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  #11  
Old 07-24-2009, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Matt's WFO Build

Hi Matt,
I was away earlier this month so I just read your posts on your base construction. It looks great. Nice job with the rebar and you'll LOVE the 2 chambers.
Your pdf section looks great to me. I think most have a half sphere and it works (proportionally) nice on a 42" oven. Your 6.8 deg cuts and 1/2" max mortar are fine IMO.
I found in my build, that I was not exacting enough on the inner edge of brick (opposite your 1/2" horizontal mortar joint on the outside) so I had a very thin to none mortar line horizontally on the inside of the dome. It's really hard to avoid. So in spite of my planning & cad drawings, my dome height crept up higher during the build so I had to make adjustments about 5-6 rows from the top to ensure the final height did not exceed 21". I think you could also watch for that and even adjust (or be forced to) sharpen your angle toward the top and shoot for 20" and you'll be close.
Do you have 10" wet saw? You should be able get enough brick dust for laying your floor after cutting the soldiers and floor. What was your plan for the high-heat mortar? Home-made or purchased? Just curious. Have fun this weekend. -Dino
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2009, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Matt's WFO Build

Dino,

Thanks for the reassurance on my build thus far.

My kids are already enjoying the two chambers, one for each of them to play fort in. I hope they donít mind when I fill them chambers up with wood and other supplies .

I will definitely take your advice and plan on modifying the angles to correct for the errors that are bound to creep into the build as I move up the dome.

I managed to find a 14Ē wet saw on Craigslist for $125. So far all I have cut are cinderblocks for the stand build and it worked very well. The blade is a bit thicker than the HF 10Ē blade so I am curious how it will cut the firebricks.

I decided to go with the FB mortar as it was easier and I chickened out on the home brew stuff.

I hope to post more pictures at the end of the weekend to show my progress.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2009, 05:22 PM
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I did not have the best start to the oven build. After I brought my pile of bricks home I decided to dry fit the oven floor just to see how it would look. At that point I noticed that the insulating boards are definitely not the same thickness nor are they all that flat. Agh.

Since I bought some fireclay and sand I decided that I should put a leveling layer under the fireboards to at least get them close the level and flat (they were 1/8" out). I used a notched trowel to spread out the clay/sand mixture and set the insulating boards. It does a nice job leveling things out. Keep in mind you will need to wet your concrete support slab before you start or the mixture will dry out nearly instantly and become unworkable. In general it is just like setting ceramic tiles.

I will try again with the floor bricks tomorrow. Hopefully I will get more done.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2009, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Matt's WFO Build

Sorry to hear about your tough time laying the floor Matt. But, don't worry, it'll work out.

I also bought fire clay and I ya know, I too had a harder time than I thought setting the floor. I ordered the FB boards and though they ARE 2", putting 3 together and cutting ends to fill in for a circle made for some variations. Add that to the slight variations in bricks and screeding on the the fire clay/sand mixture, tapping with a mallet & laying a level on it, it turned out to be a bit more work than I expected. If you can salvage some of the brick dust, add it to the purchased fire clay, the mix is gooeyer and sets nicer for some reason.

Also, staring at your oven floor you see edges popping up and I thought: "I'll just grind those when I'm done & it catches on the pizza peel" but you know what, it didn't matter. The only grinding and re-setting I did was on the landing area since it was noticeable. Nothing really "catches" on what I thought was uneven. Still, try and make it as flat and level as you can.

BTW: your 14" tile saw looks awesome! The FB mortar is top notch too. I went thru 4 bags and then switched to home made at the end. It's really strong. Good luck this weekend (it'll be a warm one), cheers, Dino
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2009, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Matt's WFO Build

Looking good Matt, good call purchasing the wet saw, it will make the build alot easier. Looking forward to seeing the progress
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:08 PM
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I did not get as much done this weekend as I had hoped. On Saturday I was able to layout and cut most of the floor for the pizza oven in the morning before I took the kids to the San Francisco Zoo. I found that the transition from the ring to the arch / entry to the pizza oven was going to be a lot harder than I thought. So I concentrated on cutting all of the bricks and setting them flat in the fireclay sand mixture. When we got back from the zoo and for a little bit on Sunday I stared at the dome entry transition area and tried to figure out what to do next.

The primary problem I am having is that I am building the oven such that the floor sits inside the walls of the dome and entryway. This situation results in a very complex brick cut for the entry way dome transition area where I had intended to have a 1Ē reveal to rest the oven door against. In order to keep the floor bricks isolated from the wall bricks you need to cut a male and female set of bricks that are somewhat complex shapes. So far I am not having much luck with this series of cuts. I can make the male version fairly easily as you can see from the pictures, but the female version is quite another story. In the pictures I have a female version sitting on top of uncut bricks and I am wondering if I need to have all of the floor bricks inside of the walls can have this one section under the walls. Has anyone else had this problem? Am I making this harder than it needs to be? Now that I am well into this I think I can see why a lot of people choose to build the walls and the entry directly on top of the floor bricks without trying to keep the two separate.
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Matt's WFO Build

Matt, nice work so far. Here is a picture of what I did for my floor at the arch walls. It's probably very confusing since I did it BOTH ways. You can see the left side arch wall does NOT have the herringbone floor under it. Only the right side does (mostly, if you look really close). I did not know what to do either. I intended to keep the floor within the arch walls but for some reason did not do it on the right side of the entry. Please don't ask me why (because I do not have a good answer) but I think doing it the way I did on the left side which is floor is inside, is the preferred way; the 1st or lower level of the arch wall bricks are exactly like the arch wall bricks for 3-4 rows above them.
If you want to leave the herringbone floor continuing under the arch wall bricks like I did on the right side, I'm sure that's fine too.
Remember: its OK that in your floor cuts (male and female) in this area may not be as tight as you would like. I've got 1/8" gaps or more in this complex area and it allows for expansion of the oven floor. Hope this helps -dino
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Matt's WFO Build

Dino,

Thanks for your words of encouragement, I will go stare at the bricks with a nice glass of wine after work and hope that I have an epiphany.

Have you had a chance to look at the joints in your oven before lighting a fire and during the fire to see if the joints close up at all?
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2009, 08:53 AM
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Well I am back at the build after taking a couple of weeks off to play with the family before school starts up again. I put the first soldier course in yesterday and it looks good. It even made a bell like bong sound this morning when I thumped it with my knuckle.

A am starting to think about the next step in building the opening arch and I think I have it right. Those of you with more experience than I have could you have a look at the sketech I have attached and let me know if you think I have it right.

I am leaving a 1" reveal for the door. The opening is 20" wide and three bricks high (7.5") before the arch starts. The max height of the opening is 12 1/2" and the inner oven dome is 21". Any thoughts would be apreciated.
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  #20  
Old 08-16-2009, 09:44 PM
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All told it was a very productive weekend. With the help of my 85 year old Italian father in law I was able to get the first chain constructed and I even worked on the start of the entry way a little. As we started working on the first chain I asked him how it looked. In his heavy accent he told me that it looked like I had not worked with mortar before. It sounds cold, but when your English is iffy at best you donít have the vocabulary to beat around the bush. Fortunately he is a good teacher and I think I now have a better idea as to how this should be done. My father in law had a couple of great pieces of advice for me in the construction process that I would like to share with all of you.

1. Donít make a smooth perfectly toweled blob of mortar and plop the brick on it. You need to leave gaps in the mortar to allow give it somewhere to go when you tap in into place. Place a lumpy blob in the middle of the area you plan to put the brick on then tap it into position. If you have gaps trowel mortar into them once the brick is in position.
2. Donít touch the mortar with your fingers. Your fingers are for picking your nose not moving mortar that is what the trowel is for.

I hope this helps those of you that are just starting out. I have included pictures so you can see how the build is going so far.
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