Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community (
-   Tools, Tips and Techniques (
-   -   More efficient brick cuts (

splatgirl 07-11-2009 07:30 PM

More efficient brick cuts
I had one of those "duh!" moments today that I wanted to share, a more efficient alternative to cutting all the bricks in half first.
As suggested by others here, I'm using the "Angleizer" to great success, and I realized that by starting with a whole brick, it's possible to cut two trapezoids with just three passes through the saw vs. five using the half-brick method....a HUGE timesaver and less wear on those expensive saw blades.

I set the Angleizer tool and mark one trapezoid, then turn the tool 180 degrees and mark the second trapezoid with a scant 1/8" between the two parallell lines, aka the width of the saw blade. Then, one cut on each side plus one cut to divide the two trapezoids, and voila!

Here's what a marked full brick looks like:

happy sawing!

jcg31 07-11-2009 09:25 PM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
A similar approach using clamp stops:

dmun 07-12-2009 07:42 AM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
1 Attachment(s)
If saving blade and brick is your goal, the enclosed drawing (of a 36" circle, and a 4 x 8 brick) shows that a single 12 degree cut gets you awfully close to where you want to go. There's nothing to say that you need a symmetrical trapezoid for this application.

jcg31 07-12-2009 09:31 PM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
I had read about that approach somewhere on the site prior to starting my build but I couldn't get through my head how the side bevels would be calculated.


dmun 07-13-2009 03:11 AM

Re: More efficient brick cuts

I couldn't get through my head how the side bevels would be calculated.
Ahh, there's the rub. The flat layer I drew is pretty simple, but as you go up the angle gets steeper, and you need a compound cut to get the bricks to meet from top to bottom. I don't know how you'd do it without a CAD program.

Lars 07-13-2009 03:49 AM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
Hi Splat, David,

A while back I posted a fairly long 'tip' describing how I tapered my bricks. I did draw many rings of these angle cut halves and for my oven, I drew them in 3D going up.

To my surprise, a 4" and 5" side ( with about an 11 degree angle on the center cut) worked out most of the way up the dome. I did use this method, and I think it makes alot of sense.


ps. After going back and looking for my post, it appears to have lapsed. I added a quick post to bring in up.

Splat, what part of Minnesota?

splatgirl 07-19-2009 10:33 PM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
not so much my concern over saw blade use as my desire for pizza sooner vs. later, and that perhaps the default of instruction of starting with x number of half bricks is an unnecessary step.

I'm trying to walk the line between efficiency and being a perfectionist, although the more days I spend up 4 feet off the ground, stooped over with my butt in the air scrubbing mortar off the inside faces of my bricks, the less I care about perfection. And I'm hungry, darnit.

Anyway. Trapezoids make me happy, but love your alternating spirals thing, David. Very clever, and I'd imagine it must add something structurally for the better. You smart people are dangerous :)

I'm just west of Mpls.

Lars 07-21-2009 08:59 PM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
Hi Splat,
Glad you liked ( and noticed ) the alternating spirals. I was waiting for someone to comment about that. I have seen many carefully crafted 1/4 bricks jumping over previous chain joints too. The idea of the whole chain sitting there whether or not the mortar is there is what I like about the method.



Majic31 10-10-2009 10:46 AM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
Hi Lars -

Just so I understand what you said.... you cut your bricks similar to what Splatgirl has outlined (and what I'll probably do with mine)... then cut an 11deg. angle across what I'll call the "top" surface of each brick...

So the 5" side of the brick on the outside of the dome, and the 4" on the inside will get around evenly?
And the 11 deg angle cut to the "top" surface of each brick, will provide the necessary "closing" of the dome?

I'm building a 42" Pompeii and have the hearth poured and level. I've bought my firebricks (9x4.5x2.5) and the insulating board... so I'm right at the point where I need to understand how to cut the bricks to build my dome...
I bought the HF 10" saw and am willing to make as many cuts as necessary to each brick...(I'm definitely NOT a perfectionist, but am willing to put in the effort, up to the point where it's diminishing returns, in order to do a job well)

I have been leaning towards building a styrofoam form, as shown in various posts on the forum, as opposed to trying to build an indispensable tool, with NO welding experience.

In case it's not clear already, I'm the type with NO handyman skills, foolishly unafraid to try anything....but I prefer using a method I can copy, as opposed to figuring it out on my own, or adapt as I go along...

Lars 10-10-2009 11:07 AM

Re: More efficient brick cuts
For about the first 8 chains or so, you can just cut the 11 degree centered cut and make two equally tapered pieces. Draw your 42" circle and see how they are fitting. Should be VERY close to following the circle. If they leave a gap at the back of the joint, you need to use a slightly more severe angle, perhaps 12 degrees. if there starts to be a gap at the inside edge of the joint, it means the angle you are using is too severe. You will get the hang of it. All the bricks you cut in this way will be usable.

After about the 8th chain, you may want to taper the pieces to avoid the 'triangular joint' syndrome. To do the tapering in the 'horizontal' ( which at this point is really at about a 45 degree angle up the side of your dome) AND the vertical ( also not vertical at this point) will definitely take a few more cuts as you get to the upper 1/3 of the dome.

My original post on this method was pretty good. I think I called it 'tapering bricks with a chisel' in the 'tools, tips, techniques, etc.'


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:26 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC