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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I was working on a small project at my place where I had to lay concrete block. I've done some little bits of block repair and resetting some blocks but never had any formal experience with masonry.

I had a frustrating experience- laying only 14 blocks in 2 hours. The mortar on my head joints would slide off as i laid the block in place, I ended up having to add mortar, sloppily. I didn't use line blocks or a string so I was using an assortment of levels to try to keep things on course.

Luckily, this does not need to be perfect. Still have 35 more blocks to lay when I get around to it.

Just wondering how long did it take you to get comfortable with laying block/brick accurately?
 

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It's a muscle memory thing. If you lay block all day every day it comes quick. If you lay some block then don't for another 6 mos or more it takes longer. for a noob 7 blocks an hour isn't awful

Use string and line blocks....they were invented for reason. tight string is as close to 2 dimensional straight as you can get.
 

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In my opinion, masonry is more an art than a trade. The guys that do it well make it look sooooo easy. Until you try it. I have a lot of respect for mason guys: concrete, brick, block, stone, whatever. It's truly an art.

I think you can learn the basics, but it takes a long time to get everything right, especially the mix.

Don't worry about how long it takes you do lay a block our a row of blocks. It's more important to lay one right than to lay 30 half-azzed.

Just my opinion
 

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hack of all trades
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Repointing some block I made a 1:1:3 mix, Portland:lime:sand by volume. Kind of a ridiculous amount of lime and cement, I can't remember where I found that ratio for "type s" but I think it's not correct.

Anyway, in a grout bag it was really smooth and easy to work with. The mortar I used laying these blocks was type N pre mixed bags. I think it was a decent consistency but still awkward with a trowel in hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That guy in the video is really buttering it up! I know those are some kind of "bond beam" looking blocks he's laying, but normally you are supposed to mud the cross webbing or what ever they're called, right? Both ends and center for standard 2 core ?
 

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no. we seldom bed the webbing, not the ends of the middle, just the sides. it does make a stronger bond but it is not required by code and is rarely done...in my experience anyway. I knew one block guy that did it totally randomly just because.

that guy in the first vid is incredible. I've watched that one dozens of times and have posted it here in a few different threads. one handing 12" blocks???? I wouldn't want to fight that guy ever. 8" to chest height no problem all day long. 10" to lower sternum height most of the day (til 2 lets say). 12" maybe 1 or 2...maybe
 

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That guy in the video is really buttering it up! I know those are some kind of "bond beam" looking blocks he's laying, but normally you are supposed to mud the cross webbing or what ever they're called, right? Both ends and center for standard 2 core ?


No,those are standard block not bond beams. What he is doing is called "face shell bedding" The added bonding / wall strength is only about 15 % max. with "cross web bedding" . I have seen specs. both ways,some specs. do not want web bedding for they claim a face shell bedded block is better at preventing water penetration.
 

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Repointing some block I made a 1:1:3 mix, Portland:lime:sand by volume. Kind of a ridiculous amount of lime and cement, I can't remember where I found that ratio for "type s" but I think it's not correct.

Anyway, in a grout bag it was really smooth and easy to work with. The mortar I used laying these blocks was type N pre mixed bags. I think it was a decent consistency but still awkward with a trowel in hand.

The premix stuff is not what I would use for much block if you value your patience. Add a scoop of either portland or powder N to it.
 

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oh yeah I was going to comment on that too. The premixed stuff uses enough sand and portland to reach the desired strength then throws in a bunch of ground limestone to fill it out. Terrible to work with, no life at all. There are exceptions but they are few and far between
 

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hack of all trades
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just laid 6 more (a whole 6!) thanks to that motivational video. Only took 20 minutes this time and came out better. Must be mixing mortar too wet though because it slides off the trowel immediately after tilting it slightly vertical.
 
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