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HConrad 11-19-2011 09:06 AM

Longest build ever - trying to finish dome - help!
Hi. My son and I started building a pompei brick oven last summer (2010) based on the plans offered here and are now trying desperately to finish the dome before the cold weather hits again and makes it impossible to work (we are in Pittsburgh). We've been building the dome freehand up til now as a team (him laying the mortar, and me holding bricks) but are at the point where the angle is much greater and we are running into technical difficulties. In retrospect, we should have made an indispensable tool, but we don't have a way to weld pieces together. Now, our angle is not regular enough that the tool would work anyway.

Does anyone have any good suggestions about how to make it through the top of the dome build well? We are reasonably coordinated and have a good visual sense, but the bricks are slipping, and I can't find a discussion about the dome in the forums. We have cut the bricks to 1/8 size, as suggested in the manual, but the other issue is that the places where the bricks come together is very variable. They run straight along the larger bricks, but then there is a large gap when we move from one supporting brick to the next.

At the very least, I would be grateful for someone pointing me to another forum page that already goes over this info. Normally, I can find this sort of thing, and it seems I've seen it before, but can't find it now.

I will take some pics to add while we are out there today. Many thanks in advance for any advice.


Jaronimo 11-19-2011 02:19 PM

Re: Longest build ever - trying to finish dome - help!
Cut a few sticks to the right length and use them. I did and it worked great in conjunction with the indespensible tool that i made out of a hinge and stick of wood. Forget welding, use the hinge and piece of wood.

C5dad 11-19-2011 04:00 PM

Re: Longest build ever - trying to finish dome - help!
which mud are you using? I found that if I let the home brew set up a few minutes, it was plenty sticky- I mixed in batches using a red party cup, mixing well and using about 1.75 cups of cold water to the brew. Just had to work fast. As Jaronimo stated, using sticks will also be good for supporting as well.

And sorry - it took me over 4 years to do my build due to various circumstances.

Best -O- luck

Jaronimo 11-19-2011 04:04 PM

Re: Longest build ever - trying to finish dome - help!
The homebrew mix is key. Too wet, the bricks slide. To dry, you gotta work way too fast.

HConrad 11-20-2011 07:22 AM

Re: Longest build ever - trying to finish dome - help!
Thank you for your suggestions. And, I'm glad to hear we aren't, actually, the longest build. :-) We made some good progress yesterday with a stickier mortar and with smaller bricks, and hope to get a couple of more hours in today before rain. The end is tantalizingly near, but there is still so much work to be done.

I have gained a real appreciation for brickworkers through this process.


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