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Masonry mortar

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I've decided to fill yet another annoying gap in my knowledge base.
What is general practice for specifying different types of mortar (M, S,
or N)?  Typically, I have specified these based on where they are
located (exterior, below or above ground; or interior, respectively).
Does the specified masonry strength play into the choice of mortar, or
only the end use?  Amrhein's book has some information, but not much

Thanks for any help.

Mike Hemstad

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