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What is a brick bolster?

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A brick bolster Brick bolsters are designed for cutting brick and stone.
(From left to right): brick bolster, cold chisel and electricians bolster They may have a wider cutting edge than an electrician’s bolster.
Drawing of steel reinforced concrete Some brick bolsters may not be designed to cut through metals, if they have not been sufficiently hardened, and thus any attempts to cut through metal, including the steel reinforcing bars (rebar) found in concrete, are ill-advised.
A bevel edged brick bolster You may find that on some brick bolsters, one face is completely flat, with a bevelled edge on the other and a different cutting angle. This means that a brick bolster is designed for making cleaner, more exact cuts through material.

How to use a brick bolster:

Marking the cut line (using the edge of a bolster)

Step 1 – Mark outline

Firstly, mark an outline on the brick, indicating where it is to be cut. This can be done with chalk or a pencil, for example.

Step 2 – Create line

Using a brick bolster, make a line along a minimum of two sides of the brick.

Chiselling to a depth of about 12mm (½”) should provide a secure indent for the brick bolster.

Striking the bolster to cut through the brick

Step 3 – Split brick

Using these lines as a guide, use the brick bolster to cut the brick.

Make sure that the flat face of the bolster faces you and that you tilt the tool away from the part of the brick to be removed.

Wonkee Donkee says "When trying to cut a brick, it might help to flip it over and chisel from the opposite side as well."
Removing the left over bits from the brick

Step 4 – Chip away excess

Once this has been done, the bolster can be used to remove any parts of the brick that were not removed the first time around.

Brick bolster, hammer and mat Breaking bricks on a hard surface (such as concrete) may lead to the brick breaking sooner than intended. As such, you may wish to use a mat to absorb the force of hammer strikes.