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Concrete/Vermiculiate crumbly - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Concrete/Vermiculiate crumbly

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  • Concrete/Vermiculiate crumbly

    I have my stand complete and ready to begin building the oven. My concrete/vermiculite layer is 8" thick. It is encapsilated on each side by regular concrete. The one issue I have is it seems to crumble off fairly easily. I realize it's just an insulating layer so strength is not that big of an issue. It's compression strength seems to be fine. (will compress if pushed in firmly).

    My question is what can I use to smooth the insulating layer and adhere the brick floor to it? I figure the regular fireclay mortar mix but am not sure what thickness (standard 3/8" mortar joint?)

    Is this regular behavior? I used the the recommended 1:4 ratio of concrete mix to vermiculate

  • #2
    Re: Concrete/Vermiculiate crumbly

    The vermiculite is crumbly but sets up better in a couple of weeks.
    I agree, weird texture but just go with it.

    do not mortar the bricks to the insulating layer.

    from the directions.....

    "With this method, you do not mortar the bricks in place, but rather spread a thin layer of paste made from sand, fire clay and water as a "bed" for the floor.

    To make the under floor paste, mix 1 part fine sand and 1 part fireclay (photo 2) with water until you reach the texture of a sticky mortar (but without the cement). Spread the under floor using a notched trowel as the ridges will make it easier for you to get your floor perfectly level (photo 3). The process is similar to setting ceramic tiles."

    takes a leap of faith to work with some of these materials.

    keep at it, you'll be cutting bricks in no time.

    Greg Geisen
    Chula Vista, CA

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