Fortunately, masons and others have developed some devices to allay their frustrations and irritations. Whether these devices increase quality enough, or reduce time and aggravation enough, to be worth the added cost is something you'll have to evaluate for your operation. Product availability may be limited in some parts of the country.

Many devices are available for positioning reinforcing bars, but two simple devices appear to make precise positioning simple and quick.

The little plastic truss of the Rebar Buddy positions both the horizontal steel and the dowels in a footing and serves as the spreader cleat for the form.

The Steel-Wich Telescoping Rebar Positioner (TRP) eliminates lifting and threading block over reinforcing steel.

Two products reviewed here allow masons to build steel embeds right into a block wall.

The Steel Block was developed to address abuse given it in prisons but can be used nearly anyplace that heavy items, or items that get a lot of shock, are being attached to a wall.

Taking a slightly different approach, the M/BED unit is a concrete block with steel plates that were embedded into one or more sides during manufacturing.

Creating arches in the field requires construction of a form made for a specific arch that is braced into place. Rather than creating new arch forms for each variation in shape and size, the MultiArc's flexible fiberglass surface can be adjusted to the proper profile for circular or basket-handle arches with spans from 27 to 67 inches. At only 70 pounds, the MultiArc folds up easily for transport to the next site. Invented in Austria, the MultiArc recently won that country's top prize for the most innovative product.