Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Finding new bricks to match the old bricks

Image: Renchius van der Merwe

Correspondence from Renchius van der Merwe, Project Manager on-site for the restoration of Hostel 33:

' The following photographs show two typical original bricks (found loose and) taken from Hostel 33, and matched samples obtained from Corobrick Centre in Somerset West (off N2, next to CTM Tiles).

As far as I can tell, the exposed original bricks range between the two found samples, red to orange. The advice from Corobrick Centre (Mark Bonthuis) is that the original are plaster bricks (r.o.k / NFP/ stock brick), and that the sample bricks are the closest match that they have.

As you can see in the photo, the orange colour is more difficult to match, but the immediate problem is the size: the samples are (A) 73mm Autumn Paver, (B) 7MPa Yellow Plaster Brick, (C) original orange brick, and (D) 12MPa Red Foundation Brick.

My opinion is that we use the 14MPa Red Foundation Brick which is more hard wearing, and thereafter decide if we need to bag and paint, or leave it as it is.'

William Martinson has suggested that we investigate if there are not any other independent brick yards in the area. He thinks that a small coal fired operation might even be able to make a small batch to the correct dimensions.

David Worth may be able to advise on existing brick yards.

Existing sample from Hostel 33
Image: Renchius van der Merwe

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