Historic Masonry Mortar Workshop


How to formulate, apply restoration mortars, and composite patching materials. A fundraiser for the Christopher P. Robinson Scholarship

About this Event

Historic mortar history, formulation, and application

Re-pointing, Composite Patching, In-filling cracks & loss

There is no prior knowledge or prerequisite required to attend. The theory, principles and techniques are applicable to all historic structures, gravestones, monuments and related materials composed from stone, or masonry.

The vast majority of cement and mortar products currently in use, and commonly employed over the past 100+ years were composed from a binder of Portland Cement combined with varying aggregates.

Prior to around the year 1900, there were many other varying types of cement binders which were in common usage. This workshop will focus on the use of historic style cement mixes to perform sympathetic restoration & conservation treatments to historic structures.


Topics to be covered will include:

• History of cements, including their evolution in composition and usage over the past 2000+ years

• Traditional lime mortar & lime putty

• Pozzolanic Hydraulic Lime (PHL)

• Roman Cements & American Natural Cements

• Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) of varying strengths

• Short History of Ordinary Portland Cements (OPC)

o Pro’s & Cons of Portland Cement

• How sands and aggregates, size, shape and chemical composition affect mortars and infill materials.

• Composite patching, how it differs from pointing mortar

• Color matching of mortar and infill

• Consolidation options of soft, weak and eroded stone

• Surface treatments & water repellants

• Injection and gravity fed grouts, how to formulate, mix and apply to stone and into cracks



Jason Church, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

Jason Church is a materials conservator in the Materials Conservation Program. Church coordinates and works to further develop the Center’s national cemetery training initiative and related research. His experience is in cemetery conservation with special attention placed on cemetery ironwork. Before joining NCPTT, he was a conservator and historic metals expert for the City of Savannah, Ga., Department of Cemeteries. He earned his M.F.A. in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Jonathan Appell, Atlas Preservation Inc.

Jonathan is a historic masonry specialist with expertise in gravestone, monument, sculpture and masonry structures In 1986 he founded the New England Cemetery Service, performing excavation, foundations, monument installation and restoration. Since 1999, he has concentrated on the preservation of historic gravestones, cemetery monuments, training, education and planning projects.

Workshop Logistics:

Attendants will conduct repointing of historic masonry, including joint preparation, mortar formulation, application, joint finishing & aftercare.

Composite Patching will be overviewed & the process of mortar creation and application to replace damaged or lost sections will be demonstrated.

Injection grouts, gravity fed grouts and related options for crack filling will be discussed and or demonstrated.

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