Well my sand arrived yesterday and the bricks today. So out in the 100+
temps to start on my walkways. I put down about 4" of base and compacted
that. Now I'm adding 1" of sand, loose. Screeding is difficult only due
to the shape of my walks (many different widths so I can't use just one
screed). Anyway, I started with a few bricks and noticed right off that
they don't sit flat with one another simply by setting them on the sand.
I've read you shouldn't tap them into place with a mallet but it seems that
would effectively flatten my walk. I do intend to run a plate compactor
over the entire install once complete. Will the compactor pretty much
flatten things out or should I be tapping them into place with a mallet
(I've found the thickness of the pavers varies a bit and I'm sure my sand
isn't perfectly flat either as there's been a lot of trowel work on it in
tight spaces)? I'm building a curvey walk and just had my go at cutting
my first set of bricks transitioning into a curve. Holy crap that's a lot
of cutting! Any tips on this would be most appreciated.
It worked for me. Not a 'tap'-- I pounded the crap out of them.
Probably compacted 1.5 inches to 3/4". What is the downside of
using a mallet other than it's a lot of work? After I compacted
the base I never used a compactor. I spread my tailings out a few
square feet at a time and pounded with a 5lb mallet. [the word escapes
me, but the head is filled with pellets and inertia makes it hit
harder] Took a month or two at my pace-- but to me, that was the
beauty of pavers. An hour here- an hour there. Suits my
constitution just fine.
You said you compacted the base-- You used the plate compacter for
that, right? I would guess that it will level things off for you.
That shouldn't matter-- but different thickness on the pavers?
I did my cutting on windy days only. I also rigged my shop vac to
minimize dust. If I had it to do over again I'd buy a wet saw first
and sell it when I was done. If you're into working a full day-
then save cutting the edges til last & rent a wet saw for the day.
Thanks. Getting old is a bitch-- but it beats the alternative.
And a trip to the garage reveals that mine is 4lb, not 5. If you can
find a 5, go for it, but the heaviest I've seen locally is this one;
If you're an 'all-day' worker, get 2. A hit on the corner of a brick
can puncture the face. I 'Gooped' mine and let it set a day or
two--- but if you have more ambition than patience, a spare is
probably a good idea.
[I just found a 5lb one-- but bring your wallet- $67
I've got a 2lb dead blow and I literally only have to tap the bricks
slightly to get them flattened up. What I'm not sure about is whether a
plate compactor will keep that flatness or cause me problems.
IMO you're wasting your time 'tapping'. If you're going to use a
mallet, then pound them home- until they'll move no more with a great
deal of force. If you're going to use the plate compacter- then just
lay them in- and have at it with the machine. As someone else
mentioned, I'd definitely lay a cushion of 1/2" ply between my pavers
and the metal compacter.
I haven't used a plate compacter on pavers, but from using it in on
gravel & backfill, I'd say that you will still compact your pavers
some-- and the nature of the beast will be to make them flat. If
your sub-base isn't compacted enough, or is not perfect you might end
up with low spots, but the 'setting' layer is just that- a bed to set
the pavers in.
The top layer of sand has to be _flat_. Get two ten-foot lengths of
small OD metal electrical conduit and lay them on the packed base before
you screed the sand. Use the conduits as a guide for the screed board.
Yes there will be two grooves in the sand when you remove the conduits,
but those are easily filled by hand.
I'm doing that already. Trouble is, I'm at curves and such so the amount
that I can actually screed is not very large so that means a bit more
handwork. I'm sure my lack of flatness is either my technique of setting
the bricks or in the places where I'm not perfectly flat (ie. hand work
areas). This is why I'm asking whether I can tap them into place or not.
I don't really understand why I couldn't but then again, this is my first
paver project. I plan to use a compactor so if that will get them all at
the same height, then I'll keep going as is. Thanks for any feedback.
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