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Laying the Brick

street, laid, courses, bricks, fig, lay, bond and cutting

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LAYING THE BRICK. Delivery. Some contractors pile the brick at the side of the street before commencing the grading, while others haul them to the street and take them directly to the men who lay them. If the brick can be had at the kiln and are shipped exactly when desired, there is a possibility of saving 21 to 3 cents per square yard by the last method; but there is danger of the street's being kept closed needlessly long owing either to bad wagon roads or to a failure in railroad transportation. The bricks are hauled over those just placed, planks being laid down to protect the brick; but considerable damage is caused in turning the empty wagons, since the bricks are settled unevenly.

Most contractors use wheel-barrows to deliver the brick to the men who lay them, but a few carry them on a board about 6 inches wide and 24 inches long. The advantages claimed for the last method are that it is cheaper, chips the brick less, and delivers the brick convenient to the setters. The first claim is doubtful, at least with intelligent and efficient laborers; and there is but little danger of chipping good paving brick. When the brick are carried on a board they are delivered convenient to the setters, and there is less likelihood of disturbing the position of the bricks already set; but this method is too expensive to justify its use. The wheel barrows should never be run on the bare bricks just laid, since it settles them unevenly; but planks should be laid down upon which to run the wheel-barrows. In dumping the barrows, they should be turned to face up or down the street, and then be tipped until the brick slide gently out toward the curb, as otherwise there is a con tinuous widening of the joints between the courses and a disturb ance of the alignment of the rows.

Direction of Courses.

It is customary to lay the brick with the length perpendicular to the curb, except at street intersec tions; but there are a few cities in which the brick are laid in courses making an angle of 45 degrees with the length of the street, with the idea that the tendency to form ruts would be less if the wheels crossed the bricks diagonally. There is no advantage in the diag onal over the square courses; they are more difficult to lay, cutting the corner of the brick in making the fit next to the curb is waste ful of material, and the diagonal courses do not give as good foot hold to the horses. Occasionally a few courses of brick are laid longitudinally in the gutter, similar to the practice with stone blocks; but this is unnecessary, since the brick pavement is much smoother than the ordinary stone-block pavement, and besides the running joint where the transverse and the longitudinal sec tions join is likely to develop into a rut.

At street intersections and junctions the bricks should be laid diagonally—a compromise position between the directions of the travel on the two streets. Street intersections need special care in construction, since they are exposed to the traffic of two streets. Fig. 132 shows the usual arrangement of the courses for a street intersection; and Fig. 133 and Fig. 134 (page 504) show two other arrangements that have occasionally been used. Slight objections have been urged against all three plans. The bond in Fig. 132 is weak along the middle line of each street; Fig. 133 is objectionable owing to the tendency of ruts to form along the lines running through the ends of the bricks; and Fig. 134 is defective since traffic around the corners A and B is parallel to the courses of brick.

At a street junction only half of the common area should be laid with diagonal courses. For example, assuming that in Fig. 132 the street enters the lower side of the transversestreet but does not cross it, then the lower half of the intersection would be laid with courses as in the diagram, while in the upper half the length of the bricks would be perpendicular to the transverse street.

Setting the Brick. In setting the brick the man should stand on those already laid, and not upon the sand cushion. Under no consideration should the sand bed be disturbed. The brick should be set on edge as closely and compactly as possible, each being pressed both endwise and sidewise against those already laid. The bricks are stronger and more durable than any material that can be used to fill the joints, and consequently the thinner the joints the better. The bond should be approximately a half brick. If the brick were laid without bond ruts would be likely to form along the continuous end-joints; and therefore the more the bond the better. No bats should be used, except in making closures; and in cutting a brick to close a course, care should be taken to get a square end and to make a tight fit. Fig 135 shows the hammer employed in cutting, or rather in breaking, a brick to close a course.

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