Figure 8-36.-Picking up and spreading mortar.
thumb resting on top of the handle, not encircling it. If you are right-handed, pick up mortar from the outside of the mortar board pile with the left edge of your trowel (figure 8-36, view 1). You can pick up enough to spread one to five bricks, depending on the wall space and your skill. A pickup for one brick forms only a small pile along the left edge of the trowel. A pickup for five bricks is a full load for a large trowel (view 2).
If you are right-handed, work from left to right along the wall. Holding the left edge of the trowel directly over the center line of the previous course, tilt the trowel slightly and move it to the right (view 3), spreading an equal amount of mortar on each brick until you either complete the course or the trowel is empty (view 4). Return any mortar left over to the mortar board.
Do not spread the mortar for a bed joint too far ahead of laying - four or five brick lengths is best. Mortar spread out too far ahead dries out before the bricks become bedded and causes a poor bond (figure 8-37). The mortar must be soft and plastic so that the brick will bed in it easily. Spread the mortar about 1 inch thick and then make a shallow furrow in
Figure 8-37.-A poorly bonded brick.Continue Reading