bricklaying (exercise)

for this exercise you would need approx 80 bricks, some building sand a bag of hydraulic lime and a cement mixer, although you can mix with a shovel if you dont have a mixer, some plasticiser admix, you will also need:

  • bricklayers trowel
  • hammer and bolster
  • preferably a 100mm bolster
  • spot board (which is just a piece of wooden board resting on a couple of blocks or across a couple of stacks of bricks)
  • A spirit level approx 1200mm in length
  • builders square is optional as you can use the 345 method of obtaining square when setting out
  • pointing tool such as an iron or pointing trowel and a tape measure.


This exercise will be a small stretcher bond wall with a stop end, a corner and a pier, you will need to be able to complete these for the model of the extension / porch in a later tutorial

first set out a dry bond with your bricks as in the picture, now if you dont have a square you can use the 3,4,5 method of obtaining square, to do this you can just mark a straight line on the floor using your level as a straight edge to a multiple of 3, so for example draw a line on the floor from point a to point b at say 600mm in length, from point b measure at right angles a distance of 800mm and make a small mark, the distance between points a & c should be 1000mm if you have square.

if you do have a builders square it would still be a good idea to mark the floor to plan both square and to length


 because we dont want the brickwork to set permanently we are using lime with the sand at a ratio of 6/1 6 parts sand to 1 part lime, once you have your mixed mortar on your spot board we need to practice turning and rolling out the mortar, (see rolling out tutorial).

using your level find the highest point on the floor or footing, this is your best starting point. roll your mortar out 2 - 3 bricks in length along the edge of the previously marked out line.

in a perfect world we would look for 10mm as a bed joint but this is not always the case so you may need to raise the bed at one end


At both the stop end and the pier we will need to use half bats (bricks cut in half across the brick)

it would be a good idea to repeat this exercise a couple of times as there are quite a few plumb points with the corner , the pier and the stop end.

the first time you complete the exercise just plumb with your level

the second time you cover this exercise start to use a string line, if your not sure how to use a string line we will cover this and the use of profiles on the training course.


Bricklaying Tutorial Links: