Bucket Batching for Best Results and Cutting Costs

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batch-bucket1Good bricklayers are using bucket batching when mixing mortar to get consistent strength, colour and most importantly, save money!!  The method of using buckets to mix mortar means that savings are made in cements where a whole 20kg bag can be saved on every fifth batch.  One bricklayer said this saves him $100 a week or $5,000 every year.

The standard mortar mix (M3) is six sand, one lime and one cement.  Using a shovel can cause problems with quantities being inconsistent leading to issues with strength, cleaning and colour variation.  Filling the mixer by shovel can cause a mortar mix to be too strong or too weak.

Bricklayers should use buckets to feed their mixers and also be certain that the mixer has the capacity to take the 6:1:1 mix.  Undersized mixers mean the mix will need to be scaled back to keep the same ratio.  Where bricks are being laid close to the coast the stronger M4 mix should be used i.e. 5 sand, 1 lime and 1 cement.  This is within 100 metres of non-surf coast or one kilometre from a surf coast.  The accuracy of sand and cement is vitally important.  Most bricklayers use less lime being approximately half a bucket per batch.

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For filling scaffolding gaps and other holes, some bricklayers make a small 6:1:1 batch using disposable coffee cups.  The accuracy and detail is often the difference between an average job and a great job.  These bricklayers are always in work, you can see why.

For further information on best bricklaying practices, contact David Gill, ABBTF NSW Manager on 1300 66 44 96 or email abbtf.nsw@abbtf.com.au.