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What is a Clip Bond?

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  • Written By: J. Airman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A clip bond is a fitting between diagonal and horizontally set face bricks. The inside corners of two adjacent bricks are cut at a 45-degree angle to create a v-shaped recess. Circular saws are usually fitted with specialized blades to clip the bricks without causing them to crack. Diagonally set bricks are positioned between the clipped brick openings to form an interlocking sawtooth design. This formation adds structural integrity and visual interest to the brick pattern on the surface of a wall or building.

Clipping bricks requires a precision cut and sharp blade. Abrasive cutting blades are sometimes coated in tiny diamonds to cut through the dense face of bricks. The angle is measured and a guide line is typically drawn onto the surface of the bricks before they are clipped. Setting two properly clipped bricks next to each other forms an opening with a 90-degree angle that perfectly fits the uncut corner of a tilted brick. A clip bond is less stable and the masonry work less professional looking when the angles of the newly cut surfaces are not uniform.

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Bonding techniques interlock bricks to enhance their strength. Hard-baked face bricks are designed to stand up to heavy weight loads and severe environmental conditions without damage. The mortar between the bricks is generally the least capable element of a brick structure when it comes to handling pressure and stress. Clip bond construction ensures a snug fit and increased strength to the surface of masonry. Staggering bricks using a clip bond style reduces straight paths in the mortar for pressure cracks to follow.

Brick layers use techniques like the clip bond to add flair to a design and set their work apart from the average brick and mortar construction. Variations on the clip bond style sometimes require that the upper portion of the diagonally set bricks receive a trim as well. A horizontal cut across the tops of the diagonal bricks creates a flat surface for a new layer of horizontal bricks to be placed above them. The clip bond locking pattern can be used just once to create the appearance of a band at the footer or header of a wall or repeated to form a full coverage pattern in the brick face. Small spacer bricks are frequently positioned between the diagonally set bricks to keep the space between them even along the distance of the structure.

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