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GRAVITY.... Suggestions please - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

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  • GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

    I'm getting to the point where speed has been replaced by gravity pulling my bricks down.

    Any suggestions other than putting a few on and then waiting?

    I'm using the home brew recipe for mortar. All of my bricks are tapered on the sides - angled and beveled, but I have no tapered the top or bottom.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

    Either use an in-dome brace, or slow down. I found that most of my bricks would stay put with home brew until I reached the ninth course and the dome was more vertical. I would lay mortar sufficient for 3 bricks, gauge them with the Indispensable Tool, and hold them in place with one hand while mortaring the sides with the other. By the time I had set three bricks, the first had firmed up and help hold the others. It was tedious, but worked.

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    • #3
      Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

      I don't know where you are with respect to course but as you get more vertical the consistency of the mortar becomes more important. You need the mortar to be sticky enough to hold after a short pause. The first brick in the course will require a bit more time to set because it only has one side to adhere to.. After this brick you should find the going a bit easier. Some use sticks to support the bricks while they set, some use an internal framework of sand or foam or plywood ribbing. I found that the indispensable tool allowed the mortar to set just enough to get to the next brick. You'll get it.

      Chris

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      • #4
        Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

        I am using an IT. I've been using a rubber mallet to assist in getting bricks set in place - adding more mortar than necessary and having some of it squeeze out. Do you suggest i use less mortar, more of a precise fit, and putting a few up at a time? Because of angling the sides, the bricks fit pretty well together. How much mortar do you recommend on the side between bricks? One additional question, after I finish the course, how long do I need to wait before starting the next course?

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        • #5
          Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

          If you're soaking your bricks until they're saturated, the mortar won't grab as quickly (you can use this to your advantage when setting [tapered] arch bricks). If you give them a brief dunk, so the brick still has some ability to pull moisture from the mortar, they'll stick like glue. You don't want the mortar to dry out too much, though, so some experimentation is required.

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          • #6
            Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

            good suggestion vtsteve. i have been soaking bricks to saturation. i'll dunk them briefly, but not soak them.

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            • #7
              Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

              I would say just go slower, don't rush it. Get one set and support it from inside and then add another. You want these to fit nice.

              Mike

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              • #8
                Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

                thanks for the advice guys. i slowed down, used wet but non-saturated bricks, put a few bricks up right in a row, supported at least one of the bricks with old pvc and things are moving along. i plan on finishing dome tonight or tomorrow.

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                • #9
                  Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

                  After finishing the dome, comes the entry and curing. Regarding the curing, go slow and just because your entry isn't likely finished doesn't mean that you can't get a head start on curing the dome.. Wait a few days for the mortar to gain a bit of strength and then fashion a cardboard door for the oven and leave enough space on the bottom and top to circulate cool dry air in and warm moist air out, but not so much that the oven doesn't retain a bit of warmth. Place a work light or space heater in the oven and close the door and leave it for a few days. By moving the air and warming the structure, a good part of the water in those saturated bricks will be drawn out. Your tag says that you’re from Utah, so I know that you’re likely to be in a low humidity area and this will help you greatly. Make sure that you protect your oven from rain until you have the oven house or stucco finish protecting the oven.

                  Low and slow is your curing mantra. Take it heart and your oven will thank you!

                  Best to you and yours.

                  Chris

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                  • #10
                    Re: GRAVITY.... Suggestions please

                    Originally posted by davidwilcox123 View Post
                    thanks for the advice guys. i slowed down, used wet but non-saturated bricks, put a few bricks up right in a row, supported at least one of the bricks with old pvc and things are moving along. i plan on finishing dome tonight or tomorrow.
                    That is a good plan. We used sticks cut to length for a couple rings and then a pilates ball.
                    Lee B.
                    DFW area, Texas, USA

                    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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