#11  
Old 02-10-2008, 07:03 PM
Dutchoven's Avatar
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Location: Mississippi
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

OK...I concur with what everyone else has said...as far as an easier way to fill your gaps(insert funny line here) ...I would suggest getting yourself a grout bag...you should be able to find it at your local favorite help yourself home center...I recommend HD over the other one because the quality of the bag is better...I have just used this method to repoint worn brickwork on a 100 year old building...you would loop the mortar down with some extra water to be easier to squeeze out of the bag(just like icing a cake)...you would be able to stick the tip into some of those gaps and fill them up...wait until the mortar is "thumbprint" firm and then scrape it off flush with the surface...same can be done on the outside...for future courses you can keep a bit of looser mortar handy for the grout bag to touch up any area you might need some in...there also have been builders who used shims to set the angle of each brick and then the grout bag to fill the voids, removed the shim and then filled it's void also...
As far as the cut...if you are using a wet saw that will work...you could use your grinder to knock a bit off OR...you could rub the two bricks together for a good while and that will do it...this option will get 2 done at the same time......just kidding...that is so 18th century...called gauged brickwork...could you imagine rubbing bricks together to get the right joint...amazing!
I think you workmanship is quite commendable...keep your eye on the ball the rest of the way
Best
Dutch
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2008, 07:28 PM
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Location: Lanett, Alabama
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Thanks to everyone for their tips and suggestions today. I'm hitting the sack and will be back out on course 5 early tomorrow. We have forecast another 60 degree sunny Alabama day and I'll take another day off work to move this along. My son is returning from Iraq on his R&R on March 1 and I'm determined to serve him a pizza when he gets home. With a 2 week cure schedule, I need to knock this thing out by about Wednesday. Wish me luck. Bob
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2008, 07:36 PM
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Location: Longview, WA
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Go Bob go! Agressive schedule. If the weather holds, I don't think you need two weeks to cure it. 10 day should do it, being gentle. Take your time and do a good job. If nothing else, enlist a few of your friends to cut bricks or help in othe ways.

Your son will be home for more than just a few days, I hope. Maybe not if he's got a girlfriend closer to to his base, huh? Give him my thanks for his service in harm's way.
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2008, 09:07 PM
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Location: Reno, NV
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Well, our advice does vary somewhat. As you can see, our styles and creative ways still create a functional oven.

As for brick cutting, do you have a wet saw? If so, your inverted V should not be hard to correct as I had explained earlier.

For mortaring, wow! Unless your previous course is still moist from soaking, the bricks will suck up the water from the mortar FAST. I will throw my 2 cents. I use a small painter cup and fill it 1/2 way to last 2 to 3 bricks. I then mortar the brick to use (bottom side). I then do a QUICK mortar to the brick just placed down. I then use my fingers on the face side bottoms to confirm allignment. I also eye the spacing between the two side bricks, and use a temporary shim with marking to confirm lift in the back. While holding down the brick with my hand for a minute max, I use use my free hand to grab a sponge and wipe excess mortar from the inside face, and areas that have dripped down the wall. After a minute the mortar bonded enough to let go, the excess mortar on the face has been cleaned off, and I have also finished pressing any needed mortar into empty spaces on the top side. After 2 total minutes, I remove the shim and pour from the cup the mortar into the gap in back, pressing it in and holding the delicate brick that is bonding as well. I then use my moist sponge and delicately press the mortar into place in the back so that my brick is filled to the outside wall. I also wipe the empty area next to the brick just placed down so that mortar does not harden in the process which may create an improper lift, or issue for the brick that will go down.

Now I know my steps are time consuming, but if I had 1-2 people helping, I would fly through my build. As for you, take from our notes and use the steps to help you get it done. Do not rush through this just to have pizza for your son and jeapordize the integrity of the oven that I am sure you want for longer than a 1 night party.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2008, 04:21 AM
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Location: Lanett, Alabama
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Good morning, all. Help is on the way today so I'm hoping to increase my 2 course per day rate substantially.

My reason for doing it myself is to do it right...so I won't rush it even trying to make a schedule. My soldier boy will be here for a couple of weeks so March 1 is not an absolute drop dead date, but I would like to be ready about then.

Thanks for taking the time to give detailed advice. I read a lot before starting but once into the project it is so much more valuable.

Bob
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2008, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

TD,

Five comments that may help: 1. Make sure to soak your bricks before applying mortar. 2. Wet bricks already in position with a cheapo brush and water. 3. Go to Home Depot and buy the narrowest (1/8") pointing trowel you can find (they're too long, but you can cut one down to a workable length); use it to force the mortar into the joints. 4. Pointing mortar is usually mixed on the slightly dry side to avoid staining. 5. Finish point the joints until they shine once the mortar has set up a bit.

Jim
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2008, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Jim, well said.
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:14 PM
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Location: Lanett, Alabama
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Thanks...will the Home Depot pointer thing.

Had a good day today.

I got some help today and, after a slow start, the help got up to speed and we made good progress. We tore out the landing/arch for the second time and re-built it for, hopefully, the last time. Three more courses also went up...now at 7. We cut the angle iron for the flat "arch" and figured out how to carry the courses around over the top. Tomorrow we hope to finish the dome???

I need to order some things from FB as we look toward the chimney and insulation.
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  #19  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Your nickname should be Psycho! I hope you are reviewing each course before ripping into the next. Please do.
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: 4 courses up... and a big question

Motivated, Rob, motivated!
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