Stone Pointing Question

My house is an older stone home (circa 1820) built in the traditional masonry style with hand-faced fieldstone and pointing between each stone (a style of home seen in eastern Pennsylvania and the mid-atlantic region). The current pointing was done in 1952 and is a type of pointing popular in the early to mid 20th century (raised, squared white pointing).
Over time the house is losing some pieces of the pointing, but not to the point where the house needs to be completely re-pointed.
I have a few things I want to do. The first is that I'd like to learn how to point the house myself so I can repair the pointing where it has been lost. Secondly, I don't really like the raised/squared style of pointing that is there now, so I'd like to phase in a more traditional/smooth, rounded white pointing. I figure as long as the color is similar, a different style will not look too bad mixed with the existing pointing.
How "difficult" is it to learn to point properly, and if you were going to try to learn how, what would you do to learn the process? Any websites or books that people can recommend would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for any information.
Rob Pennsylvania, USA Earth
By the way, I don't have pics of my house on the web, but the type of stone house I'm talking about is similar to the one shown below:
http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/nj/nj0100/nj0152/photos/109994pv.jpg
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Check the BIA (Brick Industry Association) web site. The Tech Notes include information on repointing. I've used it for brick and it should work for stone. The color of the mortar is dependent on the proportion of lime vs portland cement. The white color comes with more lime. TB
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If you want to learn how to do small areas, take a masonry course at you local tech school. That's something you can't learn just by reading. If you' re just going to re-point a couple of spots, stick with the same style you have. I don't like that style either, but I think it looks worse with two completely different styles.
If you want to do the whole house, it should be done all at the same time, and by a masonry contractor who does these types of historic homes all the time. They come in and chip out the old pointing and sand blast the joints. It's not a small job, and should be left to a professional.
If you are going to change the whole house, there are numerous different styles and colors of pointing. Some styles tend to catch rain water, and not let it run off properly. Before you pick a style, you should research what styles were used in your area around 1820. Around that time period, people used local materials, and therefore, local colors. If and when you want to sell, people from NYC will pay more for a house that's historically accurate.

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