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Mortaring the shell

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  • Mortaring the shell

    .. there's a 4th of July joke somewhere in that tile.. anyways, I've noticed recently, now that I'm actually doing my oven, that some people spread mortar all over the outside while they're going up in chains.. is there any reason to do this before you're complete? Some advantage? Just curious.. I haven't started doing my shell yet but if there's a good reason I'll start now.

    -Shay
    Shay - Centerville, MN

    My Outdoor Kitchen/Pompeii WFO Build...

  • #2
    Re: Mortaring the shell

    Good question Shay, here is what I did and why:
    I knew I did not want more than a 1/4" of cladding on my dome. Now, that I've fired it up in the last month (5 times for real pizza cooking) I'm really happy I did not go more. It heats up in an hour for most cooking (ya, hour and 1/2 if I want 800 deg everywhere) but then it stays up there for half a day. So whenever i did a chain of bricks and had mortar left over, I put it on parts of the dome, 1/4" max, so I could clean out my mortar pail. When I would realize after laying a few bricks, that my pre-cut bricks did not fit right and I needed to spend another hour on the wet-saw, I wetted down the dome and put the left over mortar on it. By the time I closed up the dome, there was very little area left to cover. I'm sure this is NOT how others approached it but that's what happened to my build. Also, spreading the mortar around the rings as you clean up "feels" like it helps hold the bricks together from the outside. Not sure if that's true, but it's hard NOT to do that. Good luck, Dino
    "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

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    • #3
      Re: Mortaring the shell

      There's really no need to mortar the outside of your dome. You don't need the extra mass, and nobody's going to see it except the poor schlub who demolishes it.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: Mortaring the shell

        I am only up to my 3rd chain of bricks at the moment but have been doing the same as Dino, just spread around the mortar that is left in the bucket after laying the bricks.
        Real men cook with fire
        My Oven and Fireplace Build

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        • #5
          Re: Mortaring the shell

          I did the same as above (about 1/4"). Not to mention, I just wanted it to look nice and uniform as I worked my way up...I knew there wasn't any practical reason, just a sense of clean, smooth, finished (kind of rediculous, it was far from finished).

          RT

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          • #6
            Re: Mortaring the shell

            I am doing the same and it is kind of silly but it makes me feel as though the oven will be the same thickness all over.
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            • #7
              Re: Mortaring the shell

              I mortared the outside a bit to cover up the "bumps" in the bricks.
              I then covered it with 4 layers of heavy aluminum foil.

              My reasoning was that this would create a sheer plane between the brick dome and the vermiculite insulation layer and reduce the propagation of cracks.

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              • #8
                Re: Mortaring the shell

                It's amazing how just a bit, 1/4" or less, on the shell smooths out the bumps and makes it look like a perfect dome shape. It's just neat.
                My Build Thread

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                • #9
                  Re: Mortaring the shell

                  I agree with dmun. I didn't put any mortar on the outside of the dome. It's already plenty thick, and refractory mortar is expensive!

                  Personally, I liked the asthetics of seeing the bricks as I went up.
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                  Mike - Saginaw, MI

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                  • #10
                    Re: Mortaring the shell

                    Originally posted by mfiore View Post
                    I agree with dmun. I didn't put any mortar on the outside of the dome. It's already plenty thick, and refractory mortar is expensive!

                    Personally, I liked the asthetics of seeing the bricks as I went up.
                    If the outside of my dome looked that neat I'd be inclined to leave it too

                    I ended up putting an extra layer on my oven for 2 reasons. I am getting really excited about the retained heatcooking so I figured a touch more mass would be a good thing. I also split me bricks in half rather than cut them so the outside of the dome was very rough and uneven with all teh split side poit out so I evened out all the lumps and bumps to make it look neat and have a more even thickness over the entire dome.
                    Inreality neither of those reasons really made it nessary for extra mortar but it makes me feel better, plus I am using the homemade mortar so cost realy isn't an issue.

                    Cheers
                    James
                    Real men cook with fire
                    My Oven and Fireplace Build

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