Where do you BUY Lime Putty In the US?

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:15 am


Post by Dorymb »

You must live in a more progressive locale than I. Supply firms here in Lehigh Valley PA have 3 grades of sand, have no clue about hydraulic lime and insist on cement and hydrated lime. Usually recommending Quikcrete. Seriously, I had a guy with "50 years mortar experience" at the biggest supply place actually bet me it couldn't be done without cement. If not for the kind, knowledgeable people on these boards and the library, I would not have even attempted it.

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Post by nutmeg »


I suspect you haven't been looking to the right sources for your supplies, nor analysis of your existing mortar nor bricks. Obviously you have not yet tapped the abundant weath of knowledge of your local regional experts. I had NO problems sourcing materials for slaked lime via suppliers in the greater Allentown area. There are dozens of NPS properties in PA that have had PA contractors working on restoration of historic masonry. None of this restoration masonry work was done with hydralic lime based mortar nor portland (cement) containing mortar - but with (matured) slaked lime or lime-putty based mortar.

Perhaps you could start by contacting Bluebook of Building and Construction and order the Eastern PA & DE Edition source book for some preliminary sources for contractors/suppliers for Restoration & Preservation -- Historical Landmark and/or masonry, preservation or restoration categories and or mason, contractors & suppliers. http://www.thebluebook.com/wsnsa.dll/WS ... cache=3513 and/or checking your yellow pages under "building restoration & preservation" and/or "Masonry, repair & restoration".

I usually start though with the classifieds at traditional-building.com. Here is a first lead sheet for you for mortar matching - note several PA firms - if they match it - they can guide/advise on the supply of it: http://www.traditional-building.com/RTE ... tching.htm

You have one of the best resources in quakertown - less than 15 miles from you, now that's not too far is it?

Here is a nice article for you which includes the ASTM standards information that you might find useful:

Perpetual Student of the School of Hard Knocks: knows a little about a lot, yet knows a lot about little!

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Re: Where do you BUY Lime Putty In the US?

Post by mwolf »

This is an old post, so I am not sure it is still relevant, but US Heritage Group is a good start, VA Lime Works and PA Limeworks- Andy DeGruchey. Also regarding using hydrated there are a number of considerations making "real" putty a better choice:

We have successfully built with putty for thousands of years , but dry hydrate has only been around for about 100 so why risk it? Here are some things that many believe contribute to putty being a better choice than hydrated:

1) Differing firing temperatures- many bagged hydrate limes now sold are fired at too high of a temp do not behave like limes of the past

2) Prolonged slaking of lime putty creates much finer particles consequently crystalline structures upon carbonation are different between each and the putty made mortar carbonates more effectively.

3)ASTM allows bagged hydrated lime to be bagged with 6%-7% (I can't remember which) of the lime already carbonated and as the bag leaves the production facility, travels, arrives at the supply house, sits at the supply house, arrives at the mason's shop, sits at the mason's shop, travels to the job....all the while it is carbonating and by the time you mix it, all of that carbonated material is inert and you have no idea what you are truly mixing.

4) Lastly, there are substantial volumetric differences between the dry hydrate and the paste made from the dry hydrate thus mixing by volume while the hydrate is dry creates a mix very different than the historic mix. (This can easily be compensated for by first making the paste and then measuring and mixing, but how many masons are aware or....make the time....

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Re: Where do you BUY Lime Putty In the US?

Post by Jonthebuilder »

Has anyone checked out Lancaster Lime Works? Their website is a small college course in historic mortars and sand.

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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: Where do you BUY Lime Putty In the US?

Post by hepcat72 »


They'll mix it up for you and even match the color of your existing Putty Lime Joint Mortar using pigment.

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