Some of the following instructions are applicable only to dams built under specifications similar to those of the Wachusett dam, i.e., vertical joints filled with hand-laid mortar and spalls. It is probable also that not all of these instructions are applicable to any one dam. Where necessary the reason for the instruction is given. Under the old method of masonry construction, an inspector should be stationed at each derrick. Where concrete is used for bedding the large stone and for filling vertical joints, an inspector can properly look after more than one derrick.
Be on the work in the morning before the workmen. This is especially necessary in case there have been any operations during the night such as bringing material (stone or spalls) onto the dam. A stone might be hit and its bed broken. Rather than take it up a workman will in thirty seconds with a trowel obliterate all evidence.
See that no foundation is built upon unless it has been accepted by the engineer, and cross-sections have been taken.
Even after acceptance of the foundation there are still details that the inspector must be responsible for, i.e., to see that all loose or unsound fragments of rock are removed, also that it is clean.
If there is water in the foundation see that it is diverted, and that any necessary pipes are inserted either for handling the water or for future grouting operations. This is a most important feature of the work, and few inspectors are entirely capable of handling it. The chief inspector or the engineer in charge should be present and be responsible for it.
See that the stones are sound and free from open seams or dirt. Have any thin or feather edges knocked off. See that it is to set on its proper bed and is not too tall for its bed; and that it is wet.
See that the mortar is well tempered, and of proper consistency for the particular stone; that the bed is properly prepared; that the stone is lowered onto its bed in such a way as to expel all air; that after being lowered it is floated in position without developing any hard spots in its bed; that superfluous mortar is shoveled up and saved for use elsewhere, being careful that the remaining mortar does not fall away from the bed of the stone at any point.
See that the filling of the vertical joints is such that there is no unoccupied space. If of mortar and spalls the mortar should be thinner than for derrick stone; if of concrete and spalls the concrete should be fluid enough to flow into all parts of the joint. See that this operation is assisted by shovels or bars so that no nesting of the aggregate occurs. The spalls should subsequently be thrown in and pressed down into the concrete. The spalls must be sound, clean, and wet. See that the largest practicable percentage of spalls is introduced.
See that exposed faces are smoothed up and left with a neat workmanlike appearance.
When building on previously laid masonry see that there are no loose stones in the bed. Carefully and thoroughly remove all dirt or inert cement.
Use plenty of water to keep the work in a moist condition and prevent any drying out of mortar or concrete. This is to be watched most particularly in hot or dry weather.
See that the bond is such that there are no continuous joints in any plane or direction.
See that face stone meet the same requirements for soundness and cleanliness; also that they conform to the specifications as to dimensions, number of headers, bond, etc. See that they are properly set to correct line and grade, preserving proper joint thickness. See that the joints are properly raked out for subsequent pointing.
Carefully preserve any lines or grades set by the engineer until they have served their purpose. If any doubt exists as to whether a line or grade is correct or may have been knocked out, have it checked before using it. In general see that any point or line established for guidance is consistent with adjacent points and with adjacent completed work.
If any grout pipes are being brought up through the masonry keep a note as to their number and location. See that none are overlooked and covered up.
Keep a small diary in which record each day the following:
Location of derrick.
Name of foreman.
Force employed under it.
Any unusual incident or accident.
Any lost time and the cause for it.
Carry a 2-ft. rule and record the dimension of each large stone delivered to your derrick for its use.
Record the number of boxes of spalls received, and number of batches of mortar and concrete.
Record any important order received from engineer or chief inspector or given to the foreman.
Record full particulars of any work done under such circumstances that it may be claimed as "extra" work.
While it is the duty of the foreman or derrick engineer to see that the equipment is in safe working order and that no condition involving danger to any of the force is allowed to exist, see to it yourself, for your own sake if for no one else's.
An accident which might have been prevented reflects on the inspector as much as on the foreman.
Remember that you are not concerned with the quantity of work performed but with the quality. Hence do not give orders that encroach on the province of the foreman, as you may furnish a basis for a claim on the part of the contractor.
Be tactful. Do your duty firmly and justly but as far as possible in a manner that will further the foreman's efforts. You can accomplish more by working with him than against him. If you show the proper spirit almost any foreman is open to suggestions in furtherance of the interests of the work where he would not tolerate orders. In any case do not have a fight. If the foreman must be disciplined let the chief inspector or engineer do it.
Make use of all reasonable and proper assistance in forming an accurate estimate of your own knowledge and importance. Do not be above learning anything from anyone.