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CoyoteVB 11-08-2012 09:38 PM

Custom Mortar Mix
Foundation is complete and ready to buiild the dome. I have searched this site and other sites looking for ratios for mortar. I am on a budget and don't want to spend $50 a bag There are several points of view. FB suggests 3-1-1-1. Other sites suggest a ratio of 10-6-2-3. which increase the ratio of fire clay and lime..Thoughts?

Dino69 11-09-2012 05:07 PM

Re: Custom Mortar Mix
I used the 3-1-1-1 and it worked fine. I kept it wet with damp towels while it cured and it set up nicely.

You can alter it, I added a little extra lime, but I do not think it is needed. I began with the exact formula at first, because I had no background with refractory mortar, then I began to play a little. Would use it again if I build another oven.

Many people on here have used the formula and seemed to have liked working with it. Plus it was way cheaper then buying premixed refrac mortar.

I switched fireclay during my build from Alsey to Superior. I liked the Alsey way more. It was smoother and seemed to mix better with water. But the Superior was fine after I got used to it and adjusted my routine.

Good luck.


deejayoh 11-09-2012 06:59 PM

Re: Custom Mortar Mix
If you are looking for what works, just about everyone on this forum that has used "homebrew" mortar went with 3-1-1-1 and had good luck. I would say it is probably not worth it to spend much time looking for an alternative

CoyoteVB 11-09-2012 08:40 PM

Re: Custom Mortar Mix
Thanks. I will proceed with the 3-1-1-1.

rsandler 11-27-2012 07:38 AM

Re: Custom Mortar Mix
I started out with 3-1-1-1, and later started adding a bit more fireclay (an idea taken from CheeseSteak), making it closer to 3-1.5-1-1. Mortar consistency and stickiness was better with more clay.

GianniFocaccia 11-27-2012 09:08 PM

Re: Custom Mortar Mix
I started out with 3-1-1-1, and later started adding a bit more lime after reading here of lime's contribution to maintaining mortar integrity after the portland has burned out. My slight additions of lime (and fireclay) were not measurable, more like 'a little more for Santa'.

Here is a discussion of the (refractory) properties of the individual components that go into the classic 3-1-1-1.

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