I’m repointing the foundation of our 1915 farmhouse. The mortar in the foundation is in pretty bad shape, so I’m digging out as much of it as I can. After using tools such as an old screwdriver and various pieces of bar stock, I hit on an easy-to-make, effective tool for removing the old mortar in my house.
As shown in the drawing, I affixed a couple of handles to an old carbide-tipped sawblade with carriage bolts. The handles are about 120° apart, and they are kerfed down their middles to allow them to slip over the blade.
Held in both hands and used with a rotating motion, this tool allows me to dig out the old mortar to a depth of about 4 in. After the teeth are worn down, I remove one of the handles and reattach it in a different position until the blade is used up.
Ethan B. Eikrtsen, Berthoud, CO