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Lime putty Mmx for tuckpoint ribbon

Hello Folks

I have a front elevation of a red brick Edwardian terrace which needs in its entirety reporting in a tuck-point - a red backstop mortar with black putty ribbon inlay.
Could you offer some advice on the knocking up of the lime putty and aggregate/dyes to use for the black ribbon? I have tried a test panel with the 1 part putty to 1-2 parts fine silica silver sand (Wrotham-Kent) with average results. I am having difficulty achieving the correct constancy of the putty - i.e. it should be malleable like glazing putty, however generally its either too sloppy (1 part sand) leaving smug marks on the red back-stop mortar when trimming with the Frenchman, or too stiff (2 part sand) making the ribbon crumble when applied with the iron. Does the putty need to be stiffened in an ambient environment prior mixing the sand?

Also, any advice on the black dye I should use. Currently I am using black oxide (up to 10% in weight of the lime) and still not achieving pure black - more a dark grey

Note: I'm using the 4 month matured Cornish putty, which is probably now been approx. 6+month in storage.

Thanks in advance.

2 thoughts on “Lime putty Mmx for tuckpoint ribbon”

  • Adam Brown

    Hi Patrick

    The consistency has to be what works best for you, generally with any pointing work a stiffer material is usually preferred.

    A couple of options which may help/improve things are to use a dried sand or dry the sand yourself, as this will allow you control the water addition within the mix, making it easier to achieve a more workable finish. Secondly you could look to try a different sand, a finer or cleaner sand may achieve better results.

    If you are using a dry sand the putty will not need to stiffen, as it all relates to a loss of water.

    Creating a black mortar is extremely difficult with a lime mortar due to the whiteness of the putty. A way to get closer would be to use a much darker sand, i would still say that this is going to be extremely difficult and it may be an option to paint the band with a suitable paint, such as the Beeck Full Colour Black mineral paint.

    If you have any questions please give us a call on 01208 79779.

    • Patrick

      Thanks for you reply, any ideas where I can get hold of a suitable fine dark sand?
      Somebody mentioned in the day you could get hold of grey putty which was slaked with charcoal rather than a gas furnace . Is this something you can still source?



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