Build your own braai with Corobrik
Make sure you understand the drawing and instructions
We have kept this project as simple as possible- you should be able to complete it in a weekend. Every stage has been illustrated with drawings. All you have to do is follow the stages. The plan and elevation drawings show the overall dimensions of the braai and the exploded perspective drawing shows how each course is to be laid.
Materials and components you will need
Before starting, check that you have the following:
- 254 clay face bricks
- 147 ordinary clay NFP building bricks (plaster brick, common brick)
- 21 matching 50mm clay pavers
- 1m2 of capping tiles for the top surface
- tile adhesive and grout, 0,5m3 mortar sand
- 2 pockets of cement
- timber, to make a door and frame for the storage area (optional)
One metal components kit (available at Corobrik Centres) consisting of:
- 1 firegrate plate, one combined grill and warming plate
- 15 support lugs 120 x 40 x 6mm
- 3 mild steel bars 700 x 76 x 10mm
Tools you will need
You will only need a few tools:
- a bricklayer's trowel
- a 900mm spirit level
- a brick hammer, a bricklayer's line and pins or corner blocks
- a square and a ruler or tape measure.
The book 'Bricklaying is Easy' (available from The Clay Brick Association and selected bookstores) will show you the technique for handling the tools.
If you have a hard level floor, as in the corner of a patio, it will be all the foundation you need and you can set your bricks out on it. However, if you are working on bare ground, clear and level an area about 150mm larger all round than the size of the completed braai. Then excavate about two courses deep (160mm) and fill up with bricks and mortar. Check your levels all the way. Allow to dry for a few hours.
NOTE: Quantities shown exclude materials used in this foundation.
Set out the back line by stretching a line between two bricks. The distance between the inside faces of the bricks should be equal to the length of the braai. Use a square to take a line off at a right angle from the inner corner of the right hand brick (see illustration). Measure off the width against this line and secure the line with a brick. Use a pencil to mark the two lines you have set out. Place bricks loosely, allowing 10mm gaps for mortar. From this square base you can now complete the perimeter set of bricks as seen in the drawing for the first course. Once this is done, remove the loose bricks and you can start laying the bricks in mortar, following the pattern in the drawing for the first course and using clay face or clay plaster bricks where appropriate.
Laying the courses
For simplicity, we show exactly how the bricks are to be laid in each course, allowing a 10mm bed joint between each course. Spread the mortar evenly. Constantly check levels and plumb. Strike joints with tip of trowel to keep them neat. Watch for positioning of steel lugs and the bars, which support the brick roof over the wood store (see illustration). Note that the central area beneath the hearth is not visible on courses 1 to
5 inclusive and you can use the clay plaster bricks [NFP bricks) to fill up here instead of clay face bricks. For course 6 fill the central area with a 50mm thick clay paving brick, in either a similar or contrasting colour, to create the hearth area where the hot ashes will accumulate during cooking.
Laying the capping tiles
You can cap off the top to provide a waterproof and washable hygienic surface using hard burnt or glazed tiles or mosaics set in a tile adhesive on top of the finished brickwork (course 10). Check that they are laid level and to a smooth finish by gently tapping them and using a spirit level. Finish off with a suitable grout in the joints and thatā??s it!
Enjoy your very own braai
Just set the firegrate plate on the lowest lugs, which will lift it just one course above the vent holes in the brickwork. Place the grill/warming plate on whichever other set of lugs you prefer, highest for slow cooking and lowest for quick cooking over a smaller fire.
NOTE: Allow at least a week after completion to let the mortar dry out completely before using the braai to avoid any unsightly cracking.