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  #21  
Old 06-07-2011, 03:06 PM
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Location: Glendale, Arizona
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Hello m1mckinlay,

Put 1/4" washers under the screws for the bottom plate. Drill a little deeper than the screw. Buy extra concrete drills. Use a level to plumb the studs as best you can.

To straighten a leaning structure, when installing the cement board, you will need an assistant to help. Put one screw in a top corner but don't tighten it all the way. Have the assistant plumb the structure by pushing or pulling until you get the studs square with the cement board, then start driving screws to hold the shape. You won't believe how ridged the structure will be with cement board and steel studs. You may only need to do this to two sides.

You don't need to hold to conventional thinking when using steel studs. If you need a second one next to one already in place (for whatever reason) then by all means put in another one and fasten the cement board to it too. You can place them diagonal or horizontal or even small pieces so as to get the cement board held solid.

I bought 1 1/4" coated screws specially made for cement board. They are self-tapping and self-countersinking.

One helpful thing I learned (the hard way) is that cement board will crack if you place a screw too close to the edge. You can avoid some potential problems by pre-drilling a pilot hole and then countersink it before placing the screw. Just tighten the screw enough to hold the cement board snug and you'll be fine. I had three portable drills at my disposal so it was easy to drill and countersink whenever I needed to since each one held the proper bit. An option would have been to place another steel stud and tie it to its neighbor with the 1/2" screws to give necessary support at the the edge of the cement board. You can't always do that due to the confines of a small enclosure but it is an option sometimes available.

I taped the cement board joints before adding surface finish.

Cheers,
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  #22  
Old 06-08-2011, 07:41 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boise, ID
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Thanks for the great advice, azpizzanut! I began installing the stud rails last night and I definitely see the value of the washers. Good suggestion.

Another question: I've drilled about six holes in the concrete and have gone through three carbide tipped masonry bits. One of the holes took me 30 mins to drill! Is that typical? I'm using a 5/16" bit and am drilling about 1 1/4" deep. Should it be that tedious, or is there an easier way?

Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 06-08-2011, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Rent the pro hammer drill from HD. They give you a bit with it. It should blast right through.

Hammer Drill | Rent Rotary Hammer Drills from Home Depot Tool Rental
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  #24  
Old 06-08-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Hello m1mc,

Dmun has a good idea about renting a hammer drill. I bought a cheapie at Harbor Freight for around $20. It zipped down two inches in a few seconds on some holes. You will encounter hard aggregate eventually and that does slow things a lot. Just move an inch and try again. I used narrower concrete drills for my holes. The TapCon box has a recommended size drill on the label.

One thing you will note is that you can remove a screw but that it doesn't always hold good if you put it back in. Use a fresh screw or ultimately drill a new hole.

Cheers,
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  #25  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by m1mckinlay View Post
One of the holes took me 30 mins to drill! Is that typical?
They do this if you dont use the hammer function of the drill.
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  #26  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Okay, I have a new favorite power tool: the hammer drill. That thing rocks! I drilled about 30 holes last night in about one tenth the time it took me to drill 5 1/2 the night before with a simple rotary. Thanks for the suggestions.

I've now got 1/2 the structure framed and am 1/3 through curing the oven. I'll post more pics once the frame is complete.

As this project progresses, I get more excited about it. My wife tells me I'm obsessed. The fact that I've dreamt about it the past two nights - and told her about it - didn't help. Her opinion will soon be confirmed when I mount the first pizza that comes out of it over our mantle, kind of a "first dollar sold" kind of thing. Anyone know a good pizza taxidermist? Joking, of course. Sort of.

Unfortunately I'm not going to be working on it for the next week, but I've got Friday and Saturday blocked out next week and plan / hope to get the frame complete and the mortar board on. I'm assuming I can pick up where I left off in regards to curing it, as long as I keep the rain off of it, right?
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  #27  
Old 06-09-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

m1mc,

Ok, you deserve an "atta boy" ! Ever onward.

Cheers,
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  #28  
Old 06-20-2011, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Last week I finished curing the oven and I got it 1/2 framed with the metal studs before the rain cut my progress short (again). Once I get the frame complete, I'll post more pics. It's looking good.

Despite my wife's insistance that I wait to cook anything in it until the finish work is done, I cheated (she was out of town) and threw in my first pie on Friday! Who knew a simple mishapen cheese pizza cooking alongside a cut down pallet could taste so great? I was pretty proud of the blistered crust. My kids mocked the oblong-shape though. . .

Back to the finish work. . . I've got a couple more questions I need help with:

1. Once the frame is complete, I'll attach hardi-board to the metal studs. I'm wondering how to best seal the joints. I'd like to make the gabled house completely water-proof. What's the best way to do this? I'm considering using either high-temp mortar, regular mortar, or caulk? Any advice?

2. I have the FB blankets wrapped around the oven and am planning to fill the void between the oven and the finish work with vermiculite. What kind of vermiculite is best? I'm familiar with the vermiculite soil conditioner, is this the same stuff?

Thanks.
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  #29  
Old 06-20-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Hello m1m,

You can seal the joints with thin-set tile mortar and the fiberglass tape sold in rolls. It is often displayed next to the stack of Hardibacker board, at least that's how they do it at Home Depot. An associate should be able to tell you where to find it. Or, you could browse the tile tools and accessories aisle and find it there.

Yep, that's the vermiculite stuff. Sometimes you can get vermiculite block filler from a masonry supply, brick yard or landscapers supply. Block off the areas you don't need to insulate. There is no point in doing corners and far away areas. FB blanket and a couple inches of dry insulation like vermiculite or perlite will provide superior insulation.

Oh, be sure to ventilate the enclosure so condensation and moisture don't build up inside. You may waterproof the exterior but you won't be able to keep atmospheric moisture from getting inside. The best way to handle it is with cross ventilation.
Cheers,
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Last edited by azpizzanut; 06-20-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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  #30  
Old 06-21-2011, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Great, thanks Bob. Yeah, I've used the fiberglass tape and thinset mortar in the past for tiling applications. . . wasn't sure whether to use the same stuff for the oven to make it waterproof. Thanks for your responses, they've been very helpful.
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