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Need help keeping the sailors together - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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:
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Dome Installation Video - Casa / Premio / Modena


For many of you who bought a modular oven, you may have asked how we put the domes together when we build them. For those of you considering one of our ovens, we shot a video to make your install easier.

Check it out on our You Tube Channel.


If the link doesn't work, simply go to You Tube and type Forno Bravo Channel. The video title is How to Set your Forno Bravo Oven Dome Pieces.

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Need help keeping the sailors together

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  • Need help keeping the sailors together

    Ok, so I've cut the 1/2 bricks for the first couple of courses; using sailors (soldiers laying down). I've run into a problem.
    I've made my homebrew 3:1:1:1 and the consistency seems great. It helps that the weather is in the 70s. I've wet my bricks (dipped in water for a few minutes) and then drain for a couple of minutes. Thought everything was going well. Then comes the time to put the mortar to the bricks. I start at the back center. Put brick against indispensable tool, put brick into position - yeah - this seems easy enough. Get next brick, slap some homebrew on the side; shave the extra off the top and bottom, slide corner next to first brick with positioning assistance of I-tool. Two down - this is going to be easy.
    Or at least that's what I thought.
    Third brick same process, but as I slide the brick against brick two, the assembly of three bricks moves/slides -oops. Grab first brick in left hand and third in right and slide back in to position.
    Fourth brick - wind up with a small crack between brick 2 and mortar. Tried to squeeze it back together. Will this still be a strong joint? Probably doesn't matter on sailor course, but I figure it will happen again on later courses. Should I be taking it apart and redoing it?
    It also happened at other joints as I added more sailors.

    It took me an hour to do the first half of the first course. I'm sure I'll get more adept at it, but want don't want to build inherently weak interfaces.

    Any good videos out there of the bricks being mortared and positioned?

    Thanks for your help!
    My 42-inch build

  • #2
    Re: Need help keeping the sailors together

    Quit soaking the brick. Unless it is 90 degrees plus and windy it is not needed or desirable. The mortar should grab within seconds.


    • #3
      Re: Need help keeping the sailors together

      Any bricks that move after initial lay should be cleaned and relaid.


      • #4
        Re: Need help keeping the sailors together

        Slow down, it took me over 6 hours to do a course..

        I would continue to soak the brick.. i find the grab is stronger once the mortar has dried a little more.... if the brick is dry it sucks the water from the mortar and doesnt take hold.


        • #5
          Re: Need help keeping the sailors together

          A Sailor is a brick laid with the bed face showing when the brick is standing up, the way the bricks are laid in a dome is a header course.

          And I wouldnt wet them, there is no need, all you will do is make the grab take longer, hence your problem.
          Last edited by brickie in oz; 10-09-2011, 11:49 PM.
          The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

          My Build.



          • #6
            Re: Need help keeping the sailors together

            Are you showing mortar between the bricks, on the inside?
            The bricks should be as like the base as possible, ie laid touching without mortar. There are several mortar mixes, the best is the grainey high temperature refectory mix which comes in a bag, just add water. a cheaper compromise is a lime mixed with clay, but if there is portland cement in there you will probably find it crumbling into your pizzas