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Wonkee Donkee’s top tips for mortar raking

Shop for Mortar Rakes

Think about your power tool

Choose the correct mortar rake for the power tool you intend to use Choose the correct mortar rake for the power tool you intend to use.
Check that your power tool / mortar rake are compatible—look on the packet of the mortar rake or the product description and this should let you know what power tools the mortar rake can be used with Check that your power tool and mortar rake are compatible.

Look on the packet of the mortar rake or the product description and this should let you know what power tools the mortar rake can be used with

Know the property you’re working on

Many conservationists frown upon people using power tools on listed properties, but—they should not be completely disregarded—used by a highly experienced craftsperson they are useful— though where historic masonry is concerned these power tools should certainly only be used by experienced professionals ! Many conservationists frown upon people using power tools on listed properties, but they should not be completely disregarded.

Used by a highly experienced craftsperson, they are useful, though where historic masonry is concerned these power tools should certainly only be used by experienced professionals!

Practise, practise, practise

Make sure you feel comfortable with the tools you are using—test / practice on an area first before starting a whole project—you don’t want to feel out of control when removing mortar ! Make sure you feel comfortable with the tools you are using.

Practise on a test area first before starting a whole project. You don’t want to feel out of control when removing mortar.

Choose the correct size

Select the correct size mortar rake for the job you are doing—only choose a long mortar rake if you are planning on removing a single brick or two not for vast areas of mortar removal ! Select the correct size mortar rake for the job you are doing.

Only choose a long mortar rake if you are planning on removing one or two bricks and not for vast areas of mortar removal.

Consider a starter kit

If you are using an angle grinder with a mortar rake than it is advisable to use a mortar raking starter kit to remove dust, guide your cutting and show you where you will be cutting If you are using an angle grinder with a mortar rake then it is advisable to use a mortar raking starter kit to remove dust, guide your cutting, and show you where you will be raking.

Don’t rake too deep!

Standard depth of raking out needs to be a minimum of 25mm—two times the width of the joint, the rear of the joint should be square with clean sides and you should never widen the original joint no matter how narrow ! The standard depth of raking out needs to be a minimum of 25mm, which is about two times the width of a mortar joint.

The rear of the joint should be square with clean sides, and you should never widen the original joint, no matter how narrow it is!

Progressive raking

To prevent the power tool / mortar rake overheating, it is best to do a small amount of mortar raking at a time To prevent the power tool and mortar rake overheating, it is best to do a small amount of mortar raking at a time, and take frequent breaks.

Gently does it

Don’t force the mortar rake—with any of the power tools and mortar rakes you use—let the tool do the work—if the resistance is too strong than you are probably using the wrong power tool and mortar rake combination! Don’t force the mortar rake. With any of the power tools and mortar rakes you use, let the tool do the work.

If the resistance is too strong, you are probably using the wrong power tool and mortar rake combination.

Use a dust extraction unit

If you have the option of using a dust extraction unit with the power tool you are using then use it! - the amount of dust that can be created through mortar raking can be massive! If you have the option of using a dust extraction unit with the power tool you are using, then use it.

The amount of dust created through mortar raking can be surprising.