Graphical Construction Glossary >> masonry. >> arches >> Arch definitions
When I was a young guy I spent nine months or so in Japan mostly living in Tokyo. A few times I visited a sumo wrestling dojo to watch the early morning training sessions. A pair of huge guys (they had names like "man mountain") would throw themselves at each other. With arms locked, heads on shoulders, haunches rippling and trembling with the strain as they would try to push each other out of the ring. Many times they would lock solid with no movement for minutes at a time.
What happens with the wrestlers happens with arches. The arch in the photo above has tonnes of masonry thrusting down on it from above, While the one on the right has lost it's mass of surrounding masonry and it seems close to collapse.
If you look closely at the top photo you will see that the stone spanning the door head is in one piece and it just sits on either side of the supports.
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"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900
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