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AWTK: Brick cleaning machine

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  • AWTK: Brick cleaning machine

    PSB brains trust,

    I'm planning on having a wall built with some used bricks I've recovered from some old garage pillars and I need to get the mortar off them. I have been using a chisel but that's extremely slow going and I have about another 600 to go.

    There is a specific machine to do this, it's got chisels and cleaning brushes on it that you run the bricks past. Like this.

    Does anyone know where I can hire one from? Although it's listed on their website, Kennards don't have one in WA. The only other one I can find is on gumtree but the guy refuses to answer his phone or emails. Alternatively, would a brickie have one and what would he roughly charge for half a days cleaning? Would prefer to do it myself but will just pay someone if it is the only other option.

    Cheers,
    Al
    #109

  • #2
    Air chisel and wire brush is how I do it. Same as the machine just takes a bit longer

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    • #3
      I tried a rotary hammer with a chisel bit on it, but it was quite difficult to do without breaking the bricks.

      Might give it a go with a wire brush on a drill or angle grinder.
      #109

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      • #4
        I cleaned an old brick wall at my old place of paint and mortar using an angle grinder, just have to take it slow and easy to not damage the bricks, worked well, left beautifully smooth brick face.
        I have heard of Sane women, but I have also heard of unicorns!!!

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        • #5
          How about a needle gun. Don't know if it would work but maybe worth a try

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          • #6
            Just buy new clean bricks, not worth the effort, just my opinion!Old bricks can be used for the footings etc. where they are not seen if you really want to use them

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            • #7
              I tried finding a brick cleaning machine when I did the kitchen renovation and needed the bricks to make another wall inside but had no success so I ended up
              using a cheap ozito hammer drill with a chisel bit, I made a jig to hold the brick at the correct angle in the wheelbarrow, the mortar chipped off very easily with a minimum of dust and fell through the grid(old oven shelf)

              If the bricks have been used outside, the mortar will probably be extremely hard(more like cement than mortar) in which case dont bother as it wont be worth the effort and the bricks will probably break half the time

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              • #8
                Kitchen dishwasher when the wife's not home.
                One owner. Only driven gently on Sundays. Sold to best offer. First to see will buy. Reward offered for safe return. Coming soon to a cinema near you. Available for a limited time only.

                My waterbed broke this morning. Oh, I don't have a waterbed. Bugger.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Phildo View Post
                  Kitchen dishwasher when the wife's not home.
                  Remember to take the motorbike parts out first...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jamathi View Post
                    Just buy new clean bricks, not worth the effort, just my opinion!Old bricks can be used for the footings etc. where they are not seen if you really want to use them
                    Mate, I would if I could. The problem is that the wall will butt up against the house, so the wall needs to be the same brick type as the house. My house was built in the early 70s so I doubt they make matching bricks anymore.
                    #109

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rich... View Post
                      Remember to take the motorbike parts out first...
                      Yep, did that after the 1991 Lake Lefroy Desert Race (ie salt lakes - near Kalgoorlie). Dismantled and fed lots of my pride and joy (1990 KTM250ex/c) through mum's dishwasher when she wasn't home. The airbox had a couple of turns. Was paranoid about ongoing corrosion from the salt.

                      Don't forget the boots, body armour, bumbag, goggles, gloves, body belt, knee guards, Camelbak, etc. If you want something washed and don't want to subject it to a washing machine then use a dishwasher.

                      Seriously, a dishwasher does actually do a bloody good job of cleaning dirt bike boots (remove the top shelf and put the boots in up-side-down). I miss having a dishwasher.
                      One owner. Only driven gently on Sundays. Sold to best offer. First to see will buy. Reward offered for safe return. Coming soon to a cinema near you. Available for a limited time only.

                      My waterbed broke this morning. Oh, I don't have a waterbed. Bugger.

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                      • #12
                        hydrochloric acid and a brush
                        "Some people are like clouds. When they disappear it's a beautiful day"

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                        • #13
                          Edge of a trowel like a boss.

                          But as [MENTION=5471]Halo_2[/MENTION] said, do a rough job with whatever you can, and brush some HCl from Bunnings over it afterwards, use a scrubbing brush and gloves to get the lime in the cement to make it easier to wash off.

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                          • #14
                            I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that you are Not Allowed to reuse Bricks for Structural purposes when Building. On a couple of websites it is Not Recommended in Coastal/High Salt locations, probably to do with expansion properties if salt enters any cracks and crystalizes or even the visual look?

                            I don't doubt that your Insurance Company will make an objection/deny claim if a Problem were to occur (especially if someone if Personally injured by a Wall collapse). Then again, the only walls I have knocked down before and rebuilt/reused have been on low garden beds.....and I am at best a Half-asses DIY Bricky

                            If you are going to clean them by hand. Try to use a small hatchet/axe like this Cleaning house bricks for reuse - YouTube
                            If using an Air-tool. Try a Chiseller or Needle Gun, along the lines of this Low vibration VL303 heavy duty pistol grip needle scaler - YouTube
                            Smoothing the "matting faces" of the Bricks with and Angle-grinder, could be counter productive when you try to reuse them. Rough surface, increases surface area and aids adhesion/bond of the Mortar.

                            I would also go the route of throwing them into a Dishwasher if you are that keen......best to grab one/two from Council Clean-up so as to keep the other-half happy. If really keen, you could run a recirculating water/acid mix setup with a large (1000lt, smaller if no space) Plastic water tank on one.....then another plumbed with plain water to rinse/neutralise.

                            Maybe I am overthinking the problem but I tend to do that
                            Rules are for the Obedience of Fools and the Guidance of Wise men. Douglas Bader.

                            Only two things are Infinite, the Universe and Human Stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. Albert Einstein.

                            Three can keep a Secret, if Two of them are Dead. Benjamin Franklin.

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                            • #15
                              I'm a bricky by trade.

                              Two options:

                              1. Buy new bricks. If you go to Midland brick they actually have a scheme where they can match most old bricks believe it or not.

                              2. Brickies trowel. It will take some time getting the technique, but once you can do it you will be amazed. Hell, for a few beers I would even contemplate doing a couple hundred, or alternatively I have a few Marshalltown trowels about the place (dont by cheap trowels, they wont do shit). Will get 90% of the mortar off, and then can acid clean the rest (10:1 Water/Hydro acid).

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