In this article we will discuss some basic bricklaying techniques that will help you get an idea on how to tackle any bricklaying job you may want, as an avid handyman.
A few bricklaying tips to take into consideration for a nice, neat and sturdy finish would be Getting the mortar right, using a trowel, and laying the bricks.
Getting the mortar right:
- The sand should have a bit of clay in its consistency for body in the mortar
- The sand should not be fine.
- Clean sand, without any foreign matter, helps the finished quality of your joints.
- For light coloured mortar finish use a lighter coloured sand, and for a darker finish use orange brick sand.
- To get the best consistency out of your mortar follow the instructions on the cement bag for best ratios. i.e how many shovels of sand per cement. (where possible use measuring equipment, like buckets).
- Water in the mix is crucial, it mainly depends on the amount of moisture is already in your sand. The mortar needs to be wet enough so that it sticks to your trowel, and dry enough to keep its body.
- Apply small quantity of lime is used to make the mortar pliable.
USING THE TROWEL
- Before you use the trowel get familiar and comfortable with holding the tool properly
- Positioning yourself when laying bricks is very important for, neat, clean and tidy work. A right handed bricklayer should have his left-side of body (brick-hand) to the wall face, and right-hand side (trowel hand) to materials. Reverse this position if you are left handed.
- A right-handed bricklayer should position their feet with the right foot slightly forward of the left, feet slightly apart to assume a well balanced position. Reverse this for left-handed bricklayers.
- Maintain such a position at all times that will prevent clothing from fouling the line — approximately 100 to 150mm from the wall. Your head should be continually moved into such a position that will assist in hand- eye co-ordination.
- The best way to apply the mortar to your trowel would be to scoop one full trowel and fold it one to two times, then scoop that up and apply to your brick wall repeating to cover about 3 bricks in distance. once applied using the tip of your trowel furrow your mortar bed.
Laying the brick:
The most important thing to consider whilst laying bricks is to take your time and not to rush.
- Heap your mortar in the centre of your damp mortar board
- Pick up enough mortar on your trowel
- Spread brick bed with mortar for 2 – 4 bricks
- Spread and furrow mortar bed, being sure to trim excess mortar off bed
- Select your brick with your brick hand
- Butter brick on each header face for your cross joints
- Lay the brick on your brick line making sure to cut off excess mortar to keep the face work clear, and clean