TOOLS OF BRICKLAYING


Cobble stone and antique brick
COBBLE STONE AND ANTIQUE BRICKS
Anyone can be a bricklayer but though not everyone can make bricks, brick laying is a skill that can be learnt at any time of one's life as a means of livelihood or just for fun. Bricklaying is an old profession that can be carried out either as a hobby or as skill. When it comes to the later, it requires adequate training and constantly keeping up with new techniques in bricklaying in order to be a professional at it.

There are tools for bricklaying and all are based on their conveniences for a particular kind of brickwork. These tools must be handled with absolute care to prevent accidents on site and well taken care of if they are to last long to prevent rusting, since most of them are metals. The lists of tools are:

1. Gloves and masks.
2. Trowels.
3. Brick Chisel.
4. Hammers.
5. Spirit Level.
6. Steel Tape.
7. Bricklayer’s pins and line.
8. Shovels.
9. Buckets.
10. Brick Jointer.
11. Cordless Drill.
12. Brush and broom.
13. Rubber Mallet.
14. Hawk.

Gloves and masks: this is especially needed when working with mortar to prevent the mortar coming in contact with the bare skin. The mask is to cover the nose and mouth with to prevent breathing in flying dust from the debris of the cement.

Trowels: there are basically five different kinds of trowels.

The pointing trowel- this is the smallest kind of trowel since the size is only 6 inches. It is used to finish off brickwork by shaping the mortar neatly inside the brick joint. This is called pointing hence the name pointing trowel.

Brick trowel- this trowel is bigger than the pointing trowel; it comes in different sizes of 10-14 inches. Apart from its main use of packing up and spreading cement over the brick, the side of the trowel can also be used as a blade to cut out rough edges off laid bricks.

Finishing trowel- this trowel is designed flat-faced which is convenient for leveling and smoothing the surface of spread cement.

Flooring trowel- this trowel has a squared pointed-face, designed specially to neatly fit into wall corner.

Edging trowel- the rounded edge of this trowel was designed to add finishes and to smoothen out corners of the brick walls easily.

Brick chisel: this is of two types…

Brick bolster- is a splitting chisels which broad blades. The eyes must be protected with eyeshades when splitting bricks with this tool.

Cold chisel- this is like the brick bolster but it is slim with small broad-sharp end. It is mainly used to break off excess cement and cutting into brickwork after it is laid.

Hammer: this also comes in different kinds.

Lump hammer- this is normally used with brick bolsters to cut bricks and it can also use to break down walls when demolishing. The head of this hammer is fixed to the handle and so needs to be checked before use to prevent accident.

Claw hammer- this tool is two sided and shaped like letter T. the chisel side is used to add finish to brickwork to have a tidy neat look. The eyes must be protected with shades when chipping away cement with the chisel side. The other side is blunt and is use for driving in nails.

Spirit level: this is an important tool in bricklaying. It can be a metal, wooden or plastic instrument use to check if the brickwork is well aligned either horizontally or vertically. Attached in this instrument is a small vial containing water and air bubbles that lines up when the alignment is perfectly straight.

Steel tape: it is a small sized vital tool that every bricklayer must have in their possession. It is used to measure areas and distances. It usually comes in 5 meters length, easily coils back into its casing. This instrument has to be cleaned off when wet to prevent rusting.

Bricklayer’s pins and line: this is a very important tool and usually comes in pairs. The pin is and iron rod with sharp leaf shaped ends that keep the line in place. The line is used to keep the brick work line in a straight when laying the bricks.

Shovels: this tool comes in three different kinds.

The shovel that is essentially used comes with a wider blade that is ideal for mixing and lifting cement; and also the back is used to smoothing out rough surfaces of layered cement.

The digging spade is used to dig out earth from the ground.

The rabbiting shovel is use to make holes in the ground for poles. It has a long, thin and pointed blade convenient for digging small holes and narrow ditches.

Bucket: this importance of this item cannot be stressed. It can be used to pack debris after work, mix and measure out cement and carry cement to and fro.

Brick jointer. The joints are the most important part of bricklaying. The design of the joints can add beauty to the brick wall. Brick jointer is used for a finer inprint into the joints of a brick wall newly erected. It comes in different sizes which give different finishing designs according to what the bricklayer desires.

Cordless drill: this is a multi-functioned drill that runs with battery. It is used to make drill holes and drive in screws into walls.

Brushes and brooms: brushes are used to clean off extra cement debris from the wall after trowel has been used to scrape it off. The broom is used to sweep off the debris to have a clean and tidy work area.

Rubber mallet: this tool is use to knock brick blocks into a strong steady spot. The rubber mallet has rubber head that is ideal to ensure that little or no damages are done.

Hawk: this tool is used conveniently to carrying cement when filling in holes or pointing brick joints. It can either be in rubber, metal or wooden, 12 inches flat faced with handle in the middle.