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hungng 08-21-2011 08:30 PM

Gauge or sand mold
I can't decide whether to use a gauge or a sand mold to shape my dome.
If using a gauge I imagine that you could really only do one course of bricks at a time allowing time in between for mortar to set. A sand mold looks to me like you could pretty much do the whole dome at once.
I'm not sure that I could get a good even shape using sand. The gauge method looks much more accurate.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Neil2 08-22-2011 10:34 AM

Re: Gauge or sand mold
Or you could use a "fan" form system such as I did and as Terry did:

rodeair 08-22-2011 10:43 AM

Re: Gauge or sand mold
My two cents - I used a piece of plywood (quarter circle) castored in the center. The only problem I can see using a mold is not being able to clean and properly mortar the inner seams and bricks. The homebrew sets pretty quickly, so I can't imagine a situation where you would need to slow down because of the gauge. I think you'll find keeping the inside of the dome clean as you go would be the better route.

dmun 08-22-2011 12:37 PM

Re: Gauge or sand mold
You can't build your dome "all at once". It's pretty much one brick at a time.

david s 08-22-2011 02:06 PM

Re: Gauge or sand mold
building a sand dome is easier than it sounds. I've done three and getting the form right is quite easy. You need to have damp sand and simply tap the sides with the flat of a trowel and look at the profile by eye. A stck of the required height placed in the centre is useful to get the correct height. A few polystyrene boxes in the middle saves on sand.

azpizzanut 08-22-2011 02:50 PM

Re: Gauge or sand mold

You can have the best of both worlds by starting with a plywood gauge then finish with a sand mold when you get near the top. Many have done it this way successfully.


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