Category Archives: Plaster and Stucco

The past wasn’t so long ago: how a WWI-era concrete building surprised us with its connection to the past

We were recently asked by a developer to look at a large open air shed they are turning into retail space below and offices above. Since the project sought to use historic tax credit funding, they had many preservation entities … Continue reading

Posted in Mortars, Paint, Plaster and Stucco, Uncategorized, Wood | Tagged , , ,

Exploring void and pore space in aggregates

As I continued reading the sand chapter in Bryan Higgins’ Experiments and Observations Made with the View of Improving the Art of Composing and Applying Calcareous Cements (1780), I came across this paragraph: “When sand was poured into the glass cylinder until … Continue reading

Posted in Mortars, Plaster and Stucco | Tagged ,

A Tale of Three Sands

“I thought that large stones with curvilinear faces, bedded in common mortar, do not form so strong a walls they may when their interstices are filled with fitting stones together with the due quantity of mortar; so mortar made with … Continue reading

Posted in Mortars, Plaster and Stucco | Tagged , , , , ,

Tailgate Lab: Matching Mortars on the Fly

“From an altitude of 36 centimeters – we were lying prone, elbows down, chins in hand – the assembled gravel, like a new Hampshire boulder field, could be seen for what it was: unique sculpture from distinct terrane in widely … Continue reading

Posted in Mortars, Plaster and Stucco | Tagged , , , , , ,

Playing in the sandbox: Learning what graphs mean and how you can manipulate a sand to meet your needs

A graph like the one in the previous post is only one way of understanding your sand. It’s important to look at the aggregate in several ways. Setting the aggregate retained from each fraction out in dishes side by side … Continue reading

Posted in Mortars, Plaster and Stucco | Tagged , , ,

An introduction to aggregates for mortar

Too often when people try to make plaster or stucco and find they are having application problems, it turns out the aggregate is to blame. Just like Harry Francis from the National Lime Institute used to say “Lime is not … Continue reading

Posted in Mortars, Plaster and Stucco | Tagged , , , , , ,