Stone Work Photos and Ideas
Chad had the good idea of creating a sticky thread where you can post your ideas and photos for stonework. This can include trim and finish ideas, enclosure design, outdoor kitchen elements, nearby walls, framing your oven opening and wood store -- and anything else.
So, give us your thoughts on techniques, design, materials, tools, etc. We look forward to seeing lots of activity in this thread.
So you guys want to talk about stonework huh?
Stonework by Nick Onassis, Adam Olmsted and Edward Faktorovich. Rock selected and painstakingly transported from river beds in Alta Dena, four beaches, Costa Rica and various rock venues on the East Coast.
I was in Anacortes Washington a couple weeks ago on my way home from Orcas Island in the beautiful San Juan Islands. A friend who knows about my oven and wall project told me of a cool place there called Causland Park. It is a Memorial park for Veterans. It has some fascinating rockwork to say the least. Check out the pics. http://myweb.facstaff.wwu.edu/chad/Causland%20park/
Tip when working with mortar
I have done construction for years as a carpenter and now doing my own masonry work had left me with dry dry hands. I hate working with gloves. Anyway, I remembered what an old time mason told me about the caustic nature of mortar. At the end of the day, he rinses his hands with plain vinegar. I have been doing that lately and they feel immediately softer and better for it. I just take a small splurt out of the cider vinegar bottle and "wash my hands" with that without rinsing. Works wonders.
concrete has a high pH (alkaline) some say on the order of 15 but when it dries more like 12. High alkaline is why the steel does not rust when buried in the concrete. Think opposite of alkeline or base which is acid and will destroy metal. Vinegar on the other hand is a few ticks below water, neutral pH of 7.0 or close to it if you have a good water filter and don't live in LA (our pH is closer to 7.5), sorry vinegar is around a 3 on the pH scale.
Generally you don't want to mix your acids and base as the chemical reaction will cause a large amount of fast acting - heat. But both the concrete and the vinegar are "weak" solutions in water.
Finally like the Richter scale for earthquakes the pH scale is on a log scale, think in terms of 10 there going from a 7 to an 8 is 10 times jump.
ps left out the obvious of why he treated his hands with vinegar after cleaning up the tools at the end of the day - it reacts with the residue lime and neutralizes it.
I agree with Jengineer on all of the above except the mixing acid and base causing a chemical reaction. His last statement about mixing acid and base on the hands is correct, you neutralize the alkalinity of residual mortar on the hands with vinegar. Chemical reactions (many of which do give off heat based on the energy released with the chemical bond formed) are a separate issue from pH change from adding acid to alkaline. Some chemical reactions that are 'available' to occur do so more easily at one pH or another, which would be a reason you might see a heat releasing reaction when an acid and base are mixed, but it is not from the pH change.
Concrete or mortar bonding is an example of a chemical reaction process. I poured a few concrete side shelves for the sides of my oven landing and after troweling smooth and pigmenting them I covered with tarp and left on my kitchen table to cure. They were nicely warm from those nice chemical bonds forming when I checked on them 12 hours later. It takes me right back to college chemistry lab.
On the acid base side again, human tissues (skin, eyes, stomach) are much more susceptible to most alkaline damage than acid burns. For mortar work I like the cheap cotton gloves with the latex palms - they breathe but still provide protection from alkali and a good grip. However,vinegar seems to make sense too. Nice tip Janprimus!
That's all well and good with the vinegar and everything, but seriously guys, how awesome is our oven stand?
It is MOST AWESOME. It looks excellent!
Che bella. Did you use mortar hidden in the back of the stone, with the nice tight joints showing in the front?
Sorry to get off track on the post, I didn't recognize that as a block stand, I thought is was the beginning of a rock wall (I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that as the base for a pizza oven - it looks thin, do you have concrete block behind the facade?). I eagerly await pictures of your progress. Will you continue the stone up the rest of the oven?
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