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aceves 08-08-2011 10:44 AM

Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
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Hi FB members!

So i've started my dome!! Finally, after 3 years from breaking ground on this project, I've started to build my dome! The reason I took so long to get here was because I had numerous other home projects going on at the same time.

The pics show much I got done in one day: measured and set my FB Board insulation, cut and set my firebrick floor (with fireclay/sand used to level them out), cut and set my half soldiers, cut and set 2.5 chains.

I'm using the homebrew mix, FB Board for insulation on the floor, and a home-made Indispensible Tool. I went with the herringbone pattern on the floor (sorry, no pics of the floor getting installed).

You'll notice that some of my firebricks line up with the bottom one. Yes, I know we should avoid that as much as we can, but once you get started on a chain.... I'll get better as I go up the chains.

I'm also going to build my entry arch at the same time as I go up the chains.

My Indispensible Tool is put together with things I had around my garage, so it didn't cost me a dime and it works just fine: an old cabinet door hinge, a piece of hardwood trim (cut to size), and a "L" bracket attached to the trim. It rotates just fine, and the L bracket keeps my angle correct as I go up the chains.

I've been cutting my bricks with 4" on one side and 5" on the other side to get the bevel and to use 2 half-bricks per whole brick and one cut of the wet saw. I've been going OK with this angle up to 3 top chains. I will start cutting my bevels on both side starting with my 4th chain.

Also, I went with half soldiers all the way around the bottom. I wanted the look of soldiers but didn't want to go as high as a full soldier. Also, I cut the half soldiers at an angle, so there is a slight bevel at the top (sorry, no pics of that either).

I'll post more pics as I move along. Below is my link to my "Getting Started" thread that details everything I've done up to my dome. I figured I'd start a thread here as well, as I'm now underway on my Pompeii.

Special thanks go out to R.O. for helping me this weekend! We're almost there. I can't wait to finish the dome and start cooking!


Lburou 08-09-2011 08:43 PM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
That is a great start, keep after it :)

chidding 08-09-2011 08:56 PM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
Nice work for one day, wont take you long to get this done! Took me one full day per ring! so your pace is awesome.

aceves 08-10-2011 04:43 PM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
Thanks Lburou and Chidding!

Yes, I'll keep after it alright. It took me years to get to this point, but I'm on a roll now! I want to be cooking by Thanksgiving.

Thanks for the support!


aceves 08-14-2011 08:37 PM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
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Got a little more done today.

I finished my arch and connected all my chains to the arch up to chain 3 (I'm not counting my half-soldier chain; that's separate).

I followed KarangiDude, GianniFocaccia & Sharkey's arch transition and I must say it is going smooth so far. I don't have to do any crazy transition cuts as my arch is cut at an angle. Special thanks go out to KarangiDude, GianniFocaccia & Sharkey!!

I decided to go with the hemisphere arch as opposed to a segmental arch (like my storage arch) for the simple reason that I wanted to keep with the hemisphere dome and arch theme. I also figured the dome to arch transition would be smoother (and so far it has been).

I'm getting the hang of cutting bricks and working the homebrew mix.

I'm really enjoying the build process!!!

More pics to follow.


aceves 08-23-2011 10:43 AM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
2 Attachment(s)
More done this weekend! Look at that dome!!!

I'm over the arch transition and near the top of the dome. By near, I mean 3-4 more chains then I add the keystone. On the last chain, I switched from 1/2 bricks to 1/3 bricks. A little easier, but the angles still fought me as I was setting the final chain (damn angles, always trying to get their way!).

I'm only beveling both sides of my bricks with the proper angle, no cutting on top and no compound cuts so far. I am amazed at the precision cuts that some builders are doing. This has worked for me so far, and my dome is looking good with the perfect curve thanks to my home-made IT.

I will, however, start cutting compound cuts on the last few chains, as the cut angle is coming in near the top.

I did encounter the "dreaded droop" at the top of the arch that most builders get during their builds, but it was only a slight droop, and I leveled it out in the next chain. One more chain and the droop will be gone.

It's not perfect, but I'm making progress and enjoying the build!


GianniFocaccia 08-23-2011 11:01 AM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build

Nice job! Sweet-looking build so far. Bet it feels good to get those courses above the arch completed. Keep the pics coming.

aceves 08-23-2011 11:11 AM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
Hi John,

Thanks for the support! Yes, it was great to get over the arch. I borrowed your idea of beveling the arch bricks and the chain cuts were not that bad compared to making a "V" cut needed for a square brick arch. Very innovative on your part.

And I have been following your build since the beginning. Truly awesome work, John. I thought I had a few ideas to contribute to FB, but man, you knocked it out of the park!

Keep up the great work. And yes, I'll keep posting pics. I still have a few more tricks up my sleeve, so stay tuned.


aceves 08-27-2011 11:47 PM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
4 Attachment(s)
So today I achieved FULL DOME!!!

Finally, I have a completed Pompeii dome sitting on my hearth. I feels great to get to this point!

We only worked half a day today, had help from R.O. (thanks R.O.) and we were able to finish the final 3 chains and set the keystone plug!

The best thing was that we were able to complete the dome with the I.T. ONLY: no forms, no sand and no prop sticks. The trick was getting the home-brew mixed just right, almost like peanut butter - super sticky. Towards the top of the dome, I started using 1.5 parts fireclay in my home-brew to add more clay and make a stickier mortar. That worked perfectly.

I was not able to take pics of the keystone going in as we wanted to finish before the end of the day, but I took a pic of the dome from inside and you can see the keystone. It is 2 bricks custom cut in the shape of a circle.

For the last 3 chains, I was making compound cuts to the bricks, and I was using 1/3 bricks then 1/4 bricks.

I was amazed that we could keep going with no forms. The home-brew "grabbed" the bricks each time we started a new chain. Amazing.

It's perfectly round and I am super happy with the results.

Now on to the entry arch, chimney, curing fires, insulation, enclosure, roof, and stucco. Wait a minute, why am I so happy when I'm not even halfway done? :confused:

Oh yeah, that's right... I have a completed DOME!!! :D


Lburou 08-28-2011 10:42 AM

Re: Aceves's Corner 42" Pompeii Build
It looks great!

Are you planning any thermal breaks in the construction of your entry?

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