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View Full Version : Brick cutting: Speed vs. Waste


Stonehenge
06-01-2000, 03:11 PM
When you're cutting brick for a patio, which approach do you take - high speed, tossing each brick piece after it's been cut, no matter how big, in order to save time, or do you save pieces, that you might make another cut with the portion of the brick left. One is high speed, high waste, the other low speed, low waste. You pay more for brick one way, more for labor the other. I'm finding myself moving to the high speed and waste category this year (and liking it) and wanted to see where others fell.

steveair
06-01-2000, 05:10 PM
Hello,<p>I know I don't do any where the volume of some of you, but I usually try to recycle some of the brick. <p>Its usually me and one other so heres what I do. I usually start off using whole pieces for the first half of the job. The man who cuts then takes any cut bricks that are &quot;more than half&quot; and drops them on one side of the saw and the rest get chucked on the other.<p>When halfway through job, I then start to recycle bricks. At the end, I try to use scraps to cut the &quot;pies&quot; (wedge pieces to fit between soldier rows on edge turns)<p>Since I do smaller jobs, 400 sq or less, I try to recycle. When woking for others, it seems that there was a lot of waste coming out of bigger jobs. I think, when you are running a crew of 4 or so and doing a big job, that it seems more efficient to just chuck all the cuts. For me, I usually return the tractor after the excavation and prep work, so I try to keep waste down because quite frankly, I don't feel like loading up all those scrap pieces when finished.<p>I think a good system of work is needed to recycle pieces. I did a couple of jobs where we had a extra &quot;runner&quot; who ran pavers for us. One guy marked and installed, one guy cut, and one guy just carried marked and cut pavers back and forth to the two. In between runs (when the cutter has to catch up to the marker), the runner would also carry scraps back to the 'marker' so that they could be used again. It seemed to work well, and scraps were at a minimum, but I never sat down and figured out whether it was profitable to have a person doing this. A very good question that could use some researching.<p>Also, for me, disposal can be tricky. If you don't have a good dump site, the scraps become a 'where do I get rid of these' issue.<p>One quick question, I always noticed how it seems all paver contractors around me end up with a &quot;Yard&quot; full of half-opened paver pallets left over from jobs. One Guy I know must have at least 3000 sq ft plus of misc. pavers laying around his yard, all mixed up. Was wondering how many of you have this problem. He offered to sell them to me, but it seems like too much work. With all the time and labor spent 'sorting' through that mess, it would be cheaper just to order a new pallet. Even if he were to give them to me for free, it still seems cheaper and A LOT easier to just order new. <p>Just wondering if you consider &quot;leftover's&quot; a waste product or if you try to use them and actuallly set up a system so this doesn't happen<p>steveair<p><p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair

Stonehenge
06-01-2000, 06:57 PM
When it's cutting time for me, each guy marks and cuts his own. We run two tub saws and 2-3 cutoff saws at each project. As for the scrap - we dump the cut brick at a nearby quarry - places that recycle concrete will take it, too. As for the whole pieces, I just return them - if it's only a couple dozen brick, I let the customer keep them. If it's much more, I return them and eat my supplier's 25% restocking fee. We have very limited storage space, and having 20 different kinds of brick, 10-20 sq ft each, is more difficult to use than to just return them.

paul
06-01-2000, 08:53 PM
I'll take the waste over labor time any day, brick cost run $1.35 to $2.35 per foot and labor running $13 to $25 per hr per man. throwing out $100 worth of brick doesn't bother me. Dumping brick is easy just look for a recycle plant they take it with no problem. <br><p>----------<br>paul<br>

Lanelle
06-02-2000, 12:34 AM
I notice that some of you use the tub saw for cutting the pieces along the edge of your pattern. Do any of you lay extra (let the pattern run wild)and then mark and cut in place with your Partner saw? I know it makes a dusty mess but it looks quicker. Also, I have seen a tub saw mounted on a low sulky so that one man can pick up a paver, cut and re-lay it, moving himself and the saw along on the sulky. This saves running to the saw.<p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>

bsmith
06-05-2000, 10:47 AM
We have a guillotine for cutting pavers. It is seldon used because we don't do that much paver work. Obviously, you folks use saws. I was wondering... is that because of the speed of cutting or is it the quality of the cut or what? Are the guillotines just not commonly used?<p>bsmith

Stonehenge
06-05-2000, 12:09 PM
When I was working in Detroit (about 12 years ago), we only used the guillotine-type. Everyone else did, too. When I moved to Wisconsin and started this company (several years later), not many used it anymore. I switched because it was clear my cuts wouldn't be anywhere near as nice as other companies if I did it the way I used to. But there is still a place for your splitter. I think a lot of companies installing tumbled pavers or very rough clay pavers miss the mark when they saw cut these brick. The appeal to these is that they are very rough, hearkening back to a day when rough cobbles or handmade brick were the only things to use as a paver. A chisel and hammer were all that were available then to cut these brick. Saw cutting these with a laser-sharp edge contradicts that look. For those type materials we still use the guillotine splitter.<p>Speaking of that, can anybody get me some Cushwa handmades? I need about 450 sq ft of Old Rose Full Range.

Stonehenge
06-05-2000, 12:12 PM
When I was working in Detroit (about 12 years ago), we only used the guillotine-type. Everyone else did, too. When I moved to Wisconsin and started this company (several years later), not many used it anymore. I switched because it was clear my cuts wouldn't be anywhere near as nice as other companies if I did it the way I used to. But there is still a place for your splitter. I think a lot of companies installing tumbled pavers or very rough clay pavers miss the mark when they saw cut these brick. The appeal to these is that they are very rough, hearkening back to a day when rough cobbles or handmade brick were the only things to use as a paver. A chisel and hammer were all that were available then to cut these brick. Saw cutting these with a laser-sharp edge contradicts that look. For those type materials we still use the guillotine splitter.<p>Speaking of that, can anybody get me some Cushwa handmades? I need about 450 sq ft of Old Rose Full Range.

Lanelle
06-05-2000, 04:43 PM
Stonehenge,<br>Yes the Cushwa pavers are available today @ Potomac Valley Brick, Rockville, MD, phone is (301) 309-9600. They are in-stock now but subject to be sold and then, well I guess you know slow they are, it maybe a while before there are more.<p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>