DIY Bricklaying

A master mason teaches diy bricklaying and the art of building a wall.

| October/November 1998

  • diy bricklaying - basic brick
    The basic brick, core building unit for professional and DIY bricklaying alike.
    ILLUSTRATION: JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - shiner courses, sailor courses
    Figure 4: Laying the top this way is called shinerrs or shiner courses. Figure 5: Laying the top this way is called sailors or sailor courses.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: trowels, rule, jointer, brickset, masons hammer
    Essential DIY bricklaying tools: mason's rule, wide and pointing trowels, convex jointer, brickset, and mason's hammer.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - stretchers courses, soldier courses
    Figure 2: Laying the face this way is called stretchers or stretcher courses. Figure 3: Laying the top this way is called soldiers or soldier courses.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - header courses, rowlock courses
    Figure 6: Laying the end this way is called headers or header courses. Figure 7: Laying the end this way is called rowlocks or rowlock courses.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - running bond
    Brick wall laid in running bond.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • DIY bricklaying - masonary backup wall with brick ties
    Figure 9: Masonry backup wall with brick ties.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - anatomy of a trowel
    A trowel doesn't look that complicated, but every part of it has a name.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: line blocks, mason line, trig, pin, scraper brush
    Essential DIY bricklaying tools: line blocks, mason line, trig, pin, and scraper brush.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: brush, level, tool bag, standard wheelbarrow
    Essential DIY bricklaying tools: all purpose brush, mason's level, tool bag, and wheelbarrow.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - non masonary wall with brick ties
    Figure 10: a non-masonry backup wall, showing brick ties nailed prior to veneering
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - buttering the end of a brick
    Figure 12: Buttering the end of the brick.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: brick wheelbarrow, brick tongs, mortar board, mortar pan, stands
    Essential DIY bricklaying tools: brick and block wheelbarrow, brick tongs, mortar board, mortar pan, and stands.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: hoe, shovels, pail, crayon, chalk, builder's pencil
    Essential DIY bricklaying tools: hoe, rubber pail, long and short shovels, marking crayon, chalk line, and builder's pencil.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - gap in joint and proper joint
    Figure 11: joint with a gap, and a properly filled joint.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - line blocks
    Figure 14: Line Block.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - securing the line range
    Figure 15: Securing the line to a line range before laying the layout course.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - brick arrisses
    Figure 16: "Arisses" on a brick — an edge where two surfaces meet.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - using the modular rule
    Figure 13: Using the modular rule.
    JACK KEAVENY
  • diy bricklaying - brick leads on the layout course
    Figure 17: Brick leads on the layout course. Note the position of brick #1.
    JACK KEAVENY

  • diy bricklaying - basic brick
  • diy bricklaying - shiner courses, sailor courses
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: trowels, rule, jointer, brickset, masons hammer
  • diy bricklaying - stretchers courses, soldier courses
  • diy bricklaying - header courses, rowlock courses
  • diy bricklaying - running bond
  • DIY bricklaying - masonary backup wall with brick ties
  • diy bricklaying - anatomy of a trowel
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: line blocks, mason line, trig, pin, scraper brush
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: brush, level, tool bag, standard wheelbarrow
  • diy bricklaying - non masonary wall with brick ties
  • diy bricklaying - buttering the end of a brick
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: brick wheelbarrow, brick tongs, mortar board, mortar pan, stands
  • diy bricklaying - bricklaying tools: hoe, shovels, pail, crayon, chalk, builder's pencil
  • diy bricklaying - gap in joint and proper joint
  • diy bricklaying - line blocks
  • diy bricklaying - securing the line range
  • diy bricklaying - brick arrisses
  • diy bricklaying - using the modular rule
  • diy bricklaying - brick leads on the layout course

One of the most unfortunate assumptions a novice homesteader makes is that bricklaying is a snap. I know of many an inexperienced bricklayer who launches a diy bricklaying project with visions of a beautiful, uniform, and eternal face of brick, only to finish with a faulty shifting wall that soon becomes a pile of rubble. While easily learned with a modicum of study and forethought, laying brick is both an art and a responsibility.

It's best at first to not get overly technical about the many selections of brick and their individual classifications, so let's deal with a term you probably have heard of before: face brick. There are three basic parts to recognize. They are called the face or front, the top or bottom, and the ends (figure 1). Depending on how the brick is going to be used, each of the three parts of the brick can be laid in two positions. The illustrations below show the six basic bricklaying positions.

The pattern that brick is laid in is actually called the "Bond." We are going to lay our brick in a pattern called running bond (also referred to as half bond).

Each row of brick is called a "course" and walls are usually the result of a duplication of two courses, the first (or layout) course and the alternate course. The alternate courses will have half bricks on the ends.



The folks at the masonry supply yard can advise you on the type of brick to be used on your project. Standard brick will cost approximately 30¢ to 45¢ each, depending upon what you select and where you live.

These prices probably shock you, as they still do me. Keeping a tight control on the amount of brick necessary for a specific project is your only hedge against waste, and, thankfully, the math involved is very simple.

Rina_2
7/28/2007 6:45:59 AM

Thank you so much for the Masonry tip Ive been curious and wanted to pick my best friends head....and since you are a Master Mason I hope you can answer a few questions I have been afraid to ask him I want to understand what it means to be a true Mason. 1. Is there some moral code of MASTER MASONS to not give out secrets of the Masons artistry or is it per style & status of that Mason? (SO I dont ask the wrong questions) 2. Is it proper for a woman to become free mason or appropriate as an apprentice? I find this profession very symbolic intriguing aside from carpentry. I respect a man who works hard & and wished all trades required the attention a Mason gives his work. Thanks for the article now I can talk to him and relate on what he truley loves being a Mason God Bless & thank you. Curious Petunia Chicago


mickey_3
5/10/2007 2:44:36 PM

got a side job, frist time, like to start how to begin,is a warhouse conceit floor,23ft long by 9ft high.







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