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tagertim 04-16-2012 06:07 PM

42 in Kalamazoo
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First timer here looking for help/advise as to progress and next step.
Thanks and great site!

mfiore 04-17-2012 07:58 PM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
Awesome! Another Michigan oven. Looks like a great start. I'm looking forward to your progress!

tagertim 04-18-2012 09:37 AM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
Mike, you cut each brick. I wasn't planning on doing that as I am only using a 4 1/2 inch grinder. Should I reconsider? I am guessing it helps with heat retention?

mfiore 04-18-2012 01:27 PM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
I did cut each brick. It took a really long time. Functionally, I don't think it matters. There are plenty who use half bricks as you have started. As you progress upward, the gaps will get bigger, and you may need to make the bricks smaller. It also becomes more difficult as you progress upward to ensure the vertical joints don't stack on each other. It seems that those ovens with the biggest crack problems have runs of vertical joints on top of each other. I don't think a tightly cut oven has any better heat retention. You are filling the gaps with refractory mortar. The heat retention really comes from how well it's insulated.

shuboyje 04-18-2012 03:03 PM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
Hello to another Michigander!

One option would be to cut the bricks in half then quarters for the smaller chains then fill the larger triangular gaps that will form with a wet mix of castable refractory. This is done on some of the too Italian ovens and is what I did on my most recent built. About 15 fires in so far so good and not a single crack in my dome, and my oven is on wheels.

tagertim 04-22-2012 04:29 AM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
Thanks for the info. This is all trial an error for me as I have never worked with any of these materials. Found out it is better mortar in between bricks when you lay them. Going back after the fact is not that easy. In the instructions it states that you should tap in a keystone. Didn't do this on the first chain. Seems like there is so much mortar on the back side of each brick that a keystone won't do much. Any thoughts on this? Also learned there are gloves that are for cement work and won't burn finger tips. Hands are almost healed from last weekend.

tagertim 04-30-2012 05:28 AM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
2 Attachment(s)
Moving slowly ahead. Any tips on cutting angles for the vent arch?

mfiore 05-02-2012 01:21 PM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
I'm not sure I am going to be much help here. I was waiting to see if someone else responded. This is one spot where I don't know how I could have done it without a brick saw. I don't know how precise you can be with the angle grinder to keep the bricks uniform.

Faith In Virginia 05-02-2012 10:16 PM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
I was just in Kalamazoo like 14 hours ago. I will be going back next week some time. I'm picking up another load of firebrick. Where did you get your material?

tagertim 05-03-2012 03:46 AM

Re: 42 in Kalamazoo
Consumers concrete. Low duty for $1.54 each. Couldn't find medium duty bricks around here. Where did you pick up bricks in Kalamazoo?

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