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Brick Jig Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BRICKLAYERS AND BRICKLAYING CONTRACTORS



(Q) Is using a Stihl Brick Jigs quicker than using a trowel to cut bricks?

(A) In almost all cases using the Brick Jig will be far better than using your trowel. It only takes a second or so to pick up a brick and whack it with a trowel, the problem is usually the result, and that depends on a number of things. For instance, the type of brick, the accuracy you require and the amount of wasted bricks you can accept. Hard bricks, engineering bricks or any bricks with holes in will be difficult to break accurately and often get wasted because they shatter. Accurate half-bats are often required for insulation in the cavity or cavity closures in the reveals and even full bricks wonít reliably break in the right place. If the bricks donít break accurately then the wastage quickly becomes a factor.

The Stihl Brick Jigs are fast to load and once you have the size of cut set, you donít need to keep re-measuring. As an example, you can set up and cut 20 x Ďhalf batsí on a Large Brick Jig in less than 1 minute 40 seconds, thatís 5 seconds for each half bat. Once you have set up, you can re-load and cut even quicker because there is no measuring required.


(Q) Is using a Stihl Brick Jigs quicker than using a disk-cutter with the brick under the foot?

(A) Compare using the Brick Jigs to using a disk cutter with the brick under your foot. You need to measure and mark every brick, pick-up and put down the disk-cutter, and cut trying to follow a mark that either disappears in a cloud of dust or under a spray of water.

 

(Q) Do you need any additional safety equipment or to take any additional precautions when I use the Brick Jigs?

(A) No more than any other time you use a disk-cutter. Cutting the bricks wet is always preferable to cutting dry; this will avoid the dangers of dust in the air (and make your blade last much longer). Wear a face-mask, eye protection and the other safety equipment you would usually wear on a site. Concentration will always help to avoid accidents, but because you complete your cuts quicker, you spend less time with the disk-cutter in your hands.


(Q) Having to keep finding tools including my disc cutter or Hammer & Bolster to cut bricks is a time consuming problem on the job every time I put them down, having to find my Brick Jig or walking over to it every time is going to be even more of a pain?

(A) Like many things, a little planning and preparation helps on any job and that includes bricklaying. A simple count up on windows and doors will usually give you a good idea of the number of halves you might need. Cut them at the beginning of the job and bump them up to where they will be needed. If you have a 3/4 to cut, measure the first cut and then cut them all in one go. If you have squints on a job, cut and stick them before you start the job. All this can be done in quick time and once your cuts are done, you can focus on the thing that makes money, laying bricks.


(Q) Why donít you cut the bricks all the way through on the Brick Jigs?      

(A) You can if you want to, by either turning the bricks over in the Brick Jig (that will ensure you have a square face-cut on both sides) or you can put the bricks flat on Packers like you would if you were cutting squints. However, it is more popular for the majority of cuts to leave the brick whole after you have cut most of the way through. Bricklayers usually find this far more convenient when moving the cut bricks around the site. Snapping the brick on the back of the cut gives you a perfectly usable break and is a lot easier than bumping loads of cut bricks around the site.


(Q) Can you cut blocks on a Brick Jig?

(A) You can cut concrete and thermalite blocks on the Large Jig. Itís easier if you remove the front fence first. The common practice is to make your cut and then turn the block over on the Jig to cut through.


(Q) Does the Cutting Guide wear out?

(A) The disk on the cutter only runs on the Cutting Guide for the first couple of passes. After that, the groove you cut in the brick becomes the guide. The result is very little wear on the Cutting Guide. The Cutting Guide can, however, be replaced as a separate spare part if ever you need to.


(Q) Do I need anything else to go with the Brick Jig to be able to use it?

(A) If you are only cutting house bricks and you are making face cuts you donít need any accessories. If you want to cut bricks flat (eg. to make squints) you will need Packers and End Stop Extensions. If you are cutting block paving you will need Packers and End Stop Extensions and you will also need a Spacer under the Cutting Guide. (See the descriptions for the use of Accessories).


(Q) Can I use any make of disk-cutter with a Brick Jig or does it need to be a STIHL TS410?

(A) You can use any 12Ē (300mm) disk cutter with the Brick Jigs. The key parts on the disk-cutter are the blade (must be 12Ē) and the collars that hold the blade on, which are universal on all disk-cutters.


(Q) How do you justify the price of a Brick Jig if you donít do lots of cuts?

(A) Even if you just add up the small amounts of time you stop to make cuts, it soon adds up. Planning your cuts and doing them on a Brick Jig will save all those little stop/start moment. The wastage you generate with inaccurate cuts also adds up on your materials bill. If you buy specials, the pay-back by doing them yourself is very quick. At the end of the day, what price do you put on safety?


(Q) If I have a lot of cuts to do, I usually make up my own Jig, which must be cheaper than buying one?

(A) You need a hammer, nails, a board, some timber or a scaffold pole, a tape measure and the time to find all that and make up some sort of holding Jig. You have to line bricks up, the bricks rattle, they move, the last one often bears no resemblance to the size of the first one. Some end up in the skip. And at the end of the cuts, you need to make another jig because the next cut is not the same as the last! This is also a hazardous practice and a Health and Safety issue. The Stihl Brick Jig can be set-up in seconds and adjusted for any cut as you need it. All cutting would then be done safely.


(Q) I can go out and hire a bench saw and get a labourer to cut the bricks. Why would a Brick Jig be better than that?

(A) If you have enough cuts to hire a bench saw, you can use a Large Brick Jig. On a bench saw you can only cut a few at a time, you have to cut them all the way through, its slow and you have the problem of a power supply. A Brick Jig is much faster, more accurate, you can leave the bricks whole for much easier handling and you can either buy or hire one.


PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS.

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PROPERTY DEVELOPERS

 

(Q) Should are Bricklaying Contractors work faster if they use a Brick Jig?

(A) As with the question from the Bricklayers themselves, in almost all cases using the Brick Jig will be far better than using other methods to cut bricks. It may only takes a second or so to pick up a brick and whack it with their trowel, the problem is usually the type of brick being used, the accuracy you require and the amount of wasted bricks you can accept Accurate cuts are often required for the construction process, for example because of insulation in the cavity or cavity closures in the reveals, three quarters, or feature brickwork. Whatever method is adopted, if the bricks donít break accurately or are not cut accurately then the wastage quickly becomes a factor.

Of course the main factor is speed, the Stihl Brick Jigs are fast to load and once you have the size of cut set, you donít need to keep re-measuring. As an example, you can set up and cut 20 x Ďhalf batsí on a Large Brick Jig in less than 1 minute 40 seconds, thatís 5 seconds for each half bat. Once you have set up, you can re-load and cut in less time still because there is no measuring to do.


(Q) Is using a Stihl Brick Jigs quicker than using a disk-cutter with the brick under the foot?

(A) Again, compare using the Brick Jigs to using a disk cutter with the brick under your foot. You need to measure and mark every brick, pick-up and put down the disk-cutter, and cut trying to follow a mark that either disappears in a cloud of dust or under a flood of water. And of course there is the important question of Safety.


(Q) Do you need any additional safety equipment or to take any additional precautions when I use the Brick Jigs?

(A) No more than any other time you use a disk-cutter. Cutting the bricks wet is always preferable to cutting dry; this will avoid the dangers of dust in the air. Wear a face-mask, eye protection and the other safety equipment you would usually wear on a site. Concentration will always help to avoid accidents, but because you complete your cuts quicker, you spend less time with the disk-cutter in your hands.

 

(Q) Cutting through scaffold boards is a problem on site. Can the Brick Jigs be used on the Scaffold?

(A) Yes, the Small Jig is designed to be used on the scaffold. You can make Gable Cuts as you go, still get your square face-cuts done, and importantly the Jig will totally protect your scaffold boards.


(Q) How much wastage will I avoid throwing in the skip?

(A) You could almost completely eliminate wastage on a site. Depending on the type of brick, the Jigs could eliminate most or almost all wastage from in-accurate cutting with the trowel, the bolster or the disk cutter, as well as wastage from the safety risk of cutting with a Disk Cutter. You can even save broken bricks from the pallets, by trimming them up to halves.


(Q) How will the Brick Jigs improve Site Safety?

(A) Any Brick or Block Paving cut on site using a Disk Cutter represents a Health & Safety risk to the operator in four ways; the risk of accident, noise, vibration and dust. For those around them there is the similar risk of noise and dust.  Improving technology in the saw does address the risks of noise and vibration and water suppression tackles the issue of dust. What the Brick Jigs do is to significantly reduce these three risks by significantly reducing the time spent cutting and also by offering the opportunity of cutting Bricks in a safe compound. But the Jigs also tackle the key issue of personal safety by containing the bricks/blocks away from the feet and legs potentially eliminating the risk of personal injury of the operator. The additional risk of flying debris is also reduced for the operator and those around them.


(Q) Why not buy cut bricks and save all the hassle of cutting on site?

(A) Even when cut bricks are purchase, the need to cut bricks/blocks on site remains. If cut bricks are purchased, the justification is comparing with current methods. The brick Jigs tackle the issues of speed, wastage and safety at a completely different level. So compared to the high cost of cut-bricks and the logistical problems of getting matched cut bricks to site and then around the site, the Brick Jigs offer a much more effective argument compared with past methods.

The cost of cut bricks is such that the savings in using the Brick Jigs and returning to cut bricks on site are compelling.


(Q) Can you cut blocks on a Brick Jig?

(A) You can cut concrete and thermalite blocks on the Large Jig. Itís easier if you remove the front fence first. The common practice is to make your cut and then turn the block over on the Jig.


(Q) How do you justify the price of a Brick Jig?

(A) Even if you just add up the small amounts of time you stop to make cuts, it soon adds up. Planning your cuts and doing them on a Brick Jig will save all those little stop/start moment. The wastage you generate with inaccurate cuts also adds up on your materials bill. If you buy specials, the pay-back by doing them yourself is very quick. And at the end of the day, what price do you put on safety?


PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT




(Q) How will the Brick Jigs improve Site Safety?

(A) Any Brick or Block Paving cut on site using a Disk Cutter represents a Health & Safety risk to the operator in four ways; the risk of accident, noise, vibration and dust. For those around them there is the similar risk of noise and dust.  Improving technology in the saw does address the risks of noise and vibration and water suppression tackles the issue of dust. What the Brick Jigs do is to significantly reduce these three risks by significantly reducing the time spent cutting and also by offering the opportunity of cutting Bricks in a safe compound. But the Jigs also tackle the key issue of personal safety by containing the bricks/blocks away from the feet and legs potentially eliminating the risk of personal injury of the operator. The additional risk of flying debris is also reduced for the operator and those around them.


(Q) Do you need any additional safety equipment or to take any additional precautions when I use the Brick Jigs?

(A) No more than any other time you use a disk-cutter. Cutting the bricks wet is always preferable to cutting dry; this will avoid the dangers of dust in the air (and make your blade last much longer). Wear a face-mask, eye protection and the other safety equipment you would usually wear on a site. Concentration will always help to avoid accidents, but because you complete your cuts quicker, you spend less time with the disk-cutter in your hands.

 

(Q) Cutting through scaffold boards is a problem on site. Can the Brick Jigs be used on the Scaffold?

(A) Yes, the Small Jig is designed to be used on the scaffold. You can make Gable Cuts as you go, still get your square face-cuts done, and importantly the Jig will totally protect your scaffold boards.


(Q) If I have a lot of cuts to do, I usually make up my own Jig, which must be cheaper than buying one?

(A) You need a hammer, nails, a board, some timber or a scaffold pole, a tape measure and the time to find all that and make up some sort of holding Jig. You have to line bricks up, the bricks rattle, they move, the last one often bears no resemblance to the size of the first one. Some end up in the skip. And at the end of the cuts, you need to make another jig because the next cut is not the same as the last! This is also a hazardous practice and a Health and Safety issue. The Stihl Brick Jig can be set-up in seconds and adjusted for any cut as you need it. All cutting would then be done safely.


PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS.

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BLOCK PAVING CONTRACTORS

 

(Q) I use a block splitter for block paving, why would I use a Brick Jig?

(A) A Splitter is quick and convenient, buy it is also wasteful, inaccurate and leaves a jagged edge on the cut. Most Pavers will under-cut the face of the split so that the top face is proud of the bottom of the paver so that the presentation is better. This means that the off-cuts tend to end up in the skip at the end of the job.

For straight forward cuts like halves the finish is more consistent but for angled edges to the paving area the consistency of the angle often varies and every paver needs to be marked with the cut.

The Brick Jigs allow fast cutting without the need to mark up the paver, especially for halves and herringbone corners. Angled cuts only need the length of cut marked on the paver because once the angle is set it is a simple repeat setting.


(Q) I have a lad who does all our cuts off the back of the vehicle; he is cheaper than a brick Jig.

(A) To get accuracy, your lad will need to mark-up every cut for halves or herringbone corners. With the Brick Jig once set up there is no marking required. The result will be he will cut quicker and much more accurately. Also importantly he will work safely under your employment.


(Q) Do I need anything else to go with the Brick Jig to be able to use it to cut pavers?

(A) If you are cutting block paving you will need Packers and End Stop Extensions to stop from cutting through the block into the Jig. Because Pavers are thinner than House Bricks, you will also need a Spacer under the Cutting Guide. For 60mm pavers you will need a 6mm Spacer and for 50mm Pavers you will need a 16mm Spacer (See the descriptions for the use of Accessories). These raise the Cutting Guide to the same height as it would be if sitting on a House Brick.


PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS.