Figure 8-36.-Picking up and spreading mortar.
ahead of layingfour or
Mortar spread out too far
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
Do not spread the mortar for a bed joint too far
five brick lengths is best.
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.