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  #51  
Old 06-20-2012, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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Originally Posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
Did learn that brick are not from a perfect world so dimensions vary slightly
Hey Russel,

Yea, you learn real fast. A 1/6 of an inch doesn't seem like much but after 2 or 3 bricks you get into the weeds real fast.

Good luck!
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  #52  
Old 06-21-2012, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

That is the real purpose of mortar: to allow imprecise masonry units to be used. It also one of the determinates of joint size in normal masonry and why specifications allow so much variance in joint sizes, especially head joints. Fire brick ARE precise by normal brick standards FYI, and that is why <1/8" joints are specified as opposed to the normal 3/8".
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  #53  
Old 06-21-2012, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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Originally Posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
I should be able to hold a 6 degree angle for most of the remaining course only needing to adjust bevel.
In my experience, that wasn't true as I went up. It depends on the number of bricks you use on each course.

The angle will be = (360 degrees/# of bricks per course)/2 [or more simply 180/# of bricks per course]

If you are using 30 bricks per course, 6 degrees is correct. As you get way up into the dome, you'll start using fewer and fewer bricks. On my last few courses I was using 12-15 bricks, and the angles were 12-15 degrees on the sides. If I had figured out that formula a bit sooner, My dome would have been a lot tighter!
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  #54  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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In my experience, that wasn't true as I went up. It depends on the number of bricks you use on each course.

The angle will be = (360 degrees/# of bricks per course)/2 [or more simply 180/# of bricks per course]
That's a very good insight Dennis - like all the best ideas it becomes obvious after someone points it out.
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  #55  
Old 06-22-2012, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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That's a very good insight Dennis - like all the best ideas it becomes obvious after someone points it out.
In my experience the angles are consistent as long as the brick size is equal across the course. Once i had the trim one brick to correct an angle or taper, it is difficult to get back to the consistent angle. If i cut the whole course first, and left room for mortar in the calc, everything looked pretty and ready. Once i began setting the bricks, one or two would be out of kilter somehow and i ended up re-cutting and shaving several bricks already cut. So, i ended up cutting two or three at a time and hoping they would behave as i expected as i set them. (Gianni's advice) I can't remember how many times i thought i had two or three ready to set only to get the brick loaded with mortar and mounted in the IT and started squishing to find that it did not align properly either vertically or horizontally or both. The reason is; I cut the brick and checked alignment by hand when i should have checked alignment by placing the brick in the IT. The IT makes the face of the brick point to the center of the oven. A few degrees are hard to see the way I have to work from the outside of the oven. I set most of my bricks by touch, because i can't see the face working from the outside of the oven. Once the IT is attached and the mortar is oozing and the flies are biting and the sweat is dripping and the mortar is drying, use your fingers to feel the bottom corners in relation to the upper edge of the brick below. You can tell the vertical joint quality from above and feel the internal facing vertical joint with your fingers to detect quality. If i had it to do over again (third time) i would use les's method and use less mortar and mainly use mortar to fill the horizontal gaps and just make good vertical joints with little or no mortar.
Just my 2 cents.

Tracy
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  #56  
Old 06-22-2012, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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Once the IT is attached and the mortar is oozing and the flies are biting and the sweat is dripping and the mortar is drying,....


...and the rain is starting and the wind is blowing, and your back is aching ,and your fingers are sore.

The ovenbuilders alternative to:

"Summertime and the living is easy .. fish are jumping and the cotton is high"

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Once i began setting the bricks, one or two would be out of kilter somehow and i ended up re-cutting and shaving several bricks already cut
This is a problem on the vertical joints though if you cut too much angle. i guessed for the second row that the angle would be greater than the first, and it isn't - and I had the entire row cut I ended up turning some of them backwards to compensate. The lesson I took was - better too small an angle than too large.

Last edited by Amac; 06-22-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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  #57  
Old 06-22-2012, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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Originally Posted by texman View Post
In my experience the angles are consistent as long as the brick size is equal across the course. Once i had the trim one brick to correct an angle or taper, it is difficult to get back to the consistent angle. If i cut the whole course first, and left room for mortar in the calc, everything looked pretty and ready.
My $0.02 on this is that if you make the bottom width of the new course the same as the top width of the last course you end up with the same number of bricks on both courses and a) your angle remains the same and b) you don't have to worry so much about staggering your joints!

of course, my sloppy mortar joints would always seem to mess up alignment for me - and I had a pretty imprecise jig system. But if you are being super precise with your cuts and are able to keep your mortar joints consistent it should work very well. I'd recommend trying that approach as the starter.
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  #58  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:22 PM
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Smile Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

I would definitely try DJs approach, as he is spot on. My problem, i think is the accuracy of the cuts and once you get off, using the width of the bottom of the top brick the top of the lower brick gets crazy and then you make a cut to save a bond and it gets more crazy. The lower courses are easier and, IMO, get more difficult as you go up.
Russell, you have a much superior setup for the cuts. I used pieces of cut bricks and string and a porcelain marker. I wasnt able to use DJ's method because i was off before i knew that method.
Your patience will definitely pay off, just don't worry if you have to make adjustments as you go. It looks like you will be schooling us in no time. And as Gianni told me, it adds character to your oven.
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  #59  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

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Originally Posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
Dennis,

My build is in the early stages of the brick laying, what can I say, your done and cooking pizzas, my pizzas come in a cardboard box right now. Going to take all this in and plug along. I have never done any masonary so trying to be precise and learning a new skill don't seem to go hand in hand. My build is going slow right now.
Russell -
Please take my comment on precision as a compliment! I am super impressed with your build thus far. You've done some stuff I totally wish I had done (that jig comes to mind...). I figure if I there is anything that can pass that I learned along the way that might be useful, I should.

Personally I think I made a mess of the mortaring but the thing gets hot and it is still standing, so I am happy with outcome!

Dennis
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  #60  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Wood Fired Beehive in Utah

You guys do know that when the real Italian builders "cut" or "bevel" a brick they do so with a hatchet most of the time, right? Basically they just use half brick and fill in all the gaps when done with a runny refractory mix.
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