Back again ... Making a damn mess of mortar!

OK, thanks to those who gave me all the help before for mixing up mortar and bricklaying tips. Just managed to have another go today. First off, my mortar mix, mixed on a large flat bit of MDF (about 1.5m square) worked MUCH better this time! Got what I think was the right consistency and I used proper separate builders sand and cement instead of the ready-to-mix bag.
However, I still suck at brick laying!! It's better than last time but I'm very messy. Don't seem to be able to get a good layer of mortar down on the brick without playing with it for 10 mins and having loads of it crumble off the sides. I still can't get it to stick well to the sides of the "next" bricks ... grrr ....
Also, my M waves with the trowel split the mortar half the time or push it off the brick. I'm at about 10 bricks an hour - somewhat behind on Bob's suggestion of 100 an hour ;)
a
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and
MUCH
the
off
"Crumbling" off the sides suggests that the mix is too dry. It should slide off a shovel at 45 degrees. Bricks stick initially by suction so the mix has to be fairly sloppy. When you slap a new one down it should immediately be difficult to pull it upwards. Notice how bricklayers tap the brick lightly to lower it. This will give you some idea of the consistency you're looking for. If there's a woman about the place who's good at pastry, get her to do the mixing.
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slide
has
looking
do
Crumbling was probably not the right word to use, my mix was quite sloppy. Suction never seemed to happen though. These are second hand bricks though (I knocked the wall down with a lump hammer and smashed the old mortar off) so perhaps this makes them less porous than new bricks?
a
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be
lightly
though
off)
You need one of these AL:
http://www.bepr.co.uk/html/bricky_case_study.html
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BigWallop wrote:

Well that's a great bit of PR. After reading all that I'm still non the wiser as to what it actually does.
--
James...
http://www.jameshart.co.uk /
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On Sat, 13 Sep 2003 22:16:48 +0100, "James Hart"

www.brickytool.com to find out how Dan Murphy has increased his daily output from 500 to 1200 bricks.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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Interesting ...!
My biggest problem was that whatever plank built the wall in the first place didn't use standard spacing for one of the corners. I therefore landed up using 2/3's of bricks to make the distance. Very messy :(
a
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And how do I fit one into the space where I put a lintel in my fireplace or the fireback both of which are not as long as the Brickie. ;-)
Mark S.
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Old bricks are usually more porous. You can either drop them in a bucket of water before laying or seal them with pva and allow it to dry. The less porosity the greater the suction (as in tax discs on car windscreens).
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Hello al

No plasticiser? PVA works well, an egg-sized dollop should be fine for half a wheelbarrow, makes all the difference.

Get some PVA. :)

When Brunel built his tunnel under the Thames, his brickies were laying an average 2,000-3,000 bricks a day, and that was all archwork. Impressive.
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
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Cement reckons it has it included ...

Somehow I just don't think that's a place I'll ever be. Precision soldering, welding and now bricklaying are just gifts I don't shine with!! ;)
a
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