20th Century Concrete: What Makes an Artifact Unique. Also Elegant Ways to Repair, Color Concrete

As this 1917 military structure was re-purposed into offices, the wood graining of the formwork for the concrete pours was repaired with grout and faux bois graining tools and the surfaces were casein painted in a tone that matched the reaction of high pH lime from the original concrete pour attacking the oil from the formwork and the tannins in the wood, creating a visibly soft and inviting interior to a concrete and glass structure.

Mortar ratios: How to measure void space in sand

The basic idea behind determining the void space in a sand is to determine the ratio of lime needed to adequately bind the sand without pushing the sand grains apart. In other words, how to make the strongest possible mortar by optimizing the lime portion.

A Portable Lab for Mortar Match Finger-printing of Your Local Geology

Portable lab trunk assembled on the truck tailgate for go-anywhere sand sieving and analysis.

Google Maps for mortar matching?! Go local when seeking to match historic mortars as the sand you seek may well be under your feet. If you need to go off site, look nearby. When the mortar analysis checkbox is clicked by sending away for a report that does not give you an exactly matching source (without relying on tweaks from pigments that may not be stable and will change the lime-sand ratio of a mortar and its working properties), your money is being wasted and your building is not getting the best treatment.

What you need to learn from a mortar analysis about aggregates and ratios

Sand is not sand is not sand. Often when people are having stucco or plaster application problems (although the same can happen with bricklaying mortar), it turns out the aggregate is to blame. In short, it is not as simple as accepting whatever is at the local masonry supply house. Nor for that matter if… Continue reading What you need to learn from a mortar analysis about aggregates and ratios