This section is from the book "The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook", by Isaac Ridler Butt. Also available from Amazon: The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook.
Fifty parts, by measure, of clean dry sand, fifty of limestone (not burned) reduced to grains like sand, or marble dust, and 10 parts of red lead, mixed with as much boiled linseed oil, as will make it slightly moist. The brick, to receive it, should be covered with three coats of boiled oil, laid on with a brush, and suffered to dry, before the mastic is put on. It is laid on with a trowel like plaster, but it is not so moist. It becomes hard as stone in a few months. Care must be exercised not to use too much oil.
Cement for the outside of brick walls, to imitate stone, is made of clean sand 90 parts, litharge 5 parts, plaster of Paris 5 parts, moistened with boiled linseed oil. The bricks should receive two or three coats of oil before the cement is applied.
The cement of dihl for coating the fronts of buildings consists of linseed oil, rendered dry by boiling with litharge, and mixed with porcelain clay in fine powder, to give it the consistence of stiff mortar.
Pipe-clay would answer equally well if well dried, and any color might be given with ground bricks, or pottery. A little oil of turpentine to thin this cement aids its cohesion upon stone, brick or wood. It has been applied to sheets of wire cloth, and in this state laid upon terraces, in order to make them water tight; but it is a little less expensive than lead.
A cement which gradually indurates to a stony consistence, may be made by mixing twenty parts of clean river sand, two of litharge, and one of quicklime, into a thin putty with linseed oil. The quicklime may be replaced with litharge. When this cement is applied to mend broken pieces of stone, as steps of stairs, it acquires after some time a stony hardness. A similar composition has been applied to coat over brick walls, under the name of mastic.
An excellent cement for seams in the roofs of houses, or for any other exposed places, is made with white lead, dry white sand, and as much oil as will make it into the consistency of putty. This cement gets as hard as stone in a few weeks. It is a good cement for filling up cracks in exposed parts of brick buildings; and for pointing up the base of chimneys, where they project through the roofs of shingled houses.
Dissolve one pound of alum in boiling water, and while it is boiling add five pounds of brown soap, cut into small pieces; boil the mixture about fifteen minutes. It then becomes sticky like shoemaker's wax. Now mix it with whiting to a proper consistency for filling up seams, etc. It becomes partially hard after a few months, and strongly adheres to wood. The wood should be perfectly dry. To make it adhere it must be well pressed down. When dry it is impervious to water, and is slightly elastic.
The best cement for closing up seams in tile-roofs is composed of equal parts of whiting and dry sand and 25 per cent of litharge, made into the consistency of putty with linseed oil. It is not liable to crack when cold, nor melt, like coal-tar and asphalt, with the heat of the sun.
Coarse stuff, or lime and hair, as it is sometimes called, is prepared in the same way as common mortar, with the addition of hair procured from the tanner, which must be well mixed with the mortar by means of a three-pronged rake, until the hair is equally distributed throughout the composition. The mortar Should be first formed, and when the lime and sand have been thoroughly mixed, the hair should be added by degrees, and the whole so thoroughly united, that the hair shall appear to be equally distributed throughout.
This cement, which is perhaps the best of all others for stucco, as it is not subject to crack or flake off, is now very commonly used, and is formed by burning argillaceous clay in the same manner that lime is made. It is then reduced to powder. The cement, as used by the plasterer, is sometimes employed alone, and sometimes it is mixed with sharp sand; and it has then the appearance, and almost the strength, of stone. As it is impervious to water, it is very proper for lining tanks and cisterns.