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Old 06-19-2008, 08:40 AM   #1
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


I have salvaged brick from an existing free-standing 40-yr wall for reuse at another location as a brick veneer on my house. Approximately 160 cleaned bricks are needed. The location is Eastern Missouri.

Mortar removal. What are the recommendations for removing the attached mortar? I have tried the standard “hammer & chisel” which is a long, difficult process. Some of the mortar just won’t release, so it’s doing its job of bonding.

· Are there any small hand tools (vibrating, grinders) that are easy to handle?
· Should the brick be pre-soaked in water? I assume this would require to be air dried before installation.
· Other?

Mortar match. What products and/or methods are available to obtain the closest match to the existing mortar color? I know that an exact match is impossible.

Recommendations will be appreciated.

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


Not much you can do other than beat on it. A small air chisel will make it easier, but for 160 brick, I don't know if it will be worth the money.

As for matching, look here for some good tips:

http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=34937

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:37 AM   #3
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


the only WAY i KNOW THAT YOUR GOING TO GET THEM CLEANED UP IS TO KNOCK OFF THE BIG STUFF WITH A ROCK HAMMER AND GET A HAND HELD GRINDER WITH A CUTTING WHEEL FOR THE REST.IT WILL TAKE AWHILE AND BE EASY WITH THE WHEEL IT WILL GOUGE THE BRICK FAST IF YOUR NOT CAREFULLY

FORGOT CAP LOCK WAS ON
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


Thanks for the responses.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:05 AM   #5
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


man, i just spent some time doing this today. I used a rock hammer, and a 1 inch masonry chisel. Only needed 8 brick, took about 20 minutes to clean them. I would span a brick across 2 2x4's and use a smaller chisel (approx 3/4) to clean out the holes.....i didnt clean out every single hole......but tried to make sure at least 3 open ones per brick. Getting the mortar off the finish surfaces was really easy once I got good with the rock hammer (and didnt break any of the bricks).

I have a pile of about 100 bricks and need to build a mailbox, come practice on them if you want, lol. ....
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


Holed brick are not worth cleaning unless you are trying to match something. For holed brick, it is easier to cut the mortar off with saw. You do not need to clean the holes at all.
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:43 PM   #7
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


i used a hammer for welding,it worked perfect for cleaning holes and flip it to do edges-cleaned enough for a 30 x 8 wall
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:05 PM   #8
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


When I removed 3500 bricks off the house for the new kitchen additon, I used a compressor and an air hammer. Air hammers are cheap. I think I paid $30.00 fo a Campbell Hausfeld at Home Depot.
Ron
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:05 AM   #9
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Mortar removal from salvaged brick.


I am not aware of any automated tool that will speed up the process. The best way is basically a hammer and a chisel.

If you have the time, I have heard covering the old bricks with leaves and letting them sit for a year helps. From what I am told the leaves help to break down the old mortar such that it is easier to remove with a hammer and chisel.


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