Soupy Mortar Mix
Use a bath towel to strain out excess water from a mortar mix.
Not long ago I was repointing the last section of a 360-year-old rubble foundation, and I absentmindedly added too much water to my mortar mix. It was the end of a long day; I had no mortar mix left, the nearest lumberyard was 12 miles away, and a large check was waiting for me upon reaching this milestone. While trying to come up with a solution for the useless mortar mess, I spied a heavy cotton bath towel and had an epiphany. I poured my soupy mortar over the towel and—voila!—in 30 seconds the excess water was gone and my mortar was thick and usable.
—Peter Hiza, Canton, Conn.
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller.
From Fine Homebuilding #320