Saturday, April 23, 2005

As Hard As A Rock

So, I got the chimney liner in. It wasn’t brain surgery just a lot of grunt work. Over a year ago I had plastered the wall in the kitchen where the liner comes out. I had never plastered before so this was a test wall. At the time the plan was to vent the stove out the chimney so I had to reduce it to a 4 inch opening. The plan later changed to an 1895 cast iron stove which needed a 6 inch flue. I now had to get the reducer out of the wall. I knew at the time the plan might change but I had to start some place.

I was amazed how hard this plaster was. I was up there with a hammer and chisel swinging as hard as I could and I was barely making a dent. Even more impressive is the fact that there were no residual cracks in the surrounding wall. I was able to chisel out the reducer with out a lot of major damage.

The 1895 plaster was a one stage lime and sand plaster. I could find no references on how to do this, only that it could take up to a year to cure. Naturally, that was out of the question. In my search of how to do plaster I found a great PDF file made by Dave Worley. It had step-by-step how-to instructions for doing a 3-stage gypsum plaster wall. The method works great, and, as I’ve found out, is very durable. After my kitchen test wall I was able to restore the plaster in the bathroom, my first finished room.

The 1895 walls are interesting because they did not use lath strips. They sheathed the walls with uniformly milled 1X8 T&G boards. The boards have dove-tail grooves milled in them every 2 inches. As the plaster is applied to the boards it fills the grooves thereby creating the keys and securing the plaster to the wall.

1 comment:

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I've been reading house blogs since before we bought our little 1925 cottage, and I think blog is one of the few that discusses repairing plaster instead of switching over to drywall.

Thank goodness, our walls are pretty much intact. I would have died a little, if I had had to resort to sheetrock.