Historic Preservation Boot Camp
4 Days – 8:00am to 3:30pm
Although generally considered permanent, masonry is subject to deterioration, especially at the mortar joints. Historically, lime mortar acted as a bedding material (similar to an expansion joint) instead of a glue for the masonry units so moisture was able to migrate through the joints rather than through the brick and stone. If the mortar does not permit moisture or vapor to migrate out of the wall and evaporate, the result will be accelerated damage to the brick and stone. Mortar that is stronger in compressive strength than the surrounding brick and stone will not be flexible; causing stresses to be relieved through the masonry units and leading to permanent damage to the brick and stone in the form of cracking and spalling. To prevent damage to vintage structures, the methods we support encourage the use of repointing mortars that are softer or more permeable than the surrounding brick and stone and no harder or more impermeable than the existing historic mortar. This hands-on workshop introduces the basic principles and work practices needed to repoint vintage brick and/or stone structures using breathable lime mortar supplied by LimeWorks.us. The lecture and demonstrations cover the properties of natural hydraulic lime mortars; tips for selecting and mixing lime mortars; and cleaning, filling, repointing, and tooling certain mortar joints. Then, the intense learn-by-doing opportunity lifts the bar for engagement and interactivity as participants work side-by-side with experienced masons from LimeWorks.us to practice the skills on historic structures undergoing restoration at our facility. Participants will gain an enhanced understanding of the built environment, greater appreciation of historic sites, and recognize the high level of craftsmanship that defines the masonry trade. If you’re a professional architect, pursuing a degree in historic preservation, or simply exploring your career options, this course will assist you in recognizing inappropriate, incompatible, and uncomplimentary repairs to historic masonry. Prior masonry experience is helpful but not required.
After completing the workshop participants will:
- Understand the science behind breathable natural hydraulic lime.
- Appreciate the methods used to analyze the composition of historic mortars.
- Be aware of proper wall preparation to safely remove existing mortar and rake and clean joints without damaging the surrounding stone or brick.
- Know how to mix, place, and cure lime mortar properly.
- Recognize common pointing styles.
- Be able to fill, repoint, tool, texture, and brush mortar joints to simulate simple pointing profiles.
- Be acquainted with the steps to dismantle and reset loose bricks and/or stone.
- Realize when and how to clean historic masonry.
The workshop will be held at the historic Millhafen Farm—the headquarters of Craftwork Training Center and LimeWorks.us—located at 3145 State Road, Telford, PA 18969. A nonrefundable deposit of $100 is required two weeks in advance with the balance due at the beginning of the workshop. All the necessary materials and tools will be supplied and a light lunch is provided for your convenience. The program will start promptly at 8:00 am. Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete the check-in process and come appropriately dressed and prepared for hands-on training. To ensure an exceptional learning experience, the class size is limited. However, a minimum of 3 participants is required to hold the workshop.
Students studying historic preservation at Bucks County Community College may qualify for a discount. Call 215-536-1776 for details.