Tools for bricklaying

Not a lot of tools are needed for simple bricklaying, but as with any other craft, it pays to buy the best that you can afford. The bricklaying trowel should be as large as you can handle. If you are going to do a lot of bricklaying, then learn to use a professional bricklayer’s size of trowel, but if you are not doing much of the work you can make do with a smaller trowel, it just means that you will probably work much slower.

A club hammer is needed for use with the bolster for cutting the bricks. Do not get one which is too heavy as it will only tire your wrists. Do not try to make do with the brick hammer, its face is too small and you will hit your hands as often as you hit the end of the bolster. The brick hammer is very useful for trimming bricks to fit in awkward places. A long string-line and metal pins to hold it in place are essential for keeping the courses straight and level. Wooden blocks are better for most purposes.

If a large bricklaying trowel is being used, a smaller trowel will be needed for pointing. You will also need a wooden rule as well as a tape measure for setting out. A long spirit level will be needed for plumbing the work and a short one for levelling individual bricks. A straight edge or two, and a hawk or hand-board will be needed for holding the mortar when pointing. In place of the long spirit level a straight edge and plumb-bob can be used. This is slower than the spirit level as it is affected by the wind when used out of doors, but when used properly it is very accurate.

Finally, keep the tools clean; clean tools make a clean job. A little time spent at the end of the day cleaning tools and equipment will pay off when the next day’s work is started.

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