Replicating a Victorian Era Console

[Dt99jay] lives in a historic Victorian-era district in the UK.  Most homes in the area have ornate exterior window dressings with stone consoles holding up heavy stone hood molding.

The window hood molding turned out to be wood — most likely the result of damage repaired after the blitzkrieg bombings of WWII. The 1940’s era work is now rotting away, so it was time for a repair. When the hood was pulled away from the window, disaster struck. One console completely crumbled, while the other lost large chunks of material. The They weren’t solid stone after all, but replacements most likely molded with Coade stone.

There are no ready replacements for consoles like this. [dt99jay] couldn’t just swap them out for modern looking replacements, so he set about replicating the consoles. The remaining console was much too delicate to remove from the building, so [dt99jay] glued the missing pieces back on. He then filled any missing parts and carefully scraped way all the loose paint. Then came the difficult part — making a mold while the console was still mounted on the house.

Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber was carefully applied to the console. The RTV is thick enough to stay on while it dries. After several thick layers of RTV, the console was covered. [Dt99jay] then covered the mold with plaster of Paris bandages to support it. The finished mold was carefully removed from the house, and [dt99jay] filled all the low spots and air bubbles with RTV.

New castings were made using a mixture of cement and playground sand. Once painted, the results matched perfectly. The historic conservation committee was pleased, and the window was once again structurally sound.

27 thoughts on “Replicating a Victorian Era Console

    1. I wasn’t aware it had to be a tech hack? The about page for Hackaday doesn’t mention the world ‘tech’ at all. The closest thing to the word ‘tech’ on that page is “technical”.

      From the Hackaday about page :

      “This highly creative activity can be highly technical, simply clever, or both. Hackers bask in the glory of building it instead of buying it, repairing it rather than trashing it, and raiding their junk bins for new projects every time they can steal a few moments away.”

      From my perspective, this is article is exactly what Hackaday promises. A hack.

    1. Well there you go a console is apparently an S shaped corbel.

      Molding and casting is a system Ive never used I should look into it and give it a go one day.

      Dealing with the hertitage committees can be a hack in it’s self :o

      Some places seem to get it right and the results are very impressive – that Art Deco town in NZ ( is it Dunedin?? ) is amazing yet the Victorian esq town I live in (in Australia ) is rather pathetic yet the heritage committee is rather vocal about minor changes, except when a large company is paying them off I guess.

  1. Nice work finding that. Always wondered how to fix those horrid things so that the Conservation groups wouldn’t go bonkers.
    Mind you, this also shows me how to make custom Corbels for nonpreservation properties.
    Double Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s