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  #81  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:54 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

I've been using a small plastic tub, about 10"x12"x4" for mixing and holding my mortar, and lately doing all of the mixing with the pointing trowel--no problems on that end, though pulling out a spackling knife sounds promising. But Chip, having some hand lotion around sounds like genius to me. That Portland Cement is murder on my fingers!

I was on fire today--laid my whole third course, cut bricks for the fourth, and laid a few on course 4 as well. Finally figured out a routine that gets the bricks where I want them and mortar squishing out the back, without taking a ton of time. Pics attached.

Quote:
If you check edge of the bevel of your top arch brick on the low part of the bevel to the IT you will find that the arch is outside of where the inner surface of the dome will naturally want to be.
I wish I'd thought of that when I was cutting my arch bricks. In general I kinda wish I'd thought out the arch a little more thoroughly. Mostly I figured that tapering the inside edge was a brilliant idea, and didn't really work out what angle the taper should be at to make the tie in as easy as possible.

Quote:
For others that are interested in this reaching technique the arch bricks need to be cut to the colored line to compensate for the dome moving in as it moves up. The distance the brick moves in (becomes longer) increases with elevation. In my case the first brick of my inner arch was 5 inches long and the last was over 8 inches long.
I actually cut my whole bricks diagonal, so as to do two arch bricks with 3 cuts, so doing what you did would have been pretty easy, too!

Fortunately, the gap between the edge of the arch bricks and where the dome will hit isn't too big.


Hoping to finish course 4, and maybe even start cutting bricks for 5 tomorrow. My crazy goal of closing the dome before Thanksgiving is looking more reasonable all the time!

-Ryan
Attached Thumbnails
36" Pompeii in DC-img_6647.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6648.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6649.jpg  
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  #82  
Old 10-21-2012, 07:30 PM
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Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Finished course 4, and cut some bricks for course 5. Hoping to finish that course during the week in the evenings, and be ready for 6 and 7 next weekend. Weather seems to be holding out--I'm learning to love East Coast autumns!
Attached Thumbnails
36" Pompeii in DC-img_6749.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6750.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6752.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6753.jpg  
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  #83  
Old 10-28-2012, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Work on the oven this past week did not exactly go according to plan.

Course 5 was a breeze. Started mortaring bricks in Monday evening after work, and cut and placed the closers after putting the kid to bed Tuesday night. It helped that I finally got on top of my mortar problems, thanks in part a new jumbo batch of pre-mixed mortar (I ran out 6 bricks into course 5).

I used a different brand of sand, which I think was finer than what I'd been using before, and also upped the fireclay content by adding a few double handfuls of brick dust in addition to the full part of bagged fireclay. Whatever the cause, the mortar spreads easier, sticks better, holds its moisture better (less drying up on the buttered brick, plus less separating in the mortar bucket), squishes more easily without having to be too wet, and generally is more pleasant to work with.

If course 5 was a breeze, course 6 was more like the hurricane bearing down on us right now. What a pain! Between problems caused by switching to 1/3 bricks (5-6 tries to get the angle and bevel cuts right), problems caused by my clutzyness (no less than 5 tries to get the first brick mortared in without slipping), problems caused by gravity (the bricks, they just don't like holding themselves up!), and the fact that this was the course that had to get over the arch (5 bricks took all morning yesterday), course 6 flat out kicked my butt.

But, it's done! And I'm over the arch! I cut a nice tight closer this morning, laid a single brick for course 7, then cleaned up the work site and battened everything down to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which is supposed to start bringing wind and rain our way any minute now. I actually could have done a bit more work this morning (as of 2pm we've yet to see any rain), but I'm just as glad to have the break, and to have the everything secured ahead of the storm.

Probably won't get too much work done this week, as we have family in town visiting, so I really shouldn't be running outside every evening after work, even after the hurricane clears.

Cheers!
-Ryan
Attached Thumbnails
36" Pompeii in DC-img_6756.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6757.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6758.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6759.jpg  
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  #84  
Old 11-01-2012, 06:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ohio
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Looks great,look forwd to the rest of your build. Keep up the great work
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  #85  
Old 11-01-2012, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Ryan,

That is looking REALLY nice. You will thank yourself because you will never see a crack. It gets a lot harder from there but take your time - it can be done.
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  #86  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

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Originally Posted by Les View Post
Ryan,

That is looking REALLY nice. You will thank yourself because you will never see a crack. It gets a lot harder from there but take your time - it can be done.
Thanks! That means a lot coming from the king of tight joints . I hadn't thought about the tight inner joints hiding any cracks in the mortar, but that's definitely a big perk!

Not much work on the oven last week, owing partly to visiting family but mostly to a hurricane, work and other circumstances. I did manage to cut a few bricks during the week, and laid a few while chatting with my mom last Friday. I got her to grab my camera while we talked and I worked, and so I have (drumroll) action shots!
Attached Thumbnails
36" Pompeii in DC-img_6802.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6807.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6813.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6815.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6816.jpg  

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  #87  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

On Sunday, after the family had departed, I cut and laid the rest of course seven. I did manage a closer before I packed up work, but didn't manage to get back out with the camera before dark.
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36" Pompeii in DC-img_6903.jpg  
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  #88  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Nice work! I think you were wise to put a double layer of insulating brick under your hearth (at least that's what it looks like you've done). I finished up my oven back in September and it's working great but I think I'm losing more heat than a I expected..to the slab. Not much I can do about it now.

I also like the way you angled your inner arch to match the dome. By your own account, you may not have gotten the variable pitch exactly right but the end result is very nice and it was probably alot easier than muddling through as I had to do. I wish I had spent more time looking into this aspect of the build. Marrying my dome to my "vertical" inner arch was a very time consuming process. My mistake...Newbies beware!
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  #89  
Old 11-05-2012, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsandler View Post
But Chip, having some hand lotion around sounds like genius to me. That Portland Cement is murder on my fingers!
Its more likely that anyone with girly office worker hands will find the abrasiveness of masonry murder on their hands, not the cement.

Ive worked with cement all my life but find that if I have a few weeks off from work my hands go all soft and girly then they tend to wear/abrade and burn.
Its the small cuts in the skin that hurt not the cement, in my opinion.
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Last edited by brickie in oz; 11-05-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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  #90  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Veteran's day landed at just the right time this year. Three days of perfect, sunny, mid-60's fall weather, and perfectly overlapped a three day weekend. You can't ask for more than that. We threw a birthday party for my now 2-year old daughter, went on a picnic, and of course, I spent a lot of time working on the oven. Nothing like working outside in lovely weather.

To wit:

Eight


Nine


Ten


And each one harder than the last, let me tell you! Not hard in the ways I expected, either. I actually haven't had much of a problem with gravity, ironically enough--the bricks largely have been staying where I put them. On course 9 I had a terrible time keeping on bond, and with course 10 the angle of the bevel cuts gave me conniptions. After several tries that were either too sharply beveled or not beveled enough, I gave up and cut a variety of bevels and just alternated over- and under-beveled bricks :P.

All of this has been great fun, even the frustrating bits. My rough measuring tells me that I could either do one more course and a large plug, or two more courses and a really tiny plug. I'm leaning toward the former--if I do a 12th course I don't think I'll be able to use my IT, and I've really come to rely on the thing!

More pictures attached.
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36" Pompeii in DC-img_6965.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6969.jpg   36" Pompeii in DC-img_6976.jpg  
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