Monday, June 29, 2009

West Chimney Work Begins

June 23

The masons started on the west chimney of the Amstel House today. The process will involve repairing mortar joints and replacing bricks. As they got into the job, they discovered the chimney is in worse shape than expected. there's very little mortar in place inside the flues, and more bricks will need to be replaced than originally thought.

They started bu cuilding scaffolding to rech the chimney. It was built across the rear 1905 addition to keep the public sidewalk asa clear as possible (even though it gets roped off during work hours).

Here's a pic of the top of the chimney that shows the condition of the masonry at the top of the flues (Note the small "tree" that is growing out of the chimney):

If you look closely at the mortar joints at the bottom of the photo you will see that the joints have been cut so that the brick can be removed. To cut the mortar joints, the masons are using a new tool that allows very clean cuts without damaging the brick. Here's a pic of the tool:

The very top of the chimney will be dismantled and rebuilt, the flues will be parged from the top down as far as the mason's can reach - about 3 feet. The project will take several days but not nearly as long as the kitchen chimney.

More tomorrow...

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