#21  
Old 05-30-2012, 07:29 PM
Xene's Avatar
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Well I got whipped by gravity today. This fifth course is where my arch falls, I battled getting the bricks cut and set the first part of the afternoon and then tried to finish the course just set in place with mortar but they kept sliding off.

SO - I'm seeing more clearly why following a scientific, totally geeky, technical method would be preferred.

I had hoped to make it higher without a form, and after setting all that up with my IT yesterday I'm not too thrilled with abandoning it already. (The fix to the IT posted by Laku looks great - thanks)

So now I'm looking for tricks to keep these bricks on the course long enough to set up so I can firmly mortar them in. Today I nearly pulled my hair out with them falling to the floor.

AND as a bonus (?)- I can't reach the top anymore, I've already got a layer of cement block all around the base to stand on, but I'm really short and now I need taller - I've done the last two course from inside so I could reach - what tricks have you used/seen for reaching the top of the oven?

Thanx
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  #22  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

You may need to cut some sticks to place under a newly placed brick. I found that starting from the back of the dome to the front gave me two sides to work at the same time. I would place one brick with the UT on the left and carefully slide a precut stick in it's place as I removed the UT. I would then place a brick on the other side while that one set.
I am sorry that I can't offer a pic but, I got this idea from this site. Maybe some one can link a pic and the source. As for as scaffolding is conserned, I'm a little bench legged my self . I have had to stack 2 blocks on top of each other to get the height that I needed. You might want to invest in some short 2X8" lumber to use as scaffold boards. That would allow you to use less blocks to suround the oven. But, there are kits at most building supplys that will allow you to build sturdy saw horses.
Before this build is over you might even decide to rent a set of scaffold bucks.
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  #23  
Old 05-30-2012, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

What kind of mortar are you using? My experience with the home brew is that if you mixed it the right consistency - you can build the whole dome with no forms or supports. I managed to go all the way to the final row without using anything to hold the bricks except my hand for the half or minute or so it took them to grab hold. This is the first thing I have ever built with mortar, so trust me it is not experience talking!

Couple tips: don't over wet the brick you are placing. Makes them slip off. Dip it, let the water soak in for a few secs. Mortar should be like soft mashed potatoes. Butter the brick, put a good slug of mortar in your spot and kinda twist it in there. They should stick at least up to 70 degrees, no problem

On the place to work - may not be best practice, but I just put my feet inside and sat on the opposite edge of the dome. Worked up until the last few courses.
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  #24  
Old 05-31-2012, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Thanks @deejayoh, I've probably not been using enough mortar. I should probably mix up twice what I have been and really slather it on - I suspect I've been too conservative up to this point. And I haven't been getting the bricks wet, as it seemed that some said it didn't matter...although yesterday I did try getting them wet too. About 7 of them slipped off one after the other as I was nearly all the way around and then I started throwing things.

You are brave to sit on the edge! Last week I was on soldier course, so my build it moving right along, which means the last course is not fully dry before I'm laying the next. I don't weigh that much, but I really don't have the confidence to sit on it! Seems like I'll have to work from the inside a bit longer which is not very comfortable - but I could probably figure out a better system for at least a few more courses.

My oven is 46-inches, so I have a bit of room inside yet. I"m going to give it another honest effort before I resort to a form, I'm tenacious (or stubborn?) that way - really appreciate all the tips!

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  #25  
Old 05-31-2012, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulf View Post
You may need to cut some sticks to place under a newly placed brick. I found that starting from the back of the dome to the front gave me two sides to work at the same time. I would place one brick with the UT on the left and carefully slide a precut stick in it's place as I removed the UT. I would then place a brick on the other side while that one set.
I tried sticks yesterday and I did get the brick to set in over the arch, but it fought me like no other! I'm trying to picture how I could manage the IT if I also have sticks/boards/supports up there wedged in around the brick. Ugh, was hoping for some magical method (HA) that I hadn't stumbled upon.

The scaffolding idea is probably a good one, but even at that, doing the math on the radius of the oven and my height of just over 5', this is going to be a challenge no matter how high up I can get myself -- so now I think the real 'fun' begins.
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  #26  
Old 05-31-2012, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Let the first few bricks dry with the IT holding them for about 3-5 minutes (and use stick from beneath when you move to next brick). here's a picture and explanation of what I meant (My Build 42" oven GT)
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  #27  
Old 05-31-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Another thing that helps is if you have one brick that is in firmly on the course that you are able to work from. The tension from the bottom of the brick is sometimes not enough to hold it - but if you have the tension of the bottom + the side, the brick will stick.

But at the angle you appear to be working, it doesnt seem like you should have that much of a problem with the bricks sliding off. Try mixing the mortar just a little less runny.

Also - I found it much easier to work from the inside while sitting on a stool. It was only on the top few courses that I started sitting on the edge because I am not such a short person . I wasn't worried about the bricks coming off because I worked pretty slow. One course had usually dried for a day or more before I got to the next one. But I did find that the dome was strong enough to stand on even partly finished after just a couple days drying. Not sure why I felt the need to test that. But I did
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  #28  
Old 05-31-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Quote:
Another thing that helps is if you have one brick that is in firmly on the course that you are able to work from. The tension from the bottom of the brick is sometimes not enough to hold it - but if you have the tension of the bottom + the side, the brick will stick.
This is exactly right - just one thing to add - the last brick you lay should be the first one on the next course, and let it set overnight or longer.

If the first brick is on freshly the sideways pressure on the second one will often disturb the first brick and you have to repeat the process. Happened me a few times
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  #29  
Old 06-01-2012, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

Okay, yesterday was a cold, wet, rainy day - a much needed rain and subsequent break from this oven build - so today I'm feeling re-fueled to give it another go. I have a better idea of where I was going wrong thanks to you guys and I'm feeling confident I have a better handle on the technique I should be using. I will be back with an update and maybe a picture of my progress. Thanks all!
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  #30  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Trouble with setback on brick courses. Need advice.

I didn't get a chance to reply Friday, but I got up to course 8 on without hardly any headaches using all your tips and tricks. Thanks a million. I applied every bit of advice you all offered and didn't even need to resort to sticks. My height is still an issue and now the thing is so big I can't easily step in and out of it anymore, so I've to to rig up some hoist or something I think - a step stool, ladder, scaffolding...that will be the next thing to overcome. Short of crawling in and out of the door, I'm not going to be able to get over those newly laid courses as it gets taller. But thanks a million!
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