On Sunday 8th September, HSR (Aust) Group and ABC Training took 15 training course participants to the Old Boolcoomatta Shearers quarters in Bimbowrie Conservation Park. This 5-day practical training course was to introduce the participants to some of the issues encountered in the conservation and restoration of heritage listed buildings.

The station began operation over 150 years ago and was built using local paddock stone and river sand. Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958) made use of the buildings at Bimbowrie during his pre-Antarctic geological expeditions in the Olary Ranges in the early twentieth century.

Over the 5-day course our participants undertook hands-on training as well as listening to educational lectures from various industry experts. These lectures were based around the Principles of Conservation, Architectural Masonry, Traditional Carpentry and Timber Conservation and Traditional Roofing Techniques.

Architectural Stonemasonry and Lime Mortar Technology

  • Erecting and repairing basic stone masonry structures
  • Understanding the construction of cavity and solid stone walling, returns and rakes
  • Addressing individually damaged and/or defective stones
  • Re-pointing damaged mortars using correct technique and lime materials
  • Mixing and gauging lime mortars and mixing to correct specification for conservation work
  • Understanding the relationship between different block types including quoins, cill stones and stone lintels

Timber Conservation and Traditional Carpentry Techniques

  • Identifying timber conservation issues in heritage listed buildings
  • Identifying heritage timbers used in traditional construction on regional properties
  • Repairing and patching of timber material to prevent replacement
  • Different joint types used in traditional carpentry practice and their applications
  • The importance of timber conservation in the context of the Burra Charter

Traditional Roofing Techniques

  • Maintenance and care of existing timber shingles
  • Types of corrugated sheeting used in early construction
  • Correct fixing types for application in heritage buildings
  • Early methods of flashing for colonial roofs
  • Traditional techniques for timber framing and working with natural materials

The practical training on the Old Boolcoomatta Shearers quarters involved –

  • Dismantling and site preparation – Indicators of Damage  
  • Demonstration on gauging and mixing lime mortars and their application
  • Stone construction and wall consolidation techniques
  • Lime Mortars and techniques for raking out and repointing traditional masonry structures
  • Installing Wall plates to masonry structures
  • Timber roof framing using traditional carpentry techniques
  • Keying in roofing timbers to structural masonry and structural upgrades
  • Application of Dumond chemical paint removers
  • Mixing and assessing traditional lime washes and their importance in masonry contexts.

Posted 05/11/2019

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