London played host to 10,000 custom-bike fans at the weekend as the third annual Bike Shed hit the capital. Over 156 top-quality, one-off bikes were on display, with professional and shed builders coming together to showcase the talents and creativity the custom scene is known for. One of the key reveals of the weekend was the stunning collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles and Barbour International. The event was not only a celebration of bikes; there was also live music throughout the weekend and specially commissioned pieces of art. Since its beginnings as an underground bike club, BSMC has served as an outlet for the innovative, adventurous spirit of custom builders.
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When checking that a course of brickwork or other work, is horizontal, ensure that there are no lumps of mortar sticking to the spirit level.
Never wash cement-covered tools in a plumbed-in sink: the cement will set in the pipe and block it. Where very heavy furniture and timber used for construction purposes are to be attached to solid walls, expanded masonry bolts should be used for secure fixing. Lined walls are obviously weaker than solid ones, and great care must be taken when fixing up heavy objects.
First measure across the opening and note the proposed position of the bricks (do this on both sides of the wall if you are erecting two arches).
Former construction: To construct the former, you need a sheet of 15mm plywood to make up the rounded sides and the soffit plus a piece of hardboard to go across the top.
Supporting the former: To hold the timber former in place during construction, you must build a small frame to fit underneath. Building the arch: To help keep the arch brickwork level with the face of the wall, nail four flat boards about 500mm long on each side of the opening extending from the top to the bottom of the arch. Pointing and Repointing a brick wall helps keeping the rain water and moisture from penetrating the brickwall, thus keeping the wall dry. If the mortar joint between bricks has begun to crumble it should be repaired, not only for the sake of appearance,but to keep rain out of the wall. London Builders & Bricklayers offers you a guide to Pointing and Repointing brick walls. Flush pointing: the mortar finishes level with the bricks, the edge is made roughly level with the trowel and then, when mortar has begun to dry, rubbed over with a piece of wood.
Unless you’ve only a small area of repointing to do, and that near the ground, hire a tower platform to, work from.
Work from top to bottom of the wall, raking out the old pointing, and take the opportunity to clean down dirty brickwork at the same time. Contact us for a Quote for Pointing and Repointing walls, Chimney Pointing, brick pointing repairs,Lime Repointing, Masonry, etc in London.
If you build a House Extensions, Kitchen Extensions, Loft Conversions, Garage Conversions, or any other building that will complement an existing house or building, its always best to match existing type of pointing and brickwork. The problem has become worse as big open fires are abandoned – these kept up sufficient draught to evaporate moisture from inside rooms and sweep it up the chimney. There are some ways of keeping it out or at least keeping damp-stains off the plaster and wallpaper. Bricks suck up water like blotting paper; make them waterproof and damp will stay down at ground level. You can buy the solution and hire equipment, but it’s best for a specialist firm to do it. Electro-osmosis goes back to first principles to cure damp: what makes damp climb up a wall ?
Electro-osmotic damp treatment consists of driving small copper rods into the wall roughly where a damp-proof course would be, joining them with a copper strip, and joining the strip to an earth rod, a metal spike sunk well into the ground. Cutting right through the wall to insert a new damp-proof course sounds drastic, and isn’t a job for the ordinary householder to tackle.
Beside some rare occurrence of Efflorescence in newly built brick walls, brickwork doesn’t generally require attention beyond dusting down with a brush.
Rendering and painting a brick wall is sometimes done to cover cracks in the structure of the house. Most architects in London and bricklayers will recommend brick walls rather than block walls. A very useful tool for builders, painters and decorators, tilers, landscapers and other trades.

For a rate of 20 per cent, you can also work out the VAT-inclusive figure by multiplying by 1.2. The event, held in association with Triumph Motorcycles and run by Bike Shed Motorcycle Club (BSMC), took place at Tobacco Dock, in the heart of the city’s docklands. With many of the bikes almost completely unrecognisable from their original models, visitors got the chance to see some spectacular one-of-a-kind builds.
Called BIT1, the bespoke in-house build by the Triumph team is based on the iconic Triumph Scrambler with detailing to echo the craft and tailoring from Barbour International, the British heritage brand with a history of producing motorcycle clothing since 1936. The weekend’s London event follows a successful Parisian Bike Shed in April, the first time the event has crossed the channel. This is a venue with the class, character and heritage to properly host a show that celebrates the same attributes in bikes, art, hospitality and people. Packed with news, in-depth reviews, new and used bike tests, products, events, adventure stories and riding tips. These are inserted into a suitable hole and, when the bolt is tightened, it draws a plug up into the outer body of the bolt, which then expands and grips the masonry. If there is too much stress on an unsupported wall board, it could rip away from the studs.
Using this information, try to place the key or middle brick—directly over the centre of the opening and so avoid having to place a shorter, cut brick at one end of the arch.
Measure across the springing line at the top of the opening, then go to the paper and draw a line of the same dimension across the bottom of the sheet.
Use the half circle and the perpendicular line running up through it to mark the position of each brick on the plan. This should consist of two side pieces with one wider cross-piece which fits across the top—although in the case of particularly wide soffits two frames may have to be built, one for each side. Then attach a string across the bottom of each pair of boards to act as a guiding line this can be moved up as building progresses.
Check carefully that the final bricks are positioned correctly, especially the key brick which sits directly above the middle of the opening.
This pointing looks very handsome with rough-textured bricks, but isn’t ideal for walls going to get lots of rain. If you are repointing an entire wall you can pick any style of repointing; if you are doing only part of a wall it will look better matched to the existing sound parts. If there’s an odd defective brick you can cut it out with a cold chisel and club hammer and replace it with a matching sound brick. If you make the mix too wet it won’t stay put between the bricks and in running down it will stain them.
Builders’ merchants sell waterproofing solutions that, painted on liberally inside the damp wall and out, will, with luck, soak through, join up in the middle and form a waterproof barrier.
They slope down slightly from inside to outside (where small grilles keep out the rain and inquisitive mice) and are set in a porous mortar.
Amateurs have done it, but it’s worth getting a professional job and a guarantee,usually 20 years.
A special saw is used to cut through the mortar or bricks, a short length at a time, a damp course inserted and the mortar restored, before moving on to cut the next section.
If it has been splashed or looks dingy it can be cleaned with a weak solution of spirits of salt or you can buy a brick cleaner from a DIY shop or builder’s merchants.
Pointing and re-pointing the brick walls can be redone when needed, and your brick wall looks like a traditional London building. Even though blockwork is cheaper than brickwork, having brick walls for your house extension or new build buildings, keeps and preserve the character of London, this is the reason why even Planning Permissions are sometimes subject to matching existing brickwork walls on your street or existing property. You can calculate how many bricks, blocks, sand, cement, tiles, paint,flooring,decking, floor boards, concrete and other materials you need for your building or refurbishment project.
We saw some amazing custom bikes, which highlight the creativity, skills and ingenuity that can be found in the custom scene in the UK and Europe. To compensate for any inaccuracy in the level itself, use it once, then turn it end for end and use it again.
When positioning the holes, avoid drilling in the mortar between bricks and in the corners of the bricks themselves. To make a secure fixing, locate the timber studs and attach a batten to the surface of the wall. Mortar each brick into place carefully and place a straightedge across the face of the wall while you are building to ensure that the arch is correctly aligned. Mark the midpoint of the line carefully and this will give you the striking point of the arch.

Make sure all the bricks face inwards towards the striking point and that they are separated by neat, wedge-shaped joints.
Leave the mortar to set for at least three to four days—then knock away the folding wedges and remove the former. Painted on the outside these solutions certainly help keep out driving rain, and once dry they are invisible. The idea is that moisture seeps into the pipes through the porous walls, then trickles harmlessly down the slope to the outside of-the wall. You can measure the area, length,volume, weight for any materials you might need to know before you buy.
We offer all of our customers a no obligation consultation to meet us and have a chat about their ideas for improving their home.
With this, the base line of the arch, marked, use the striking point as a centre and draw a semi-circle above the springing line with a large compass or a pencil tied to the end of a piece of string. Once the plan is drawn out—using one or more rows of brick—it can be used to calculate the exact number of bricks needed to complete the job. Then cut a third piece as wide as the soffit—excluding the two side sections—and as long as the opening.
Subtract the width of the cross support, then cut two side bearers from 50mm square timber to this size. As you position each brick check— with the help of a line stretched up from the striking point—that it is correctly positioned according to the original plan. A more expensive but thorough treatment is to drip silicone waterproofing solution into the wall through tubes drilled into the bricks. As each home is unique and each customer is an individual we want your extension to be perfect for you. Then lay a square or protractor along the springing line and draw a line up from the striking point which bisects the half-circle. Remember, though, that the total has to be doubled in a cavity or double thickness wall where the arch has to be reproduced on both sides of a door or window opening.
Attach the three pieces together by nailing along the bottom of the two side sections into the edge of the soffit section. Fix the side bearers to the brickwork in the middle of the soffit using masonry or galvanized nails. Try to make neat, wedge-shaped mortar joints between each brick by putting more mortar on one end than you do at the other.
Take great care when you are building or rebuilding the brickwork around the top of the arch, and use the lines you erected earlier as guides. With the frame completed, pin a piece of hardboard as wide as the soffit across the top and make sure that it is flat and level with the two sides . Next, lay a piece of flat plywood almost as wide as the soffit across the top of the side bearers. Alternatively, insert small wedging pieces of slate between each brick and leave them permanently to set with the mortar. Try to ensure that each brickwork course meets the sides of the arch neatly, and cut any bricks to fit with a hammer and bolster. If it isn’t possible to use them, for financial or technical reasons, you will have to leave the wall damp and concentrate on protecting the inside of the rooms. After you have rechecked the former against the original plan, locate it in position across the top of the opening. Check carefully that it is correctly aligned with a spirit level and then place the timber former on top. Point around the outside of the entire area and then while the mortar is still wet run a soft brush across the surface. Finally, cut four folding timber wedges and drive two from each side between the cross-piece and the side bearers. These allow you to make minor adjustments to the position of the former during construction and make it easier to remove it after the mortar has set.

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