Tools for repairing masonry

Many of the same tools are used for both concrete work and bricklaying. Most of them are either inexpensive or can be built by yourself. For starters, you should familiarize yourself with the variety of trowels that are available for specialized tasks. Bricklayers use both a brick trowel for spreading mortar and a pointing trowel for finishing and repairing mortar joints. Concrete work requires an edger to round off the edges of concrete slabs and a groover to cut joints at regular intervals. For rough smoothing of a slab, use a bull float for large areas or a darby for smaller ones. A steel trowel is used to make a smooth, slick finish. Brick work has its own special hammer and chisel for splitting bricks and a reinforced mortar hoe for mixing large amounts. You can make your own mortarboard by nailing a pair of two-by-fours to a three-foot square sheet of marine-grade plywood. A hawk is a smaller version of a mortarboard. Screw a six-inch length of broom handle to a one-foot square piece of plywood. To keep everything straight, you'll also need a steel square, a level, and a plumb (plum) bob.

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