Cutting and rolling is carried out as follows

1. Hold the brick trowel with your thumb in line with the handle and pointing towards the tip of the blade. In general terms, the trowel never leaves the trowel hand!

Cutting and rolling is carried out as follows

Fig. 106 Correct method of holding the trowel.

2. Cut away from the main pile a quantity of mortar that is roughly sufficient to fill the trowel blade.

Cutting and rolling is carried out as follows

Fig. 107 Cutting mortar.

3. Using a ‘sawing’ motion, roll the mortar across towards the front of the board to form a roll big enough to cover the trowel blade. The sawing motion must not be too straight as this will produce a roll of mortar that is too long for the trowel to pick up. Instead, alter the angle of the trowel to draw the mortar in at each end.

Cutting and rolling is carried out as follows

Fig. 108 Rolling mortar.

4. During the cutting and rolling process, keep the trowel blade in contact with the board so it cleans the board as the mortar is rolled. The blade is not kept completely perpendicular to the board; instead, it is inclined over slightly towards the front of the board to assist the rolling process. The aim is to cut and roll a piece of mortar that is much the same shape and plan-size as the trowel blade.

5. Having cut and rolled the mortar, move the trowel back from the roll of mortar and turn it so that the blade is horizontal about 1mm above the spot board and around 50mm away from the mortar roll, in preparation for picking it up. At this point, some bricklayers prefer to loosen their grip and turn the trowel slightly outwards to avoid having to bend and strain the wrist too much. Again, this is a matter of personal style and not an issue of technical correctness.

Cutting and rolling is carried out as follows

Fig. 109 Preparation for picking up the mortar.

6. With a sharp movement and leading with the long inside edge of the trowel, pick up the roll of mortar. This movement needs to be fast enough to overcome the inertia of the roll of mortar but not so fast that the trowel flies straight through it!

Cutting and rolling is carried out as follows

Fig. 110 Picking up the mortar.