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staggering brick joints - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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staggering brick joints

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  • staggering brick joints

    Hi all,

    I am still only in the design and investigation stage of my Pompei design and have a engineering question that hopefully someone will be able to comment on.

    I have noticed that a few people are using stretcher bond type pattern in their oven build and in my previous investigation of the vault ovens it was always advised to lme the bricks up when building a vaulted oven yet alot of pompei builders are doing it a little different.

    I decided to talk to some people who repair circular kilns and got some interesting information that maybe oneof the engineer type may be able to comment on.

    I was told that it is not a good idea to stagger the axial joint and that a better method is to stagger on the longitudnal axis. comething to do with each ring being independent of each other.

    This seems to confirm also what is done in the vaulted design. Is it a better idea to follow this design or do you guys think it doesnt really make a difference. I mean I think both methods would look cool but dont know how easy it would be to stagger an igloo on the longitudinal axis.


  • #2
    Re: staggering brick joints

    I'm a clockmaker, so I certainly know what longitude is. But I struggled to figure out what longitudinal axis means in this context. I even consulted google, and found this really cool panorama, but no real clue about real clue about what the phrase means in the context of a dome.

    I think what you are asking is whether there should be running joints from top to bottom of the dome, to form pie-like segments. I think, aside from being exceedingly difficult to do, it would be a really bad idea. In the traditional construction, it's difficult to avoid having rings with joints on top of one another at some point, since there are a different number of bricks in each ring. This is a weak point in the dome, and prone to cracking.

    Modular ovens are often designed in pie-like segements, but that's a different story entirely.

    You did brush on a question that's been in my mind for a long time. I've seen a lot of pictures of barrel vault ovens,

    and I've never understood why they didn't stagger the joints in the domes. You answered that question, although I still don't agree with the theory.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: staggering brick joints

      Hi Imran,
      If you don't have a problem, then why would you want to fix something that's not there.
      We have hundreds of dome ovens on this forum and nobody to my knowledge of readings has has such a problem.
      In my and apparently every other build was to stagger the stretcher bond for maximum strength. This take a little planning as the bonds get close and closer the higher the courses you go. I simply put in a few cut bricks in to get the bond back to where it should be for maximum bond strength.

      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      Neillís kitchen underway