Corner poles help a mason position a line. They increase productivity by eliminating the need to build a lead. Also called masonry guides or speed poles, these steel or extruded-aluminum posts are plumbed and firmly anchored to the foundation and the building frame. Once set, the poles define the masonry wall surface in all three dimensions and in both directions from the corner. Corner poles increase the rate of construction and allow masons to build a wall with straighter courses and more even joint widths. Corner poles can be set up at inside or outside corners, or, on long walls, in the middle of the wall to prevent the lines from sagging. Once the line is set, all masons can start working at the same time--no one has to wait for the lead to be built, and masons are spaced more evenly along the wall so they don't get in each other's way.The mason's job is more difficult when setting up corner poles for construction of loadbearing walls. There are two ways to stabilize the top of the pole to keep it plumb as a freestanding guide: braces or leads. Each manufacturer uses a different method to attach the pole to the building and to hold the line. There are adaptations for inside corners, outside corners, quoins, and trigs. Corner poles are especially convenient on veneer walls, where the pole is attached to the building frame, and some models are designed only for veneer.Advantages of corner poles that increase convenience and productivity are:
  • Fast attachment and alignment
  • Easy adjustment of position
  • Attached, adjustable, and properly located mason's rule
  • Features, such as the ability to easily build inside or outside corners, quoins, expansion joints, columns, chimneys, gable walls, window sills and headers, and trigs

The article includes a list of manufacturers and features of their corner poles.