The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.3.11

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.3.10 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.4.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

11If stucco be used on timber partitions, which are necessarily constructed with spaces between the upright and cross pieces, and thence, when smeared with clay, liable to swell with the damp, and when dry to shrink, and cause cracks, the following expedient should be used. After the partition has been covered with the clay, reeds, by the side of each other, are to be nailed thereon with bossed nails; and clay having been laid over these, and another layer of reeds nailed on the former, but crossed in their direction, so that one set is nailed upright, and the other horizontally; then, as above described, the sand and marble coats and finishing are to be followed up. The double row of reeds thus crossed on walls prevents all cracks and fissures.

Morgan translation

11But if stucco has to be made on “wattle and daub,” where there must be cracks at the uprights and cross-sticks, because they must take in moisture when they are daubed with the mud, and cause cracks in the stucco when they dry and shrink, the following method will prevent this from happening. After the whole wall has been smeared with the mud, nail rows of reeds to it by means of “fly-nails,” then spread on the mud a second time, and, if the first rows have been nailed with the shafts transverse, nail on a second set with the shafts vertical, and then, as above described, spread on the sand mortar, the marble, and the whole mass of stucco. Thus, the double series of reeds with their shafts crossing on the walls will prevent any chipping or cracking from taking place.