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  #11  
Old 06-11-2012, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

Xene,
If you do decide to fill the gaps, you will have to keep one thing in mind. That is you will have to fill them from the back of the crevice forward. Or downward in this case. From veiwing the pics I believe that when you were mortaring in the last few rows that you were trying to push the mortar into the joints with a trial or I believe you said with your fingers. Mortar can't be pushed 2 inches into a joint with a tool wider than the joint. It will just bridge over trapping the air or spaces that you see. It has to be "pointed" in. By that I mean that you will have to use tools that are narrower than the joint that you are "tuck pointing". In your case you have many different size joints to fill. So you will have to have several different sizes of tools available. To complicate things you will be pointing vertical. That means that some mortar might just fall in your face. Have at least safety glasses and a bandana over you mouth and nose.

You can use a "mortar bag" to apply the mortar. The bag will keep the mortar from drying as fast but you will still need a tool to point the mortar with. I have three sizes of tuck pointers (1/4" and 3/8" and 1/2"). I dont think that going out and buying masonry tools would be cost efficient for the small amount of work that you need to do though. You can fab a few tools from common every day things, a butter knife, wood rippings, even the flat edge of an unsharpened pencil can be used to point the mortar straight up into the back of a tight joint.

And yes, I do agree with Tscarborough. It would bug me too. But if your pointing is done right it should last many years. At least as long as if it had been filled at the time of placement.

Prior to pointing, clean the joints as good as possible. I have an air compressor, but no more than you will have to do, one can of compressed air like they use for computers would do just fine. Work in small sections. Use a small paint brush and prewet the joints you are pointing. Fill from the back (top) in at least three passes. Apply the mortar about one third of the depth of the joint. Use a tool comparible for that joint to pack or smooth to the back. Work fast on one small section, but don't get in a hurry on the whole project.
If you decide to remove the last few rows, what we call buttering the brick is by far the best route to go. But, for that inevitabe joint or joints that need to be pointed, keep this technique in mind.
I hope this helps.l
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2012, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

That needs to be bagged, overhead tucking sucks.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2012, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xene View Post
Couple more weeks? I can rebuild that in a few days!
I'm sorry I forgot your awesomeness I still suggest you take your time. If I could go back, I would re-do quite a few things. In regard to people looking inside at your work - trust me , they will. Even if the fires of hell are going on, they will want to look inside.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
That needs to be bagged, overhead tucking sucks.
Either I left something out or you misread the post.

IMO it takes a combination of the two.
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2012, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

The overhead tucking sucks part comes out very clear in the post as I read it!

Gulf - fabulous instructions, thank you! Now I'm really torn, as I know I can do a much better job - and I also know that a few of those joints won't take mortar and those little ones will probably bother me once I fix those gapping holes. And we do have a few friends who will be sure to tsk, tsk me over those gaps when they see it, no matter how awesome the outside turns out -oh the shame!

I took my rubber mallot to it tonight and it won't budge...another strike against tearing it apart, but I think I'm going to get a chisel tomorrow and see if I can dislodge parts of it - do a partial pintuck and partial rebuild. I'm still torn. Gulf's instructions give me hope I can salvage it the way it is - ugh.

Was the idea of adding more lime and more sand a good one if I try the brick repointing method? Hope there are a few brick pointing videos on YouTube to check out.

Good grief!

Last edited by Xene; 06-11-2012 at 09:26 PM. Reason: spellcheck errors on phone
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2012, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

Xene,
If you decide to remove those rows, my advice is to use a side grinder or better yet a skill saw with a masonry blade. A diamond blade is a bit much to pay for in this case since the mortar doesn't go all the way through. Be careful, cut downward along the joint lines. Even if it does not go all the way through it will at least give it a fault line so that your hammering does not break it where you don't want it to .
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2012, 09:38 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

If you decide to redo it, have you reconsidered your strategy for using another (read different, like a pilates ball) form?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

whoa. I don't think there is any way you are going to get a saw or a grinder into those joints to remove them. I guess maybe if you decide to cut an "x" through the middle you might make some progress- but through 4 1/2 inches of brick? Probably not.

Personally, If I really wanted to remove those courses, I'd take a narrow cold chisel and hammer (maybe rubber mallet) and see if I could knock the center bricks out backwards from the inside starting at the very top of the dome. Once you get one out, the next one will go more easily since you have one less side holding it in place. But if it is REALLY that hard to remove them, then they are likely rather well installed and maybe I would stop worrying about what they look like.
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  #19  
Old 06-12-2012, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

My theory is...
if you're getting bummed out by the finish now, it'll always be there in your mind.
Sort it, then no more worries.
Take a hammer drill, with a masonry bit to the joints, and drill them out to weaken them.
Then they'll probably just lever out, with no bolster and hammering that could upset the bond of more bricks than you wish to remove.
It looks such a grand job, and as your unhappy with the final section, it says to me "change it". For the sake of a couple of days?
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  #20  
Old 06-12-2012, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Gaps, bumps, uneven dome top....how bad can it be?

Yep, looking at it this morning, I'm going to try the chisel first and if I can't budge it I think I may just accept it for what it is and fill those gaps with Gulf's instructed technique. My mindset through the project has not been one to obsess over the imperfections but to rejoice over the fact that I'm going to have a WFO - if I stay focused on the later I think I can live with however it comes out. If I give it my best effort to take it apart and it won't - well, I'll assume I've done a lasting job. Really have appreciated you all chiming in to help through this decision making- I'll be back to report progress!
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