#11  
Old 11-02-2009, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Questions on hearth layout.

I felt that the cardinal herringbone pattern was easier to lay with less tricky cuts. I have zero masonry skills and the less tricky cuts the better. I hope I don't regret that decision. Now I am starting to think twice about the floor layout.
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2009, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Questions on hearth layout.

Trust me, they don't come with less masonry skill than myself, and I have definitely made some mistakes up to this point (I keep mixing my concrete too dry). I was (and remain) intimidated by the precise brick cuts everyone else is making, and having only cut brick for one day so far, I am still learning.

...but, I was amazed at how easy it is to make ridiculously precise cuts. Those bricks are extremely sharp and rigid. They will take 1/16" precision easily, which is beyond my current ability to align the bricks for the saw in the first place. Once you start cutting bricks, I believe you will discover that you can achieve impressively meticulous brick arrangements with little trouble.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Questions on hearth layout.

Let me echo that. I make my living on my butt as as corporate and securities attorney. No one is less of a mason than I am. But I was able to do it. Did I make mistakes along the way. Yup. And when trying to figure out the transition I just sat in the partially completed oven for what seemed like hours trying to figure it out. I just don't think well in three dimensions, so when I tried to cut the transition bricks I ended up doing it mostly through trial and error and trying to use calipers to measure the space and transfer it to the brick. Take your time, think it through, make mistakes, do it again (trying to avoid the same mistakes), and you will get there. It's really cool as it takes shape.

Back to the point, though, if it's not too late to do a herringbone pattern (I'm not enough of a brickie to know what a cardinal herringbone is), I would do it. The cuts for the floor are not at all complex. And if that intimidates you, don't cut the floor at all and build on top of it as many, many others have done. The transition to the arch is without question the hardest part, but if I can figure that out, anyone can.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Questions on hearth layout.

My use of the word cardinal simply refers to the two primary square axes, like cardinal compass directions (I doubt pro brick-layers use the term as I have assigned it).

So a cardinal alignment would align the brick edges parallel (and orthogonal) to the primary axes of the hearth and oven, the exact opposite of a 45-degree alignment such as that prescribed for the floor layout. This has nothing to do with herringbone of course: any layout could be oriented cardinally, 45-degrees, or conceivably some other strange orientation between 0 and 45 degrees..

Sorry for the confusion.
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