Monday, March 21, 2011

Masonry 101


I have been learning all about the art of masonry. I am hoping to earn my mortar board, but I don’t think I’ll want to wear it.

My head professor has been Jason the Mason.


Knowing that I am a visual learner, he drew me a picture of how the arches in the carport/party pavilion will look. I asked him what CAD program he used and he held up a brick and a pencil.


They seem to be his tools of choice.


However, he did look right at home with this nail gun when they needed a little more support for the brick arch around the garage door.


He was getting some good assistance from Santa and this fellow,


whose job it was to cut on the penciled line.


I think his mama would prefer a little more safety equipment.


But what do I know? Maybe the cigarette and the spider man tattoo on is elbow are all the protection he needs: the cigarette smoke forms a protective fog over his eyes and the tat makes sure his spidey senses are tingling when the blade gets too close to his fingers.

They all make a good team, though. When I checked back in after a study break, the arch was complete.


So, I continued my quest for knowledge.


Wall ties, I learned, are inserted every 5th course of brick. A course is a horizontal row of bricks. When the bricks are stacked on edge, as they are over the arch, they are called a soldier course. I guess some bored mason’s kids started using bricks to play soldier with and stood them on end for their formations.

Now see if you can identify the mystery picture below.


Can you guess?

If you guessed that it is the back side of the bricks, you are right. I’m always sticking my camera where it doesn’t belong, so I felt free to stick it in the gap between two bricks on an end and take a shot of the mortar oozing through the back side into the gap. I didn’t realize that there would be a gap. I thought the bricks were smack dab against the wood framing.

Learn something new every day.


Now the brick over the arch is complete and the siding is in place above it.

Next up is to finish the back wall and then P1150196_0827

to wrap the brick around to the inside of the carport.


We had to wait for the the inspector on this. We needed to know we were okay to do the porch floor the way we wanted to before we could start bricking the inside.


Today, the inspector came, he saw, and he approved.

Now we can get started with insulation and sheetrock on the inside and more brick on the outside.

The siding guys, meanwhile, have gotten the board and batten treatment done on the bathroom and dining room bump-outs.


I think it looks great. It’s really adorable in the yellow and white. It makes me think of yellow and white seersucker suits with spectator pumps.


I was across the street at the neighbors’ house today and couldn’t resist taking this shot. I just love the way that magnolia hides the master suite.


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