Next I stripped off the grass. Then (right) I dug holes and put in pegs in a grid formation to the level of the foundations using the optical level.
I dug out strips of earth along the imaginary grid set by the pegs and finally removed the earth between. I think I am fortunate to have clay soil in this area which is very compact and yet quite easy to dig (with absolutely no stones!)
I was worried about getting the dimensions of the brick work spot on as if the woodwork supplied by Swallow didn’t fit it would be a disaster! I made some patterns out of 2X1” stuff to the supplied dimensions, screwed them together and braced the corners to right angles using the folding square for guidance. I checked that the diagonals of the rectangles were equal.
I adjusted the position of the pattern to be correctly set on the foundation and rechecked the right angles and the diagonals. The outside of the pattern provides the outside position of the bricks. Now I have to convert this to provide a guide for the inside position of the bricks. This process seems a bit long-winded but by starting off with pattern lengths of timber which were the actual dimensions of the building, it seemed to me that the possibilities for making a big mistake were less likely.
When all these guides were in place (left) the original patterns could be taken away (right) ready for the first course of bricks. These will be engineering bricks to avoid too much moisture travelling up into the main brickwork.
In order to get the corner bricks into the right position, I screwed some batten onto pieces on ply and positioned them in the corners using a jig as shown left. I pinned the ply into place on the soil using some pegs pushed through pre-drilled holes (the pegs were 150 mm screws - the compact clay soil helps here).
Jig dimensioned so that the guide is a brick width (4”) from the outside edge of the pattern (the pink 2x1).
Space for cement to squeeze out.
Whilst on a break and contemplating the pile of bricks before me, I got a bit whimsical.