This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The use of metal lathing is continually increasing and is a practice which should be encouraged even for wooden houses. This form of lathing holds the plaster more firmly and is not so liable to crack or sag, and it is almost impossible to detach it even if soaked by water. Added to this are the fire-resisting qualities, which render the use of metal lathing always advisable for the soffits of stairs in public buildings, under galleries and over all hot air pipes enclosed in partitions. Metal laths should always be used where wooden walls connect with brick walls or chimneys, and wherever a solid timber of any size is to be plastered over, a strip of metal lathing covering the timber and lapping well on to the adjoining wooden laths, will tend to prevent cracks which will occur if wooden laths only are used. For exterior plastering galvanized or painted lathing should be used, furred at least seven-eighths of an inch from the boarding.
"With the completion of the lathing the house will be ready for the plasterer. Already the mortar will have been mixed, and, piled in large stacks, should have been standing for a week or more. The sand and lime having passed the same scrutiny and tests which we employed when making the mortar for the. mason-work, the only thing necessary will be to see that the mortar is well mixed and tempered and that hair of the proper amount and quality is added at the proper time.