#11  
Old 10-02-2011, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

So in reality if I cut the bricks in half first and then started tapering them as I went up, the dome would actually be getting thinner by the amount of the taper as I went up? Would that effect the performance of the oven at all? It would seem as though the top would heat up/lose heat a bit faster than the lower part of the oven? I'm not really interested in using a whole lot of mortar.

I guess I could factor in the taper as I went up to keep the mortar joints consistent (as thin as possible I am assuming thinnest would be best)...Also my thought was to make an indispensable tool with a turn buckle and about 2" of adjustment room for the length. Assuming I used 1/4-20 threads and started at a 21" length (42" diameter), if I turn the turn buckle a certain amount of full turns on each course wouldn't that give me a consistent curve and also a finish height some where in the 19" range?

Now that I think about it I would have to figure out how many rows of bricks I would need to get to my 19" (give or take) and see if I could get a turn buckle/rod thread to where a full turn (or 2) per row would finish me out at 19"? Of course assuming that 19" would be where I wanted to be at full height on a 42" oven? Or am I just WAY over thinking this whole thing?

Also, I'm trying to figure how many split bricks I'll need...should I just double the 200 to 400? I'm actually thinking about picking up 500 as the yard is a bit away...only problem is if I have 100 bricks left over I'll have to find a use for them...maybe a smoker? Yeah...that would be a problem... Thanks again.

Last edited by cnicholson; 10-02-2011 at 09:12 PM. Reason: forgot to ask
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2011, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

Alrighty then...I went to the supplier and attempted to pick up the bricks...unfortunately after waiting around 45 minutes I HAD to leave due to a previous appointment I could not be late for...so I may try again but I do have a question, I noticed another thread addressing this as well but didn't really see a concise answer, the face of the bricks seemed extremely rough and grainy...not sure if that is why they were in the seconds pile or not but...

I am assuming the first few times you hit the surface with a peel (or equivalent) the aggregate is going to dislodge and then get swept out, which would most likely occur doing the curing, but if someone can answer from experience I would appreciate it..thanks!
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2011, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

Quote:
the dome would actually be getting thinner by the amount of the taper as I went up
Huh? If the depth (from inside out) of the brick is 4 1/2", this will remain constant in each course throughout the dome. Tapering causes the inward faces of the bricks to get shorter, meaning you will need more of them to cover the same area as a 2 1/2" tall brick.

Quote:
if I turn the turn buckle a certain amount of full turns on each course wouldn't that give me a consistent curve and also a finish height some where in the 19" range?
Your indispensable tool design is fine. I would cut out a dome template and use it to start (and periodically check) each course to keep the inward angle accurate. Your template can be cut to end up at any final dome height you wish.

Quote:
I would have to figure out how many rows of bricks I would need to get to my 19" (give or take)
Get a copy (free) of Sketchup and mock up your entire oven, espcially the inner arch transition and you will save lot of time and mortar. See pic.

Quote:
the face of the bricks seemed extremely rough and grainy
If you're referring to the wide side of the brick as the face, this is a non-issue for dome bricks since they are buttered with mortar and are never seen. If you plan on using the wide face for the floor, I wouldn't. Spend the $100 and purchase 2 1/2"-thick standard firebricks that are smooth. This is your cooking surface and it should be as smooth and homogeneous as possible.

John
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Using Splits in 42" Pompeii-oven-20profile-20-20rev1.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2011, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

Thank you John...I am now wrapping my head around the tapering of the brick as you "draw the purse strings" on the dome if you will...and the significant advantage of using splits at that point...

On the floor... I looked at another brickyard this afternoon and I have to say that the non-seconds do not looks much better actually... I have a pizza stone from Crate and Barrel in my oven (electric oven that is) and I was hoping for a finish like that..is it possible to wet polish the finished floor with diamond pads to get a better finish on it? I think I'm going to look at the FB floor material as well...

I have sketch up but admittedly haven't used it for much... your illustration speaks volumes about laying it out on paper first...thanks again for all the direction and insight!!!
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2011, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

Ok...if anyone is interested in what 500 splits look like here you go...It seems like a LOT of bricks but hey...if it was easy everyone would have a pizza oven in their backyard...that brings up a question to everyone out there..I have a friend in Sacramento who wants an oven but just can't do the work..they were quoted $9000 for an oven (not too sure how much detail was involved) but if anyone is, or knows anyone who is, interested in doing an oven for hire let me know...

As far as the "seconds" go...as far as me, or the brick yard guys could tell, the reason they were in the seconds yard is for the discoloration on some of the bricks. It looks like the clay didn't get mixed too thouroughly in those spots...about 5-10% of the bricks had some degree of discoloration..the one shown is about the worst one...

So if anyone is interested, Pacific Clay in Lake Elsinore has about 2500 left at .25 each...ask for Mike in sales.. (951) 674-2131...

One caveat...don't go on a Monday if your short on time and ideally call ahead and he can get them ready for you...
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Using Splits in 42" Pompeii-tower-o-bricks.jpg   Using Splits in 42" Pompeii-firebrick-seconds.jpg  
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2011, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

cnic,
Great score for $125. You're gonna have a honey of an oven when you're finished.
John
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2011, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

Many thanks Gianni... After unloading and stacking the 500 bricks I'm getting a little intimidated knowing I am going to have to cut the majority of them a couple of times..and lay them...but I think your correct with the honey part..

I was milling over in my head the cuts and your comments are becoming clearer and clearer about the tapers...I was thinking to lay it out in sketchup, it looks like it will give you angles and dimensions to start from? Then maybe cutting a wood brick template per chain w/ taper dimensions an see how it lays out? I guess if each brick side was off by a degree or two it would get hidden in the mortar?

The more I think about it, using a wood template for the curve vs an indispensible tool would save quite a bit of time too provided I wasn't searching for a hemisperical dome...which I'm not. Your picture of the old school oven is my goal!
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2011, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

The biggest value I got from my Sketchup drawings was to visualize my plan dimensions and understand the material size limitations. If something in my plan didn't fit, it was easier (and cheaper) to make the adjustment on the screen than in real life. The application might be able to reveal angles or dimensions that could be translated into workable jigs, templates, etc., but I wasn't willing (or smart enough) to take it that far. Just know that as you build, learn to trust your eye and it won't let you down.

I specifically wanted a flatter dome and flatter entry arches and found it was easy to sketch each profile on a piece of paper and transfer to a wood dome template or arch form. You can build whatever you want. I wouldn't spend any time building a wood model for bevels and tapers because as soon as you get a few bricks to fit together correctly you will be able to repeat the dimensions by eye. As the dome progresses upwards and you follow your dome template, the bevel angles become more acute but the process to repeat each brick remains the same. The best part is that the process to bevel a 1"-thick brick should be easier than a full-size firebrick.

Lastly, the bond pattern of an oven like yours doesn't have to be perfectly centered, in fact I think a random bond pattern (like the ancient dome) looks awesome and is easier to build. This should make it easier to complete your dome earlier.

John
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  #19  
Old 10-22-2011, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

I'm a little confused, the brick you bought from Pacific Clay, are they standard bricks, and then you cut them in half? Or, did they come as splits?
If they are splits from Pacific, do they also have standard size bricks in seconds? Lake Elsinore is not to far for me, and I'm (being 72 and on SS) am really on a budget with a fixed income. I'm trying to get anything I can with the intention of recycling to build my oven.
Thanks for the info, Gary
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2011, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: Using Splits in 42" Pompeii

Gary,
My bricks were standard full-size firebricks. I found them in the PC seconds area. I am unaware if there are any firing (durability) issues, only the irregular shape.
John
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Using Splits in 42" Pompeii-pacific-clay-firebrick-seconds.jpg  

Last edited by GianniFocaccia; 10-23-2011 at 12:09 AM.
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