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Principles Of Brick Masonry Construction

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posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:02 PM
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If you are to work with bricks in the middle of, or after "complicated" world situation, it wont hurt to know few basic tips.

Quite a good read, quoted down, taken from here. Visit the link for better paragraphs and its full length.



The strength of masonry work, however, depends very much upon the type of material used, nature of workmanship and supervision. Bad workmanship assisted by lack of supervision may lead to unsound construction inspite of the materials used being of the best possible type. The general principles which should be observed for a sound brick masonry construction are: The bricks used in a good work should be sound, hard and well burnt with uniform size, shape and colour. They should have no cracks or flaws and a fractured surface should be free from holes, grit or lumps of lime etc. The surface, of the bricks should be such that no mark should be made when scratched by the finger nail. The bricks when struck together should produce metallic ringing sound and they should not break when dropped from a height of 90 to 120 cm. on the ground. The bricks should not as a rule absorbs water more than 20% of their dry weight when immersed in water for twenty – four hours. The bricks should be thoroughly soaked in clear water before use for suitable period so that the water just penetrates the full depth of bricks. This not only helps in removing the dirt, dust and other soluble salts (which cause efflorescence) from the bricks, but also reduces their tendency of suction of water from wet mortar. The bricks should be laid on a full bed of mortar.




posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: GmAndre

I think the biggest concern would be where you get your cement, or lime, and sand for your mortar.
Bricks and concrete blocks are easy to reclaim, mortar not so much.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

If it goes that bad, I would advise not to stay in your property at populated areas at all. Squat some abandoned shack in the wilds. Hopefully you have enough gas to bring some decent tools and food there.




posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:16 PM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
I think the biggest concern would be where you get your cement, or lime, and sand for your mortar.
Bricks and concrete blocks are easy to reclaim, mortar not so much.

If you are in a bind, and not building anything above a storey or two, you can use clay or gypsum mortar.

Both are found in abundance across the western world. Clay...obvious sources. Gypsum...drywall
.

Not ideal, but functional until a source of quality modern mortar is sourced.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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a reply to: peck420

Oh wow, never thought that about gypsum/drywall, or plasterboards as we call them in the UK.
So do you just smash them back into dust then add water/sand and good to go as mortar? How strong is the set mix? What ratio? Does it cope with heavy rain?

If that is a practical option then thanks for teaching me something new

...bricks and blocks are easy to reclaim, I'd just always puzzled over my mortar options in such a doom scenario, plenty of sand here, I live at the shore.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: GmAndre

Lol, I'm in the UK, nowhere is really 'the wilds' on my densely populated island.
Violence and conflict is pretty much guaranteed if it ever goes all chaos central here.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Yes, Western Europe would be ugly scenario.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
Oh wow, never thought that about gypsum/drywall, or plasterboards as we call them in the UK.
So do you just smash them back into dust then add water/sand and good to go as mortar? How strong is the set mix? What ratio? Does it cope with heavy rain?

You would have to play it by ear, every manufacturer makes theirs a little different. To start, I would fire the paper off (similar to baking limestone), than I would crush it as fine as possible. Mix that with water to get your gypsum slurry. Finally, add sand until you get the consistency you want.

I doubt the strength would come anywhere close to 50% modern mortar, which is why I suggest less than two storeys. Granted, if you have any shoring materials or rebar, you can probably get a damn strong wall pretty quickly.

As for weather...if it was me, I would run the mortar back from the exterior face 1/2", give or take, and do a skim coat of clay on the exterior facade. Gypsum mortar from ancient Egypt has stood up quite well, but that is a very different climate to contend with than the UK.


If that is a practical option then thanks for teaching me something new

...bricks and blocks are easy to reclaim, I'd just always puzzled over my mortar options in such a doom scenario, plenty of sand here, I live at the shore.


No problem. That being said, if you are live by the shore, you can crush and fire oyster shells into lime and make Tabby concrete. That would make a mortar much closer to the modern versions.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: peck420

Again, thanks for a fantastic informative post

I am so going to try it with some waste plasterboard when I have a fire next.
Plasterboards will be easy to source in some doom scenario, just pick the wrecked building you want.
I have genuinely learned something brilliant which I hope will never have to use to help me rebuild my house.
Thank you...I love ATS for stuff like this.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 03:07 PM
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a reply to: GmAndre

...but easy to rebuild with reclaimed gypsum/plasterboard replacing cement if production is disrupted with no factories/power/fuel/whatever.

I gave you a flag for starting a thread provoking an informative reply which genuinely taught me something new, and is potentially priceless if I ever need to make mortar in a doom scenario.

I know I've strayed off topic from the bricks thing but most buildings in my area are built of limestone and sandstone so I'm more used to working with irregular shapes but strong material. Mortar was my concern, but with washed sand from the beach and reclaimed gypsum plasterboard it seems rebuilding is not a worry for me in shtf situations.

...hoardes of crazy folk who cannot fend for themselves, aside from stealing, will always be the biggest concern for me.



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

More than welcome. Anyway, survival issues are not "exact" science. I have only one Natural substitute for pre-made mortar, that is lake sand from some lakes who have consistency in their shore soil around 50% to 50% sand to clay. Not every lake can afford this thou.

At least in UK you have lakes!



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 06:01 PM
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Honestly, this is a BS scenario. Lets say in a shtf scenario, you have to leave your home. You think you are going to stumble upon a pile of bricks or block large enough to build anything? Maybe you stumble upon a deserted block building. Do you think it makes sense to tear down the building, transport it elsewhere and try to reconstruct it?

Seriously. Did you bring scaffold in your bug out bag? because once you get so high, you can't reach to set the blocks. Maybe you could just build a 5 foot high wall.

Oh and you better pour a footing first, or your block wall will fall over you.

I mean, knowledge never hurts, but don't think for 1 second you can build a cement block compound out of some reclaimed blocks and some old drywall



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 06:21 PM
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originally posted by: tinner07
Honestly, this is a BS scenario. Lets say in a shtf scenario, you have to leave your home. You think you are going to stumble upon a pile of bricks or block large enough to build anything? Maybe you stumble upon a deserted block building. Do you think it makes sense to tear down the building, transport it elsewhere and try to reconstruct it?

Seriously. Did you bring scaffold in your bug out bag? because once you get so high, you can't reach to set the blocks. Maybe you could just build a 5 foot high wall.

Oh and you better pour a footing first, or your block wall will fall over you.

I mean, knowledge never hurts, but don't think for 1 second you can build a cement block compound out of some reclaimed blocks and some old drywall


Does the thread unsettle you for some reason? It is all hypothetical, and in my mind just an imaginary situation where I would use reclaimed/fired gypsum if indeed it works.
I previously posted that I wish to try it out. I repair buildings for a living, my trowels are my favourite tools so if there is ever some hypothetical situation where I absolutely need a cement substitute, and if it works, well it was an interesting discussion.

Perhaps you disagree?



posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 06:25 PM
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originally posted by: tinner07
Honestly, this is a BS scenario. Lets say in a shtf scenario, you have to leave your home. You think you are going to stumble upon a pile of bricks or block large enough to build anything? Maybe you stumble upon a deserted block building. Do you think it makes sense to tear down the building, transport it elsewhere and try to reconstruct it?

Maybe you need to patch a damaged building? Block openings like windows or doors? Build a wall between existing structures? Maybe you just like bricks?

You work with what you have, and in some areas finding brick is going to be extremely easy, as that is what the majority of the structures are built with.


Seriously. Did you bring scaffold in your bug out bag? because once you get so high, you can't reach to set the blocks. Maybe you could just build a 5 foot high wall.

Scaffolding can be built from almost anything. A half dozen 2 x 4's, a couple pieces of old steel plumbing. Literally, anything. Don't worry, in a SHTF scenario, OH&S won't be inspecting.

Granted, you don't need to use scaffold. You could always build a simple earth ramp, or, hey, make it easy...roll a car in place, instant 4'-5' elevated work platform.


Oh and you better pour a footing first, or your block wall will fall over you.

If you know basic load handling, and basic math, building a brick footing is child's play. In an area with an abundance of bricks, you will never really have a shortage. Best part, if you know how to tamp properly, you don't even need to waste much mortar on it
.


I mean, knowledge never hurts, but don't think for 1 second you can build a cement block compound out of some reclaimed blocks and some old drywall

You may wish to explain that to the last 2,500 years of humanity, which has left us with many cement block compounds built with reclaimed blocks and old drywall.



posted on Jul, 23 2016 @ 10:36 PM
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By the way beach sand and windblown desert sand are both useless for making cements and mortars.

You need sand with "corners" and fractures on it. It helps the sand bind to the matrix.

Rounded tiny balls of sand will act like ball-bearings. your cement will crumble under pressure.

The Nazi submarine pens at L'Orient were built during the occupation with slave labor. The prisoners knew this and used the defective beach sand on purpose. The bunkers built by slave labor crumbled under even a minimal hit from aircraft, because the sand "balls" acted as ball bearings and didn't stabilize the dry structures.

Likewise, one of the biggest imports into Sa'udi Arabia is sand, for making cement. True story.



posted on Jul, 24 2016 @ 06:20 AM
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a reply to: redempsh

Urm...no, sand is not imported to Saudi to make cement. If it is imported then it is used WITH cement to make concrete, render etc.



posted on Jul, 24 2016 @ 08:47 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Thanks for the correction.



posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: redempsh

No problem


...and as you appear to be so knowledgeable about sand suitable for use in a mortar, how about this stuff:



This an electron microscope image of sand from my favourite local beach, looks pretty fractured and having corners to me, or perhaps my shoreline is unique as you say beach sand would be useless?



posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 08:21 PM
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I'm not that knowledgeable, obviously; and also guilty of painting with a broad brush.

I think the worst sand--from what I've read-- is sand that has been moved around a lot by wind, which makes it look more like small spheres.

But it could certainly be that I am misinformed.

ETA: it turns out that "sharp sand" is an urban legend.
edit on 25/7/2016 by redempsh because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 08:50 AM
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The problem with working with masonry is weight and volume. It is better to stock up with brick or block before it is needed. The best think about masonry is it is fireproof and done right it is permanent. A masonry fireplace or wood burning stove is a great thing to have for heat and cooking.



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