#21  
Old 04-18-2011, 05:31 PM
Paul in Rockwall TX's Avatar
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

the vermicrete is easy to cut. you might be best served by cutting into it 4" around the perimeter and down to the hard hearth. 3-1/2 for the metal stud and 1/2 for the concrete backer, if that's what you're doing. it's a little messy, but can be acomplished pretty quickly.

I had to do the same for an inch up front, but no big deal.
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2011, 05:37 PM
Paul in Rockwall TX's Avatar
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

regarding the blanket, they recommend mask & gloves (neither of which I used, unfortunately). It's ceramic fiber, not too harmfull. I didn't work with it much, just gently cut it with scissors and layered it up. overdid it really, but my oven is cool to the touch outside while 1000 inside.

but it's not worse than fiberglass - it's not asbestos, so no worries.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2011, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

Paul - What if I decided not to cut the slaab like you suggest. What do you think would be the best way to attached the metal studs to the Vermicrete?
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2011, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

in that case, perhaps a long wedge anchor. drill a hole through the vermicrete to the hard concrete. drill a couple of inches into the concrete to set the wedge anchor, using a 7 or 8 inch anchor. then, lay the stud on top of the vermicrete, drill a hole through the metal track and attach it that way, if that makes sense.

maybe a fender washer, but maybe not necessary. just thinking off the top of my head, but I think that would work fine and would torque down tight.

yes - I think so.
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2011, 06:52 PM
Paul in Rockwall TX's Avatar
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

another late thought - a 3/8 anchor would be fine, but you may need to go up to 1/2-13 to get the length needed.
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  #26  
Old 04-18-2011, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

Good job on the pour(s). The concrete and vermicrete turned out very well. I had started with a perlite:cement mix of 5:1 on the base and used 6:1 on the capping insulation...no problems with compression for me. So your 3.5:1 mix should have much better strength all around. Looking at the pour's cross section, the mix looks good. Great tips from Paul on different methods of anchoring here--if you have problems. I bet this is all going to turn out just dandy and that you won't have any problems here (other than the normal ones).

Remember that although the vermicrete will hold water for a long time, you need to keep the pour moist while it hardens and cures. Covering the top slab(s) with plastic for at least a week is probably all you need to do. And the longer the vermicrete can dry after at least a week of moist curing, the better. However, since you will be using the base insulation pad provided by FB as your primary insulation, you won't need to wait until the vermicrete is completely dry before you start building and using the oven. FYI: I would be surprised if you didn't see steam venting from underneath for a while...no worries as long as you know what it is.

As advised, I'd definitely be wearing a mask & gloves when you work with the ceramic blanket (and it sounds like an old shirt/pants that's going to the dump right after the job is done wouldn't be a bad idea either if you find you're exceptionally sensitive to it). Remember that even though it may not be asbestos, the fibers will be happy to stay in your lungs...not a good thing.

Keep us up on how the oven's coming together.
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  #27  
Old 04-18-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

"As advised, I'd definitely be wearing a mask & gloves when you work with the ceramic blanket (and it sounds like an old shirt/pants that's going to the dump right after the job is done wouldn't be a bad idea either if you find you're exceptionally sensitive to it). Remember that even though it may not be asbestos, the fibers will be happy to stay in your lungs...not a good thing."


The stuff is classified as a class 2 carcinogen. unable to be even sold in Germany.

Anything richer than 10:1 as an insulating mix over the dome is too much cement IMO. You are actually adding more weight with cement than vermiculite and this simply results in poor insulation. You have to make it stronger under the floor because it has to hold the weight, but on the sides and top of the dome you only need it strong enough to hold together so you can render/stucco over it.
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  #28  
Old 04-19-2011, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

Paul - thanks for all the great ideas. How many do you think I would need to put in to make the enclosure stable? Also, how deep do you think I need to drill into the concrete slab?

SableSpring - thanks for the nice words. My wife seems pretty impressed that I even knew what concrete was. I kept on telling her that I was handy but too tired to actually do anything myself. This really has been a very rewarding project so far.

David - I didn't realize this stuff was so serious. You would think that there would be more written about it in the forum and on the installation guide. I will def be using a mask and gloves when I finally install it. I'm going to let the verm/cement mix sit for another day and then start the rest of the build.

Thanks for all your help!!
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  #29  
Old 04-19-2011, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

Cdubs,
I am probably oversensitive re carcinogens. My Dad, being a doctor, did some military service for the Brits when they were testing their nukes in Australia. He only made one visit, I think around 1960, but ended up dying of an unusual cancer in 1984. All the servicemen who served there are now dead, most of cancer. Unfortunately effects of exposure usually don't present themselves for 20 years or so. I try to avoid contact with anything slightly suspicious now.
Dave
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  #30  
Old 04-19-2011, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Casa90 Build

Dave,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Obviously it's almost impossible to link the two but it is absolutely something to look at. If it takes me putting on a mask to protect myself from a potentially harmful substance, then guess what I'm going to buy.
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