how to make cement bricks easily
How to Make Bricks from Concrete
Bricks have been primarily used for wall coverings over the years, but they can be used for decorative purposes as well. Historically, the common brick has been molded from clay and fired in a kiln, but you can make bricks yourself by using concrete.
Making Brick from Concrete
Make the forms you need to use for the concrete bricks.This requires basic carpenter tools and a sheet of .75-inch (19 mm) plywood along with 2 x 4-inch (5.1 x 10.2 cm) by 8 feet (2.4 m) lumber. Use 9 x 4 x 3.5 inches (22.9 x 10.2 x 8.9 cm) for your brick dimensions.
- Rip the sheet of 3/4 inch plywood down to 12-inch (30.5 cm) wide x 48-inch (1.2 m) long strips. This will give you 8 bricks per strip, and the entire sheet of plywood will give you a total of 64 bricks.
- Cut the side forms down to 2 x 4 inches (5.1 x 10.2 cm). You will need 2 pieces at 48 inches (1.2 m) long for each strip. There will be 9 pieces, 9 inches (22.9 cm) in length.
Assemble the forms with the two 48 inch (1.2 m) pieces laid parallel.Begin nailing the 9-inch (22.9 cm) pieces between the two 48-inch (1.2 M) strips using either double-headed 16 penny concrete form nails or 3-inch (7.65 cm) deck screws. When finished, you should have 8 spaces 4 inches (5.1cm) wide, 9 inches (22.9 cm) long, and 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) deep.
- Lay the strips of plywood on a flat level area and spread plastic sheeting over it to keep the concrete from bonding with the plastic. The work area will need to be left undisturbed for at least 24 hours.
- Place the assembled side form on top of the .75-inch (19 cm) plastic covered plywood strip. Either nail the side forms to the plywood or drive wooden stakes around the sides of the forms to keep the forms from shifting off of the plywood bottom strips.
- You can use screws for easier removal, if desired.
Use a spray can of form release oil to aid in stripping the forms after pouring the concrete into the brick molds.
- Take care not to stain any concrete bricks.
Making and Pouring the Concrete into the Brick Molds
Make the concrete and pour it into the assembled molds.This will most likely be the most physically challenging part of making brick from concrete. Using a commercially prepared dry mix of concrete materials is the easiest method. It is often referred to as Sak-crete and normally comes in 40-to-80-pound (18.1-to-36.2 kg) bags, which are then mixed in a wheelbarrow.
Put a bag of prepared concrete material in a wheelbarrow.Make a small hole in the middle of the dry mix using a shovel or a common garden hoe.
- Begin adding small amounts of water in that small hole, preferably from a bucket rather than a hose for better control of the amount of water that is added at any one time.
- Mix the dry material and water together with the hoe or shovel, adding water until you have a concrete consistency that is workable. Use a measuring device for the water to ensure each batch has the same consistency. Too wet and it will want to push up the side and run under the forms. Too dry and it will not want to consolidate, but rather it will leave air voids in your concrete brick.
- If desired, you can or rent a small cement mixer from a hardware or home improvement store.
Use a shovel put the concrete into the forms.
- Tap on the side of the forms with the brick forms filled. Tapping on the top afterward will force any trapped air out from inside of the concrete.
- Use a straight edge or 12-inch (30.5 cm) trowel to smooth off the top of the concrete level with the top of the forms. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.
- If using the brick to face an existing wall, use a scoring trowel to make groves in the brick. This will aid in mortaring the brick in place.
Strip the forms from the concrete bricks on the next day.Stack the bricks in a cool area to cure a suggested 2 weeks. Cover them up with a mover's blanket while they are curing and keep the blanket wet and covered with plastic sheeting. This will keep the bricks from cracking during the curing process. Once they have cured, you are ready to use them.
QuestionHow do I score and cut concrete blocks to make a square corner in a retaining wall?
Professional LandscaperProfessional LandscaperExpert AnswerThere are multiple ways you can do it. Trying using a masonry blade on a skill saw, hand grinder, or brick saw.Thanks!
QuestionI am doing an Eagle Scout project where I want to make cement bricks or blocks to create grave markers. It is for veterans, so we are hoping to include a small PVC pipe for a flag to go in. Would this method work for that?
Professional LandscaperProfessional LandscaperExpert AnswerInstall a schedule-40 rated PVC pipe in the form before adding concrete, and it should work well. Perhaps add another PVC pipe for floral arrangements as well.Thanks!
QuestionHow many bags of concrete will I need to make 64 bricks?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAn 80 pound bag makes 74 bricks. A 60 pound bag will only make about 56 bricks. So, one 80 pound bag will easily make your required 64 bricks.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the difference between cement or concrete mixed with gravel?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCement is the 'glue' that holds the sand and gravel, the aggregate, together; all forming concrete. Cement is made out of limestone that is heated to drive out the water and ground into a fine powder. Adding water causes a chemical reaction called hydrolysis, that creates heat and causes the whole mix to turn into concrete, basically a form of sedimentary rock like the original limestone. Concrete is man-made rock. Glass is also clear rock. The same cement is used with sand and water to make mortar used for laying brick. Cement by itself, mixed with water, will crumble and is not very useful.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the brick is put to dry under the sun, will it crack?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOnly if the brick isn't some cheap material. Pour hot water over the stone so that the edges can relax then firm.Thanks!
QuestionCan I get colored concrete?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but you need a special material. Check with your hardware store or a concrete company that specializes in it.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do the bricks need to sit in the mold form before turning them out onto the drying area?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey do address that in steps 3 & 4. Allow to dry for 24 hours & strip the forms from the bricks the next day. The bag may say to let cure over night, and keep moist (not drenched) by misting the bricks while they cure overnight.Thanks!
QuestionCan I make thin bricks out of mortar mix? And if so, what type?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Mortar mix is intended as an adhesive. For thin bricks, use high-strength or "structural" concrete.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is meant by "load bearing structure?"wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA structure that is meant to hold more than just its own weight. For example, in homes, some walls help hold up the roof, some do not.Thanks!
QuestionAre those bricks good to build a firewood oven?wikiHow ContributorCommunity Answer'Fire Bricks' are specially made for exposure to the high temps of fire. Use these and thin joints of clay fire mortar for the bricks that form the firebox. Other bricks can be used outside of the fire bricks to thicken the walls or form a chimney. It's very important that you follow a professional diagram for the fire box, smoke shelf and flue design.Thanks!
What are the problems of bricks with rice husk ash and what is the ratio if no problem?
Is there a bonding agent that I should add to the mix to stop it from crumbling?
What are the problems of bricks with rice husk ash?
What is the best ratio of cement, sand and gravel to give strong bricks?
- Save the forms you made for the concrete bricks and use them for future projects and repair work.
- Concrete is naturally gray, but you can change that color by adding commercially available dyes.
- Making concrete forms for brick and then casting them isn't the only way you can make brick for a driveway or walkway. There are commercially available plastic polymer forms you can use, which will leave you with many different patterns or sizes of brick when you follow the manufacturer's directions.
- Concrete is corrosive and all manufacturer's instructions on safe handling during the mixing process should be followed.
- Wear proper protective clothing when working with concrete, such as gloves, eyewear, and a dust mask.
Things You'll Need
.75-inch (19 mm) 4 x 8 ft (1.2 X 2.4 m) exterior grade plywood
2 x 4-inch (5 x 10 cm) x 8 ft (2.4 m) #3 common boards
16 penny double headed concrete form nails or 3-inch (7.6 cm) deck screws
Bags of premixed dry concrete
Square pointed shovel
Screwdriver for screws
Concrete trowel 12" (30.5 cm)
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