Is it possible to buy empty caulking cartridges?

Is it possible to buy empty caulking cartridges?
A friend needs to do some random tuckpointing on a brick building. He got an estimate to do the whole building and it was more than he paid for the place. I just looked at it, and I can not see what would be so costly. Much of the mortar is fine, but there are some sections that need repair. Mostly near the bottom of the walls. I've done some tuckpointing in the past and found that it tends to leave mortar on the face of the bricks. My guess is that the pros must clean it off with some sort of sandblasting equipment.
Anyhow, the guy said he was thinking about using gray caulk which is sold as a mortar patch. I told him that he would probably need a hundred or more tubes, at around $5 a tube. Not only the cost, but I dont think that stuff matches real well, and is probably not as strong. However, I could see putting real mortar on a caulking cartridge, and shooting it in the gaps. Seems like it would be a cleaner process, and would likely fill the gaps better than just trying to push it in with a trowel.
The question is do they sell empty cartridges, and where? Probably those larger sized ones, not the common size which is pretty small.
I told him I'd ask on here since he dont use the internet. Tuckpointing is something I'll avoid. It's a time consuming and very boring job. When I did it years ago, it was not important to keep the job real clean because the walls were going to be sprayed with a stucco-like finish afterwards, but this friends job is the finished wall and needs to look fairly decent.
Thanks
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On Sun, 01 Apr 2012 04:54:56 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

oversize cake decorating bag. Remove deteriorated old mortar, dampen the joints, fill the bag with mortar, fill the joints, and strike them off with a tuckpointing tool
If you clean up as you go you shouldn't have trouble with staining the brick, but if you do you can use dilute muriatic acid to clean up.
Matching old mortar is an art.
HTH,
Paul F.
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On Sun, 01 Apr 2012 04:54:56 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

Yes, they are $4 each at Amazon.
OTOH, you can buy a tuckpointing gun for $58 (Amazon.com product link shortened)33281304&sr=1-17
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Just so you know its not as easy as it looks using the bags. The mortar has to be perfect consistency or the bag either clogs up or it drips out.
Also this is not like caulking where you can cut a smaller tip to get into tight places, you are going to be shooting out a 1/2 wide line of motar. I would assume a pro for joints thinner than that, like on most brick, would load up the back of a trowel and use a hand tuck pointer.
When looking how easy its going to be don't forget to factor in scaffolding of some sort if its more than 5 feet off the ground. This would be very had work to do off a ladder since you need both hands.
As for cleaning the brick, they either work cleaner so they don't have to clean up or use muriatic acid. Sandblasting would take the skin off the brick and allow water to get in and if in a cold climate cause more problems than tuck pointing in the furture.
I would sugest doing some easy spots, low to the ground, and see if looks ok. If you start to make a mess then your friend can call around to see if he can get a better price.
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