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jon bell 03-21-2009 11:37 AM

Hints for steeper chains.
Hi guys and gals,

On Monday going to start with the chains that start getting too steep for brick to just be set and shimmed without falling. We are doing a pompeii 42" with 20" ceiling height, without a form to hold bricks.

Just curious what some of the lessons and tricks might be to being efficient on these chains.

Thank you ahead of time.

wlively 03-21-2009 03:51 PM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
Read some of the project posts and you can see many different methods on this forum that will work for you.

I used scrap wood, stakes, 2x4, ect and just sank a nail in the side of one end to catch the brick. Simple but effective.

On the last few rings I made a moveable floor out of left over pink foam board, 2 fender washers, a nut and a long piece of all thread. Cut the board to size of the opening and the bricks were held by the edge. For the next ring I recut to new size and repeated.

Les 03-21-2009 04:01 PM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
1 Attachment(s)
I didn't use mortar on the inside of the dome. That allowed me to get creative with hot melt glue (see attached) It's a pain in the butt to do, but doable. I tacked the front and side of the brick and placed a shim. After 10 or so bricks, I used a grout bag to back fill the gap. As wlively said - many different approaches; pretty much the same result - an oven.


jon bell 03-21-2009 10:17 PM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
Thank you Wade and Les for the ideas. Much appreciated.

Les I like the hot glue idea. Just trying to picture what happens to the glue when we fire the oven up. I realize that the mortar holds the brick in place, but will the glue melt out into the dome? If it does does it burn up?

Les when building our oven, its kinda funny. We ask each other how did Les do this, or Les did it this way. We talk like we know you. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have looked at this picture before. Just didn't put 2 and 2 together that some of those bricks were just magically hanging there.

Xabia Jim 03-22-2009 12:10 AM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
Lots of scraps of wood molding and blocks to get the right height.

I like the idea of adding layers to the would need less sticks. but it's all kindling later anyway!

bluespider55 03-22-2009 12:45 AM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
once to the chain that the bricks would no longer stay in place, I built a platform with scrap wood then stacked more scrap timber to the aprox shape then formed over this with a 20 to 1 sand cement mix to the correct dome shape. All i have to do now is burn out the form work (slowly i hope).:rolleyes:


Les 03-22-2009 11:09 AM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.

Originally Posted by jon bell (Post 52595)
but will the glue melt out into the dome? If it does does it burn up?

Oh yea! as hot as these things get, you would swear the brick could ignite. Some of the glue toward the entry took a couple of fires to burn off.


jrparks 03-22-2009 02:23 PM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
I just completed my 42" Pompeii with a 20" H. I didn't use any forms or shims when placing bricks. Shims were only used while I established correct cut for each course. I used a digital torpedo level to make each brick on each course the same, as I set each one. On the upper courses I used some 1x1 stick to brace the bricks while they set. Once the key stone was in place they supported themselves but I would leave them in overnight to be sure. On the last few courses I was able to only do half at a time with the limited room. I would use the same method if I ever build another dome. There are many different techniques that builder have used, you just need to figure out what works best for you. Check out my pics here…
Good luck with the build.

bbell 03-25-2009 07:13 PM

Re: Hints for steeper chains.
2 Attachment(s)
I certainly learned from others that whatever is at hand is useful....

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