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Loose Brick in the outer arch - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Loose Brick in the outer arch

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  • Loose Brick in the outer arch

    I've only posted a few time but I've been following the forum for a while. We finished building our POmpeii oven about a month ago. We've had three pizza firings already. I think things are going well. But, yesterday, I noticed a crack and a loose brick on the outer arch of the oven. It's the one next to the keystone. When I push it, it does move slightly so I think it's definitely loose.

    So what should I do? Should I pry it out and re-install that piece? I'll probably have to grind out the mortar on both sides so that I have enough space to re-install the same piece. Do I use the same mortar (FB mortar)? Or is there some other 'fix' that can be done?

    Thanks for any input.

  • #2
    Re: Loose Brick in the outer arch

    I just uploaded a pic so you can see what I'm talking about. I have other cracks (mostly hairlines) that I wasn't going to bother fixing. I figured those are just cosmetic. But on this one, the brick actually moves slightly when I push it. I'm just worried that it will eventually fall off.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Loose Brick in the outer arch

      I Don't think there is much chance of it dropping out and from what I'm understanding, this is the only brick that moves when you push on things.. I'd look further to verify that this is the only loose brick in the arch and if it is then my question is how far along are you with the surrounding area? If you can very carefully remove it with disturbing the surrounding, then I think I'd very carefully cut it out and replace it. If however, replaceing it is going to get deep and ugly, I'd adopt a wait and see pose. If things then get worse, you'll have no choice but to dig in and repair. Do you have a wider photo of how the arch looks from the top and back.


      PS wait and see is the best option many times. It gives the opertunity to really weight the options and ramifycations by providing some emotional distance.
      Last edited by SCChris; 05-02-2010, 07:20 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Loose Brick in the outer arch

        This is what the arch looks like right now -- more or less... I have the duravent chimney installed.

        I was going to finish the oven by using the bonding cement to cover the dome and the firebox leading to the chimney. I was going to leave the outer arch 'as-is' so that you can see the firebrick (I kind of like the firebrick). So I will probably always have access to fix this brick if it gets worse. So maybe I just wait and see?
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: Loose Brick in the outer arch

          Depending on how loose the brick is, you could try a very wet slurry of mortar and see if you can get some capilary action to draw the slurry deep enough into the gap to stick the brick. Then continue this sort of action untill the gap is filled. The trouble with this action is that the bricks are going to suck up the water and leave the mortar very close to the surface not deeper into the gap. If you decided to try this, I'd wipe all sides of the brick with water and sponge and then try the first slurry batch. I'd try to get somthing in from all sides once the brick is stuck, since arch works with gravity you'd be hoping to get enough material into the gap to support the neighboring brick. I suppose you could also carefully grind the joint, where you can, and repack the mortar.

          If you decide to replace the brick it would just take a bit of carefull grinding and recut a replacement. It shouldn't be all that hard given your access to at least 3 sides of the brick. The trick here would be to just go slow and carefull so as not to disturb the surrounding bricks.

          Do you have more FB mortar?

          Last edited by SCChris; 05-03-2010, 07:24 AM.