A local recipe for making pug mix.

Pug walls in the cottage

Harry Schmidt was a Light Pass local. He and his wife Melva had the dairy on Research Rd next to the river, and the old Schmidt home is one of the historic buildings of Light Pass. Harry was a fount of knowledge about Light Pass and it’s history, and was on the Luhr’s Cottage committee for some time.  He passed this recipe on to Kim Michelmore in 2001, when some repugging was needed to be done on Luhrs Cottage. Kim has kindly shared it with us.

Harry Schmidt’s Pug Mix Formula

First, collect a bucket of red clay from down near the Light Pass crossing – it is good binding clay. Break it up well into fine particles – no more than 1/8th inch in size. Remove any stones.

Second, collect a bucket of old dry cow manure from Schmidt’s dairy on Research Road. Pulverise this into a fine powder. You can leave any straw in the mix.

Third, get a bucket of dry builder’s sand.

For patching up you only need a little bit – it goes a long way.

Mix a couple of handfuls of each of these together in a bucket and add some water – a little bit at a time – you can always add more. Mix it with your hands and crush up any clumps. Keep adding water until it is a thick smooth mixture that can easily be squeezed between your fingers when you grab a handful. However, it is important not to make the mix too “strong”. It must remain the pathway for moisture rather than the timber.

Leave it sit for a while to absorb the water. If needed, you may add a bit more before you start.

Remove the flaking whitewash and any eroded pug from the spot you want to repair.  Don’t go too far or you will need to redo the whole building! Just enough to get into good solid material.

While you wait wet all the spots that need repairing. Use a builders brush or a sponge. Wet them well – a good soaking to make the existing pug really wet and sticky. This allows the new pug mix to bond to the old.

Put the pug into and onto the repair spots. Use a metal square cement float and press it in and smooth it off. Don’t overlap any good whitewash too much as your pug will not stick all that well to whitewash.

Let it dry for a while – and then rub over the repaired area with a cloth or sponge wet with water and smooth off the repaired area.

Let dry overnight and whitewash the next day to seal it off.”