How do you build a brick arch?

Answer

Firstly, assemble a wooden former which will eventually support the arc then take the distance of the left hand side of the proposed brick arch and divide it by two to get the radius of the curve, draw out two plywood semi-circles based on the pier separation radius. Cut a piece of board that is the same width of the arch and thickness of the wall. Cut scrap timber spacers to the same width as the base of the board, and nail them to the curved edge of the board. Make sure that the wooden props are level with the tops of the piers and nail them against the inner faces of the side piers then on each side of the arch, lay a brick on a wedge-shaped mortar bed. Press the stretcher face firmly against the former. Draw a vertical line on the face of the former, right in the middle of the semi-circle. Remember to include the thickness of the mortar joints, which should be 3 mm (1/8 in) thick then apply a layer of mortar of about 2.5cm (1in) on the upper surface of the arch. Finish the course by laying two bricks on both ends of the arch centre line.
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