client wants this hole fixed any suggestions

Views: 107

Comment by Robert Duncan on June 20, 2012 at 7:15pm

client wants this hole fixed . and possibly cleaning up the appearance of the whole wall later any suggestions. I'm thinking cover it in three inches and carving to give a similar appearance.

Comment by Jeff Tobler on June 20, 2012 at 7:19pm

Clean it out and sculpt around it as an entrance to a gnome home.

Comment by Robert Duncan on June 20, 2012 at 7:33pm

it would be cool to have fun with It, but it is on our cities main street and there is 400+ feet of it

Comment by Christian Maucieri on June 20, 2012 at 10:15pm
I think a nice Cottoneaster or potentilla shrub would fix that no problem.
Comment by Bruce Rogers on June 21, 2012 at 6:14am

Hey Rob,

this old wall has been repaired a couple of times. If it was built 100yrs ago, the materials are probably a fair bit different from what's used over the last 30yrs or so.  As you would be aware, the old materials were 'softer' than those used recently.

Lime was still used 100yrs ago, and behaves differently than the fast setting, harder final strength cement based mortars used today.

The rule of thumb in restoration work is; Don't use harder/stronger materials than were used in the original construction. If you do, you have two materials (probably overlaid, and cross-penetrating) that essentially work against each other. Basically, one is softer and more flexible, the other is harder and more rigid.

That being said, the client will probably be working to a budget, and won't want to know the intricacies of material compatibility.

The bottom course of large, coarse stone, may have been laid in lime mortar. And the work above may have been, and certainly looks to have been, re-laid at various stages, in cement mortar.

An old stand-by in these situations, is to re-lay in a mortar with some of the characteristics of both materials. Obviously, the easiest way to achieve this is to make a mortar mix incorporating both cement and lime. The old tried and trusted formula is 6 sand, 1 cement, 1 lime. If you really need to, then add a little oxide to try and approximate the predominant colour of the newer work.

With cleaning, again, the trusted method is to clean with water only. No acid. Definitely no hydrochloric/muriatic acid, and not even phosphoric acid. They will react with the oxides in the stone and give a 'bleached' effect.

Another interesting feature of this wall, is that what looks like  the foundation stones, seem to have been exposed by excavation. Foundation stones traditionally are either below grade, or only partly showing.

This was probably originally a low wall, but now the changes in the level of the land, either natural or man-made, have exposed what look to be foundation stones.

Can't tell from the picture, but the capping/capstones, may be concrete, run with a mold and or trowelled.

A good place to ask for definitive information would be one of the guys on this forum. He's from England.

Look back thru the pics and you will see his stonework. Can't recall his name off-hand.

Good luck,


Comment by Robert Duncan on June 21, 2012 at 6:54am
Thanks Bruce , going to look at it a little closer on Tuesday and thanks scott hope all is well down in florida
Comment by Bruce Rogers on June 22, 2012 at 5:08am

Or, depending on the location/history etc of the wall, you could reinforce it and make a carving of some part of local history, where the hole is now.

Come to think of it, how did a hole like that happen in the first place?


Comment by Robert Duncan on June 22, 2012 at 6:21am
Yup it's an historical landmark they are doing some landscaping and undermined the foundation stones with a skidsteer
Comment by Robert Duncan on June 22, 2012 at 6:23am
All the mortar in side crumbles like a dried clump of sand
Comment by jeff kirt/ kirtbag Carving mix on June 22, 2012 at 2:06pm



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