Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Trowel works 02- Basic hand tool

           Some simple tools are used by the bricklayer and mason in laying bricks, blocks, stones or in plastering work. The bricklayer's tool kit must be used with great care and properly maintained, firstly, because of the safety aspect arid secondly, because the tools can be expensive. When purchasing tools, consideration must be taken on how often the tools will be used. With everyday use, the tools have to be made to be able to withstand the work. Often this is not the case with less expensive tools.
Given below is a list of the tools, how they should be used and properly maintained:

Mason’s trowel

Consists of a flat steel blade 250 to 300mm long, post and shank forged as a single piece fixed to a wooden or plastic handle.
Used to pick and spread mortar in bed joints and buttering ends of bricks.
The blade is widest at its heel and is between 125 – 130mm.

Trowels must be well cleaned after use to remove any mortar/cement stuck, wiped cry and stored securely. If not used for a long time the trowel should be lightly oiled to prevent rusting.

Hand Hawk

A flat steel plate with a handle at the centre fixed at right angles to the face. Working surface of the blade is shallow grooved with concentric circles to give a coarse surface to hold mortar.
The hawk is used mostly when pointing brickwork, and makes it easier to hold the mortar.
The mason holds the trowel in one hand and the hawk with mortar in the other.

Hawks too need cleaning after use, wiping dry and proper storage.

Line and pins

Lines and pins are used in brickwork and blockwork to align bricks/blocks when laying.

Spirit Level

This will be the most expensive part of the tool kit. It is used to check the brickwork and that the bricks are level (horizontal) and plumb (vertical).
These also come in various sizes. The typical sizes for everyday work are 900 or 1200 mm long. They are available in wood or metal, the metal ones are easier to keep clean as they are easy to wash to remove mortar.

Plumb bob

There are two types of plumb bobs.
1.      Centre plumb
2.      Masons plumb
The centre plumb is mostly used to transfer positions vertically down and to plumb formwork etc.
The mason’s plumb has a brass cylindrical bob and a square wooden stock whose side is exactly the same as the diameter of the bob. This helps to check if the bricks are laid in true vertical alignment.

Centre plumb


Used for finishing to the joints in brick work.
Jointers are made in many shapes to provide half-round, square, triangular or flush joints.


Also called club hammer or lump hammer.

Used with the chisel to cut bricks to required sizes and shapes.

Wear eye protection when using brick hammers.

Chisels (or bolsters)

Used for cutting bricks to required sizes and shapes.
Eye protection must be used at all times it is used.
The end of the handle should never be allowed to burr over (or mushroom) after repeated hammering since it is dangerous and could splinter.

Bolster                                     cold chisel


A shovel is a tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials, such as soil, sand, rubble, gravel, mortar or snow.

These are extremely common tools used extensively in construction, agriculture and gardening.


Tampers are devices used to compact constituents in a mixture such as concrete. In a concrete the constituents are crushed stone, sand, cement and water. When placed in position the concrete is filled with air bubbles and excess water which has to removed to make the concrete dense. Tamping helps in removal of air and excess water.
A heavy steel rod can be used as a tamper through repeated poking into the concrete. Sometimes the concrete formwork is tamped with a hammer to compact the concrete.

Screeding rule

When concrete is laid in a floor or a floor slab, it has to leveled to give even thickness and a flat level surface.
A screed rule is about 1.5m long when operated by a single person, but longer when operated by two persons.

Steel float and wooden float

Steel and wooden floats are used to smooth out concrete after it's been poured.
They come in different sizes, but a common size is 3 1/2 inches by 15 inches. The steel float has a thick shining steel face while the wooden float has a 12mm (1/2 inch) thick wooden face. Both have a handle on top for easy gripping.
After the concrete is all poured, the float will help spread it out evenly and level it off.
 Using a float gives the concrete a neat finish.




What is the cement sand ratio for plaster(mortar)

dear friend
cement sand ratio is 1:5 for mortar

thanks you dear admin,
thats most helpful for me to complete may city&guilds diploma

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