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Lime Wall Pointing

Category: Barn Conversion Journal June 13th, 2007 by mbc

Having fed my lime pointing addiction over the last few weeks, my overall approach is established:

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To begin with the lime mortar is generally sound, if crumbly in places and needing some attention.

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After hacking back there are some deep areas needing extensive filling and other areas that remain mainly intact.

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Pointing is done using a 3:1 local sand to lime putty mix. The deeper areas have been filled with pinnings (small pieces of stone) and packed with lime. The joints are left roughly pointed.

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After a number of days to go off, the lime mortar is hard enough to finish with a wire brush to give clean defined joints and an overall smooth undulating finish to the wall. Sharp joints and changes to levels are avoided to prevent shadowing and opportunities for water to pool.

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Lime Pointing Update

Category: Barn Conversion Journal June 4th, 2007 by mbc

So I’ve managed to go an get myself a new hobby, which is really the last thing I need at the moment as I have more than enough to fill my days as it is. I must admit, I’ve been bitten by the pointing bug.

I’ve also had my first experience of lime in the eye (lime-eye?). It wasn’t pleasant, but could have been far worse – I’m sure contact lenses provide some degree of protection, so long as you don’t use then to trap the lime in contact with the surface of your eye! Plenty of water (bottled at great expense) did the trick.

My main satisfaction has been the small (about a square metre) patch of wall that I’ve completed – cut back the joints, cleaned up, pointed, left to go-off then finished with a wire brush. I reckon I can cover about a square metre an hour, I’m resolutely not working out how long the whole building will take me…

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Lime Analysis

Category: Barn Conversion Journal May 5th, 2007 by mbc

Inspired to analyse the composition of my mortar, I improvised and placed a lump of mortar that I’d levered out of my wall in the strongest acid I could lay my hands on – white wine vinegar 8% acidity.

The vinegar was surprisingly successful in dissolving the lime (with a rather attractive bubbling that makes me want to do it again) and left me with the residue photographed below:

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I was left with around 10-20% of the original volume of material, mainly quite fine sand. From this and the appearance of the mortar it seems to me the mortar contains a high proportion of lime with added sand.

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Lucious Lime

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 29th, 2007 by mbc

After my ‘introduction to lime’ course I have a great fear that I may be joining the ranks of sustainable / healthy / traditional / vernacular building fanatics - those guys who, have a glint in their eye (perhaps caused by a small fleck of caustic lime) and a passion in their speech when discussing lime mortars, white-washes, sheeps wool insulation…

The course was at Ty Mawr Lime just outside Brecon in South Wales. The day started with an overview of Ty Mawr, its background and aims and products. This was followed by a history lesson – the application of lime throughout history, which proved very interesting. Then a demo of slaking (water added to dried lime or lime putty to make it ready to use) and some other aspects of lime analysis, handling and preparation.

Following lunch, we got dirty. First some hands-on tuition at pointing, then plastering. During both sessions the tutors were knowledgeable, informative and helpful. Then a coffee, a quick quiz (14 out of 15 – who’s got a big brain!) then home.

A great and informative day, in beautiful surroundings – thoroughly recommended for anyone who fancies developing their fanatical side!

More on what I learnt about lime coming soon…

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

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