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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need to repoint / tuck point many of the brick window sill joints, under aluminum frame windows.

Mortar is quite soft (skimped on portland on this house), but too many to drill / scrape by hand (my hands kill me).

Shouldn't a cheap "abrasive" grinding / cutoff wheel work fine on soft mortar - won't need a diamond wheel?
I think I can borrow a 4" angle grinder.

Without spending fortune on special tools, I'm not sure about mechanical way to remove mortar up against bricks?
Short, abrasive sawzall blade?
Or go slower w/ angle grinder when near the bricks? These are hollow bricks - holes on top & bottom - to get hung on with reciprocating tools.

Even my Dremel w/ abrasive blade (v. thin) would cut this mortar, but not 3/4 - or 1" deep.

Seems like I've always heard to remove 1/2" to 3/4" old mortar for repointing.

One site says, depth of 2 to 2-1/2 times the width of the joint?" But immediately follows:
"Often I see contractors bidding repointing projects calling for the depth of the removal at ¾ inch. For most mortar joints that are the thickness of your little finger, about 3/8 inch, this is not deep enough."

Well, 3/8 * 2 = 3/4". So...?
 

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I have done that once with a 4-1/2" grinder. Makes a total dusty mess, but cuts through soft mortar very quickly. I found that if the mortar was decayed, the grinding wheel went right through it. Other places, the grinder had a hard time with the mortar, so I considered that mortar sound, and did not replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. Any thoughts on which works best - angled or straight grinders? Son said he had both (pneumatic) in smaller sizes.

Not sure about the mortar that touches the bricks.
Even if remove all but ~ 1/8" thick layer w/ a grinder, then hand scraping or chiseling the rest sounds like pain, to me.

After the bulk of joint is removed, maybe scrape 1/4" deep by hand - right next to the bricks, then continue w/ grinder - so not to hit brick face?
 

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Posting a picture of what exactly your trying to do would be a big help.
Any cheap 4-1/2 right angle grinder will work.
A diamond wheel is not that expencive and is not going to wear down like a cheap abrasive wheel.
 

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unless this is 'your work', tuck blades are your best choice impo,,, we don't diamond saw mortar

here's a source for our tools [ no $ interest ] - http://www.drywall-emporium.com/mortar-raking-10-c.asp - they sell a rotating carbide bit incl us spindle size adapter - it sweeps the joint & has shroud w/vac attachment

fairly inexpensive imo - NO dust, either - guys work faster & turn out better work
 
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