Installation of Doors and Masonry
Often a significant amount of cleaning and preparative work has to be done on
the openings before the doorframes can be mounted. This work must be
done carefully by hand in order to preserve the existing construction
elements. The earth mover can only be used when the depth of soil has been
sampled by hand.
- Previous temporary closings must be removed.
- Soil and loose stones have to be removed while trying to locate the
original door steps.
- Paving inside and outside the door steps must be located and cleaned.
- All metal parts unless of historical interest must be removed from the
stones as they will destroy the stones (in most cases this was already the
- The door seats must be cleaned and repaired. All loose stones must
- Pick and shovel are first used to clean out the openings. The pick
is only used to loosen the soil and stones are never pulled out with the
pick without verifying first that they are not parts of the structural
- The final cleaning is done on ones knees using masons cuffs and the broom.
- I am using the chisels to remove the metal hinges in the following
way. The principle is to be able to exactly reverse the methods by
which these metal parts were entered into the stones: hammer strokes.
- All concrete fixings are first removed around the hinges.
- The hinges are then loosened by hammer blows from left from right from top
and from bottom.
- The red chisel shown in the center is used as a lever lying on the long
round red chisel shown on the right. Using this lever I remove the
hinges by hammer blows. Once the hinge moves out I increase the lever
supporting distance by using the granite chisel (chasse) as a support.
- Masons cuffs are used to clean the door steps always keeping in
mind that this is archeological work which must be done with utmost
care. Hammer and chisel are sometimes used to loosen the soil when
floor stones are missing.
- The right picture below shows how a masons cuff can be used very
efficiently like a plow to remove the soil by pulling the cuff. I used
this technique to uncover 250 square meters of paving in less than a week in
- The small cuff is used to project the soil away from the cleaned part so
that the rest can be done with the broom.
- The use of a little board for kneeling is essential to do this work.
This work is painstaking but I love it in spite of this as I love the smell
of the soil and the intimate contact with the old stones which slowly
- When trying to uncover the doorsteps of a rather wide double door
opening I realized that there was no door step at all to a depth of at least
30 cm. Complete evacuation is necessary in such a case down to the
foundation. The door step must then be built up from the foundation in
order to prevent infiltrations. Lesson 3
shows how to rebuild the door step in such a case.
- The earth mover was used after doing a probe digging using a pick to find
the level of the foundation.
- The foundation was then cleaned and consolidated by removing all loose