We are building a brick patio at our home - approximately 30 ft by 17 ft. I used a plate compactor for first time on the crusher run. Now I am setiing the brick (4x8x2 1/4 pine hall pavers) on the bed. Once this step is completed I will add the sand and then "compact". I am concerned that the compactor will cause chipping of the pavers because the pavers contact each other in places though I tried to maintain 1/16 - 3/16 gaps. They seem brittle. I thought about using plywood over them but I am working alone and would need like three sheets to keep moving along. Can I use a piece of 1x3 wood and my rubber mallet to set the pavers instead of the plate compactor? I did this on a smaller patio at my last home and tried it on a small area here and it seems to level them out well (checked with carpenter level). The patio is for our asual use and will not have high traffic like a driveway etc. Has this been done before? What are the risks of not using the compactor for the final compaction?