Lithomex is a modified lime-based mortar designed specifically to repair or simulate brick, stone, and terracotta surfaces. Unlike other products that trap moisture in the host stonework, Lithomex is flexible (with a very high modulus of elasticity), porous, and breathable; allowing water vapor to pass through the masonry to the atmosphere for long-lasting repairs. When applied by skilled craftsmen, Lithomex can simulate the color and texture of existing stone and brick while maintaining similar thermal expansion and weathering characteristics of the host material. Lithomex may be worked, tooled, dressed, and finished with traditional masonry tools, trowel edges, sculpting tools, sanding blocks, tungsten carbide abrasive sheet, and scratch floats. This comprehensive workshop addresses the potential causes of brick and stone deterioration and the aesthetic qualities of Lithomex and the properties that ensure its durability and compatibility with the host masonry. Technical knowledge and expertise are reinforced with hands-on demonstrations and extensive practice on mock-up panels. Under the direction of experienced masons from LimeWorks.us, students are guided through the steps to apply Lithomex properly and efficiently to deliver high quality work. Participants will learn how to use Lithomex to form flat, square, plumb, and level surfaces at right angles. Then, when the Lithomex is thumbprint hard, they’ll use a variety of tools and techniques to dress the squared up planes, create margins, and carve broached, droved, or pointed finishes. Each student must successfully complete the hands-on skills and pass an end-of-class written exam to receive the Level II Lithomex Installer Certification which is valid for 5 years. Prior masonry experience is required.
After completing the workshop participants will:
- Understand the science behind breathable natural hydraulic lime.
- Realize how to prepare the host masonry.
- Be aware of the steps to mix and apply Lithomex for optimal durability.
- Know how to square up the Lithomex work to form flat planes that are at a right angle, plumb, level, and true.
- Appreciate how to rub down the repair to its final shape and profile by using abrasive pads, blocks, knives, or straightedges.
- Recognize how to achieve polished finishes by troweling after initial set.
- Be able to tool margins and continuous parallel grooves to create broached or droved finishes or chisel pointed finishes to simulate the existing masonry.
- Become a Certified Lithomex Installer Level II (successful completion of the hands-on skills and written exam is required).
The workshop will be held at the historic Millhafen Farm — the headquarters of Craftwork Training Center and LimeWorks.us — located at 3145 State Road, Telford, PA 18969. A nonrefundable deposit of $100 is required two weeks in advance with the balance due at the beginning of the workshop. All the necessary materials and tools will be supplied and a light lunch is provided for your convenience. The program will start promptly at 8:00 am. Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete the check-in process and come appropriately dressed and prepared for hands-on training. To ensure an exceptional learning experience, the class size is limited. However, a minimum of 3 participants is required to hold the workshop.