Wrexham Brick Cutting Ltd

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Glossary of Terms
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The Brick and Arch cutting specialists

  • Extrados: The outside line of an Arch
  • Intrados: The inside line of an Arch
  • Joggle: Locking grooves cut between bricks for added lateral strength
  • Keystone: The central brick or stone at the top of an Arch
  • Padstone: The first and last brick or stone of an Arch, seated on the Spring Line
  • Soffit: The underside surface
  • Span: The distance between the Arch support columns
  • Spring Line: The point at which an Arch sits on its support columns
  • Skewback: The angle, measured from the horizontal, at which the outer bricks of a Flat Arch rest on the support brickwork
  • Voussoir: The wedge shaped stones of which an Arch is made up, with brick Arches, these may be single or multiple bricks

Stock Bricks:

The normal Stock Brick these days comes in a metric size of 215 x 102 x 65mm and Arch Bricks are categorised in BS 4729 as AR.1 - Tapered Header, and AR.2 - Tapered Stretcher. There is a narrow limit of the specified sizes available from manufacturers, and most tapered bricks are cut to job by a competent brick cutting company.

From the above, it will be seen that Arch bricks can be laid as single or multiple header courses, or stretcher courses, which is more normal. Don't forget to add the width of mortar joints on multiple course Voussoirs.

To cut a tapered brick, the cutter needs to know the stock size from which the brick is to be cut, and the outside and inside widths in order to determine the taper.

In working out the number of bricks to an Arch, consideration will have to be given to the thickness of the mortar joint to be used. An ordinary mortar joint will normally be 10mm thick. However, using lime/water mix, the joint can be made as fine as 1.5mm. The trouble with this traditional mix is that the lime is soluble in water and does not adhere strongly to the bricks. In time, the jointing material may perish, and the bricks may slip out of position. To prevent this from happening, joggles are formed between the bricks, and will need to be specified, which are semi-circular grooves cut in both faces of each brick. When the Arch is formed, there are roughly circular holes between all the bricks, and into these holes is poured a wet mix of cement and sand, which hardens and prevents the bricks from slipping out of position.

If you would contact us with your Arch sizes and details, we can supply you with a scale size representation of the Arch, or full size printouts if needed, before cutting takes place. Computer programed for accuracy, details will be returned virtually by return of mail. Get in touch, - we are quite friendly, - really !
Wrexham Brick Cutting Ltd
Llay Hall, Cefn-y-Bedd, Wrexham, Clwyd, LL12 9YG, Wales
Tel: 01978 760600 or Fax: 01543 425946
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Last updated: November 7th, 2020.
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