DIY Bricklaying

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

| October/November 1998

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.

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

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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