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How to Build a Brick Garden Wall (page 2 of 2)

A freestanding decorative brick wall will add style and function to your yard .
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Step-by-Step Instructions:

Racking the Ends

Start building the pier and the end of the wall by three more courses. This is the best practice and will make it easier to fill in the rest of the bricks later. Use a level to check that the pier is plumb and level (Image 1).

Use your gauging rod to keep the mortar joints even (Image 2).

Add two more courses so you have a series of stepped bricks leading up to the top of the pier (Image 3). Keep checking levels using the gauging rod and level.

Infilling the Courses

Repeat the racking procedure at the other end of the wall. Use a level as shown to check bond and levels (Image 1).

Drive line pins into the mortar joint above the first course of bricks at each end. Tie a line between them. Use this as a guide to fill in bricks for the second course (Image 2).

Fill in all the way to the top if the wall is to extend no higher than you have racked (Image 3). Otherwise, rack back each end once you have filled in two or three courses.

Lay the top course of the wall indented-side down (Image 4). Alternatively, you can lay other types of coping to finish the top of the wall.

Pointing the Joints

Fill any areas of missing mortar in the wall, ensuring that joints are neat and flush with the bricks (Image 1). Let the mortar begin to cure, but do not let it harden too much. How long this takes will vary, so start checking after one hour, less in hot weather.

When the mortar is firm, clean the joints. A brick jointer (shown here) can be used to create a V-shaped profile (Image 2).

Garden wall joints can be pointed in a number of other ways. Here, weatherstruck joints are created by using a pointing trowel to angle the mortar joint so that it is recessed at the top and flush with the brick at the bottom (Image 3). This helps the wall shed water.

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009