Essential Tools for Brick Masonry Work

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Brick masonry is a construction method that uses bricks and mortar to form a unified architectural structure such as walls and arches; it is also the term used to refer to the brick structure itself. Bricks are formed in a pattern and held together by mortar that acts as an adhesive. The integrity of a brick masonry work depends on the following: the type of brick and mortar used, and the skill of a masonry worker.

Brick masonry structures are renowned for their beauty, practicality, and strength. These features command good prices in the market. They are also low-maintenance structures and do not require repainting or staining; they can stand up against fire, wind, and water erosion. They also provide good insulation so that homes are kept cool during summer and warm during winters.

Brick masonry can support considerable weight; on its own, it is vulnerable to stress caused by twisting, shaking or stretching. Because of this, some brick structures need to be reinforced with steel beams, fiberglass batts or insulation boards to make them robust.

Here are the common brick masonry tools and equipment used.

Trowels

The uses of this triangular-shaped tool: to pick up mortar from a board; to place and spread the mortar into a brick, or set of bricks; to secure a brick into the mortar by tapping. Sizes vary and can reach up to 11 inches in length and 8 inches in width. Masons prefer using short and wide trowels since they do not put excessive stress on wrists.

Chisel

A chisel is used to cut bricks into specific sizes. Chisel width ranges from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches.

Hammer

A masonry hammer has a square face on one end for breaking; it has a sharp edge on the other for cutting. They are used to split hard bricks.

Jointer

A jointer is used to make mortar joints. There are three types of jointer shapes: flat, pointed and rounded.

Squares

Squares are used when constructing and measuring right angles and for corner layouts. They are usually made of metal for durability.

Mason’s Level

A mason’s level is used when establishing vertical or plumb lines and horizontal or level lines. They are typically made of wood, metal, or a combination of both. They come equipped with either single or double vials. The latter is preferred by more masons since they can be used for both horizontal and vertical measurements.

Straightedge

Straightedges act as extensors to mason’s levels: they are used when levels are shorter than the area that needs to be measured or assessed. The middle section of the top of the straightedge must be horizontally parallel to the bottom section. Widths of these tools range from 1 1/8 to 1 1/2 inches; they can be as long as 16 feet.

Masonry tools are as important as the skill of a mason. They are widely available in hardware stores and supply outlets. Due to the nature and scope of masonry work, they are built with durable materials to withstand heavy use.

Brick Masonry Overview

Building materials don't get much sturdier than bricks, which makes brick masonry a favorite career and pastime among masonry enthusiasts. Brick masonry has always been a popular method of construction and home improvement, and it is widely used for a vast assortment of projects. This article will explore the basics of brick masonry, so if you've ever kicked around the idea of tackling it on your own, you'd do well to read on.

Why Bricks?

When it comes to building materials, bricks have a reputation for their solidarity and resilience, which is why brick houses can be considerably more expensive than wooden homes. Adding to their appeal, bricks require virtually no maintenance, making paint jobs a thing of the past for the residents of brick houses.

Furthermore, brick buildings generally have good insulation and do a fantastic job of standing up to fire. While brick homes may come with relatively steep price tags, people who own them are likely to save a great deal of money on upkeep in the long run. So the next time someone asks, "Why bricks?" simply answer, "Why not?"

Support

Although bricks are capable of supporting massive amounts of weight, they are fairly susceptible to shaking and stretching, hence the need for structural reinforcement. Steel beams, in conjunction with insulation boards and fiberglass batts, are the most common type of reinforcement used in brick masonry.

It's important to remember that while bricks are among the most durable types of construction material, sufficient reinforcement is required to utilize their full potential. With the proper reinforcement, brick buildings can remain flawlessly intact for centuries. Is it any wonder the vast majority of historically preserved structures are composed of brick?

Types of Bricks

Before getting started on any masonry project involving bricks, it is important to select the right type of brick for your project. Building brick is perhaps the most common type of brick currently available and is often used in the construction of homes. Face brick is generally used to build walls. Fire brick, with its resilience towards heat, is used almost exclusively in boiler rooms and fireplaces.

Glazed brick, which is easily cleanable, is used to build highly sanitary facilities such as hospitals. Don't forget—bricks may be extremely durable, but the stability and integrity of a building is largely dependent upon the type of brick used in its construction. Thus, when selecting the proper brick, it is imperative that you make an informed decision.

And there you have it. If you've ever wanted to try your hand at brick masonry, you have all the basic knowledge required to get started. With the right type of brick, the proper reinforcement and a cursory understanding of masonry, you should be well on your way to tackling brick-related projects head on. Whether you're looking to repair an old chimney or even construct a home, you'll find that bricks can be a mason's best friend.