Historic Preservation Boot Camp
3 Days – 8:00am to 3:00pm
Although generally considered permanent, masonry is subject to deterioration too. Our preservation practices attempt to keep masonry structures from deteriorating further; respect the significance of original materials and details; and stabilize, repair, and retain features wherever possible to ensure their safekeeping for future generations. To prevent damage to classic structures, the methods we support encourage the use of lime mortars that are softer or more permeable than the surrounding brick and stone and no harder or more impermeable than the existing historic mortar. Although restoration projects may appear straight forward and intuitive, there’s no substitute for skill, experience, and the right materials to fit the purpose. This comprehensive workshop introduces the basic principles and work practices needed to restore vintage brick and stone structures using breathable lime mortars, binders, renders, and mineral coatings from LimeWorks.us. The lecture, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises cover the properties and benefits of natural hydraulic lime mortars; the potential causes of brick and stone deterioration; the importance of matching existing mortar and joint profiles where encountered in historic projects; and how to recognize inappropriate, incompatible, and noncomplementing masonry repairs. Participants will also work side-by-side with experienced masons from LimeWorks.us while practicing repointing and plastering skills on mock-up panels and reviewing helpful tips and creative fixes using Lithomex (a high-performance lime mortar used to repair damaged brick and stone surfaces). This intense learn-by-doing opportunity lifts the bar for engagement and interactivity and provides an enhanced understanding of the built environment, greater appreciation of historic sites, and recognition of the high level of craftsmanship that defines the masonry trade. Prior masonry experience is helpful but not required.
After completing the workshop participants will:
- Understand the science behind breathable natural hydraulic lime.
- 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.
- Realize how to mix, apply, and tool Lithomex to simulate the surrounding masonry.
- Be proficient at basic hawk and trowel techniques for applying TAKCOAT™ and TOPCOAT™ lime plaster.
- Know how and when to clean historic masonry.
- Appreciate how to seamlessly tie in masonry repair work to create a unified surface.
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.