• UNIT 2:Masonry Tools


    Masonry is the art of making structures from stones, bricks or tiles. Masons
    use masonry tools to make structures such as buildings and animal shelters.

    Look at the following pictures.


    Describe each picture.
    Predict what you are going to learn.

    2.1: Examples of masonry tools

    Masonry tools are tools used in the construction of farm structures and buildings.

    Activity 2.1: Identifying masonry tools

    (i) Identify the tools displayed by the teacher in class.
    (ii) Draw all the tools in your notebooks.

    (iii) Draw and write the names of the following tools in your notebook.



    (iv) Which of these tools have you ever seen? Where did you see them?

    2.2: U sage and maintenance of some masonry tools

    Activity 2.2: Using and maintaining of masonry tools

    (i) Visit a construction site.
    (ii) Observe the various tools and write down their names.
    (iii) Ask a mason to demonstrate how various tools are used.
    (iv) Practice how to use and maintain various masonry tools.
    Note: Be careful when using tools to avoid injuries or damaging the tools.

    Masonry refers to building structures using stones or bricks. During masonry work, masonry tools are used.

    1. Trowel

    Activity 2.3: Use and maintenance of trowel

    (i) Ensure the handle of the trowel is in good condition.
    (ii) Using a trowel mix the mortar.
    (iii) Scoop and apply the mortar using the trowel as shown.
    (iv) Clean and keep it dry after use.


    It is used for mixing, scooping and applying mortar. What is mortar?

    2. Plumb line

    Activity 2.5: Use and maintenance of a plumb line

    (i) Hammer a nail into surface you want to check.
    (ii) Tie the string of the plumb line to the nail.
    (iii) Measure the distance from the vertical surface of the wall to the top of the string.
    (iv) Mark the points you want to find with chalk.
    (v) Clean the plumb line, oil it and store in safely in a dry box.


    It is also known as a plumb bob.
    It is used to determine whether walls of building under construction are vertical.

    3. Water level

    Activity 2.4: Use and maintenance of a water level

    (i) With your partner stand at the location you want to level.
    (ii) Hold the water level against the surface you are levelling.
    (iii) Use chalk to mark the spot on the wall where the water line inside the tube falls.
    (iv) Clean the water level and store it when dry. Write down the use of a water level.


    It is used to measure the heights of locations that are far apart on a surface.
    Examples of such surfaces include floors and walls.

    4. Float

    Activity 2.6: Use and maintenance of float

    (i) Ensure the handle of the float is firm.
    (ii) Spread concrete over the floor and wall as shown.
    (iii) Clean it and oil the metallic parts of the float.
    (iv) Store the float on a rack.


    There are two types of floats. These are:
    (a) Steel float
    It is used for plastering walls and floors.


    (b) Wooden float
    It is used for spreading concrete over floors and walls.


                    Fig. 2.1: Floats.

    5. Metre ruler

    Activity 2.7: Use and maintenance of metre ruler

    (i) Place a metre ruler on the wall.
    (ii) Measure the length of the wall in meters.
    (iii) Avoid knocking the edges of the ruler against objects.
    (iv) Clean it after use.


    Used in accurate measurement of lengths. It has a measurement of one metre (100 centimetres).

    6. Tape measure

    Activity 2.8: Use and maintenance of a tape measure

    (i) Hold the tape measure vertically on a wall.
    (ii) Keep the edges straight.
    (iii) Measure the distance and mark with a pencil as shown.
    (iv) Avoid rubbing or scratching the tape measure.


    It is used for measuring distances, both vertically and horizontally.

    7. J ointer

    Activity 2.9: Use and maintenance of jointer

    (i) Ensure the nuts of a jointer are tight.
    (ii) Run a jointer along a mortar joint and compact it.
    (iii) Scrap excess mortar from the joint.
    (iv) Clean, dry and store it in a dry place.
    Name two uses of a jointer.


    It is run along a mortar joint to compact it. It also scraps excess mortar from the joint.

    8. Brick frame

    Activity 2.10: Use and maintenance of a brick frame

    (i) Place a brick frame carefully on a flat surface to avoid breaking it.
    (ii) Pack wet concrete or soil into it to produce rectangular shaped bricks.
    (iii) Clean and store brick frames in a dry rack.
    (iv) Oil metallic frames to prevent rusting.


    It produces rectangular shaped bricks. These bricks are used in construction.

    9. Wheelbarrow

    Activity 2.11: Use and maintenance of a wheelbarrow

    (i) Ensure the handles are firm and the moving parts are greased.
    (ii) Load sand, gravel or stones into the wheelbarrow.
    (iii) Push the wheelbarrow to where they are needed.
    (iv) Clean it well and oil after use.


    10. T-square

    It is used for carrying sand, gravel and stones for constructions.

    Activity 2.12: Use and maintenance of a tape T-square

    (i) Place a T-square on the floor with the head resting at a 90° angle.
    (ii) Measure the right angle.
    (iii) Avoid rubbing the T-square against hard surface to avoid removing marking.
    (iv) Avoid bending the T-square to prevent breakage.


    Masonry tools need to be stored properly in a tool rack as shown below.


                                      Fig. 2.2: Masonry tools stored properly.

    Name two other dangers of masonry tools.

    2.3: D angers of masonry tools

    Activity 2.13: Dangers of masonry tools

    (i) In your working groups search for dangers of masonry tools on your XO browser.
    (ii) List them down in your notebooks.
    (iii) Research on the safety precautions to be taken when using masonry tools.

    1. Some tools can bruise you when you rub against them or when they fall on you.
    2. Some masonry tools can cut you if handled carelessly.
    3. When these tools are not stored properly, one can trip on them and fall.
    4. Some tools can also pierce the skin if stepped on.


    Revision Activity 2

    1. Name the following tools:


    2. What is the work of a:
    (a) Trowel
    (b) (i) Steel float   (ii) Wooden float
    (c) Water level
    (d) Plumb line
    3. Sand and stones need to be delivered to a construction site.
    (a) Select a suitable masonry tool that you are going to use.

    (b) Carry the sand and stones to the construction site.
    (c) Maintain the tool after use.
    4. Describe briefly the maintenance of
    (a) a steel float (b) a wooden float.
    5. Use and maintain a metre ruler.
    6. Outline 3 dangers of masonry tools.
    7. What is the general importance of masonry tools? Justify your answer using suitable examples.
    8. (a) Outline uses of a mortar mixer.
        (b) (i) If you do not have a mortar mixer, what other tools can you use?
             (ii) Describe briefly how the tools will be used.
        (c) How do you ensure that a mortar mixer remains in good working condition.
    9. The following picture shows a construction site.


          (a) Identify the masonry tools being used.
          (b) What tool does the mason mixing sand and cement need?
    10. (a) Describe maintenance practices carried out on a brick hammer.
          (b) What can happen if a wooden brick frame is put in a damp place?
    11. (a) What is the use of a plumb line?
          (b) A water level functions like a certain carpentry tool. What carpentry tool is it?
          (c) How is a water level used?

    Word list

    1. Read the following words in pairs.
    • Trowel                     • Mortar       • Plumb line        • Cement
    • Tape measure        • Gravel       • Shovel              • Rusting
    • Wheelbarrow          • Repairing
    2. Spell 3 words while your friend writes them in his or her notebook. Let your friend also spell 3 other words as you write them in your notebook.
    3. Discuss with your friend the meaning of any 3 words in the word list. Refer to notes in your textbook.