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Old 01-07-2009, 04:12 PM
carloswlkr's Avatar
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Default how careful should i be about filling gaps in mortar?

I've got my first two chains of bricks laid and mortared, and as I start my third I am worried about how careful I should be to fill the joints between two bricks on one chain and the layer above. I imagine that air pockets in the mortar are generally bad and could lead to blow-outs. Is this a danger? Should I be worried if there are any small air bubbles in my joints? I have absolutely no brick-laying experience, so any advice or reassurance will be appreciated.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:18 PM
Journeyman
 
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Default Re: how careful should i be about filling gaps in mortar?

Carlos,
I would think that filling in the gaps is important. What I did was when the dome was finished I made a grout bag out of a quart size freezer bag and went in and filled anything that needed grout. Hope this helps.

Mark
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: how careful should i be about filling gaps in mortar?

I used the expensive refractory mortar to stick the bricks together for the dome, but didn't worry about filling in the gaps in the exterior. I did try to make sure there were no gaps visible in the interior of the dome. Then, like Mark, I filled in the gaps outside so I had a solid dome. I used an actual large disposable pastry bag, though. Very, very handy things!
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: how careful should i be about filling gaps in mortar?

I would try to fill them as best as you can. Your interior joints look really nice.

Some people have used a "pastry-bag" method to squirt mortar in the cracks on the exterior after the bricks are laid.

Show us some pictures of the exterior part of the dome so we can better understand what you are talking about.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: how careful should i be about filling gaps in mortar?

Firebricks are pretty porous. I don't think an air bubble is going to spall your dome. Fill it the best you can, but don't loose sleep over it.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: how careful should i be about filling gaps in mortar?

Great! Thanks for the replies. I'll keep plugging away at the dome, filling as well as I can, and backfill from the outside as suggested with a pastry bag. Good to know any small gaps or air bubbles shouldn't bring the whole thing down.
I'll take some pictures of the gaps tomorrow, but your replies have calmed my jitters! Meanwhile, I finished the third row tonight, and started the opening. Will post pictures in the photo section.
Thanks again!
c.
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