#11  
Old 04-15-2014, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Experimental Norse-Kiwi Hybrid Oven!

To lower the internal height of the cast iron oven (which will be the front third of the oven), I'm thinking of lining it with firebricks (two on their narrow side at each side, and then 4 of so over the top, balanced on flat steel rectangular pieces (not mortared, so expansion should not pose a problem?). There will be a gap under the outlet for the flue.

G'day
The flat bar concerns me a bit is.... It likely to bend and sag especially in the heat. You much better to use angle iron the shape gives it its strength. My entrance and chimney are supported on two pieces of angle and have been for 4 years now. Not too much rust to date but they will need replacing eventually. But you aware of that and are planning for it.... Great
Regards dave
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Last edited by cobblerdave; 04-15-2014 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Change font in quote
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2014, 06:15 PM
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Location: New Zealand
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Default Re: Experimental Norse-Kiwi Hybrid Oven!

Rightio! Well, things have gone pretty well, and on top of the cement slab I formed up a cement border into which I could pour the vermicrete hearth insulation. Of course I made this border too low, so I had a go at my first ever bricks and lay a row on top. This was quite fun and apart from the mortar falling off the ends of the bricks when I was trying to "butter" them (ha!), it all went pretty smoothly. Still, it made me wonder about how I'll go with mortaring the firebricks..yikes. Anyway, I ended up with 15cm plus of vermicrete. It's fairly flat, but I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to
a. use fire clay and sand on top to level or
b. spread a layer of homebrew mortar on top to make it smooth and level, and then the fireclay and sand
?
And also, am I right in the impression that the hearth bricks should NOT be mortared in place, and that the wall bricks should NOT be mortared to the hearth bricks?

Many thanks,
Zoe.
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2014, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Default Re: Experimental Norse-Kiwi Hybrid Oven!

Thanks for the hint about the use of angle-iron instead of flat iron - I had no idea!
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2014, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Experimental Norse-Kiwi Hybrid Oven!

G'day Zoe
You right you shouldn't mortar down the hearth brick or the first layer of the vault. The hearth can be leveled on a layer of clay and sand alright. The first layer of vault bricks mortared to each other but not down.
As for the bricklaying well .... It so happens I'm "masonry impaired" so I understand exactly what you mean.
I can give a few a few things that might help.
Vinegar and rubber gloves. If you find it hard to use a trowel you'll be tempted to use you fingers. Don't . Get yourself some strong rubber gloves and if you end up with mortar burns wash in vinegar. It will not fix the damage but will take away the sting.
Gauging trowel. Its not a brick trowel at all but a plastering tool. But its small and has a round end and heaps easy to use for the mug bricklayer.
Mix small batches of mortar so you have no pressure to lay bricks fast. A 20 ltre plastic bucket and a paint mixer on the end of an electric drill will do it. Let the mortar sit for a while after mixing sometimes it soaks up a little more water than you think it will.
Soak some bricks as you go in a bucket, it will stop them from drawing the water out of the mix.
The fireclay is the bit that makes the mortar a little easier to stick to the brick and let's you squish it into position if the mortar does crack away . Stop. Remove the brick, scape off the mortar and do it again. Don't wash the brick, the remaining mortar left makes it work the secound time much better.
Hope something here helps
Regards dave
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