Title:
Form for aligning masonry materials
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An alignment tool, for aligning masonry structures, includes at least one pair of upright guides arranged on one side of the alignment tool for centering masonry materials such as blocks or bricks. In a first embodiment for use with laying bricks, other uprights are provided on an opposite sides of the alignment tool for aligning a center of a brick over or under a mortar joint and an additional pair of uprights are provided on one end of the alignment tool. In a second embodiment, an upright is provided along a central rib of the alignment tool for insertion into a hole in a brick. Method steps for using the tool are also disclosed.



Inventors:
Burgess, William J. (Franklin, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/810456
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/06/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B2/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bradley D. Goldizen (Maysville, WV, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A process for creating a masonry structure comprising: providing a first plurality of alignment devices, each alignment device comprising: a central support member having two ends, a upper face, a lower face, a front face, a back face and a center arranged midway between the two ends; a pair of spacing blocks extending from one end of the support member, the spacing blocks being easily separated from the central support member; a pair of lateral projections extending from the front face of the central support member, each lateral projection having an upper face, a lower face, a front end and a back end, the back end of each lateral projection in contact with the front face of the central support member; an upright extending from the front end of each lateral projection to form a vertical member that aligns front faces of stacked bricks, said upright having a front face, a back face, an upper end, a lower end, and a center arranged midway between the upper end and the lower end, said back face of the upright being intersected at substantially the center by a respective lateral projection; and, an alignment post extending from one of either the upper face or the lower face of the central support member; pouring a foundation; allowing said foundation to cure; spreading an adhesive on a top surface of the foundation; laying a first course of masonry materials; securing a second plurality of alignment devices to a top surface of the first course of masonry materials; aligning and laying a second course of masonry materials atop the second plurality of alignment device; and thereafter laying additional courses of masonry materials and securing additional alignment devices to a top surface of each additional course of masonry material except the final course.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said spreading an adhesive includes spreading mortar.

3. The method of claim 1 further comprising aligning an alignment device by inserting a vertical alignment tool into a center core of a brick.

4. The method of claim 1 further comprising aligning an alignment device by inserting a vertical alignment tool into a mortar joint between adjacent bricks.

5. The method of claim 1 further comprising removing a portion of one of the alignment devices.

6. A form for aligning masonry materials comprising: a central support member having two ends, an upper face, a lower face, a front face, a rear face and a center arranged midway between the two ends; a pair of spacing blocks extending from one end of the support member, the spacing blocks being easily separated from the central support member; a pair of lateral projections extending from the front face of the central support member, each lateral projection having an upper face, a lower face, a front end and a back end, the back end of each lateral projection in contact with the front face of the central support member; an upright extending from the front end of each lateral projection to form a vertical member that aligns front faces of stacked bricks, said upright having a front face, a back face, an upper end, a lower end, and a center arranged midway between the upper end and the lower end, said back face of the upright being intersected at substantially the center by a respective lateral projection; and, an alignment post extending from one of either the upper face or the lower face of the central support member.

7. The form of claim 6 further comprising an additional alignment post extending from a face of the central support member opposite the alignment post.

8. The form of claim 6 further comprising a hoop fastener extending from the rear face of the central support member.

9. The form of claim 6 further comprising spacing blocks having one of an upper face that extends upwards through a plane created by the upper face of the central support member or that extends downward through a plane created by the lower face of the central support member.

10. The form of claim 6 further comprising one or more snap-off zones arranged between the central support member and one or more selected from a list consisting of the spacing blocks, the lateral projection, the center of the central support member, the alignment post and the uprights.

11. The form of claim 6 wherein said form comprises lightweight molded or extruded plastic or composite material selected from a group consisting of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyurethanes, polyvinyl chloride, thermoset resins, polyethylene terephthalate, high density polyethylene, and other mixed resins and having a roughened exterior surface.

12. The form of claim 6 comprising metal.

13. The form of claim 6 further comprising a t-shaped end arranged at an end of the central support member and to which the spacing blocks are attached.

14. An alignment device that arranges individual bricks that comprise a masonry structure, said alignment device comprising: a central support member having a t-shaped end, an upper face upon which at least a portion of a bottom surface of a brick rests, a lower face, a front face, a rear face; end extensions fixed to the t-shaped end of the central support member for providing an appropriate width of a mortar joint between adjacent bricks; an internal vertical aligner extends from one of either the upper face or the lower face of the central support member to cause the center of an upper brick to be centered over the mortar joint between adjacent bricks in a course laid below; a pair of external surface aligners extending from the front face of the central support member to align front faces of bricks; and, a hoop fastener extending from the rear face of the central support member to fasten the masonry structure to a building.

15. The alignment device of claim 14 further comprising an additional internal vertical aligner extending from a face of the central support member opposite the alignment post.

16. The alignment device of claim 14 wherein the end extensions fixed to the t-shaped end of the central support member comprise spacing blocks having one of an upper face that extends upwards through a plane created by the upper face of the central support member or that extends downward through a plane created by the lower face of the central support member.

17. The alignment device of claim 14 further comprising one or more snap-off zones arranged between the central support member and one or more selected from a list consisting the t-shaped end, the end extensions, the internal vertical aligner, the pair of external surface aligners, and the hoop fastener.

18. The alignment device of claim 14 wherein the alignment device comprises metal.

19. The alignment device of claim 14 further comprising a second pair of external surface aligners extending from the rear face of the central support member to align back faces of bricks.

20. The alignment device of claim 19 wherein one of the second pair of external surface aligners includes a perpendicular extension having graduated marks thereon.

Description:

There are no related patent applications.

This application did not receive any federal research and/or development funding.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a form for constructing and aligning masonries. The terms “masonry” or “masonries” are general terms representing that which is built by a mason or anything constructed of masonry materials, such as bricks, blocks, stones, tiles or other such materials used by a mason during a building or constructing process. More particularly, the present invention is directed towards a plastic form or gauge that is implanted in a wall for aiding in the laying process of the masonry materials. Thus, an unskilled homeowner may easily construct a masonry wall.

Masonry walls typically comprise bricks or blocks which are stacked or arranged in layers which are commonly referred to as “rows” or “courses”. Mortar is a limestone-based adhesive that is typically used as a binding or bonding agent to adhere the bricks or blocks together. For purposes of this disclosure, the term mortar shall include any adhesive for securing masonry materials together. When bricks or blocks are laid, the mortar is arranged on the top, bottom, and adjacent ends of each brick or block. A brick or block wall is constructed by first laying a foundation concrete upon which the brick wall is constructed. A foundation of concrete is poured and allowed to cure such that it will support weight. Mortar is spread atop the foundation about one inch deep and eight inches wide, if a block wall is being laid. Preferably, a furrow is created in the center of the mortar to force mortar towards the edges of the brick or block. A narrower layer of mortar is spread when constructing a brick wall since the standard size for American bricks is 8″ long by 4″ wide by 1⅝″ to 2¼″ thick.

There are two basic shapes of American bricks, cored bricks and solid bricks. A solid brick is devoid of internal openings. Cored bricks are bricks that include removed cores or internal openings extending from one side of the brick through to an opposite side. These internal openings reduce the weight of the brick, as well as the production costs associated with reuse of the recycled material from the internal openings. When cored bricks are laid, mortar enters the internal openings to create a stronger or more durable bond between adjacent bricks that comprise a masonry structure. Likewise, a cinder block comprises core openings.

There are several prior art devices that have attempted in aiding an individual in laying blocks. Some of these include spacing or forming devices that fasten a brick or block to one another or to a backing panel. U.S. Pat. No. 4,756,136 to Hodges discloses an interlocking spacer apparatus for masonry construction. The apparatus comprises a pair of spaced saw-tooth shaped members with a plurality of bearing surfaces that engage adjacent masonry members. U.S. Pat. No. 4,946,632 to Pollina discloses a method of constructing a masonry structure using a prefabricated wire support structure that has the shape of the structure to be made. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,337 to Mills, a method and apparatus for constructing a masonry structure is disclosed. The apparatus includes a rigid backing panel with rows of rectangular openings formed therein.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,374,589 to Neal discloses a course spacer and mortar barrier. The device includes an elongated, rectangular horizontal sheet of kraft paper. Projections provided along the sheet serve as guides for aligning bricks. U.S. Pat. No. 4,136,498 to Kanigan discloses a block or brick guide. A plastic or metal web of material is provided with upper and lower projecting conical members with a surrounding edge band having a thickness equal to the mortar joint between courses of bricks or blocks. U.S. Pat. No. 5,191,718 to Fox discloses a masonry block spacer tool that includes two opposing base plates having ends that snap fit together.

Still other alignment devices have been constructed for installing other materials including tiles, glass blocks and block walls. U.S. Pat. No. 2,483,560 to Peterson discloses a bearing and spacing guide for glass block construction. The guide includes spaced flanges connected by a web. Lugs provide stability against tipping of the glass block. U.S. Pat. No. 5,259,161 to Carter discloses a vertical and horizontal reinforcing and spacing guide for panels constructed of blocks. The device comprises a plurality of elongated reinforcing members. U.S. Pat. No. 5,288,534 discloses a tile spacer. The spacer includes a platform and a cross-shaped spacer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a device and method for improving the field of masonry by aiding both the skilled and unskilled artisans in laying masonry structures. In a first embodiment, an alignment device comprises a lightweight material preferably of molded, extruded plastic, or composite material. The alignment tool may be formed from plastics including, but not limited to, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyurethanes, and polyvinyl chloride, or any other thermoset materials having a roughened exterior. Moreover, the alignment device may comprise stamped metal pieces.

The alignment device includes a central support member that connects a plurality of external and internal alignment tools that causes bricks or blocks to be correctly stacked or aligned during the masonry building process. The alignment tools extend from one or more locations along the central support member or at either end thereof. In one embodiment, a pair of block spacers is arranged at an end of a central support member for creating a uniform spacing between adjacent bricks in a tier. The pair of block spacers may extend upward or downward as more fully discussed with respect to the drawings. A pair of horizontal alignment tools extends from the central support member to form an extended support interposed between a bottom surface of an upper brick and a top surface of a lower brick. A pair of external face alignment tools are arranged at an end of the horizontal alignment tools for aligning the front face of each brick as it is laid with the front faces of the bricks laid below. Upper and lower post aligners are provided for either being inserted into a core or being arranged in a mortar joint between adjacent bricks. These external and internal alignment tools align the center of gravity of each succeeding course of bricks atop the previously laid course. In this manner, the masonry structure is always true. A bottom surface of a brick rests on an upper surface of the central support member. The central support member preferably includes at lease one snap-off 21 zone arranged midway between each end of the central support member. Other snap off zones 21 may be provided at various locations along the central support member.

The horizontal alignment tool extends from a front side of the central support member and is preferably the same height and thickness as that of the central support member. After the masonry structure being constructed and prior to the bonding agent hardening, an end of the horizontal aligner is arranged to be separated from the central support member. The horizontal alignment tool causes the central support member to be properly aligned with the top of the brick arranged beneath the device and the bottom of the brick arranged above the device.

The horizontal alignment tool includes a flexible snap off member that may be struck with a trowel or twisted in a clockwise or counterclockwise manner to remove the upright after the succeed layer of bricks have been laid and prior to finishing the look of the mortar joints after the masonry materials are laid. Moreover, the horizontal alignment tool is flexible to allow for deviations in the bottom of the brick. The thickness of the snap off member is thinner than that of the either the central support member or the horizontal alignment tool.

An external surface aligner extends from the front side of the central support member and comprises a vertical upright having a central attachment point that attaches to a flexible snap off member which connects at an opposite end to the horizontal alignment tool which in turn connects at an opposite end to the central support member. The vertical upright serves for aligning the front faces of each tier of laid bricks as well as a grip for twisting the external surface aligner to cause separation from the alignment device. The vertical upright ensures that the face of each brick is aligned with each successive one in elevation to make a straight masonry structure.

A lower internal vertical aligner extends downward from the central support member and inserts into an opening on a brick arranged below the device to securely fasten the alignment device thereto or alternatively, the lower internal vertical aligner may be arranged in a mortar joint that is arranged below the alignment device. In this manner, each succeeding tier of bricks are laid straight with the bricks below.

An upper internal vertical aligner extends substantially one inch upward from the upper surface of the central support member and in one embodiment includes a pointed end having two sloped edges. The upper internal vertical aligner provides a post upon which the edges or the ends of a pair of adjacent upper bricks are deposited and is arranged in a mortar joint. Alternatively, the upper internal vertical aligner is inserted into a core opening. Each internal vertical aligner is substantially ⅞″ long; one is inserted into an opening in a brick for aligning each of the bricks by using the other internal vertical aligner as a reference.

A hoop fastener extends from a back side of the central support member and secures the device to an exterior wall of a building or other structure where necessary. Otherwise, the fastener may include a snap-off zone for easy separation from the central support member.

Thus, the instant device is a formed spacing member that causes adjacent bricks in one layer of the wall to be properly spaced apart such that the proper amount of mortar is deposited between ends of adjacent bricks or blocks, while aligning the exterior front of the bricks or blocks such that each succeeding tier is properly aligned with the tier below. Moreover, the spacing between adjacent ends of the bricks that are arranged end to end is uniform throughout the masonry structure.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved masonry constructing method and devices therefore.

A further object of the invention to provide a device and method that aids unskilled workers in constructing masonry structures. Moreover, the device can also aid a skilled or master mason by allowing helpers to quickly lay the bricks or blocks thus making the master mason more productive and aiding him in quickly constructing masonry structures.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a device that reduces labor costs associated with constructing masonry structures.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a device and method that provides more reliable and straighter walls that other alignment devices or techniques.

It is another object of the invention to provide a device and method that is easy to learn and to use such that an unskilled laborer may construct a masonry structure.

The above and further objects, details and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the form and shown from a front side. FIG. 1B is a back perspective view of FIG. 1A. FIG. 1C depicts a brick being arranged onto the form. FIG. 1D is a perspective view of a masonry structure that is built using a plurality of forms. FIG. 1E is a front elevated view of the masonry structure of FIG. 1D.

FIG. 2A is a second embodiment of the form and shown from a front side. FIG. 2B is a back perspective view of FIG. 2A. FIG. 2C depicts a brick being arranged onto the form. FIG. 2D is a perspective view of a masonry structure that is built using a plurality of forms.

FIGS. 3A through 3D depict the steps of using the form shown in FIGS. 1A through 1E to create a masonry structure.

FIGS. 4A through 4D depict alternative steps of using the form shown in FIGS. 2A-2D to create a masonry structure.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the form and shown from a front side. FIG. 5B is a back perspective view of FIG. 5A. FIG. 5C depicts a brick being arranged onto the form. FIG. 5D is a perspective view of a masonry structure that is built using a plurality of forms.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the invention and the various features and advantageous details thereof are more fully explained with reference to the non-limiting embodiments and examples that are described and/or illustrated in the accompanying drawings and set forth in the following description. It should be noted that the features illustrated in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, and the features of one embodiment may be employed with the other embodiments as the skilled artisan recognizes, even if not explicitly stated herein. Descriptions of well-known components and techniques may be omitted to avoid obscuring the invention. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the invention may be practiced and to further enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Accordingly, the examples and embodiments set forth herein should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined by the appended claims. Moreover, it is noted that like reference numerals represent similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

FIG. 1 relates to an alignment device with a cored brick. The alignment device 1 comprises lightweight molded or extruded plastic or composite material from plastics including, but not limited to, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyurethanes, polyvinyl chloride, thermoset resins, polyethylene terephthalate, high density polyethylene, and other mixed resins that preferably includes a roughened exterior surface or exterior surface that allows the mortar to adhere thereto. Otherwise, the alignment device may comprise a composite material that is formed or a metal that is stamped or punched from a much larger sheet.

Alignment device 1 includes a plurality of alignment extensions (collectively element numbers 5, 6, 7, 9) which comprise respective vertical elements. In other words, some of the alignment extensions extend upwards; still others extend downward with respect to the upper and lower surfaces of the central support member 2. Each alignment extension extends from a central support member 2. The central support member 2 provides a correct height between succeeding courses of bricks such that when a plurality of the alignment devices are used, the correct amount of mortar is applied between each successive course of bricks. The central support member 2 connects the plurality of alignment tools that causes bricks or blocks to be correctly stacked during the masonry building process. A t-shaped end 10 is arranged at one end of the central support member 2 for providing a platform to which end extensions 9 are fixed. A bottom of a brick or block rests on an upper face of the central support member. At lease one snap-off region 21 may be arranged midway between each end of the central support member 2. Other snap-off regions 21 may be provided as shown in the drawings.

One alignment extension 7, referred to herein as an “internal vertical aligner”, extends from an upper surface of the central support member 2 in FIGS. 1A-E. Another alignment extension 6, also referred to as an “internal vertical aligner”, extends from a lower surface of the central support member 2 in an opposite direction in FIGS. 1A-E. It should be noted that these alignment extensions 6, 7 are reversed in FIGS. 2A-2D. These alignment extensions 6, 7 cause the center of an upper brick to be centered over the mortar joint between adjacent bricks in a course below. In this manner, the successive courses of bricks are correctly aligned in a side-to-side manner as well as a front-to-back manner. Aligning the bricks correctly causes center loading of each successive course of bricks which in turn strengthens the masonry structure.

A pair of end extensions 9 is provided at one end of the central support member 2 for providing an accurate amount of mortar that should be used to create a mortar joint between adjacent bricks. In FIGS. 1A-1E, the end extensions 9 extend upwards from a plane that is parallel to the upper surface of the central support member 2. In FIGS. 2A-2D, the pair of end extensions 9 extends downward from a plane that is parallel to the lower surface of the central support member 2. The pair of end extensions 9 serves as spacing members causing adjacent bricks in one course of the masonry structure to be properly spaced apart such that the proper amount of mortar is deposited between ends of adjacent bricks or blocks. In this manner, vertical mortar joints between adjacent bricks are uniform in size.

Another pair of alignment extensions 5, referred to hereinafter as “external surface aligners”, extends from the front of the central support member 2 to align exterior surfaces or front faces of bricks 100. This in turn aids in centering the successive courses of bricks from front-to-back. A hoop fastener 8 extends from the back side of the central support member 2 to fasten the masonry wall to a solid structure such as a building.

The preferable dimensions of the devices shown in the figures include an overall length of the central support member 2 including a T-shaped end 10 is substantially seven inches (7″). The preferable length of each spacing block 9 is one-half an inch (½″). Each spacing block 9 has an upper end or a lower end that is respectively elevated above a plane formed by the top surface of the central support member or respectively elevated below a plane formed by the bottom surface of the central support member as more fully discussed hereinafter. The height of the central support member is substantially one half an inch (½″). The preferably thickness of the central support member 2 is substantially within a range of one eighth an inch to one-quarter an inch (⅛″ to ¼″).

A back end of a horizontal aligner 3 extends from a front side of central support member 2 and is preferably the same height and thickness as that of the central support member 2. The horizontal aligner 3 causes the central support member 2 to be properly aligned with the top of the lower brick and the bottom of the upper brick.

A back end of a flexible snap off member 4 extends from a front end of the horizontal aligner 3. An overall length of the horizontal aligner 3 and the flexible snap off member 4 when added to the thickness of the external surface aligner 5 substantially equals two inches (2″). A length of the flexible snap off member 4 is shorter than that of the horizontal aligner 3. The thickness of the horizontal aligner 3 is substantially the same as that of the central support member 2. The flexible snap off member 4 is substantially 1/16″ thick and has a shorter length than that of the horizontal aligner.

An external surface aligner 5 extends from a front end of the flexible snap off member 4 which intersects it at a center of the back side of the external surface aligner which comes into contact with the faces of two stacked bricks. The overall vertical length or height of the external surface aligner 5 is approximately one and three-quarters and inch (1¾″). The thickness of the external surface aligner 5 is substantially equal to the width of the flexible snap off member 4, which is preferably one-sixteenth an inch ( 1/16″). The external surface aligner 5 extends from a front side of the central support member 2 via the horizontal aligner 3 and snap off member 4. It comprises a vertical upright having a central attachment point that attaches to the flexible snap off member 4 which connects at an opposite end to a horizontal aligner 3. The external surface aligner 5 serves for aligning exterior faces of bricks above and below the device 1, as well as providing a grip for twisting the external surface aligner 5 to detach it from the central support member 2, preferably at the snap off member 4. The external surface aligner 5 may also be easily separated by striking it with an end or edge of a trowel.

An internal vertical aligner 7 extends from an upper face of the central support member 2. The internal vertical aligner 7 is formed to be easily separated from the central support member 2 by striking it with a trowel. Alternatively, when the alignment device comprises metal, the internal vertical aligner 7 may be removed by either twisting or snipping it off with pliers or tin snips. The thickness of either internal vertical aligner is substantially one-half an inch (½″) wide and having a height of one and one-quarter an inch (1¼″) and a thickness of one-eighth an inch (⅛″). An end of the internal vertical aligner 7 opposite the central support member 2 is preferably shaped with a peak arranged along its width and having two sloped edges as shown.

Another internal vertical aligner 6 extends downward from a bottom side of the central support member 2 and inserts into a central or core opening on a lower brick to securely fasten the alignment device 1 to the lower brick. In FIGS. 1A-1E, the internal vertical aligner 7 extends upward from the upper surface of the central support member 2 and provides a post upon which the upper brick is deposited such that the internal vertical aligner 7 extends into an internal opening of the upper brick. When the internal vertical aligner 6 and the internal vertical aligner 7 extend into an opening of a respective brick and between mortar joints of two bricks below, the upper brick is automatically aligned with the mortar joint between the adjacent lower bricks. In this manner, the center of gravity for the upper brick automatically is centered over the center of gravity for the lower brick. The internal vertical aligner 6 is shaped like an arrow as shown. In this manner, the outlying areas 6A, 6B easily slide into an opening or between a mortar joint arranged between adjacent bricks. The outlying areas 6A, 6B, thereafter resist any forces that tend to displace the internal vertical aligner 6 from within the core opening or mortar joint.

Hoop fastener 8 secures a brick or block wall to an exterior wall of a building, when necessary. It should be noted that the hoop fastener 8 can be provided in a variety of shapes. The hoop fastener 8 also includes a snap off zone 21 near the central support member 2.

As can be readily understood from FIGS. 1C-1E, the internal vertical aligner 6 is inserted into the central core opening 105 of brick 100. The core opening 105 extends from an upper surface 103 throughout to the brick 100 to exit at the lower surface (not shown). The brick 100 rests atop the upper surface of the central support member 2, t-shaped end 10 and horizontal extension 3. The brick includes brick ends 101 and front face 102. Preferably, the bottom surface of the brick 100 remains above the snap off member 4 without actually coming into contact therewith. This aids in the ease of separating an attached external surface aligner 5. As can be readily understood from FIGS. 1D and 1E, a plurality of these alignment devices 1 may be intermediately arranged between courses of bricks. In this instance, end extensions 9 extend upward to provide a stop for one end of the brick 100. Internal vertical aligner 6 extends downward to create an appropriate sized mortar joint between adjacent bricks. Internal vertical aligner 7 extends into a core opening to center an upper brick between two adjacent bricks below. In the device of FIGS. 2A-2D the end extensions 9 extend downward; whereas the internal vertical aligners 6, 7 are reversed such that internal vertical aligner 6 extends into the core opening while internal vertical aligner 7 extends into the mortar joint between two adjacent bricks. It should be noted that in FIGS. 1 and 2, mortar is not shown for ease in understanding the invention.

FIGS. 3A-3E discloses steps for constructing a masonry wall with the device of FIGS. 1A-1E. Initially, footer 150 is poured with concrete and allowed to harden. Next a layer of mortar 110 is spread onto the upper surface of the footer 150. A first brick 100 is then centered and arranged atop the mortar 110. An end of a second brick is buttered and the second brick is placed adjacent the first brick. The vertical alignment tools 6, 7 are removed from the central support member 2, along with the hoop fastener 8. The central support 2 is then separated at its center preferably along a snap off zone 21 to create a half-sized alignment device shown as the rightmost device of FIGS. 3B-3D. The half-sized alignment device is arranged on the right side of the first brick. A third brick is then buttered and laid against the second brick.

Next, the vertical alignment device 6 from a whole alignment device is forced into the mortar joint between the first and second bricks of the first course. Additional bricks are added to the first course along with additional alignment devices as mentioned. After the first course has been laid, and all of the alignment devices are in place, a brick is broken in half. Half of the brick is then buttered on the bottom side with mortar and arranged atop the half-sized alignment device. Alternatively, a layer of mortar may be deposited atop one or more of the alignment devices and leveled with the upper surface of the central support member 2 and horizontal aligners 3 by using a trowel as a screed. The tip of the trowel may be rested on the upper surface of the central support member and gently glided along its length until contact with the vertical alignment tool 7 is made. The tip of trowel may be driven up one side of the vertical alignment tool 7 and down the other side and continued along the remaining length of the upper surface of the central support member 2.

Another brick is then buttered on one end and inserted such that the central core rests atop the vertical alignment tool 7. The buttered end comes into contact with a surface of the end extensions 9. The contact surface is on a side opposite the t-shaped end 10. As can be understood, the end extensions 9 provide a preferred one-half inch (½″) between adjacent bricks. Additional bricks are buttered and arranged atop the alignment devices as shown in FIG. 3C. Thereafter and prior to a final dressing of the mortar with a striker, the external surface aligners 5 are removed from the central support member 2.

FIGS. 4A-4E discloses steps for constructing a masonry wall with the device of FIGS. 2A-2D. Initially, footer 150 is poured with concrete and allowed to harden. Next a layer of mortar 110 is spread onto the upper surface of the footer 150. A first brick 100 is then centered and arranged atop the mortar 110. An end of a second brick is buttered and the second brick is placed into place adjacent the first brick.

Next, a vertical alignment device 6 is forced into the center core opening of the first brick of the first course. The end extensions 9 are also arranged over an end of the first brick. Additional bricks are added to the first course along with additional alignment devices as mentioned. After the first course has been laid, and all of the alignment devices are in place, a brick is then buttered on the bottom side with mortar and arranged atop the first alignment device.

Alternatively, a layer of mortar may be deposited atop one or more of the alignment devices and leveled with the upper surface of the central support member 2 and horizontal aligners 3 by using a trowel as a screed as mentioned above. In FIGS. 4A-4D, the end extensions 9 extend downward over an end of the first brick as shown. In the second course, a half brick is then buttered and laid onto the first alignment device. Next, a whole brick is buttered and butted against the vertical alignment device 7.

Additional bricks are buttered and arranged atop the alignment devices as shown in FIG. 4C while arranging further alignment devices as discussed above. Thereafter, all of the courses of bricks are laid. Prior to a final dressing of the mortar with a striker, the external surface aligners 5 are removed from the central support member 2 as shown in FIG. 4D. It is important to note that the external surface aligner should be disengaged before the adhesive rigidly bonds the bricks together.

FIGS. 5A-D relate to an embodiment that may be used with cored and solid bricks alike. In this instance, one of the internal vertical aligners 7 is removed. Also, triangular extensions 19 are provided atop end extensions 9. As shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D, the triangular extensions 19 extend upward and include a side that is arranged against an end of the brick. These extensions 19 may include snap off zones 21 as shown. The triangular shape is especially useful in that it does not interfere with the internal vertical aligner 6 when a masonry structure is created. In FIGS. 5A-5D, a second pair of external surface aligners 15 are arranged to come into contact with a back face of a brick. A graduated extension 17 extends from one of the external surface aligner 15, preferably the one distal from the end extensions 9. The graduated extension is preferably one inch (1″) in length and having graduated marks every seven-eighths (⅞″). It is useful in determining irregular shaped bricks.

Other snap off zones 21 are preferably arranged within the alignment device 1 and include a structurally or mechanically weakened region that is thinner than surrounding regions on either side thereof for ease in separating a portion of the alignment device. Preferably, snap off zones are provided in several locations between the central support member and any aligners, spacing blocks, fasteners or extensions. A snap off zone may be preferably provided midway between the ends of the central support member such that the alignment device may be easily divided into halves. Scoring or perforations may be provided to implement the snap off zones. In this manner, the snap off zones maintain the structural integrity of the alignment device including resisting either tension or compression forces until such time as a mason removes the desired portion of the alignment device.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact construction illustrated and described above, but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims. While the invention has been described with respect to preferred embodiments, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in limiting sense. From the above disclosure of the general principles of the present invention and the preceding detailed description, those skilled in the art will readily comprehend the various modifications to which the present invention is susceptible. Therefore, the scope of the invention should be limited only by the following claims and equivalents thereof.