Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Project: Measuring the Brick Opening. Pictures by Ashton Ray, Words by Nick Schaedig

1.  Establish Reference Points

Since the Frame and Door fit already, we needed to measure where the door opening is both smallest and true-est.  Sometimes what looks flat is not flat.
2.  Identify Problems and Barriers to further construction

-Uneven mortar.  Will challenge crisp brick laying.  Note the mortar lumps intruding.
-Decomposing wood timbers/nailing surfaces: masons laid wood pieces into the brickwork provided a nailing surface.  Some wood pieces are in great shape.  Some are decomposing, like the one below.

-Unevenly broken bricks, irregular shapes
-Inconsistently applied Flemish Bond wall construction.  Note the pattern on the first three courses, from the upper right corner, down.  We think that is the pattern and the bricks at the center/bottom of the picture are laid out of sequence.  The top bonded bricks are also the true-est.
-The wall is surprisingly not true.  We are not sure if this is consistent across the building, or if this is particular to the damaged and repaired door opening.  

3. Learn about the anatomy of the temporary wooden jamb. (pictures coming soon)
4. Learn more about the anatomy, dimensional challenges regarding, and damages to the door. (pictures coming soon.)

To Do:

1.  Clean bricks:  dirt, messy mortar, irregular wood pieces.
2.  Mix mortar: try different ratios and consistencies
3. Practice cutting and breaking bricks
4. Practice laying bricks away from the house
5. Complete missing photo documentation of the door.
     -Flooring/sill decomposition
     -Damaged door
     -New and old individual brick measurements: do they match?
     -Dimensions of the door timber (appears to be a rough-sawn 4X8)
     -Jamb construction picture
6.  Make a plan to anchor mason string to the concrete sill.  I think using mason screws/nails is not ok, for the sill or for the arch.  Tape?  What do you think?  The string would be in this position:
Thanks for reading this, thanks for being involved.  It should be a fun, challenging, intriguing weekend of problem solving.


1 comment:

  1. I have read your articles many times and I am always inspired by your tips and knowledge. Thank you for sharing. I would love to see more updates from you.



Community Open House

Thanks for stopping by the Gardner Historic House blog! If you'd like to visit the actual house, now's your chance.

The Gardner House will be open to the public THIS SATURDAY, September 27, 2014 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. SEE YOU THERE! For more information, go to

We look forward to seeing you there!