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  #11  
Old 09-01-2012, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Your foundation looks great! They don't have to be "perfect" and trialed to a glass finish.

Also, I don't see any major drainage problems up hill of your oven base. As you said "just a little more digging" and maybe a very short retainer wall on the uphill sides. You could finnish the oven and wait until you have a better idea of how to finish the patio area in front of the oven before you worry about that.
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2012, 06:32 AM
Apprentice
 
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Dino: Yeah, the rain's been giving me grief already and I'm not very far along. I'm contemplating getting some kind of canopy to put over the oven so I can work in a light rain. It wouldn't keep things dry in one of these crazy thunderstorms, but it would keep me from having to cover everything up every time it starts to drizzle.

Gulf: Good to know! It seems like the edges of the hole have been holding together in the short term, so with any luck I'll avoid any mini landslides until I can get a retaining wall in there.

-Ryan
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2012, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Laid out the blocks for the first course of my stand last night. I didn't do too horribly at getting the pad level, but I'm definitely going to need mortar to get the blocks nicely level.

In the meantime, I've been thinking ahead to my hearth and how to do the counter on the side of the oven. Originally I had envisioned pouring concrete, at the same time as the heath itself, but I'm realizing that might be somewhat complicated. Certainly more work than pouring the pad and just placing/pouring a countertop surface at a later date.

As I see it, the advantage of having the countertop be on top of concrete is that then it will be level with the oven landing. The downside is a more complicated and challenging concrete pour (something I've already shown I'm not that good at!)

I see four options:
(1) Make an L of blocks, place a slab of countertop on this later, resulting in a counter lower than the oven landing (picture 1).
(2) Make and L of blocks, pour 3.5" of concrete at the same time as the hearth. (picture 2)
(3) Make a C of blocks, and pour a 3.5" slab at a later date. (picture 3)
(4) Make a rectangle of blocks and pour a 3.5" slab at a later date. (picture 4)

Of course, these are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps I need to do a C or a rectangle and pour it with the hearth. But I figure it I'm just holding up a slab of counter, I don't necessarily need the kind of lintel needed to hold a much bigger hearth plus a ton of oven.

Suggestions appreciated!

-Ryan
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36" Pompeii in DC-counter1.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-counter2.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-counter3.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-counter4.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2012, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

You may want to lay the bottom row of block in a bed of mortar, if you feel that it needs the extra leveling. However, you can correct for a lot of differential with the form for the hearth.
Also, I would go with "C". You can adjust the level with brick, block etc. when you find out what the exact height of your landing is going to be.

Edit: I was referring to "dry stacking" the remaining courses of the the stand.
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Last edited by Gulf; 09-05-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2012, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

So, if I'm following you correctly, it's worth putting mortar down to make sure the individual blocks lay flat, but I don't need to worry if the whole thing is sloped slightly, because the form will fix that. Makes sense.

I'm liking the C; for some reason it hadn't occurred to me that I could just add more bricks or blocks on the counter side to get the level up--since I'm thinking of putting something on the hearth landing to get it level with the oven entry, making the counter support taller could make things a lot easier.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2012, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsandler View Post
So, if I'm following you correctly, it's worth putting mortar down to make sure the individual blocks lay flat, but I don't need to worry if the whole thing is sloped slightly, because the form will fix that. Makes sense.

I'm liking the C; for some reason it hadn't occurred to me that I could just add more bricks or blocks on the counter side to get the level up--since I'm thinking of putting something on the hearth landing to get it level with the oven entry, making the counter support taller could make things a lot easier.
Laying the mortar down on the first row can help with two things:
1. Helping to get the stand back into level (atleast some of it) .

2. It will help you dry stack the remaining courses without as much "wave" in the block which will give you tighter "dry stacked" joints.

Even if you had the foundation "perfectly level" and then "dry stacked" block on top or it you would not "top out" the stand perfect. Concrete blocks ain't perfectly formed. Close but no cigar .

I think that option C will be your best, if you want to keep the landing and side counters even. It gives you some room for adjustment at a later date.
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2012, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Dry stack requires the first course be mortar set. Dry stack is often confused with "easy" when in reality it often takes more time and talent to do it well than simply laying the block in mortar, plus the CMU are nominal sized which throws off your measurements. Allowable variation in individual CMU sizes is much larger than is practical for drystacking CMU without shimming or not worrying about plumb and level.

I have had idiots threaten lawsuits because the windows did not fit the rough openings on their large windows because they drystacked and used the nominal size instead of actually measuring.

Last edited by Tscarborough; 09-06-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Well, I ended up putting down just enough mortar to get the first row of blocks more or less level, and then mortaring one other place in the stack to make it so things fit together tightly, with no rocking about. I got everything stacked, and this weekend I poured concrete down the cores.



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  #19  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Dry stack requires the first course be mortar set. Dry stack is often confused with "easy" when in reality it often takes more time and talent to do it well than simply laying the block in mortar, plus the CMU are nominal sized which throws off your measurements. Allowable variation in individual CMU sizes is much larger than is practical for drystacking CMU without shimming or not worrying about plumb and level.

I have had idiots threaten lawsuits because the windows did not fit the rough openings on their large windows because they drystacked and used the nominal size instead of actually measuring.
If you put a window in your oven stand, you could have a bomb shelter with a view.
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  #20  
Old 09-10-2012, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Stupid question #4 (there will be more to come...):

I started making the tray for my hearth. I was having a heck of a time nailing the boards together on their sides, as called for in the Pompeii plans, so I thought "what the heck, I'll just have them upright". Except I decided this after I'd already cut the boards to size based on them having the 3.5" side facing up. So, as the attached picture shows, I have a ~2" gap on the sides. Presuming the plywood extends over the whole opening, is this a problem?
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36" Pompeii in DC-20120909_184557-1-.jpg  
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