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536 THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE, Book II.

steeping troughs, and floors; for the latter purpose it can be polisihed. For exterior
fa'.'ings, as stucco, it was used at .O? Coleman Street; and at the Alfred Insurance Office,
I-othbury : the latter building has lately
(
1866) been pulled down. The marine turrt-t at
llerne Bay was also coated wiih it.
1853. Water. Dr. Higgins recommends the use of lime-water for the composition of
mortar. This, in practice, would be impossib'e Tlie water usid, however, for the incor-
poration of the lime with the sand should be soft and pure. Mortar and concrete lave
both been ricommcnded to be made up with hot water; with tlie latter especially, when
it is desirable that it should s.t immediately: concrete thus made has been (bund exceed-
iiiflly hard. Its employment with mortar dates from before 1520. It is probable that
Mater charged witii iron, as at Tunbridge Wells
; a solution of chalk, as in Hertfordshire;
Bulpiiuietted hydrogen, as at Harrowgate
;
and salts, as at Epsom and el.st'where
;
may all
affect lime when combined with it. Snieaton stated tliat he could not discover any
difference in the strength of mortar, whether it were made with sea, or with fresh, water.
1854. In forming Mortar from lime, it must, when slaked, be passed through a sieve
leaving only a fine powder, an operation usually performed with a quarter inch wire screen
set at a considerable inclination to the horizm, against whicli the lime is throwi) with a
'
shovel after slaking. That which passes through is fit for use
;
the core falling on that side
of the screen against wliich the lime is thrown, being entirely rejected for the purpose in
question, though it is an excellent material for filling in the sides of foundations under wood
floors where tiiey would otherwise be next the earth, and the like. The sifted or screened
lime is next to be added to the sand, whose quantity will vary as the quality of the lime,
of which we shall presently speak. In making mortar, thi.re is no point so important, as
respects the manufacture itself, as tlie \vell tempering and beating up tiie lime with the
sa .d after the water is added to them. In proportion, too, as this is effectually done, will
a small pro))ortion of lime suffice to make a good mortar. Tlie best mode of tempering
mortar is bv means of a pug-tnill with a horse-track similar to the clay mills used f jr
making bricks. But if such cannot be had, the mortar shoidd be turned over repeatedly,
and beaten with wooden be;iters, until it be thoroughly mixed. That this process slu uld
be carefully performed, will a])pear of the more im])ortance when it is considered that it
thereby admits a greater proportion of sand, which is not only a cheaper material, but the
j)resence of it renders a less quantity of water necessary, and the mortar will consequently
set sooner: the work, too, will settle less; for as lime will shrink in drying, while the
sand mixed with it continues to occupy the same bulk, it follows that the thickness of the
iiurtar beds will he less variable.
1855. Vitru\ius recommends that mortar should be beaten with wooden sta\cs by a
number of men before being used. Smeaton reckoned it a fair day's work for a lahourer
to mix and beat up two or three hods of mortar for use. The pug-mill does this now \u
two or three minutes. Pliny expressly states that "in ancient specifications for buildings
it was provided that no slaked lime less than three years old should be used by the con-
tractor." Covent Garden Theatre was built in 1S08-9 with lime while still hot from
the kiln : when the walls were demolished a few years since, the mortar was found to
be hard and solid. It was so used at Tothill Fields prison. At the new Royal Exchange,
the lime was to be thoroughly and freshly burnt, to be kept in an enclosed shed, and no
more mortar to be made than was sufficient for each day's corisumption.
1856. In most of the public works executed in Great Britain of late years, the propor-
tion of lime to sand is as 1 to 3
;
and when the former is made from good limestone, the
sand is by no means too much in proportion. Dr. Higgins, in his experiments, has gone
BO far as to recommend
7
parts of sand to 1 of lime, which, for mortar, is perhaps carrying
the point to the extreme. It may be taken as an axiom, that no more lime is necessary
than will surround the particles of sand. C. H. Smith has stated, (^Builder, 18G5,
p. 41),
that if each particle of sand be covered with lime about the thickness of an ordinary coat
of paint, he should be disposed to consider such an amount as very near the perfection of
quantity. A superabundance of lime or sand, no matter how good it may be, is, under
any circumstances, objectionable.
1857. Various opinions have long been entertained by chemists and others respecting
the effect of sand and lime upon each other in the formation of mortar. The general im-
pression is, that the slaked lime and sand in contact have a chemical affinity for each
other
;
that the lime decomposes the surface of the sand, and the atoms or molecules inter-
penetrate each other, forming a sort of silicate of lime. This is an extremely ingenious
theory, says C. H. Smith, but it has never been proved. It has been stated, he also
adds, that the hardening of mortar arises from the presence of carbon and oxygen formed
into carbonic acid, which is absorbed by the lime; but the stmice from whence the
carbon is obtained is at present a mystery. Oxygen is abundant in the composition
of water and atmosphere, and that quicklime has an astonishing affinity for it, is evinced by
the practice of dusting steel goods with it when not in use, to prevent their rusting ; or that
of placijig a small lump of it in any box or case containing such goods. Bricklayers