But Shukhov never made a mistake. His bricks were always right in line. If one of them was broken or had a fault, Shukhov spotted it right off the bat and found the place on the wall where it would fit. He'd scoop up some steaming mortar with his trowel, throw it on, and remember how the groove of the brick ran so he'd get the next one on dead center. He always put on just enough mortar for each brick. Then he'd pick up a brick out of the pile, but with great care so he wouldn't get a hole in his mitten — they were pretty rough, these bricks. Then he'd level off the mortar with a trowel and drop the brick on top. He had to even it out fast and tap it in place with his trowel if it wasn't right, so the outside wall would be as straight as a die and the bricks level both crossways and lengthways, and then they froze in place.
Mental Wimp: When I dropped out of undergraduate school for a while, a buddy who had dropped out of architecture got a contract to build a small concrete block office building for a lumber yard. He didn't actually know how to do construction, so we would go to the library and look shit up just before we had to do it. ... We went to a construction site and hired a master mason to come and lay one course of block, watching him like a hawk. This video perfectly captured what we saw.
...The other tricks, like setting several blocks at once and using the long level to level all of them at once by tapping with the trowel handle on the ends of the blocks, we also picked up as we watched.
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