After the granite keystones and brick keys were mortared in I let the work set up for a couple days. This allows the mortar to reach an exceptable degree of hardness because I didn’t want to risk pulling the arch apart if it got stuck. My Dad was with me a so he gave me a hand sliding the form out after all the wedges were pulled. The form got jammed up a little bit because some of the mortar squeezed out of the front of the brick and stuck to the form. The solution to this was removing the face boards of the form so the sides could flex inward to allow it to slide out. Here is what it looked like after the form came out.
This side had some bed mortar that came through the brick and contacted the form.
Before the pointing could be done, all the bed mortar had to be chipped out. For this I used one of my Pneumatic Carving tools…the same ones I use for carving stone. The chisel used is an Swept Cape chisel and is designed for mortar removal in preparation for pointing.
Same section after cleaning….
I used compressed air to clean out all the debris and dust then pointed all the joints. The pointing mix was just a 3:1 Sand/ Type N mortar.
Now I can start on the dry stone surround…if I can find the time!