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About Bed Joints
Source: MASONRY CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE
Publication date: September 1, 2007
By Norbert V. KrogstadBed joints
Q: Most architectural specifications do not allow bed joints to be furrowed, but most masons are doing it.
Is this a problem? And if it is not, why do architectural specifications still include statements prohibiting furrowing?
A: There can be a problem if the furrow is so deep that the joint is not filled when the unit is placed. With shallow furrows, the mortar flows laterally and fills the furrow when the unit is placed, as shown in Fig. 1 .
However, if the furrow is very deep (down to the surface of the brick), there is not sufficient mortar to fill the furrow, resulting in a channel within the bed joint, as shown in Fig. 2 . This channel can allow water to flow laterally, or create a pocket that can hold water.
Most masons are trained to lightly furrow. However, furrowing must be shallow so that it can be shown to fill up when the units are placed. A rule of thumb is if you can hear the trowel scraping, or even intermittently contacting the top of the brick units below, the furrow is likely too deep.
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When in doubt, remove random units after they have been placed to confirm complete filling of bed joints.Cells and cores
Q I have seen the terms “cells” and “cores” used to describe the same things. I usually think of the term cell as large openings in concrete.
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