Tricks of the Trade

Tools that preservation architects can't live without

Preservation architect Stephen Tilly says he wouldn't consider tackling a restoration project without:

1. My small LED flashlight

2. A 12' pocket tape measure

3. My Canon Powershot Digital Elph camera (with an extra battery)

4. Google Earth

5. A brimless hat (so you don't hit your head on rafters you can't see)

6. Fingerless gloves

7. Small single blade German pocket knife

8. A molding "comb," also called a profile gauge, which has sliding pins that record a shape

9. A tiny notebook or sketchpad and a pen that writes in cold weather and does not smear when wet

10. A list of consultants who can answer specific questions

Colleagues in his architectural practice added their own must-haves:

1. Sturdy boots

2. Hard hat

3. Tetanus booster

4. Sense of humor and adventure

5. Soft bristle brush to dust off artifacts found in concealed spaces

6. Thin, flat pry bar and a "cat's paw" bar to gently pry out nails

7. Small hammer

8. Small envelopes and fine-point Sharpie for labeling of envelopes to contain remnants of wallpaper, paint chips, etc.

9. Clipboard

10. Patience


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