Made to fit exactly
Not always everything goes as planned. I was energetically went to work with Sacred Heart statue that I had picked up in Heemstede. Making the new hands went smoothly and exactly as expected. I had some new pieces of the same limestone, so that all could be restored to the best standards. Well, that's what I thought. I had made these new limestone hands to fit exactly into the holes in the sleeves. However, when the hands were finished I accidentally hit two fingers, causing, as if it was meant to be, the two middle fingers to break.
I already had my doubts about the strength of the new hands. The statue will be placed near the auditorium inside the school, and you only need one student wanting to do a high-five with Jesus and the hands are already broken again. So it was at once clear that this solution was not strong enough. So I chose to adhere a little less to the restoration requirements. I'd rather have hands that are strong enough and not exactly out of the same material, than making them according to the rules of the art and finding them already broken within a week.
Stainless steel frame
That's why this time around I first welded a stainless steel frame for the new hands out of threaded rods, and built it up completely anew with mortar. This restoration mortar was specifically made for this type of stone, but it is stronger, especially in combination with the solid stainless steel frame inside.
Only once the statue is securely in its new place, I will firmly fix the new hands and grout them with the same mortar.
I also made a new limestone base for the same statue. After installing it, I will publish the last post about this restoration.