Do not spread the mortar for a bed joint too far
ahead of layingfour or five brick lengths is best.
Mortar spread out too far ahead dries out before the
bricks become bedded and causes a poor bond (fig.
4-8). 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 it (fig.
4-9, view 1). A furrow that is too deep leaves a gap
between the mortar and the bedded brick. This action
reduces the resistance of the wall to water penetration.
Using a smooth, even stroke, cut off any mortar
projecting beyond the wall line with the edge of the
trowel (fig. 4-9, view 2). Retain enough mortar on the
trowel to butter the left end of the first brick you will
lay in the fresh mortar. Throw the rest back on the
Pick up the first brick to be laid with your thumb
on one side of the brick and your fingers on the other
(fig. 4-10). Apply as much mortar as will stick to the
end of the brick and then push it into place. Squeeze
out the excess mortar at the head joint and at the sides
(fig. 4-11 ). Make sure the mortar completely fills the
Figure 4-8.A poorly bonded brick.
Figure 4-10.Proper way to hold a brick when buttering the
Figure 4-9.Making a bed joint in a stretcher course.
Figure 4-11.Making a head joint in a stretcher course.