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Old 10-10-2007, 08:36 AM
asudavew's Avatar
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Default Halves or thirds... that is the question

Just a quick question for you experienced builders.

I was wondering if most of you used bricks cut into thirds for the upper courses.

And If so, when?

I think I am going to start cutting into thirds to create smaller joints.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

Dave

I went to 1/3 bricks on row 8. On course 8 I alternated 1/2 and 1/3 bricks and then on 9 and up went with all 1/3. You can see a picture of the dome on the first page of my oven post. No real technical reason for the alternating course, just seemed like a good idea to do it that way.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

Thanks Wade.

I can see them in your pics.

Did it help some with your outside joints? Was it worth the effort?

BTW your oven looks great. You have almost convinced me to go with an enclosure rather than a covered dome.........
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

Thanks.

Yes, it did narrow the gaps between the bricks. I do think it is worth it, it saves bricks, the smaller bricks are easier to lay formless because they are lighter, and I wanted to remove some weight from the top of the dome to ease some of the strain. Can't say how much difference the drop in mass makes since I only know mine , but I don't miss it because it bakes well and holds temp well.
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

It would also depend on what direction the bricks are laid...if the 3 inch face is inside the oven or if the 4.5 inch face is inside the oven. In the first case the joints will be smaller and the bricks will be easier to lay but I don't think it changes the physics of the structure since the weight of the ring would be the same in the latter case the weight of the ring would be about one third lighter and the thermal mass at the top of the dome about one third less also depending upon the finish. My propostition for my next oven build will most likely be to rip bricks to approx. 6 inches for the lowest courses, 4.5 inches for the middle courses and the remaining approx. 3 inch pieces from the first cuts to finish the top(laying all with 4.5 inch face to the inside). Structurally it would load the haunches of the dome and make it a bit more stable than normal.
Really good thinking going on in this forum!!!
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

I was planning on cutting my tapered bricks into thirds from about course 7 or 8, as the Vee on the underside of each brick (over the vertical mortar joint of the course below) will eventually be greater than the 2-3mm thickness that my refractory mortar is limited to. When the gaps increase again, I was thinking of going down to quarters.

This hopefully will create smaller gaps but retain the thickness of the dome - inner diameter to outer diameter - so is a different concept to Wade's, where he has used third bricks to intentionally reduce the dome thickness.

My only concern is that it will significantly increase the number of cuts, as well as the numbers of bricks to be laid. Perhaps an easier alternative would be to do a quick pass with the disc sander to form a corresponding Vee on the underside of each brick?

What do members think?

Paul.
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

That makes good sense Paul. Much like the old method of gauging brickwork where the masons rubbed the bricks together to shape them for a tight fit.
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Dutch
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Halves or thirds... that is the question

Hey Paul. I cut my brick's into thirds the way you are planning to do yours. In the pic I attached I think it's the 7th row that I made the switch. It does help with decreasing the gaps but it does create problems trying to stager joints. If I did it again I would cut a few bricks into quarters so I could have one to put in a spot where two joints were aligning. You might run into that 2 or three times a row with thirds if I remember correctly. Even with the thirds there were times that did a little trimming with the grinder to help tighten it up. Hope this helps and good luck!

Cheers, John
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