Friday, October 7, 2011

More Salvage

I'm anxious to return to our shed this weekend, but before I do I wanted to put up one more post about salvaging from the old Second Empire brick house.  I've made a total of six trips to the house, which sounds quite impressive until I admit that four of those trips were made in our 10 year old Ford Ranger and it doesn't take a whole lot to weigh the back of that little truck down.  Still, I have a decent pile of material from the old house that will live on here at the EH.

Gathering salvaged bricks from the house isn't quite as simple as it may seem.  The walls of the old house were three courses of brick deep, but only the exterior layer of bricks were fired.  The two inner courses were made of (cheaper) unfired bricks.  These look almost identical to the exterior layer but they are porous.  I remember nearly twenty years ago when my mom laid her first brick walkway only to have half of the bricks disintegrate after a couple winters of the freeze-thaw cycle.  I would rather not repeat that experience with my own brick path.

As the picture at left shows, it was easiest to gather exterior bricks by taking apart the few sections of wall that were still intact.  And although it's difficult to tell in the pictures, I could also identify exterior bricks by the color of mortar on them.  This appeared to be lime based (white) on the exterior course and clay (?) based (tan) on the interior courses.

Back home and neatly stacked, my brick supply for next summer looks like this:

My seven salvaged stone lintels are stacked just beside the bricks:

I'm thinking that when we tackle rebuilding the stone bridge I will try to incorporate these lintels as steps from the bridge down to a path along the creek.

I also brought back three large corbels pulled from the wreckage, and two matching baby corbels I found on my last trip.  These are obviously not the right style to try to incorporate into the Einsel House, but I think they should make some amazing supports for shelves in the shed. 

Finally, one last picture from the old house.  When I climbed up on the pile of rubble I was shocked to find this section of the old mansard roof still partially intact:

There were three different shapes of slate shingles incorporated into this roof - rectangle at the very top, diamond in the center and hexagon at the bottom.  I have such a difficult time understanding how someone could look at this house and not think it was worth saving.

1 comment:

  1. Why was it torn down, I wonder? It didn't look like it was falling apart, although from the peek in one of your old posts, of the inside, needed a lot of work. Silly people, did they just not like looking at it or something? So sad!