Experiences in the reproduction of structural arches

Historic Arch Replication and reproduction

Arches were once the only effective way to span masonry across an opening. However, as the masonry trade changed and modernized, carefully cut structural arches made by skilled craftsman were replaced by steel lintels and soldier courses.

Reproduction Arch Services

Reproducing arches is not a simple task there are many angles to take into account, the intrados, extrados, gauge size, unit size, opening size. Our arches are engineered for the opening and wall, taking into account spans and lateral loads. Structural arches should be installed only by proficient masons with experience.

After arch angles pass an engineers check, the first step is to lay out the arch, to the proper length, taking into account the mortar joint. The process of cutting the arches are different for every style. Gothic and jack arches require every single brick to be cut on all four sides. A simple roman arch, properly gauged, will not require any bricks to be cut.

Once the arch is laid out and cut roughly to side it is then fine tuned as it is installed to ensure an absolutely perfect fit. There are a few tricks involved when doing this to make the arch as straight as possible, there is always a slight imperceivable settle when joints are fully compressed.

The installation of the arch is one of the more difficult parts of the process and requires care and consistency. Below is an example of a reproduced roman arch after installation. Ready to be pointed.

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