#11  
Old 06-19-2013, 09:10 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Modesto, CA
Posts: 22
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

Okay, finally some real progress to report...

I completed the second course, in which I've started "tipping" the bricks to create the vertical curve of the dome. A couple of questions though.

I've noticed a few small mortar cracks on the exterior surface of the dome. Is this cause for concern? I'm wetting bricks before placing them and as I go, am using a spray bottle to wet bricks that have already set.

I laid the base and first course by eyeball method and started using an IT for the second course. When I reached the arch at the end of the second course I saw to my dismay that I am not round here - see fifth and sixth pics with IT. Rather than dismantle and reset, my thought is to begin cutting the back of subsequent arch bricks (interior surface of dome) to bring this spot back into round. Thoughts?
Attached Thumbnails
Zeke's 40" in Modesto-course-2-complete.jpg   Zeke's 40" in Modesto-inside-dome-course-2.jpg   Zeke's 40" in Modesto-dome-curve.jpg   Zeke's 40" in Modesto-mortar-cracks.jpg   Zeke's 40" in Modesto-distance.jpg  

Zeke's 40" in Modesto-arch-gap.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:34 AM
aceves's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 174
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

Thanks Zeke!

I look forward to seeing your build progress. Keep at it, it's going to be a fun journey!

As for your concerns about the cracks, do not worry, everybody gets cracks in their dome. It's inevitable. Once you start firing, you will see more of them. Just cover them up with a patch of mortar and keep going. Are you using a special mortar or the homebrew? Just curious. And go with your idea of cutting the subsequent arch bricks to go back into round. The performance of your oven will not be affected by the minor setback of these few bricks. And since it is so close to the arch, nobody will see this minor variation when they look in the oven. Just make sure you get a good bond with the mortar and keep moving up the courses.

Aceves

Last edited by aceves; 06-19-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:55 PM
Laborer
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 90
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

Hi Zeke,
Looking good!

FWIW, I used an arch form with a solid face like you have. Although yours is shimmed up much higher than mine, I had a bit of difficulty removing the form when goobers of mortar oozed into the inner space. So you might consider making sure they are knocked off inside as you go up, or create an access hole in the middle of the form. Just an idea. It took me about 15 minutes to remove the form. Thankfully this was just minutes after laying the last several top bricks and that mortar was fresh, but the few little bits (like 1/8") near the bottom were buggers. Of course, I had to be fairly gentle and couldn't bang it around too hard to make sure I didn't break the bond on the freshly laid bricks.
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2013, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Modesto, CA
Posts: 22
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

John,

I VERY much appreciate getting your insight early on. I can still cut access holes and will do so!

Cheers!
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  #15  
Old 06-19-2013, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Modesto, CA
Posts: 22
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

Aceves - I'm using the homebrew and for now pretty closely sticking (no pun intended) to 3:1:1:1 recipe. I do have some stray clumped pieces of sand/fireclay that I used to level and secure the oven floor. If my mix is a little wet I'll crumble a bit into the mortar to firm it up a bit. I'm still learning to work with. Your enclosure roof is great.
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  #16  
Old 06-19-2013, 04:50 PM
aceves's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 174
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

Zeke,

Another tip: once you are done cutting your firebricks for the day, do not throw away the wet firebrick powder clay at the bottom of the wet saw basket. Just dump most of the water out and let the firebrick powder clay dry overnight. You can then use this firebrick powder clay in your homebrew mix for the next firebrick course.

Might as well use this clay as it will have the same refractory properties as the firebrick you are installing. I personally used 3 sand, 1 portland, 1 lime, 0.5 bag fireclay and 0.5 leftover firebrick clay, by volume. It worked great, and I didn't waste firebrick clay after a day's cuttings.

Aceves

Last edited by aceves; 06-19-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-19-2013, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Modesto, CA
Posts: 22
Default Re: Zeke's 40" in Modesto

Good tip Aceves - I'll give it a try. I already have quite a bit of sediment in the bucket after draining the pan a couple of times.
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