This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
The scaffolding used by bricklayers consists of (1) poles which are usually 20-30 ft. long, or even more, and 6-9 in. in extreme diameter at the butt end; (2) putlogs, which are short poles about 6 ft. long, and seldom more than 4 in. diam., but chopped square to prevent them from rolling; the ends are also square, but cut still smaller, so as not to exceed 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 in. or thereabout, in order that they may be less than the end of a brick; (3) lashings and wooden wedges; the former of 1 1/2-in. rope, about 3 fathoms long; (4) planks of the usual length of 12-14 ft., all 1 3/4 in. thick, generally hooped at the ends to prevent splitting. With these materials the scaffolding for brickwork is put together in the following manner: - First a line of upright scaffolding poles is erected on each side, parallel to the walls, at the distance of about 5 ft., and at intervals of 8-10 ft. apart. They are usually sunk about 2 ft. into the ground at the butt end, and the earth rammed round them. Next a line of horizontal poles of the same description is lashed and wedged to those upright poles, in the position intended for the first scaffold (or platform).
These horizontal poles, which are called "ledgers," are continued all round the building, and where 2 meet it is usual to make their ends overlap, and to lash them not only to the upright poles but also to each other. The ledgers and poles combine in supporting the superstructure of the scaffold, which is formed by the putlog and the planks. The putlogs have a bearing of about 6 in. in the walls, and are laid in a position that ought to be the place of a heading brick. At the other end they rest on the ledgers. They are usually placed about 5-6 ft. apart, excepting between doors and windows, where the piers are sometimes so narrow as to require them to be placed nearer; they cannot of course be introduced where there is an opening without inserting any extra piece of timber across that opening as a beam. The planks are placed longitudinally over the putlogs parallel to the wall, and it is common to use 4 or 5 planks alongside of each other, which forms a platform 3 or 4 ft. in width. Care should be taken that the planks do not project any distance beyond the putlogs upon which they rest.
See Figs. 1337, 1338.