Friday, 11 November 2016

Brick Laying Basics

Brick laying is a talented trade that takes many years to conquer.
Bricks are laid in courses, on a bed of mortar, with a taut string line used as a guide to line and level. The horizontal joint is the "bed joint"; the vertical joints are "perpends". The ends of walls are built first, with the level and verticality of the bricks checked regularly as the corners / ends are raised.
The gauging is also checked, to be sure that four courses measures 300mm. The ends are usually "Racked Back", as illustrated opposite, which permits successive courses to be laid direct to the string line while not having to ceaselessly check the work with a spirit level. The bed mortar is laid out and formed to accept the bricks. The end of the brick to be laid is buttered with mortar and then forced against the preceding brick, squeezing the mortar to a width of 10mm. The brick is tapped down to level with the heel of the spade, any surplus mortar extruded from the bed or the perpend is scraped off with the spade, and then the method repeated with the subsequent brick. At the completion of each course, the guide line is moved up to the next course. Though stretcher bond has been employed for the majority of the wall illustrations on this website, there are more than thirty different brickwork bonds that may be used. 7 of the most well liked bonds are pictured on the Walls page. With solid or punctured bricks, the alignment of the brick isn't important, but with frogged bricks, the frog should be laid uppermost. This makes sure the loading of the wall is uniformly spread across its width, instead of being concentrated onto the perimeters, and that there aren't any voids in the brickwork that may be feeble spots.
Frogged or punctured brickwork ought to be covered over if left half finished for any period when rain is about, to stop the frogs or punctures filling with water which would make a real mess of the bed mortar when bricklaying resumes. Frogs are always laid upwards Mortar Coverage one m of mortar will lay approx 1800 bricks ( 1300-2100 dependent on frog and so on. ) or 1200 nr blocks 450x225x100mm. 1800 standard bricks = 30m and each cubic metre of mortar weighs around 2.1 Tonnes, thus each square metre of single skin brickwork needs roughly seventy Kg of mortar. One tonne of lime mortar will lay approx one thousand bricks ( 700-1200 ) or six hundred blocks 450x225x100 Pointing Styles Pointing makes sure the bed joints and perpends are correctly stuffed with mortar.
Pointing is generally undertaken an hour or so after the bricks have been laid, long enough for the mortar to stiffen although not so long that it is unusable.
The unpointed joints can be topped up with fresh mortar if they don't seem to be quite full, before tooling to the mandatory style. The most typical pointing styles are shown opposite. The Weatherstruck and Flush profiles are formed with the blade of a spade. The Bucket Handle profile is created with a semi-circular section jointing bar, and the Recess profile is created with a joint raker. Tooled joints, significantly the Weatherstruck and Bucket Handle, offer better resistance to shower penetration.
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