Bricklaying tools and accessories

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Today we will look at both the standard mason’s arsenal and special tools and devices. It will be about ways to increase the efficiency of your labor, the quality of brickwork and the convenience of work, including with the help of various improvised means.

Basic Bricklayer Set

The skill of laying bricks, with all the desire, cannot be successfully developed without basic equipment. The mason is in charge of the whole process, starting with the preparation of the solution, so even the basic set of tools cannot be called modest. Let’s figure it out in order.

1. To mix the solution, you need a capacity of at least 40-50 liters and a shovel. The volume of one batch is determined by the rate of production and the lifetime of the solution. On average, brick laying requires about 20-30 liters per hour, you can cook with the expectation of 2-2.5 hours of work.

Capacity for mixing solution

2. To carry the solution, you need a bucket of 12-14 liters, and in case of delivery to the upper floors without lifting devices – two smaller ones, 9-10 liters.

Mortar bucket

3. Application of the solution is carried out using a trowel (trowel). There are several forms of soles, you should choose based on your own preferences for the convenience of working with a certain type of masonry and stone format. The trapezoid is considered the standard form of a trowel for masonry.

Mason's trowel

4. For the manufacture of additional elements you need a hammer-pickaxe. The flat pointed part will allow you to cut the edge of the stone with a higher accuracy than other shaped strikers.

Hammer pick

5. A rubber mallet is ideal for settling and adjusting stones..

Rubber mallet for aerated concrete masonry

Measuring tools

It is impossible to maintain the plane of the walls, the angles and the accuracy of the erected box without a tool for measuring and marking. There are also quite obvious gradations here: base and special level. Let’s start with the basics:

1. Plumb line – something without which no bricklayer will begin work. Any heavy object can be used, but a cone weight is the best option. It does not vibrate the thread when untwisted, has a clear center and allows you to measure verticality with an accuracy of 1 mm.

Construction plumb

2. Roulette, or even better – two. One automatic for 3 meters for marking extensions and measuring openings, as well as one tape for 30 meters with glass cloth.

Construction tape

3. A mooring cord, it is also a nylon (or other slightly stretching) thread with a length of 100 m. A pair of pins is attached to the cord, which are easily stuck into a fresh seam solution.

Mooring cord

3. Pencils: dark for silicate bricks, chalky for clay bricks. Pencils should not be stationery, but construction, that is, oval.

Construction pencil

4. Water tubular level – with its help the points of anchorage of the mooring are displayed.

Hydro level

5. A square for taking out right angles, the optimal length of the shoulders is at least two lengths of the brick used, that is, from 50 cm.

Construction square

Well, and special marking and measuring tools:

1. Laser axis builder. For laying brick enclosing walls, it is recommended to use a rotary level with a range of “lumbago” from 30 m.

Laser plane builder

2. Laser tape measure. Dramatically reduces the time spent on checking the geometry and dimensions of the masonry.

Laser tape measure

3. Exact spirit (rack) level – needed to check local sections of the wall, masonry corners and correction of stones laid without mooring.

Using a spirit level when laying bricks

4. A long rule will make sure that the plane of the front surface of the masonry is preserved.

Building rule

Solutions for working with mortar

If the solution has to be mixed and delivered by yourself, this can take from a third to half of the working time. Special equipment and devices that accelerate this process will not be superfluous..

First of all, a concrete mixer. Even the simplest and the smallest one, it definitely should be. This equipment is not just a way to fully automate the mixing process. In a concrete mixer, the mixture can be stored longer before use, and a new portion can be mixed without even using up the old one. As a result, a lot of time is freed up directly for laying.

Concrete mixer for mortar

The second point is delivery vehicles. If the laying is carried out on the second floor or far from the place where the mixture is prepared, you cannot carry much with two buckets. In such situations, it is better to use a single-wheel wheelbarrow, and to raise the solution to a height – a rope, a block, and a small bucket with a capacity of 30-50 liters.

Mortar wheelbarrow

There are also ways to significantly speed up the installation of a mortar joint. The devices, called templates for mortar application, can speed up the laying by 2–3 times. First, the entire row is covered with a uniform strip of binder, on which a new portion of stones is laid on top, and the entire new row is laid in one pass. The templates make it possible to work not only faster, but also more accurately, maintaining a constant joint thickness, as well as reducing consumption and loss of mixture.

Template for mortar when laying bricks

Homemade brick laying template

For laying walls in bricks and thicker, it is more expedient to use carriages instead of templates. But this must be done carefully: the carriage works with a mixture of a more liquid consistency than is usually used for laying bricks. Therefore, the solution must be given some time to set, and when working with PCB or hollow bricks, each row should be covered with a fine polymer mesh, which will not allow the binder to fall into the cells.

Application of the mortar using a carriage

Joining and ordering

The skill of rubble masonry is very ordinary, often quite serious requirements are imposed on a bricklayer in relation to his artistic skill. But do not think that without many years of practice it will not be possible to achieve perfectly even and clean seams. We have already seen that it is very easy to maintain their constant thickness with the presence of special devices (templates), in exactly the same way it is with the leveling of the masonry.

It is very convenient to use an alignment rail to tension the dock. It is desirable that this device is manufactured at the factory. In this case, the notches will be made strictly with the same pitch, plus the kit will contain everything you need to securely fix the rail. For masonry walls with a length of 10 meters or more, it is recommended to use additional intermediate ordering racks to compensate for the slack in the cord.

Ordering for masonry

Working with refining joints is the second component of aesthetic brickwork. A lot of hand tools have also been invented for joining. First of all, these are the joining knives themselves, of which it is desirable to have two at your disposal: with a convex and a concave working surface. It is desirable that the sting narrows towards the end, so you can work with any thickness of the seam. If the joining is performed not sunk, it is advisable to have a light thin rail on hand, along which the tool will be guided. Otherwise, a jointing bucket will suffice, which is difficult to do without if the joints are filled with a tinted compound. Roller scrapers are also very suitable for simple joining profiles..

Brick laying for joining

TB and personal protective equipment

You cannot work effectively and at the same time neglect your own health. There are a lot of harmful production factors in the work of a bricklayer, some of them can put an end to the career.

The main health hazard for a bricklayer is mortar. Its prolonged contact with the skin causes very serious irritation, therefore it is imperative to work with gloves that have a hydrophobic impregnation on the inside of the palm, that is, they are simply rubberized. Another risk factor is splashing the solution into the eyes, which is especially dangerous if the mixture contains lime or corrosive modifiers. Therefore, the loading of the solution and its preparation must be carried out with glasses. Not necessarily dense and massive, there will be enough carpentry or just sun protection, the main thing here is convenience.

Personal protective equipment for bricklayer

How can we not forget about the danger of working at height. Even when working on quality modular scaffolding, there is always a chance of stumbling. Therefore, work from the outer part of the wall above the 2nd floor (jointing, installation of orders) should be carried out only with a safety sling. And, of course, head protection – the most important rule of work at construction sites – to stay in a helmet, even if no higher level of work is being done.

Safety slings

Special devices

The list of tools and tools at hand is not limited to this. Not only bricklayers, but also any more or less experienced craftsmen always strive to make their work easier and increase productivity through the use of various kinds of devices. Some of them are made by hand, some are bought, this is not the point: these tools are quite specific, they do not have to be in everyone’s arsenal, but they can be extremely useful. These include:

1. Shabrovki. Ideal for removing excess mortar inside ventilation and technical wells.

Scouring

2. Formwork, most often self-made, help to make small openings and loopholes, and are also irreplaceable when laying out arched structures. This also includes supporting flashing of window and door openings.

Brick arch template

3. If brick of different sizes is used in the masonry, templates are very useful to quickly establish the grade of the stone. This is especially true for working with straight and wedge-shaped stones, which are not so easy to distinguish at first glance..

4. For masonry walls in two layers with a pass, there is no need to align both lines along the quay. It is enough to lead one along the cord, and align the second with a spacer.

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