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40" corner build in central TX

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  • 40" corner build in central TX

    Hey guys,
    I've been dreaming about building an outdoor kitchen area since we moved to Texas 3 years ago, it's just too hot inside to run the oven during the summer.

    2 weeks ago I started building my first "stage," a ~40" pompeii on a corner stand. I dug footings and poured the slab last weekend, did 4 courses of concrete block this past week, and this weekend started my (mostly) decorative brickwork. I'm doing a few courses of kingsize brick corbelled out 3" from my concrete block, as well as the tudor-style archway into the wood storage area.

    I got the arch and 3/4 of the first course of brick done today. If things go well after work this week, I should be able to pour my top slab next weekend.


    I see there are quite a few central Texas builders, so I'm going to solicit some help in locating the hard-to-find materials. I'm in Waco, so Dallas or Austin aren't too far of a drive.
    I'm looking for insulation supplies, mostly, but if I can get firebrick cheaper than 1.64/brick incl gas elsewhere, I'll be a happy guy.

    Due to cost, I'm planning on mixing my own mortar, and I'm a bit confused on the final consensus on the ingredients. lime? no lime? 3:1:1:1, 2:2:1. Is home depot/lowes "mortar clay" true fireclay? any sources for actual washed silica in the area?(I'd love to get some for sandblasting, as well).

    Thanks in advance!
    Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

    My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

  • #2
    Re: 40" corner build in central TX

    welcome to the forum.
    Reach out to TScarbourough. He is in austin and in the bidness.
    Texman
    My Progress:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/t...ild-17324.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 40" corner build in central TX

      og

      I saw the pics of your build posted in the pics section. If you put them with your build thread, then we can keep up with your progress better.
      Last edited by texman; 09-05-2013, 08:39 AM. Reason: spell
      My Progress:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/t...ild-17324.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 40" corner build in central TX

        Is there an easy way to do that? the pics are too big to use the IMG tag for, they don't fit in the frame.

        (edit, in order to not waste a post...)

        These are the most recent. I haven't really gotten anything done tonight on the stand itself, but I borrowed an 11' flatbed from work and grabbed some 20' rebar and 15 bags of concrete for the top slab. I can't stand paying $5 for 10' rebar when I can pay $6 for 20, especially when I have to cut it all anyway.

        I'm going to go out in a minute and see if I can scrounge enough plywood together to make a form. I intended to buy a sheet of melamine while I had the big truck, but I got too distracted trying to get some Maximizer that wasn't rock hard at home depot. They opened up another pallet, still hard. the store manager said something to the effect of "thats how it always comes in, it's just compacted. drop it on the ground a few times and it will break up." he might be right. I really don't think so, as I did that, and hit the hard corners with a hammer a few times. it breaks, but doesn't turn to dust again. I guess I'm going to have to burn a bag and do a test pour to make sure it's going to mix up fast enough that I can pour the slab.

        Oh well... It will work out. Off to find some plywood, I suppose.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by ogorir; 09-05-2013, 08:12 PM.
        Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

        My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 40" corner build in central TX

          You have to reduce them in size to about 800x600 then add them via the "manage attachments button" below the editing window.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 40" corner build in central TX

            ok, so no easy import from the photo album... I'll just edit this post with pics here in a minute

            The slab is 70x70" 4" thick with 16"w x 8"d footings, poured in about 4 hours one bag of Maximizer at a time mixed with a shovel in a wheelbarrow. I'm on expansive clay, so I wet the ground down fairly well (but not saturated) before I poured to minimize heave later(I hope). The rebar is 1/2", set about 2 3/4" from the top. I ran a 2" pass through conduit and a 3/4: electrical feed conduit for a light in my wood storage as well as possible temp probe integration later.

            4 courses of block, 9 cores filled w/ 1/2" rebar reinforcement. I stuffed a bag just below the top block on the rest of the cores and filled them full so i had something to get a solid mortar bed on for the brick courses as well.

            The 45 degree brick sections on either side of the arch are to this moment still the most difficult part of the whole deal. I spent more time trying to figure out how to cut these kingsize (9 5/8"x 2 5/8" x 2 3/4") hollow bricks to make that work than I'd really care to think about. The only thing that saved me is the fact that the block is getting stucco'd. I'm now planning on stuccoing all the way to the arch face, hence why the ugly side of the brick is showing .

            The arch went fairly well, but not flawlessly. I had to re-do the bottom corners a few times to get them aimed to meet in the middle and I wound up breaking a mortar joint trying to figure out my keystone, but otherwise it went well.

            It's been interesting learning how to bed the bricks... the first course are headers, figuring out a corner was intersting, but they laid down fairly well and were fairly easy to level, much harder to keep a straight edge down the side. The second course, on the other hand, were absolutely terrible to level because they kept trying to fall off the edge. I guess I should've only done a 1/2" step on each course instead of 3/4" with these skinny bricks.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by ogorir; 09-05-2013, 08:25 PM. Reason: Detail
            Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

            My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 40" corner build in central TX

              Alright, I didn't get much done until last night. I had to clean the mud room and garage of clutter, run over to my co-worker's house to borrow his little suitcase stick welder, get some rod, etc.

              I got the bottom course of rebar cut and welded last night, did the upper course and tie-ins to the rebar in the filled block cores today and poured the upper slab. I jumped on the rebar for a while, it gives about 1/4", but that's about it. I'm reasonably certain I could've stacked the remaining building materials on top of the rebar without it failing. A wee bit of overkill, maybe.

              My form is just a piece of 3/8 OSB cut to fit vaguely inside my brick sitting on some concrete blocks, a few of which are shimmed. I know it's going to be a bastard to remove, but I'll manage. I had to construct a cardboard dam around the arch, as I ended up pouring the slab lower than I had originally planned on and the bottom edge would've been visible. with a little grinder cleanup it should be a fairly smooth transition. It sagged a little bit under the weight of the concrete, but not too badly, I think.

              I set a 2" deep circle into the center of the slab to get more insulation in. I used a 6" nail with a washer welded at 4" above the OSB and a 1x2" board cut to 42" with a hole in the middle to roughly screed the hole, then hand floated it level.

              onward and upward
              Attached Files
              Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

              My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                I knocked the forms out last night. I think it only took 15 minutes, but I think I broke just about every block. in hind sight, I should've bedded them in 1/4" of sand so I could wiggle them loose. Its interesting how much harder the solid blocks are to score and break while under a compressive load. I scored the top blocks in half and broke them, but instead of a couple of taps after the score, it took a minute with a 4# sledge and even then it shattered the opposite face of the lower block.

                Obviously, the hollow block I had stacked on the 4x16" edge across 2 of the corners was super easy. I should've just bought hollow block for this and planned on sacrificing the top block.

                The cardboard dam worked pretty well, but it moved a bit, so I'm going to have to clean it up with the angle grinder later. The underside of the slab is still good and wet, so my curing puddle seems to be working, even in this heat.

                I ordered my cal sil blanket (100sqft of 1") and 2- 1" boards as a final thermal break under the floor. I'm going down to visit Tscarborough this Saturday to buy my perlite, fireclay, lime, and flue liner, and I'm hoping to leave work early today and grab my firebrick. On that last note, finding materials and dealing with building mat'l stores that are 8-5, M-F only has easily been the most difficult part of this project.

                The forecast for next week is looking very damp, so I'm really going to try to get my perlcrete poured on saturday when I get back from Austin and put a thin sealing layer of mortar on the top surface so it doesn't absorb so much water. I have a 10x10' popup tent I'm planning on putting over it, but I have zero doubts that it will still get wet.

                while it's raining, I'm hoping I can get my floor and first course cut and build a tilt turn jig. I'll probably do the latter at work out of steel.
                Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

                My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                  great start, look forward to following your build
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...s-i-18098.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                    I've almost gathered all my materials! On Friday I went over to Darden in Waco and bought 200 firebrick. When I got home, the 2 rolls of 1" cal-sil blanket and 2 sheets of 1" cal-sil board I ordered from Skyline Components in Phoenix were on the back steps. Saturday morning I drove down to Austin to visit TScarborough @ MPI and get my perlite, fireclay, flue pipe, and lime. On the way back I stopped at lowes and grabbed a few bags of portland, a bag of topping mix, and a sheet of 1/8" masonite w/melamine on one side.
                    All that's left to pick up is bulk fine brick sand, which I will get sometime early this week, and my stucco layers.

                    I had a previous engagement Saturday evening, but I had enough time to cut 2- 2" strips of masonite and clamp it into a 49.5" circle to form up my perlcrete. I placed a firebrick outside the circle every 45 degrees to keep it from moving. One side needed to be leveled up about 1/8" due to irregularities in the top slab.

                    Sunday I mixed up some perlcrete and poured my insulation. I dry mixed the portland and perlite, as recommended by everyone, 1:8, as recommended by Tom. My first attempt was a bit of a blunder, as I mixed a whole 4cu ft bag of perlite with half a bag of portland. It took forever to get it mixed evenly and it just barely fit in the wheelbarrow. I knew I wasn't going to have any chance wetting it in the wheelbarrow, so I used the mortar tub to mix up ~1cu ft batches. I'm really glad I did, as it was almost impossible to get the perlite to wet in even in the small tub. That's some seriously floaty, hydrophobic stuff. Even using the hose to mist it wet adding a scoop at a time to the mortar tub I still wound up with a floating island of perlite.

                    Once I ran out of my first 4cu ft of perlite premix, I started mixing the perlite and portland in smaller quantities (8- 2.5qt buckets to 1) and adding water in the wheelbarrow. I wound up needing 3 more of those to get my form filled, which is approx 2.25cu ft.

                    The last batch I tried something a little different. I mixed the water and portland together and added that to the perlite. It was way easier to tell when you had the perlite wetted, and the final texture is more workable, but It didn't seem like I got the perlite covered as well. It certainly solidified, so it can't be too bad. I think it probably took 30% less time to do it that way. I'm going to try a larger batch like that when I start the dome insulation, hopefully it will speed things up.

                    I plan on coating the top and about 1/2" of the sides of the perlcrete with a thin layer (3/16-1/4") of topping mix to level the surface and prevent the corner from crumbling while I assemble everything.

                    This week, I'm hoping to get my floor bricks cut, get my cal-sil board cut, and lay out my arch and buttressing. I'm going to have to try REALLY HARD not to do a flying buttress. I was planning on cutting the floor to go inside the dome, but I'm torn at this point. I'm not sure I see a benefit in disconnecting the thermal mass of the floor from the thermal mass of the dome, in fact I see the opposite. so, provided I can figure out how to stretch my cal-sil to cover, I may set my dome on top of my floor. If I go that route, I'll likely need to do about .5sq ft of 1" thick perlcrete to finish out the outside, as there's not quite enough cal-sil in 2 sheets to cover the footprint of the dome as well.

                    I'm thinking I'll probably smooth the topping mix on weds or thurs to give the perlcrete time to dry out. Has anyone had significant trapped water issues with the perlcrete/vermicrete? I can imagine that it will take quite a while to fully dry out.

                    Also, it appears I'm an ejit... I thought I took pictures of the form before I poured and before I de-formed... but apparently I was making that up. I'll edit in pictures of the finished product later.
                    Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

                    My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                      I haven't really gotten anything done since I poured the insulating concrete, other projects have been getting in the way. I've been trying to find time at work to run over and get 1/2YD of fine brick sand, but that hasn't happened yet. I guess I'll have to make time today (in the rain).

                      I did cut up my cal-sil board, which as I suspected is not quite enough to go all the way under the dome bricks, so I'm going to have to fill in the edges with perlcrete. I'm thinking I will lay the floor brick under the dome brick so I have a level surface to start the dome on.

                      I finally brought home the sheet of 3/4" plywood that's been lying around work so I have something to pre-build my floor brick/arch/first course on. I'll have most of today to myself, so I'm hoping I can get a good bit done.
                      Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

                      My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                        Wow, I guess I've done a pretty terrible job updating this! I haven't gotten a ton done on the oven in the last month, but I did manage to get some stuff done this week and weekend. I've been working in the attic preparing to put up a radiant barrier, pulling out an old 48" whole-house fan, pulling out old squirrel-chewed fiberglass batts, actually installing soffit vents(!)(1) and preparing to blow in some cellulose.

                        I was having a time getting my floor perfectly level with no gaps, so I took a rub brick and put a slight bevel on the top edges so at the least the peel won't catch. I used dry fireclay and sand for a leveling bed, which worked fairly well, but it was difficult to level across the whole floor. I think I wound up being about 1/8" low in the center.

                        Yesterday I cut up the box my wife's tread mill came in (3-ply HD cardboard) to make a template for the inner arch footprint and first course of dome bricks. the 3-ply was probably way over kill and took forever to cut, but I'dve had to cut the thing up at some point to throw it away anyway, so it might as well serve a purpose.

                        I got the inner arch all cut and the upright sections mortared in yesterday. It's been cold the lat few days, at least for Texas, so I waited until today to do the horizontal sections and the keystone. I decided to do the horizontal sections out of one brick per side to minimize the number of joints and because cutting the bricks the tall way on the 10" HF brick saw is a pain. I think it turned out well, though. I still need to put in the rear wythe, but I wanted to let the mortar get good and hard on the front wythe first. I'm using a 4:1:1:1 homebrew w/ about 2pts water and the stuff I did yesterday around noon is still dark(wet) gray. I can only assume it's the temperature (62 high on sat, 44 degrees overnight,72 high sun) that's causing it to take it's sweet time setting. It bites just fine, but it doesn't have a lot of strength even 24hrs out.

                        I did the first course of dome brick just as half bricks and used some of my splits to wedge in the wide mortar joints, which went smooth sailing. Then I tried to adapt MrChipster's tilt/turn jig to my 10" saw, which so far has been a miserable failure. I started the second course just eyeballing it and splitting the bricks on a slight angle to reduce the mortar joint, which works fine on course#2, but I really need to figure something out before I get to the 3rd course. I know a number of people have used the 10" HF saw, how did you guys cut your bevel/angles?

                        Unfortunately, I probably won't get much done but mortaring the second course in and the rear wythe of the arch this week; my wife's orchestra kid's concerts are this week, so I'm on filming duty Tues and Thurs.

                        (1) due to the complete lack of soffit vents, I've decided to run 8- 240cfm fans in 6" duct to minimize the number of vents I need to install. Surplus center has a hell of a deal ($10/ea) on these EBM Papst fans that list for $88/ea at Allied Electronics. I scored a 13a 24v power supply for 35$ shipped off ebay this weekend, too
                        Attached Files
                        Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

                        My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                          I put up a tent over the dome saturday morning, as we were forecast to get .4" saturday night. I sure am glad I did. I got just shy of 3".

                          I've figured out, at least temporarily, how to get my angle/bevels cut. I had written off the miter head on the HF saw because the blade hits the table outside of the 0,22.5,45 degree slots, but I tried setting the blade to just above the rubber surface and it will still cut the bricks with ease, so that's what I'm going with until it doesn't work.

                          I've got through course 6 done on the dome and the arch joint done through course 3. I've been leaving those because they take forever on my arch because the sides are straight and I have the arch set further out from the center than some, so there's a bit more finicky angle work than normal. from here up I'm basically just planning on getting a brick cut to fit the last dome brick and the arch and grinding the face until it fits correctly.

                          I'm going to try to get the arch joint done up to at least course 6 tomorrow and get course 7 done around the dome. I'm pretty sure course 6 will partially go across the arch and course 7 will finish it out.

                          It was dark when I was done, pics tomorrow.[edit: pictures now]

                          [edit] you might also notice that there's a bit of a step in course 6, I was getting off the IT a bit and closing the dome too quickly by a few degrees, so I decided that I should probably fix that while the offset was only 1/8" in most places, especially because I'm starting to need the IT to hold the bricks until they bite. Up to course 6, I was basically only using it for the first brick and checking 2-3 more per course. it's worked so far... I threw the level across for the first time on course 5 and its dead level in one direction and about an 1/8" in the other. I was pretty surprised at that, as I haven't exactly been paying that much heed.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by ogorir; 10-28-2013, 05:43 AM.
                          Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

                          My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                            Looking good! I like how you put the IT pivot below floor level. That will get you a lower dome. But you're going to have to tie that opening arch in sooner or later...
                            My build progress
                            My WFO Journal on Facebook
                            My dome spreadsheet calculator

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                            • #15
                              Re: 40" corner build in central TX

                              I stole garnerAC's replace-a-brick idea and used the lock/latch swivel from a padlock latch, which on top of a 2x6 puts the pivot dead even with the floor. The all-thread is bolted through an eye-bolt with fender washers, eye bolt bolted through the lock swivel. The hole in the swivel is rectangular, so I stuck a small bolt in front of the eye bolt to keep the pivot in the same place.

                              It's not a perfect solution, there's about an inch offset to one side, but it was cheap enough and a bolt together solution. I did weld a u-shaped piece of steel to my angle iron on the other side so I had some length adjustment, though.
                              Time flies like an arrow; Fruit Flies like a banana.

                              My oven (thus far): http://www.tinyurl.com/ogorirsoven

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