and green in colour.
Slatkus' Work. Laying slates on roofs ;
forming water cisterns ; and a few other
matters connected therewith, constitute this artificer's work. See Shouldering.
Sleepers. Horizontal timbers disposed in a building next to the ground transvertely
under walls, ground joists, or the boarding of a floor. When iised ou piles they are
bud upon them, and planked over to support the superincumbent walls. Underground
joists either lie upon the snlid earth, or are supported at various parts by props of
iirickwork or stones. When in the former position, having no rows of timber below,
tlicse ground joists are themselves called sleepers. Old writers on practical archi-
tecture call those rafters lying in the valley of a roof, sleepers
but in this sense the
word is now obsolete.
Sliding Rule. One constructed with logarithmic lines, so that by means of another
scale sliding on it, various arithuctieal operations are performed merely by inspection.
Slit Deal. ti<-e Board.
Slope of a Ruof. See Roofing ;
and Pitch. Of a Road, see Gradient.
Sluice. A slop against water for the drainage or supply with water of a place. It is
hung with hinges from the top edge when used merely as a stop against the water of a
river : but when made for supply as well, it moves vertically in the groove of its frame
by means of a winch, and is then called a penstock.
Smithery. The art of uniting several lumps of iron into one lump or mass, and forming
them into any desired shape. The Foundry is a branch ot it.
Smoothing Plane. The plane last used by the joiner to give the utmost degree of smooth-
ness to the surface of the wood, and is chiefly for cleaning off finished work. It
inches long, 3 inches broad, and
inches in breadth.
SxACKKT. A provincial term for the hasp of a casement.
Snipe's Bill Plane. One with a sharp arris for getting out the quirks of monldings.
Socket Chisel. A strong tool used by carpenters for mortisiug, and worked with a mallet.
Socle or Zocle. (It.) A square member of less height than its horizontal dimension,
servin"- to raise pedestals, or to support vases, &c. The socle is sometimes continued
round a building, and is then called a continued socle. It has neither base nor cornice.
Soffit, or Sofite. (Ital.) A ceiling
the lower surface of a vault or arch. A
denoting the under horizontal face of the aivhitrave between columns
; the under
surface of the corona of a cornice.
The same as ground and earth : it is also used to denote the deposit in a ccssp ol
from a
water-closet or privy.