I've laid the oven floor bricks: 4 questions
I've laid the firebricks for my oven floor. The next task is to build the dome. Before I do, I have a few questions:
1) I bought a 4-1/2" angle grinder to smooth off the rough edges on the corners of the bricks. Should I do that NOW or wait until the dome is finished? Is there a special technique for doing this?
2) No matter how hard I tried, I still have gaps between some of the firebricks. Should I try to fill them in with something, and if so, what? Or, should I just let them fill up with ashes as the oven is used?
3) The sand/fireclay/water mortar is a very weak mortar. Is there a danger of shifting the floor bricks as I build the dome?
4) Should I mortar the bottom/base/first chain of dome bricks to the floor, or should I use fireclay/sand again? Do I want slip between the floor and dome, or can they be joined by mortar?
As always, thanks for the excellent information.
I built my oven last year and have used it qiute a bit. So this is from my experience.
1. the outside edges of the floor will be covered with insulation. You wont see the rough edges.
2. Just let them fill with ashes. If you try to fill them ( mortar, fire clay or whatever ) it will likely come out when raking or brushing during use.
3. I didn't notice any shifting building the dome.
4. I mortared the first chain to the floor. Very small joint.
Good luck with your project.
All very good, sound advice. Fio, I'd go with what he recommends.
My question is: Should I grind it out now or should I wait until the dome is built.
Thanks for the great info. I can't wait to get this project done.
Strike while the iron is hot.
(F) "My question is: Should I grind it out now or should I wait until the dome is built."
(M) If you are determined to lower that edge, I'd do it now as it is quite accessible. But be aware that once you remove that 1/16th lip the brick underneath that "skin" may be somewhat more porous and feel unfinished.
I would not grind the brick edge.
If you used the sand/clay mortar mixture to laid the refractory bricks, could be easy to remove the ‘uneven’ brick, then remove the mortar and pour a new sand/clay mixture in place and then, a leveled brick.
The refractory bricks and the concrete base under hearth will be your temperature source when baking. Ideally, there will be no break between bricks and concrete.
The sand/clay mortar need to be as thin as possible and it is only used because of the easy use and thermal conductivity.
I just mortared my first brick dome file by the outer side, just to maintain it in place, and because the concrete mass will be poured on.
Remember that do you need a linear temperature transmission. Always as possible, do not mix materials.
I hope this help
The firebricks rest on a bed of sand/fireclay that has been mixed with water and spread with a notched trowel.
Directly beneath the sand/fireclay mixture, and ON TOP of the concrete hearth slab, is 2" of refractory insulation board (fiberfrax board).
Thus, a cross section would look like this:
FIREBRICK resting on
SAND/FIRECLAY MUD, applied to
2" FIBERFRAX INSULATION BOARD, resting on
CONCRETE HEARTH SLAB
The concrete slab is uninsulated, and performs no role in retaining heat (No heat gets past the fiberfrax board). I did this to minimize thermal mass. I figured that if we are not adding thermal mass to the dome, we should not add it to the floor, either.
I'll have to post pix of this when I get a chance.
Nice finished oven
I think the finished oven photo (the last one in this posting) looks great. It might be the first time we saw everything completed. Excellent.
I like the brick exterior, and the cantilevered landing worked well. Right next to the pool; can't beat that. Is that a fireplace in the corner? Do you you it for grilling, along with fires?
My layout is about the same as Fio's but I used vermiculite concrete instead of the fiberfrax board.
My question (and Fio's) about the first few rings of dome brick still stands.
Do most people mortar the first ring to the floor or just put mortar on the outside of the dome?
What about the next two vertical rings? They don't lean start leaning in until the 4th ring right? So is there mortar between these rings or just on the outside of the dome until we get to the part when they start to lean in (between the 3rd and 4th rings). That is how I laid my profile template out...is that right?
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