#21  
Old 11-17-2008, 07:25 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

ok great news.

This oven project was my idea since I always wanted one and I'm usually a perfectionist. I was going to build it using the tapered bricks method. But this project is even more my fathers pet project. When he was a teenager he built his first oven in his village in Greece and since then he always wanted to build one for me. So in the end its better to let him have his fun and to relax about the look since after all whats important is to have a fully functional oven.
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2008, 10:22 PM
Laborer
 
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Location: Australia
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

Haha, good stuff. looking forward to more photos
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  #23  
Old 11-18-2008, 12:54 AM
Frances's Avatar
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by exipnos View Post
this project is even more my fathers pet project. When he was a teenager he built his first oven in his village in Greece and since then he always wanted to build one for me. So in the end its better to let him have his fun and to relax about the look since after all whats important is to have a fully functional oven.
That sounds like the way to go. Don't worry about the look, it'll be fine from the inside and you won't ever see the outside of the dome once the oven is finished.

(And thank you Les - I hope not though! I'd far rather bake than charge admission.)
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  #24  
Old 11-18-2008, 01:35 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

Today my father did 4th and half of 5th course. Started alright but at some point I'm not sure if he used the cutout shape and the oven is now not completely round in the upper courses. He's leaving tomorrow and I would now have to complete the rest myself. I'm now again wonder about the structural integrity if it doesn't follow the circle as planned.

Since the shape is now bothering me I might attempt to remove the last bricks to try to correct the mistake. The mortar would have cured for about 24 hours by the time I get to it. Will it create a problem? If I just hammer on each individual brick will it come off or will I destroy big parts of the oven?

Also if I attempted to remove the bricks will I be able to clean them up easily to then reuse them?

I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow.
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  #25  
Old 11-18-2008, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

I agree with you about taking off the out of round area. Since you are a perfectionist like me, even if you are the only one who notices it it will probably always bother you. Fix it now.

Mark
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  #26  
Old 11-18-2008, 11:10 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

Here are some pictures that shows the progress and the mistake.
Attached Thumbnails
51" Oven in France-dscf1502-small.jpg   51" Oven in France-dscf1501-small.jpg  
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  #27  
Old 11-19-2008, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

Update. I decided to demolish my dome and start over. I wanted to now taper all the bricks so that I could have a nice looking dome that I could be proud over.

At lunch time after having dropped my mom and dad off at the airport I went back and got armed with a big masonry hammer. With this heavy piece of metal I started to hammer away on the last bricks. They did not budge! I went gingerly in the beginning but after a while I applied a bit more force. Again nothing. Only after a lot of work did a brick finally break loose but not cleanly! The brick split in two and the mortar between the two bricks stayed behind.

Yikes, the special refractory mortar that I bought locally is really tough even though its less then 24 hours since applied.

I changed my weapon of choice and now attacked the dome with a angel cutter with a diamond masonry blade. It was cutting into the mortar but again only with a lot of effort.

In the end having spent 30 minutes with the hammer and diamond blade I managed to cut loose 3 bricks! Bricks are ruined and not reusable. So unless I want to throw away everything that has been done I'm now realizing that its not really possible to demolish my dome.

While standing on the oven floor I decided to check the strength of my dome and I sat on the half finished dome wall. I'm a big man at about 95kg or 210 pounds and the dome was taking my whole weight without a problem.

Is this normal? As of right now the dome is half way done only and I didn't think it will be able to withstand all that weight unless its completed and the forces can be distributed to the whole dome. I assume that I can go ahead and not worry about the strength?

So to finalize I believe I just have to live with the imperfections and continue with the construction as is. Oh well at least I will save some time and finish up earlier now.

Cheers,

Kosta
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  #28  
Old 11-19-2008, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

Wow! You have the bug bad!!!

I don't think it was so much a mistake as character, but you need to be happy with your work and your finished product. Building the oven was a very enjoyable part of the journey for me for sure!

Your local mix could have some portland in it for intial strength and that could burn out over time. But I think you have built a very good strong oven so far. If you had done a poor job with the mix or did not apply enough I don't believe it would have held up to the bashing you gave it.

Try to be patient when cleaning up your attempt at destruction and moving on!!! I have some exerience with this and it always takes me longer than planned...

There is nothing wrong with starting to taper the bricks now. It makes sense and I think others have done it this way as well. The tapers become more important as you work your way up the dome anyway.

Bonne Chance!

Christo
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Last edited by christo; 11-19-2008 at 05:46 AM.
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  #29  
Old 11-19-2008, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

While you will know that there's a spot out of round, no one else will. And by the time you have the dome finished, it's pretty dark in there and you won't really have to look at it unless you put your head in. I really don't spend much time looking at the brickwork, more at the pretty fire (ok, I'm a pyromaniac) and what I'm cooking...

If it's that hard to get it out, something's sending you a message...
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  #30  
Old 11-19-2008, 09:52 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: 51" Oven in France

I too had a few problems with the out of round issue, seems to create itself when you are connecting the dome into the arch. There have been many of us who have experienced this. I literally spent an entire day trying to totally eliminate the issue......dozens of cuts trying to be perfect, I was unable to correct it in one course and "settled" on 2 courses to correct and the 3rd getting back into round. I am the most anal perfectionist I know and sometimes I just have to say enough - this is the best I am capable of at my experience level, time constraints, budget, or all of the above.
I'm not telling you to throw in the towel and slap things together, just be reasonable with yourself.
Based on your above comments structurally you are GOOD, sounds like you have some good mortar (if it is truly a refractory product); from an aesthetics point - LOOKS GREAT. Move on, and by all means taper or "cut to fit" as best as you can from this point forward - to me a tighter fit is much better than wide mortar joints which will only deteriorate over time. The biggest point - EVERY course needs to be "keyed" in with the last brick in each course fitting tight enough that it actually needs to be gently tapped into place...this is true whether you choose to taper/cut to fit or simply use the 1/2 bricks as they are. Good luck, keep the photos coming.

RT
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