Introducing Cuts in Brickwork that are not in the design is never a good thing. When we are talking about bonding of brickwork, we are generally trying to make the perpendicular joints in the centre of the brick below. This is a subject we would refer to as brickwork co-ordination, this is a term used; mainly by architects to ensure that the brickwork between doors and windows is designed to reduce the need for cutting bricks unnecessarily, this will cut down on wastage and make the brickwork more visually appealing.
In the real world we would only cut half bricks, but the reality is that; no matter how much work an architect does on designing the correct brickwork co-ordination, there are situations were this will be required for a few reasons…
- Variance in the size of the bricks
- Variance in the size of the window frames
- Variance in the size of the door frames
- Poor workman ship in setting out the brickwork
There are certain bonds that will require the use of a cut, this is referred to as a Queen or King Closer. The image below shows a Flemish Bond wall that has correct brickwork co-ordination, this bond requires the brick to be cut in half and then cut in half again and used to create a consistent look and to achieve a half bond over the course below. We are talking about using cuts in brickwork to create a half bond, were the brickwork co-ordination has gone wrong.
Introducing Cuts in Brickwork
In the graphic below i have shown a few examples of the most common cuts you will use when building a brick wall. Using these cuts will allow you to achieve the ideal half bond over the brick below.
These cuts are achieved by a simple process. We will think of a brick that has a length of 215mm, this is a standard size, but can vary greatly between brick manufactures for various reasons.
215mm divided cut in half = 102.5 plus a 10mm joint adds up to 215mm as you can see above. Using this method we can achieve neat and tidy brickwork that has the magic half bond we need.
Cuts in the wall
As you can see below, using very neats cuts you can create very neat and tidy brickwork, this is by no means the correct way to co-ordinate your brickwork. Often this will be placed under a window, but remember, if the brickwork carries on above the window, you will have to carry on doing this method all the way to the top.
Cuts in the end of the wall
This an example were the cutting has to be done against a window or door opening, again, if you have to use this method, think about the brickwork co-ordination above the window. Like any method that differs from the normal procedures, there are always consequences for your actions. One of the secrets of being a good bricklayer, is to minimise these.
I understand that it is easy for me to draw these images on a computer and is not the real world. This article is just a way to ensure that people realise; that every effort must be made when designing the brickwork. Bricklaying is a very skilled profession, but architects must realise they can only follow the drawings given.