No, not the kind with the funny hats and all the temples; the kind of free masons I need are the ones who actually lay brick and mortar (for free).
I built this little shed in my backyard for the lawnmower and such, and the exterior needs to be completely bricked (Lori only let me build it if it "matched the house." I'm sure that's some kind of a girl thing, and that's all I'm going to say about it so that I don't end up living in there after she reads this).
Anyway, by the time I paid for the concrete pad, the shed, and the brick, I'm not finding myself really enthused about paying somebody to come and lay the brick; apparently nobody has filled our local masons in on the fact that there's a nice little recession going on right now, as their bids seem $$$HIGH$$$ to me.
Besides, it's Spring, which does mean, after all, that it is time to carry out my yearly tradition of getting some kind of foolish idea in my head for a project. So, I'm thinking about doing it myself. But, as I work through this little thought process of mine, I keep running into the same little problem: I have absolutely no idea how to do it. None. Zero, zip, nada.
In response to this post, I'm hoping all have all kinds of willing friends and relatives (Dad? Feel like a nice little trip up North in the near future? Please?) who actually have any small amount of knowledge who will be ready to drop everything and come help me for a couple days. Weeks? How long will this take, anyway?
In any case, the "do-it-yourself" flame is kindled now, and there's no turning back. I've had this little bug before, and the little voice in my head keeps trying to remind me that it often hasn't been pretty or ended well, but I am helpless. I've got to do it. Yes, it will end up costing me more in the long run. No, it will not be as fun as it seems right now. Yes, it will take a lot more time than I think. Life has taught me a few lessons, you know.
So, those of you who can't drop everything and actually come help, do you have any words of bricking wisdom you can pass along to me as I gear up for this little project? How about some ideas from your book of "Masonry For Dummies"? Remember, we're starting from ground zero here, so anything you might have to offer will surely be tremendously helpful.
I can tell you that so far I know that the mortar will be black (to match the @^#$%@ house), and that the mortar will also be "raked" (Yes, I do know what that means! Kind of, anyway.) My builder friend, Brett, says it also needs to have a "soldier course," but I see no reason to involve the military. It's just a shed, after all! ;-)
Oh, and if your words of wisdom fall in the category of "don't do this, you stupid man," don't bother. I'm getting plenty of that from within the ranks already, with exactly the opposite of the desired effect. Poor woman just won't ever learn that all she does is take a little passing notion and turn it into a do-or-die quest when she attaches a challenge like that to it.
I'll post some pictures of it once it's done. Unless it is just horrid and then I'll just blow it up with dynamite. But, of course, I would have to post pictures of that, too, wouldn't I? (Before I do that, I'll put up a post asking for your "Dynamite For Dummies" advice. I've never done that, either!) Wish me luck!