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i recently saw some guys lay block using a grout bag. kind of impressed with the speed and clean work site...i had only used grout bags for glassblock edges, stone pointing, but never laying block or brick

any thoughts?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0zo8gze6Kw
 

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I didnt watch the video but I would imagine it would not be as efficient as how they do it in Florida. Anything can be perfected though, so im sure there are a group out there somewhere making it look amazing.
 

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Tscar...They were laying block about 30 secs into the vid but as you said no heads.

Looked really slow to me and the joints were not even close to full. When i was in Mexico last winter most of the block work I saw I couldn't get paid for, in fact I'd never get another job again
 

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I saw that, but it was the same, thinset, no head joints, soon to be stuccoed. Almost all SCT and CMU in Mexico is stuccoed so speed is more important than workmanship, as far as looks are concerned.
 

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In Mexico, lots of guys don't have trowels so spreading mortar is sometimes done with a shovel, a hand. So this is way a guy can get block laid without having to buy tools for his men.

Notice how the one guy spread the wall with a finishing trowel?

Dave
 

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They are laying SCT with no head joints to be stuccoed, and using thinset not mortar. I think you would be run off the job if you tried to lay CMU with a bag.




I saw a video on u tube where the head joints were left void and filled in later with a hose and grout pump. While it may appear efficient at first glance,I would not want it done on my jobsite. Reason being,to establish a good bond with any masonry unit mortar must have intimate contact with the unit,only way to assure that is for the mortar to be in compression IE squeezed into position.Squirting it in later just does not cut it.
 

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This is a different concept of engineering, and for what it is it works just fine. Like I said, it will not fly in the States, but we have different criteria, right or wrong.

As Dick is so fond of reminding us, they build skyscrapers in seismic zones out of structural 6" CMU, while I have stupid engineers requiring 2800 PSI 8" CMU for solid grouted walls that are 12' high in NON-seismic zones.
 

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Over engineering is better than under engineering in the Construction Industry. Years ago a Brazilian who had worked in the USA for a number of years told me that what made the USA a great country was the strict Building Regs they had in place for their large buildings. In Brazil he said it was not unknown for large buildings to fail.
http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/front-page/rio-responds-to-building-collapses/#
A couple I know who have just moved to the UK from somewhere in South Africa were a bit surprised and annoyed when they found out that you need Planning permission and Building Regs to put an extension on their house, or even to alter the drainage.
Where they came from you could build a house anyway you liked without any interference.
However they did admit that a large number of new houses were in a poor state or had even fallen down within 10 years.
 

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I have no problem with over engineering by a fair margin, as stated, it is a requirement. My issue is concrete engineers lack of knowledge about masonry.
 

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I have seen many different methods to solve problems and improve the use of mortar in masonry.

In the early 1970's a Cleveland masonry contractor developed a mortar spreader that wa a hopper with wheels on on end and slide plate on the back end to adjust the mortar bed thickness before the block were laid. It had a vibrator that was triggered when the spreader was kicked on. He used it on many loadbearing apartment buildings and also built wall panels at a central location. He sold many spreaders to other masonry contractors. Normally the block were stacked vertically with ears lined up and the same spreader was used to mortar the head joints before they were laid.

The same spreaders were used on 7 story hotel built in MN during the winter. They built CMU panels in a movable enclosure that were erected using cranes. The only problem was a week after the slab was poured for the enclosure, a 235 kv power line was strung above the slab, so the enclosure had to be moved and the erection schedule was drastically changed because of the logistics. The job was still a success.

I have seen other methods of applying mortar in different countries. One common one was using a pumping system with spaced spouts to apply the bed joints of a course of block in place and also to put mud on the head joints to the block before laying.

Most of these used a portland/sand mix with a small amount of lime to improve workability. All were large projects and a few advance test had to be done to comply with performance code requirements.
 

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I have seen many different methods to solve problems and improve the use of mortar in masonry.

In the early 1970's a Cleveland masonry contractor developed a mortar spreader that wa a hopper with wheels on on end and slide plate on the back end to adjust the mortar bed thickness before the block were laid. It had a vibrator that was triggered when the spreader was kicked on. He used it on many loadbearing apartment buildings and also built wall panels at a central location. He sold many spreaders to other masonry contractors. Normally the block were stacked vertically with ears lined up and the same spreader was used to mortar the head joints before they were laid.

The same spreaders were used on 7 story hotel built in MN during the winter. They built CMU panels in a movable enclosure that were erected using cranes. The only problem was a week after the slab was poured for the enclosure, a 235 kv power line was strung above the slab, so the enclosure had to be moved and the erection schedule was drastically changed because of the logistics. The job was still a success.

I have seen other methods of applying mortar in different countries. One common one was using a pumping system with spaced spouts to apply the bed joints of a course of block in place and also to put mud on the head joints to the block before laying.

Most of these used a portland/sand mix with a small amount of lime to improve workability. All were large projects and a few advance test had to be done to comply with performance code requirements.



I have seen photos of the spreader you mentioned. I may have seen it in a book written by Richard Kreh. The use of that spreader may or may not work to one's advantage due to individual job site conditions. For example,as you know all masonry units have a window of opportunity to be placed after the mortar is spread for optimal bonding. If the masons are rather spread out or the weather is hot,dry and or windy that spreader would not be the tool of choice.
 

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The sexual intellectual(fornication knowest allest) thinks, Grout bags are very handy for any crooked joint that isn't tuck pointer friendly... Plastic throw away bags seem flow more constistantly than the reuseable M-town/Goldblatt bags w/ replaceable tips. And they "twist" with less elbow grease. Just as with plaster, cleanlinest is next to happiness, no dead mortar, or anything over 1/16th inch aggerate.
Fine sand, a little extra lime/cement, a teaspoon of dish soap will do wonders for plasticity and extend bag half-life times.

On anchored pre cast and stone raked/ unfilled joints, A little blue tape, almost liquid mortar in grout bags is fast, full, and clean. Or on jobs where the management "forgot" to order the colored mortar, filling the raked out joints.

Grout bags for me, are easier to use to completely fill hard to reach voids and repairing MEP damage to fire walls. Or when working in a completely finished room, the grout bag would be the delivery tool of choice.(cut tip at use point)
 

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My hands get sore piping cannolis, I wouldn't want to try with grout.
 

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There was also a system that used mortar that was pumped by air pressure through a hose to a nozzle ("Y" shaped that deposited a bead of mortar on the face shells of the block). There were 3 different nozzles for 6" 8" and 12" block and the block had 3 or 4 "knobs" on the top that were ground to keep the precise height. The height is the one most difficult thing to maintain for concrete block since width and length are easy to control.

This was also used to make wall panels on the ground that could be erected for loadbearing apartments/hotels. Very similar to the cruder mechanical "mortar spreader" that also was used to make panels on a 7 story loadbearing hotel.

Unfortunately, most masonry contractors are not in a position to use/try new approaches. The contractor that did the 7 story hotel also did a 100,000+sf K Mart over the Thanksgiving week-end so steel could be erected on Monday morning.
 
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