RECESSED JOINT FINISH

Recessed jointing exposes every face edge of every brick in a wall, creating heavy shadow lines across the wall. As a result, it throws into very sharp relief any defects in the bricks and/or brickwork.

Accordingly, this joint finish should be limited to situations where only the best bricks and bricklaying have been

employed. The exception might be where a very ‘rustic’ look is desirable; indeed, it is not uncommon to see a recessed joint applied to walls built with hand-made bricks of varying shapes.

RECESSED JOINT FINISH

Fig. 157 Recessed joint finish.

Recessing is carried out using a ‘chariot’ tool or, more commonly, a home-made raking tool. This is easily manufactured out of a small block of wood (50 * 30 * 20mm) and a round-headed nail that projects from the face of the wooden block by a distance equal to the required depth of the joint finish. The flat head of the nail cuts into the mortar joint and leaves the face of the joint with a flat surface. Cutting a rebate into the block of wood at the point where the nail is to be hammered in prevents the mortar that is being raked out clogging around the nail and staining the face of the brickwork. A chariot is no more effective than the home-made version; its advantage is that the nail or spike, which is inserted and locked into the tool with a turn-screw, can be adjusted for different depths. Also, a block of wood will wear out with short-term use whereas a chariot will not.

RECESSED JOINT FINISH

Fig. 158 ‘Chariot’ recessed jointing tool.

RECESSED JOINT FINISH

Fig. 159 Home-made recessed jointing tool.

In recessed jointing, joints are typically raked out to a depth of 10mm. The cross-joints are always raked out first, followed by the bed joints, taking care to ensure that the raking out is uniform to the full depth. There should be no mortar left clinging to the exposed brick surfaces inside the recess.

On internal work, the raked-out joint can be left ‘rough’ and just give a light going-over with a soft brush to remove any debris left inside the recessed joint. On external work it is necessary to perform the additional task of ‘polishing’ the flat surface with a steel, square-edged flat/recessed jointing iron, to increase the weather resistance of the joint. Even after this extra polishing up, this type of joint will have significantly less resistance to rain and frost than, say, a half-round joint, which is much more compressed at its outer surface. In addition, the recess of the joint offers an ideal ledge upon which rainwater can collect, resulting in eventual frost damage to the arrises of the bricks in winter, unless hard-burnt bricks of engineering quality have been used. In general, recessed jointing is most commonly applied to internal brickwork.

RECESSED JOINT FINISH