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  #31  
Old 08-26-2012, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

I cut my first dome bricks. Dang, feels pretty cool! I’m still waiting for my insulation boards, so I figured I’d cut a few bricks until they get here.

I already made the first wrong cuts, cause I wasn't thinking straight about where the division between the dome floor and vent landing would be. No prob, I just had to recut two bricks.

Still getting used to the saw, so as you can see, there’s an ugly cut that will create a tiny triangle shaped void immediately on the right side of the floor entrance. (Imagine a line connecting the horizontal sharpie line, and the other line about 45 degrees to it on the left and top bricks in the pic. The other brick on the right is a dome brick and isn't part of the problem.) Will that little triangle fill up with ash, or should I do some re-cuts to get rid of that little ¼” triangle hole? I hope I described it well enough.

I saw a post on the “things you’d do different if you could do it again” thread, about getting the peel caught between the first and second course of dome bricks, if the top of the first course is at the same height as the floor. So I thought I’d start out the first course with splits, then use full thickness bricks for the second course. That way, the peel wouldn’t stick in between the first and second course if the peel hits the wall. That would work, right? Any reason why I can’t put two full thickness courses of brick on top of the splits before I start the inward curve?

Next decisions: what shape entry arch to make, and what type of mortar (home brew or Safraco refractory mortar I found for $42/50lb bucket.) Next weekend I'll cut the insulation, then start cutting arch bricks with the Karangi, et. al. technique, maybe even get to mortar in a few.

I’d like to be known for something on this forum like you, Karangi, but I gotta invent it first. Oven temp controlled by wifi and ipad? Electric indespensible tool?
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  #32  
Old 08-26-2012, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

Jim,

I will pass this tip on to you, Tscar noticed early in my build, he calls them potato chips (small) brick segments. Last two brick segments, which will tie into the arch, that you have not layed yet are fairly small (chips). Suggest you adjust a couple bricks earlier in the course and make them narrower so your tie bricks will widen.

You will become a wet saw pro in no time. Take a look at Karangi Dudes tapered arch, something you may want to considered. I used it on my build. GianniFoccacia also did a great tapered arch. Good luck anf enjoy the build.

Ps I used home brew and have had no issues and saved a ton of money.
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  #33  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

I'm finally getting into the dome. Finally. Did two courses. It ain't perfect, but I think it'll do. I think one side of the course is already higher than the other, and the floor is not near a perfect circle, off by almost 3/4" in some places. I think using a string and a pin to draw the circle to cut the floor bricks made it a bit off. Maybe I should have used a piece of cardboard instead of the string. And maybe my floor bricks shifted, cause they were sitting for several months over the winter before I got to the dome bricks. But I have faith that somehow it'll all meet at the cap. I guess I can make it more circular with the IT, cheat some bricks in as needed.

I started the first course with splits, so the second course of full bricks would start a bit above the floor, to avoid getting a peel caught. (I didn't want to start out with a soldier course, since I read in a few threads that it's harder to do.)

I decided not to do an opening arch for two reasons. First, this damn thang is now on year 4, and I gotta make it go as fast as possible, cause I gotta eat some homemade 'za by the end of Fall 2014. Second, I became interested in the idea of casting a lintel that would extend out, then curve up and flare out. I think that would be cool, and therefore an entry arch won't be necessary.

I think I'm going to do one more flat course of straight cut bricks. On the course after, when I start using the IT for the tilt, I'll make side cuts, to there's less chance they'll fall out over time. I'm not going to do a bevel on the top or bottom, because again, I gotta eat 'za from my oven this year, and don't want to go crazy.

I'm gonna try doing some before and after work to squeeze in a few extra hours during the week. Premixed the dry mortar (will add portland last), keeping my saw out under a tarp, left only the tools I need under the top slab. Hopefully getting things set up as much as possible before a work session will make it go faster.

Gotta get this done this year. My street cred is going down with friends and family (even my barber) with each year that passes without an oven.
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  #34  
Old 07-22-2013, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

I used the homebrew for the entire oven I filled a 35 gallon drum up with mason sand and 1 bag each of fireclay, lime, Portland it was enough for the entire job and I still have plenty leftover the total cost was well under a $100 and I have a full 5 gallon bucket of firebrick dust, are you in Westchester ny if so you more than welcome to have ill meet you half way
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  #35  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

That would be great! Where do you live (I sent you a private message you can reply to instead if you want.) BTW, I love your build! Amazing job, even more impressive just using a cutoff saw.
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  #36  
Old 07-25-2013, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

I just sent you back a message
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  #37  
Old 08-18-2013, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

Now this is getting exciting (meaning, I'm even more obsessed.) To get in more work time and still see my kids, I've set up some lights to work at night after I put them to bed. Gives me about 2.5 hrs a couple nights a week. And I've taken to getting up very early on one weekend morning, around 5:30 AM to mortar in bricks that I've already cut. Very peaceful to do that with the loud crickets and everyone sleeping. If you told me I'd be doing this before I started the project...

I'm on my second tilted course. So It's quite a bit out of circle on parts, not sure how that happened, but too late to stress. So I'm trying to correct it over a couple courses, so it looks not quite so dramatically out of whack. Most of it, though, looks fine, and all of it is good enough for pizza.

Made my top slab too big, but this worked out well, at least, because I can keep my saw on it and work at eye level, instead of bending over the saw stand (which is still in the box.) I also started doing side cuts, my thought being that it will make it less likely that the bricks will slide out over the years. I don't have the patience (or a big enough saw,) to bevel the top and bottom of the bricks. However, for some reason, now it's taking even longer to mortar them in. The latest course is taking me several hours. I take a brick, slap mortar on the top and side, put it down, clamp the IT, then push morar from the back to the front to pack it in, then fill in more, packing it in to fill the voids. I got a narrow trowel (pointing?) which is much better for doing that, then also use the wide end of a shim as a "packer." Not sure if there's something I could do different, and I'm not sure why this is taking longer with the side cut bricks. Maybe it's because I'm trying to correct the out of circleness, which makes it a bit tricky.

Anyway, glad I'm using the home brew. Stays workable a long time, and I don't feel bad when I have to pull up a brick, scrape it off and start over, which I've done many times. I'd be thinking of the money I'm wasting if I used the store bought refractory stuff at $44 a pail. At least when I finish this course it should be pretty close to circular, which will make setting them faster. My very home made IT is working okay. Should have used a wider piece of metal for the top part of the brick guide, but I couldn't find anything wider than the bracket.

Instead of an arch, I'm going with a straight opening, but will try something different. I'm going to carve a decorative kind of lintel, with lots of curves. Hope it will look really cool. Been checking out sites about carving concrete, seems very doable. I'll make a planter or two to practice. I think I can finish the whole thang by the end of the Fall, if all goes well, and if I stay this obsessed (working at night and early AM, thinking about it constantly. CONSTANTLY.)
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  #38  
Old 08-18-2013, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

Looks like you are back on track, I bet you can almost smell the pizza and bread. Here is a little bribe to keep working hard, the bread I made for lunch today.
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  #39  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

Chipster-

I can taste it through the monitor! I'm gonna turn on the lights and hit the bricks tonight.
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  #40  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:16 PM
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Question Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

Jim

So will the lintel you describe support the rear of the vent and flue? Or will your vent be separate from the dome?

Texman
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