#11  
Old 07-18-2011, 02:55 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

Ok, where was I??? That's right. Had just finished laying a massive slab of concrete. Well, after another delay, I did get around to laying out some blockwork for the stand.

As you can see in the photos (taken 17 July 2010), I poured concrete into every second core, along with a piece of bent rebar. I have also laid another course of blocks on top, with pieces cut out to let the rebar through.

The bottom of the structural hearth will be at the top of row four. The cut-outs are to tie the hearth into the rebar. The top of row five will be roughly the top of the insulating hearth.
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Paul's Canberra build-blockwork-construction.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-blockwork-construction-2.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:08 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

Bought some wood and ply for some formwork, and another bunch of rebar.


I found that because the cut-out sections didn't line up, I had to zigzag the re-bars. Tried to weave them at first, but gave that up as a bad joke. It still looks a bit messy, but I made sure all the critical bits had plenty of overlap for support. The finished hearth turned out pretty good (24 July 2010, starting to make some headway)
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Paul's Canberra build-rebar-1.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-structural-hearth.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:33 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

Next step was to mix the insulating floor. Can't seem to find a photo of that stage, so I shall just skip ahead to laying the floor ... but first a short interlude ...

Had to take a bit of a break in construction from early August. Please meet Harry and Maddy. They'll take priority for a while ...
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:43 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

So, after a short break tending to other things, I did manage to get back to the project.

Here's a few photos of my cooking floor. Now, I do understand you generally want your cooking floor as smooth as possible so the things don't catch on edges and so on, but remember, I am using second hand bricks recovered from an old kiln. I like the various brandings on the bricks and wanted to show the heritage of the oven somehow, so picked out the nicest/flatest examples of each of the brands I could find and laid them name up. I like the effect. And given these bricks are second hand, I was never going to get a perfect smooth floor anyway.

In the first of these photos you can see how the insulating hearth filled up most of the remainder of the cavity to the top of the blockwork.
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Paul's Canberra build-floor-entrance-insulating-hearth.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-floor-entrance.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-floor-closeup.jpg  
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:49 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

The first row of bricks in the dome. In hindsight, I think I should have used half bricks here, or laid these around the cooking floor, rather than on it. As I progressed, I found the dome was going higher than I expected/wanted. Into November 2011 by now.
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:58 AM
brung99's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 82
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

Hi Paul,

Congratulation on your new arrivals, they are beautiful babies. They will be the most important "project" of your life, so God bless you on your family's journey.

Thanks for the updated photo's - it looks to be coming along nicely. I havent started my build yet, but i have bought my bricks in preparation. I also found some 2nd hand kiln bricks (on Ebay - Newbold brand) which although a bit "rustic", I couldnt knock them back for the price. I Really cant wait to start.

Keep the updates coming !!.

Regards,
Bruno.
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2011, 04:09 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

and so on it continued.

The first couple of courses went fairly smoothly. Whilst the angle remained low, it was easy to lay an entire ring every day or so. But, once the angles got steeper, it was more like a couple of bricks each day. I didn't use any of the specialist brackets used by others around here. I just stacked up a bunch of bricks inside the dome for the newly laid bricks to rest against. I also found I had to cut little wedges to fit in the gaps between the bricks as the circles got smaller and the gaps bigger. I cut a couple of custom bricks for the keystone(s).

Dome complete on 1 January 2011

I had intended providing a blow by blow description of the dome construction because I found I learnt a lot during the construction. I'm sure most others have found this as well. In a way it's a pity these things are so solid. If you've never worked with bricks and mortar before, the learning curve can be quite steep. The theory is all fine - it's the actual working with the material where the real learning takes place - getting to know how the mortar feels and works, seeing how the bricks stick (or don't), not to mention the myriad of ways you wish you'd changed your design the moment after the concrete set.
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Paul's Canberra build-arch.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-dome-construction.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-dome-complete.jpg  
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2011, 02:19 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

First fires. mmmm pretty
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Paul's Canberra build-first-fire-1.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-first-fire-9.jpg  
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2011, 02:29 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

I pretty much followed the standard curing fire regime - start small and build up with thicker pieces of wood, longer and hotter burn times.

It was pretty nerve wracking getting that first super hot fire going. I still didn't have any insulation on, so I was able to watch in horror as the cracks opened up. At one stage I had a crack right up the back that got wider as the dome got hotter. At its peak I could see flames through the crack. I thought the whole thing was just gonna collapse in on itself, showering the backyard with hot coals and dust. Thankfully that never eventuated. I let the oven cool down and the crack closed up. I reheated several times, and the crack seemed to calm down. It always grew as the oven heated up, but never to the extent of the first occasion.

Incidentally, that first big fire was the perfect occasion to throw in some vegies for a roast lunch.
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Paul's Canberra build-first-cooking-1.jpg   Paul's Canberra build-first-cooking-6.jpg  
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  #20  
Old 07-21-2011, 02:44 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra, ACT
Posts: 27
Default Re: Paul's Canberra build

In those previous photos, you can see the entry and outer arch built. This was another area I wasn't sure about. The arch itself wasn't too difficult. I cut the bricks using a standard 125mm (5") hand-held angle grinder with with masonry blade attached. The bricks cut like butter, so it was simple to work out the angles I needed and slice off the bits I didn't want.

I wasn't sure what to do about the supporting walls in the entryway. I was paranoid of a collapse. Anyway, I got a bit distracted with the arch and was so pleased with the way it looked, I went ahead and cemented them in place ... only to realise the bricks in the supporting walls were just sitting there ... no cement, nothing holding them in place ... whoops.

So, i got the idea to put some brackets in to stop any outwards movement. You can see the metal bracks - essentially two inverted U-shapes bolted together. I have them held in place using a heat proof adhesive. I don't expect the adhesive to stand up to the heat it will likely be subjected to, so to boost the holding power, I have wire running over the arch holding the two bracket pieces together. The whole lot will be further supported by the thick render layer I'm going to cover the lot with.

Here's a close up of the left hand bracket. It's just the three vertical bricks that make up the entry wall. The other brick is just sitting there.
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