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Old 09-10-2007, 08:15 PM
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Default Timing for Dome

I have been trying to get a better sense for how long it may take to build the dome. I am building a 42" oven, have cut angles and bevels so I am hoping for a tight fit (Newbie wishful thinking). For those working without a form is the process to do a coarse, wait for mortar to set and then move on the next? Are we talking a weekend project or weeks? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Timing for Dome

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Originally Posted by jcg31 View Post
I have been trying to get a better sense for how long it may take to build the dome. I am building a 42" oven, have cut angles and bevels so I am hoping for a tight fit (Newbie wishful thinking). For those working without a form is the process to do a coarse, wait for mortar to set and then move on the next? Are we talking a weekend project or weeks? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
if you are using a form... I think you can just go at it!

I have seen pics of some domes built in less than a day with no forms; just a few sticks to hold up the upper layers
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:12 PM
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Talking Re: Timing for Dome

I did my 42 without a form and I was able to do about a course each evening I worked on the oven. The more care you take in laying each brick the longer it will take. By having the bricks cut already you will be able to go faster. Depending on how fast your mortar sets you may not want to do more than a course each day. If the prior course doesn't set you run the risk of shifting it while laying the next course. Also cleaning the mortar from the inside takes some time. I found that I was able to lay a course and sometimes a little less before I would lose patience and try to make bricks fit when they wouldn't. My advice would be to stop for a break (may be an hour or a day) when you have layed a brick that you think you may regret the next day. It may not be completed as fast as you would like but you will be much happier with a dome that has a tight look to it.


Cheers, Versachi
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Timing for Dome

I also built my dome without forms. Once you finish a ring it is pretty well locked in even before the mortar dries. I don't think there is any reason you need to wait for mortar to cure to proceed with the next course. How long does it take? It depends on your preparation and skill - this is on the job learning for most of us!
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Timing for Dome

I built mine without forms, although I used a raisable floor on the top rings. I used HeatStop and found that if I started with the center (directly opposite from the opening) brick and worked outward, when I finished one half the center brick was set enough to not be a problem in continuing the other half. About ring 8, the angle of the bricks and the small size of the rings required a one ring at a time strategy for me. I was being anal and really wanted a good shape and clean face to the dome.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: Timing for Dome

For a newbie, I think a course a day is a good general guide. Each of the courses has unique "problems" to solve (tying into an arch, beveled first course?, when to go with 1/3 bricks or 1/4 bricks, making sure vertical joints stagger, fashioning and placement of keystones, etc.)

Solving these problems is actually the fun part!
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:35 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Timing for Dome

Hi JCG31,
you can take as long as you feel necessary but I found that once I mixed a single barrow load of mortar (I used the poor mans fireclay, portland cement and sand mix), started laying the soldier course and continued until I rasn out of mortar. That was 3 courses higher withourt any formwork. The next weekend, I put in a sand only form as the brick angle was getting rather steep. With a brick saw close by, I finished the dome, immediately removing the formwork and cleaning the bricks inside the oven.
Oven dome completed in 2 days. Check out my build at for a guide to the timeline:

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html (Neill's Pompeii #1)

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...-4-a-2045.html (Neillís Pompeii #4)

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...10-a-2119.html (Neill's Pompeii #10)

Neill
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