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Thread: Brick/Block Coursing Layout Family

  1.    #21
    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    But its also true that if its coursed CORRECTLY in the drawings and models, i dont have to look at a building later that has busted ass thick goofy joints in it, covering up someones slop.
    For you, how wide are the head joints in a 3'4" (being a masonry dimension) wide, standard 8x8x16 CMU wall?

    If the 3'4" is held, then we should have 2.5 blocks with 2, 9/16" wide joints -- 15 5/8" + 9/16" + 15 5/8" + 9/16" + 7 5/8" = 3'4" (I consider this standard).

    If a 3/8" head joint is held then you don't have a 3'4" masonry dimension you have a 3' 3 5/8" dimension (for me this would be quite atypical).

    Which way do you lean?

  2.    #22
    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Oh i am 100% (and unapologetically so) in the 39-5/8" camp. Specifically, because when its NOT just a straight wall (but a series of walls connecting to one another), and you create plan details for two consecutive vertical courses, the number of joints changes (obviously). Done my way, they are all the same size. Done your way, they arent.

    And- again- you are welcome to your opinion or mindset or practice that "its a negligible difference and no one will notice" and all of that, but personally i notice it QUITE often, and its not that hard to get it correct. I walk in Masonry buildings ALL the times, and WHERE this rears its ugly heads, is at interior corners where joints end up getting fudged. Sure, sure, maybe a "better mason" would have "spread the fudging out," as you say, but maybe a better designer would make it so a better mason didnt have to?

    FWIW, this isnt something new or obscure, either. I was taught this as a first year architectural intern. First time a PA had me draw a Plan Detail of a Brick alcove, he had me draw it, then draw the course right above it. To see how the math worked out. That was the day he (his name was Adam) explained that a 24" niche is really 24-3/8".

    You can see this even holds true if someone wants a 5'-0" niche, where we arent on an even course. In this particular case, the consecutive courses arent an issue, since they have identical counts of joints (as one side is offset from the coursing), but it still holds true that calling it 5'-0 3/8" makes everything match perfectly with the rest of the building, no spreading or fudging needed.

    And yes, since this question *always* comes up (eyeroll): YES, we expect a Concrete Sub to be able to pour a foundation to exactly the right length, YES ive watched architects check it, YES the subs are capable of it, and NO they dont "always do whatever they want in the field." I cant speak towards whatever kind of work we all do, but a LOT of architects REALLY care about this, and DO make sure it gets done right. This isnt some wacky "Aaron thought" that popped in to my head when i was implementing Revit. Ive worked in at LEAST 3 firms that were hugely obsessive over this.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Brick/Block Coursing Layout Family-img_20180516_140631.jpg   Brick/Block Coursing Layout Family-img_20180516_141906.jpg  
    cganiere likes this.

  3.    #23
    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    No need to apologize on my account! And you're right, I'm going to keep doing it "my way." Not because I'm right and you're wrong but because I don't care about wider/narrower joints. But I also don't consider it slop.
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  4.    #24
    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    I cant think of anything i consider more of "slop," than that. Hehehehe. But hey, different strokes for different folks.

  5.    #25
    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Sounds about right. My family has been in masonry for years so, for me, good masonry can and does include this "slop." If the wider joint is an issue (using the standard evens are zero, odds are four and eight) then don't build such small walls!

    Do you have an easily remembered mantra for what courses and what doesn't? Is everything for you 3/8" larger/smaller than for me?

  6.    #26
    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    What do you do when you have a different number of head joints on alternating rows?

    You can't have them both 3/8" so do you design for the smaller number of joints to be 3/8" (so the larger number will be slightly smaller than 3/8") or the other way so the larger number of joints is 3/8" and the smaller number are wider?

  7.    #27
    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMcDowellJr View Post
    Sounds about right. My family has been in masonry for years so, for me, good masonry can and does include this "slop." If the wider joint is an issue (using the standard evens are zero, odds are four and eight) then don't build such small walls!
    Sorry, thats not a real answer, to me. "Dont design this if you dont like it being sloppy" isnt an answer, because there is an alternative: Design it so it doesnt have to be adjusted when it gets built. Thats sort of like when people say "Dont design curved walls, they are hard." Thats silly, in my opinion.

    Do you have an easily remembered mantra for what courses and what doesn't? Is everything for you 3/8" larger/smaller than for me?
    Im not sure what qualifies as "easily remembered." On Masonry jobs, i basically tell everyone working in Architecture to keep one "Building wide Plan Detail." And any time they go to draw a real plan detail, make sure the cousing PROPERLY connects at the NEXT corner or end of the building.

    Its hard to say the "hard and fast rules," since there are Inside Corners, Outside Corners, Openings vs ends, non-masonry wall connections, vs masonry wall connections. But in general, yes: A wall that has an exposed end is 3/8" short, and the others are (generally) 3/8" long.

  8.    #28
    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    The reason for slop in masonry dimensions, especially clay masonry, has to do with the expansion & contraction of the brick during the firing process. 7 5/8" is the nominal dimension of a modular brick, but the allowable size to stay within ASTM guidelines can be over 1/8" per unit. All the math and detailing in the world can't help you in the field when you get a batch of brick that are all 1/8" smaller than the nominal dimension because that particular batch of clay shrunk a little more than expected. Should the design take into account the fact that you are left with a 1/3 of a brick in a corner, or that the coursing needs to work vertically? Damn skippy.

    http://www.gobrick.com/portals/25/do...notes/tn9a.pdf

    I lost my train of thought... stupid work...
    lawrenceolmos and kowen1208 like this.

  9.    #29
    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    If you didn't like that one, how about this?

    Don't like cracks? Add control joints. Don't like control joints? Learn to love cracks!

  10.    #30
    Member BLothian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellophane View Post
    The reason for slop in masonry dimensions, especially clay masonry, has to do with the expansion & contraction of the brick during the firing process. 7 5/8" is the nominal dimension of a modular brick, but the allowable size to stay within ASTM guidelines can be over 1/8" per unit. All the math and detailing in the world can't help you in the field when you get a batch of brick that are all 1/8" smaller than the nominal dimension because that particular batch of clay shrunk a little more than expected. Should the design take into account the fact that you are left with a 1/3 of a brick in a corner, or that the coursing needs to work vertically? Damn skippy.

    http://www.gobrick.com/portals/25/do...notes/tn9a.pdf

    I lost my train of thought... stupid work...
    I'll go out on a limb and assume that how I set out masonry is the same as how you guys do it across the pond (well, at least some of you going by this discussion...).

    That is, you don't dimension every brick/block and mortar joint on a plan, you dimension the length of the wall segment up to a change in direction or opening and of course to movement(control) joints. There should also be an overall dimension which adds up to the sum of these wall segments. These dimensions are sized using the nominal size of the brick/block and the standard joint size (for the UK that's 215mm long for a brick, 440mm long for a block and 10mm for a joint). Bricklayers should set out the entire length of the wall segment and will deal with any minor irregularity within the length of the course. There may not be any irregularities on 1 course but the next above it may have so its down to the skill of the bricklayer to equalise out the difference within the joints on that segment but that should never be a consideration for ourselves during model/drawing production. To design masonry to anything other than what are standard masonry unit and joint width dimensions (in your country) seems to me to be a very odd approach to technical design no matter which part of the globe you reside.

    One thing worth noting, for me the above rules applies to brickwork and Stone cladding (veneer?) where the latter's standard unit sizes and joint sizes may vary per project but the design rules of using the nominal size of the unit and the joint should still be applied to avoid irregular cuts. The area where sizing isn't always worth considering is dense block(CMU) used behind finish walls or used for substructure dwarf walls between strip foundations (footings I think you call them) and suspended concrete floor slabs. Those things can (and always are) cut up to whatever necessary size because they are typically never seen. However, if a paint grade or fairfaced block is used as the finish wall (even internally behind an external finish wall, then I would insist on trying to limit (preferably eliminate entirely) cuts and use consistent mortar joints.

    Just my $0.02 worth
    Last edited by BLothian; May 16th, 2018 at 10:20 PM.

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