How Much Magnesium Should A 65 Year Old Woman Take How to Build a Cobblestone House

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How to Build a Cobblestone House

He blew and he blew and he blew up the house – certainly not if the house was built with paving stones. Cobblestone house building was a folk art that flourished in upstate New York from 1825 until the Civil War in 1860. Many of the more than 700 cobblestone houses that were built survive today, which testifies to their know-how.

To build your cobblestone house, you will need 5 main components: cobblestones, soft lime mortar, wood for windows and doors, cut stone blocks for cornerstones, lintels and sills, and many cheap labor. Let’s take them one at a time – assuming the cheap labor is you, your family, friends, relatives, and anyone else you can convince to do manual labor for $1.00 to 1 $.50 per day.

The first step is to collect the cobblestones. It may take several years. Cobblestones are small, fist-sized stones laid down by glaciers that swept across the north millennia ago. Rough-shaped ones can be picked up from agricultural fields or rounded, lake-washed ones can be picked up along the shore of Lake Ontario. You’ll need over 14,000 cobblestones, so get started. As the manly work of collecting stones progresses, women and children can be busy sorting stones by size and color. You’ll want to use the finest, smoothest, similarly sized stones for the front of your house, and save the rougher, odd-sized ones for the back, sides, and inside of the walls.

While this is progressing, you’d better start preparing the soft lime mortar. Do not skimp and use Portland cement. It dries too quickly and will cause the pavers to splinter as it dries. Soft lime mortar is made up of lime, sand and water. Find limestone (calcium carbonate) or dolomite (magnesium carbonate) and break it into pieces. Burn it in piles of logs for 2-3 days to create quicklime. Add water to quicklime to create a hydrated lime mud.

Mix 5 to 9 bushels of sand to 1 bushel of lime mud. Age the mortar in a ground pit covered with sand or cow manure for up to a year.

Cut down a clump of trees. They will need to be hand-hewn to build the doors and windows – each suited to a specific opening. Also find a quarry where you can get blocks of limestone or sandstone for the corners of your building (quoins) and as structural support above doors and windows (lintels) and under windows (sils).

Now the fun begins. Begin by laying the stones in walls 18 to 20 inches thick. Build the rubble wall, facing the cobblestones. Use elongated or triangular shaped stones to attach the pavers to the rubble wall. Use the soft lime mortar as glue, making straight edges between the horizontal and vertical rows of pebbles. Build about 3 rows (or rows) per day so the mortar has time to start to set slowly. It will take 35 years for the mortar to harden completely. Lay the ashlar blocks at the corners to create corner chains. To finish the interior, apply horsehair plaster to the stone.

Once the walls are out of reach, you’ll need to build scaffolding by burying posts in the ground 6-8 feet from the wall and attaching wall ties to the posts with hickory witches. Then, lay boards over the crosspieces to provide a building platform. As the walls rise, you will need to repeatedly increase the height of the scaffolding. Attach a crane and hoists to the tallest post to winch buckets of cobblestone and mortar.

Hand build your windows and doors to fit each opening and hand trim your roof trusses. Winter is a good time to do a lot of your carpentry work. Depending on how many workers you have and their skill level, you can finish in a year. More likely, the construction process will take about 3 years.

When you’re done, you’ll have a beautiful home that will last for ages. Go see for yourself. A new guide called “Cobblestone Quest – Road Tours of New York’s Historic Buildings” (Footprint Press, http://www.footprintpress.com, 1-800-431-1579) offers 17 self-guided driving or biking tours to see the diversity of cobblestone buildings clustered within a 65 mile radius of Rochester, NY, and nowhere else in the world.

“Cobblestone Quest – Road Tours of New York’s Historic Buildings”

By Rich & Sue Freeman

17 self-guided tours by car or bike to learn the history and observe the diversity of unique cobblestone buildings in Western New York.

http://www.footprintpress.com/Cobblestone/CobblestonePreview.htm

208 pages, 20 maps, 85 photos, indexed, paperback, 10 X 7 inches

Price: $19.95, ISBN #1930480199

Footprint Press, Inc., http://www.footprintpress.com

###

Photos available – email [email protected] or call 585-421-9383.

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