Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Bierkeller, Part 4

I uploaded this video over a week ago, before going away on business (and beer) for the week, but forgot to post it here. But that's ok, as nothing much has changed in the few days I've been back, except the floor is now cleared and I've primed the plastered parts with potassium silicate. Potassium silicate (Kaliwasserglas) is what we used to prime and fix the clay ceilings before painting with a silicate-based paint, so I thought it would make sense to do the same here. The idea is that the plaster should remain completely breathable.

So, now I can delete the video I made today...

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Bierkeller, Part 3

It's been slow and steady over the past couple of weeks, working in the cool of the cellar while it's been sweltering outside. The stone wall on the right has been fully repointed following the sandblasting.

Beginning repointing
Almost done!
On the left , we've decided to partially plaster the wall, as it's just too much work to chip out and repoint. We'll use a lime plaster, so it is breathable, and will leave the bottom part exposed, with some wavy edges to make it a bit fancy-looking, much like I did in cellar 4.

Partially repointed bottom half.
 But the biggest fun was the floor. After we removed the concrete floor a couple of years ago, we thought it was just stone scree and clay underneath. A few weeks ago, we found a couple of big sandstone slabs, and this past week, we found more, suggesting that the original floor was still intact. Well, only one way to find out: do an excavation. Actually, more like just cleaning back.

The original floor was indeed still there, but it was very uneven, made of several large (the biggest 1.2 x 0.9 metres) sandstone slabs to the left and right, limestone blocks in the middle, and lots of clay in between. At some stage, this was covered with a stamped clay floor, perhaps because the stones were settling and becoming uneven, and later still, the concrete floor.

Patches of sand represent stones that were shattered.
 One curious feature was what looked liek a pit with a wooden lid, but in fact, it was just a layer of broken tiles, not very deep, with a thin layer of wood on top. Perhaps it was a drain at some stage, bu as said, it was no deeper than the subsoil under the large slabs.

Right now, the slabs have all been lifted, though moving the large ones is a bit difficult. The repointing is complete, as far as I want to go at least, so it's ready for plastering. Once that's done, the floor can be prepared, but I'll return to that in a later blog post.

As it looks today.
Meanwhile, here's a video update.