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The Practical Mechanic:
Every Man His Own Mechanic
Broken Window, How To Mend It
Knowledge Must Be Paid For
Kinds Of Woods Used In Carpentry
Toosl Used In Carpentry
The Glue Pot
Sharpening Tools
The Carpenter's Bench
How To Hold And Handle Tools
Divisions Of The Building Trade
Soldering And Brazing
Indoor And Outdoor Painting
Varnishes And Recipers For Making Varnishes
Polishing And Recipes For Polish
Wall Paper Hanging


( Originally Published 1902 )

BRICKLAYING is in itself an apparently simple process, inasmuch as it consists merely in laying or disposing regular and similar rectangular pieces of baked clay one upon another, layer upon layer, until a certain height is reached, spreading a composition of lime and sand called mortar between each layer, which hardens and connects the bricks together in a tolerably solid mass. There is, however, much more skill in bricklaying than is apparent at first sight, and really good bricklaying cannot be done without practice any more than other building processes.

The tools requisite in bricklaying are a large, strong steel trowel, with which mortar may be spread and bricks chopped asunder or reduced to any extent that may be required in order to produce a perfect bond. Mortar is carried up the ladder, and on to the part of the scaffolding where the bricklayer is at work, by his attendant laborer, in a vessel called a hod, which is shaped like a box, open at one end and cut across diagonally, and fitted at the bottom angle into a short pole. Then a small trowel for pointing, and a mortar-board to hold in the hand, on which the mortar or cement is carried.

A brick is accounted to be 9 inches long, 4 1/2 inches broad, and 2 1/2 inches thick, the breadth being half the length, and the thickness rather more than half the breadth, or one-fourth the length ; an arrangement which renders bricks more convenient to use, owing to the correspondence and harmony of proportions in length, breadth, and thickness. The equivalents of the thicknesses of walls enumerated in terms of bricks will, therefore, be, when expressed in inches, 1/2 brick=4 1/2 in.; 1 brick=9 in. ; 1 1/2 bricks=13 1/2 in.; 2 bricks=18 in.; 2 1/2 bricks=22 1/2 in., etc. There are many different kinds of bricks, embracing the three classes of building bricks, fire-bricks, and clinkers, or paving bricks.

Mortar for Brickwork.

Bricks are cemented together with mortar, which is a mixture of lime and sand brought to a pasty consistence by the addition of water. When it is desired to make brickwork as strong and durable as possible, the mortar should be made of cement, or a little cement should be added to the lime. The following are the proportions:

Lime and sand, and cement and sand, lose about one-third their bulk when made into mortar, and lime and Portland cement both require one-third their bulk of water to mix. For a rod of brickwork (containing 306 cubic feet and needing 4,352 bricks), 71 cubic feet of mortar will be required, and to make this quantity are required 1 1/2 cubic yards of unslaked lime and 3 of sand; or 1 cubic yard of stone lime and 3 1/2 of sand; or 36 bushels of cement, and the same quantity of sharp sand. Lime or cement and sand, to make mortar, require as much water as is equal to one-third of their bulk, or about 5Y, barrels for a rod of brickwork built with mortar.

The mortar used by the old builders was far more durable than the mortar used in the present day. It hardened into a mass which offered greater resistance to the weather than even the stone itself that it was used to cement together.

The cost of brickwork may be easily calculated from the above memoranda.

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