They say a leopard never changes its spots…
but what about a bricklayer?! That’s a question which has been troubling brickie Marc Foley for years and one which he believes he is on the brink of answering in the affirmative….
“like all brickie’s the priority has always been totally on laying as many bricks as you can to a given standard in a day and leave the muck and bullets side of things to the labourer. The role of the labourer is crucial to ensure a ready supply of bricks in the right place and a constant supply of workable mortar.”
Across the country on thousands of building sites things has always been done the same way. Using the same ill-designed boards! For one thing the boards are heavy to lift onto the scaffold, absorb water which in turn dries out the mortar and makes it less pliable for the brickie to use.
Being random off cuts, they are often different sizes, either too small to contain enough mortar, and need constant topping up, or too big and block the scaffold.
“I put up with it myself for years and suddenly had a moment a couple of years back when I decided there had to be a better and safer way,”
The answer is Flexi Block Spot, a high-quality rubber cover which sits over a standard pile of bricks or blocks and provides a perfect clean non-absorbent surface for the mortar.
They are extremely pliable and light, a labourer can easily carry up to ten in a bag onto the scaffold and, of course, at the end of the day can be washed down and left in place for the next day’s building. They will also provide frost and driving rain protection overnight.
Stuart describes the process of arriving at the latest Flexi Block Spot design:
“After working through a number of designs, and approaching some potential manufacturers, we came up with prototypes which I used on my own sites, and put out to some other builders I know in the area.
The feedback was tremendous, the usual stuff of being so simple why didn’t we think of it ourselves? Now with a patent and packaging in place we are ready to tell the world about it. Of course, I am under no illusions that we can change so many years of practice overnight.
Bricklayers are a conservative bunch and with good reason, of course, but I really think we have something which will improve their ability to lay more bricks per day, which in turn means greater productivity and, of course, profitability on the job.”