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Thread: "Fattening" Masonry Mortar

  1. #1 "Fattening" Masonry Mortar 
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    May be my 99th. nervous imponderable: Can anyone answer why all the literature on use of brick or block, or other materials, in building structures using mortared joints states: "Continued mixing will make the mortar "fatter". "

    I've done lots of this type of work, and understand the "feel" of Portland Cement/lime mortar (lime is Calcium Hydroxide), but never saw continued mixing cause anything more than letting the stuff get older.

    How does lime in cement make the mixture stickier and more maneuverable?

    Here is a pic of my current project:



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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Perhaps they meant that if you continued pouring the cement into the mixture that you've already made , it would do that type of thing. Say you made a batch of the mortar and it is the right consistency but then you kept adding more and more of the cement into that mix it would surely "fatten up" wouldn't it?


    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    pretty stones, jocular

    if memory serves, fatter is just another way of saying more workable
    kinda like the difference between beating eggwhites and sugar to soft peaks or hard peaks
    try mixing until well mixed, then letting the mix rest for 10-15 minutes, then remix for 5 minutes or so
    try setting a trowel of the mix and watching the slump-----usually, there will be less slump, and greater adhesion with longer mixing times---
    UNLESS it is very hot(over 90degrees f) then cut back on the mixing time a bit, or strap some of your dreaded "plastic" over the opening of the mixer to cut back on evaporation

    it's been awhile, but, i used more portland in the mix below grade, and more lime in the mix above grade, and for flung stucco
    more portland means less working time, harder, more brittle, and more waterproof.
    more lime means longer working time, softer, etc... and a lot easier to work with.

    bon adventure
    looks like fun

    caveat: what worked well for me in the midwest may not be as ideal for you
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    pretty stones, jocular

    if memory serves, fatter is just another way of saying more workable
    kinda like the difference between beating eggwhites and sugar to soft peaks or hard peaks
    try mixing until well mixed, then letting the mix rest for 10-15 minutes, then remix for 5 minutes or so
    try setting a trowel of the mix and watching the slump-----usually, there will be less slump, and greater adhesion with longer mixing times---
    UNLESS it is very hot(over 90degrees f) then cut back on the mixing time a bit, or strap some of your dreaded "plastic" over the opening of the mixer to cut back on evaporation

    it's been awhile, but, i used more portland in the mix below grade, and more lime in the mix above grade, and for flung stucco
    more portland means less working time, harder, more brittle, and more waterproof.
    more lime means longer working time, softer, etc... and a lot easier to work with.

    bon adventure
    looks like fun

    caveat: what worked well for me in the midwest may not be as ideal for you
    Thank you for the compliment! My experience with stonework is such that people either hold it in awe, or hate it, no middle ground, it seems. My wife & I like the variety of colors present in some rock, giving it character unlike the most-often seen concrete. I'm told the rock we have is granitic. It certainly seems harder than most sedimentary, and is almost certainly igneous, though Geology is one of my many weak points! My first attempt at rock-work was done years ago in Las Vegas, west of which an enormous variety of beautiful sandstone of many size pieces was strewn about every desert wash, and picking them up in any quantity was acceptable practice. The rattlesnake I encountered and caught during one of my rock-gathering trips there was most severely frowned upon by my wife when she returned home from work, and i suggested she take a look in the bathtub! jocular
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