Introduction

Danny Palousek repointing brick
Photo: Allison Dinner
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Even the most beautiful brickwork is just so much rubble without a bed of mortar to seal and hold it together. So when mortar starts cracking, receding, and falling out of the joints, it’s time to chisel out the old stuff and trowel in the new, a process called repointing. This is a simple job, but it has to be done with care, using the right tools and the right materials to avoid damaging the brick and permanently compromising the integrity and appearance of the wall. For me, that means using hand tools and lime mortars similar to the ones masons employed 100 years ago.
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    Tools List

    • Carbide-tipped grout saw
    • cold chisel
      Cold chisel
    • brick hammer
      Engineer's hammer
    • painter's tool
      5-in-1 painter's tool
    • Stiff-bristled brush
    • mason's trowel
      Tuck-pointing trowel
    • drill
      Drill/driver with abrasive wheel attachment
    • garden hose
      Hose and nozzle
    • brick trowel
      Brick trowel or hawk
    • tarp
      Tarp

    Shopping List

    1. Lime Mortar

    2. Sponge