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Zeke's 40" in Modesto - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Zeke's 40" in Modesto

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  • Zeke's 40" in Modesto

    Greetings, I've set the oven floor and am starting on the first course of the dome. I decided to do half-bricks rather than soldiers. With how big of a gap between the floor and dome wall can I get away? Right now I'm looking at close to 1/4". Is this too much? Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

    1/4" is fine, it fills in with ash anyway . Be sure to cover the gap with duct tape while you are doing your walls to prevent mortar from falling down into the gap. Since the gap acts as an expansion joint between the floor and the the dome. If mortar gets packed into the gap there is the potential of cracking due to the restricted expansion.

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    • #3
      Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

      Thanks Beehiver - this is definitely a learning process. I've got some pictures and hope to post them. I've admired your build.

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      • #4
        Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

        Here's my first picture and it comes with a question. Is it advisable to leave an expansion gap between the oven floor and both inner sides of the entry arch base brick?

        In the picture, the arrow pointing right shows the expansion gap that runs along the circumference of the oven floor and the other arrow points to the inner side of the entry arch, which is where I'm wondering about the expansion gap.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

          Any thoughts on my last question? Thanks.

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          • #6
            Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

            Originally posted by zekebv View Post
            Any thoughts on my last question? Thanks.
            I left a gap at the indicated location and it filled with ash and has worked well for 1.5 years now.

            Chip
            Chip

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            • #7
              Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

              Zeke,

              like you I have about a 1/4 inch expansion gap between my floor bricks and my half-height soldier course. While it is hard to see when the interior temperature is close to 1,000 degrees, my floor doesn't seem to expand a huge amount. Like Utahbeehiver said, the gaps fill with ash anyway! With respect to your other gap near the arch - in my oven it doesn't get incredibly hot at that place on the floor so leaving a gap there is probably not as important. (maybe gets to 400 degree there at a guess? I didn't measure - just guessing)

              Remember when you are firing the cold air is coming in at floor level so that probably keeps things a little cooler down there.

              My bigger issues are higher up on the inner arch where is does get incredibly hot - I have some cracks up there which I needed to fill.

              Hope this helps
              Neil

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              • #8
                Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                Alright, thanks for the thoughts gents. Neil, that makes sense about the cold air coming in through the opening. I'm going to live with it as it is an forge ahead!

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                • #9
                  Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                  Hi Zeke,

                  Glad to see a fellow NorCal builder starting out! Keep us posted and include pics. And to get the best use of this forum, post your questions (about anything) during the building process and we will try to help out as best we can. Good luck!

                  Aceves

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                  • #10
                    Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                    Aceves, yours is one of the builds I've studied carefully. You're finish details are great!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                      Okay, finally some real progress to report...

                      I completed the second course, in which I've started "tipping" the bricks to create the vertical curve of the dome. A couple of questions though.

                      I've noticed a few small mortar cracks on the exterior surface of the dome. Is this cause for concern? I'm wetting bricks before placing them and as I go, am using a spray bottle to wet bricks that have already set.

                      I laid the base and first course by eyeball method and started using an IT for the second course. When I reached the arch at the end of the second course I saw to my dismay that I am not round here - see fifth and sixth pics with IT. Rather than dismantle and reset, my thought is to begin cutting the back of subsequent arch bricks (interior surface of dome) to bring this spot back into round. Thoughts?
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                        Thanks Zeke!

                        I look forward to seeing your build progress. Keep at it, it's going to be a fun journey!

                        As for your concerns about the cracks, do not worry, everybody gets cracks in their dome. It's inevitable. Once you start firing, you will see more of them. Just cover them up with a patch of mortar and keep going. Are you using a special mortar or the homebrew? Just curious. And go with your idea of cutting the subsequent arch bricks to go back into round. The performance of your oven will not be affected by the minor setback of these few bricks. And since it is so close to the arch, nobody will see this minor variation when they look in the oven. Just make sure you get a good bond with the mortar and keep moving up the courses.

                        Aceves
                        Last edited by aceves; 06-19-2013, 10:45 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                          Hi Zeke,
                          Looking good!

                          FWIW, I used an arch form with a solid face like you have. Although yours is shimmed up much higher than mine, I had a bit of difficulty removing the form when goobers of mortar oozed into the inner space. So you might consider making sure they are knocked off inside as you go up, or create an access hole in the middle of the form. Just an idea. It took me about 15 minutes to remove the form. Thankfully this was just minutes after laying the last several top bricks and that mortar was fresh, but the few little bits (like 1/8") near the bottom were buggers. Of course, I had to be fairly gentle and couldn't bang it around too hard to make sure I didn't break the bond on the freshly laid bricks.
                          John


                          Link to my build: 42 inch Michigan Oven

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                          • #14
                            Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                            John,

                            I VERY much appreciate getting your insight early on. I can still cut access holes and will do so!

                            Cheers!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

                              Aceves - I'm using the homebrew and for now pretty closely sticking (no pun intended) to 3:1:1:1 recipe. I do have some stray clumped pieces of sand/fireclay that I used to level and secure the oven floor. If my mix is a little wet I'll crumble a bit into the mortar to firm it up a bit. I'm still learning to work with. Your enclosure roof is great.

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