#11  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

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Originally Posted by sarah h View Post
Dusty, congratulations! That's so cool to put the keystone in on Christmas - makes it one you'll always remember!
Looks like you have a fine crew there to help out with pizza - whether making it or eating it!

Take it slow with those curing fires, then ...

Enjoy!
Thanks Sarah. And, yea, setting the keystone on x-mas was really fun. After dinner and pie, when things started to slow down a bit, I just kinda snuck out there. Soon one of my sons came out to see what I was doing. I guess he went back in and made an anouncement because by the time I had the mortar mixed, there were 12 family members out there crouding into the tent. Again, very fun. Lots of laughin' and jokin'.

I will take some time to cure it, but I sure am looking forward to the "then...".

Question for y'all. - I can't have a fire with that tent up so I have been using a small electric heater in there to dry it out. Is this an acceptable curing procedure? Should I be unplugging it for a while each day? And should I still follow the standard curing process when I finally take the tent down - like in a month or two - or will it be cured by then?

dusty
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:04 PM
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Question Re: dusty dome is done!

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Originally Posted by dusty View Post
I can't have a fire with that tent up so I have been using a small electric heater in there to dry it out. Is this an acceptable curing procedure?
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that curing is more than just drying it out - it needs the progressively hotter heat from the fires to strengthen the mortar, which will prevent it from crumbling later. I'm not sure if this can be done later, after it dries, or if it is necessary to do this during the drying-out phase. Although it might be a pain to move your tent, it may be advisable to get those fires going somehow, after a week or so. Hopefully, some of the experts out there will see this and comment.

Sarah
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2007, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

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Originally Posted by sarah h View Post
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that curing is more than just drying it out - it needs the progressively hotter heat from the fires to strengthen the mortar, which will prevent it from crumbling later. I'm not sure if this can be done later, after it dries, or if it is necessary to do this during the drying-out phase. Although it might be a pain to move your tent, it may be advisable to get those fires going somehow, after a week or so. Hopefully, some of the experts out there will see this and comment.

Sarah
That is exactly what I was wondering. I'm going to go unplug it right now just in case.

dusty
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2007, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

Set the remaining bricks of front arch tonight. I know the keystone is missing, but my plan is to put a really cool sedimentary river rock there. I just have to see if my saw will cut it. I think it will.

dusty
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2007, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

My understanding of the oven curing is that you need to wait at least a week for the cement component to cure, and during that time the dome should not be allowed to dry out, or to freeze. That bit of curing is just like for regular cement.

And after that you need the curing fires, beginning with a small one, and slowly working up to a big one, to get the dome used to being heated up to pizza temperatures without cracking.

But I don't really see any reason why you shouldn't be able to wait for a month or two before starting the curing fires...?

BTW, your archway looks really cool Dusty, I look forward to seeing the special keystone!
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2007, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

Dusty,
Good question about the electric heater. I figuring that only the work done on the keystone needs a week of curing, which would be New Years Day. Presumably, the keystone didn't really have much of a mortar joint anyway, so even if you weakened it a bit by getting it warm too early, the keystone is not going to fail, and fall to the floor.

The previous rows were done prior to that, so need that many fewer days before you can light a fire or use a heater. Most of the work has already had a week to cure, so for the most part, you're pretty safe with the electric heater.

I waited six days and then used electric heat. It only got to 120ish degrees in there, which is not a hell of a lot hotter than the occasional Sicilian and Southern Italian summer days. Somehow, their oven work survived the temperature extremes, so I figure that mine was pretty safe.

A couple of days with the heater made absolutely no difference in the mortar joints that I could see. My soldier and first three courses still showed moisture lines on the cladding, even after the first four or five curing fires. I covered the dome with insulation before I ever saw them disappear. Here's a pic from prior to curing: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/atta...gress-fb29.jpg

I was worried about freezing temps and wet mortar and so used the heater. If that is not a concern for you, the heater is probably a waste of time, though it may help minimize the thermal shock to the mortar joints by running it for an hour or two prior to doing your curing fires. I can't imagine that going from 40 degrees to 300 degrees in a matter of minutes does anything good for the mortar joints. 120 to 300 just might be a bit easier on them.

If you get a few days of clear skies after the 1st, it might be worthwhile to get out there and get curing. Otherwise, you're probably very safe in waiting till Spring.

at least that's my take on it.....
George
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2007, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

Dusty,

You are relentless! Stealing away on Christmas to cap the dome? and now the arch (which looks way cool by the way). My keystone ceremony was just me and my wife but still the milestone moment, one where you no longer measure your worth by how many courses (or parts of a course) you were able to get done in a particular session. I have actually taken the last couple weeks off from the project, as I wait for my new theromcouples to arrive (replacements for the ones I misordered). Then it's insulation and curing fires.

Congrats on your oven, it looks great. Can we get your photographer to take some inside shots?

Jim
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2007, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

Finished the special keystone today. My blade finally wore out halfwat through the first cut on the river rock. Ran to HF, bought a new one and WA LA!

Here's the before and the after.

dusty
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2007, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

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Dusty,

Can we get your photographer to take some inside shots?

Jim
Thanks Jim. And the inside shots are coming. I will have to remove my arch form first. Maybe in a day or three.

dusty
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2007, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: dusty dome is done!

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Originally Posted by gjbingham View Post
Dusty,
Here's a pic from prior to curing: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/atta...gress-fb29.jpg
George

George, I was laughing when I saw the prior to curing pic. Forget the smooth cladding, go mountain terrain style. Maybe a ski chair leading to the top, some people jumping on the bumps
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