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Old 06-20-2011, 06:04 AM
kirakat's Avatar
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Location: Dallas, TX
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Default Keeping cement moist and fire starters

Our oven construction is starting today and after reviewing the manual I have two questions. First, in chapter 11 it indicates the curing of the cement is improved by keeping the cement moist and not letting it dry out. During what time period and how do we do that?

Second, in several places it indicates that no chemical starters should be used, yet in Chapter 11 it indicates to use a firestarter and kindling to start the fire. Can I use EZFire (www.ezfire.com)? Of course, the EZFire folks say it's fine to use their product in a wood fire oven and that there have a client in a well-known Vegas hotel that uses it for that wood fire oven.

TIA!
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:43 AM
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Location: New Jersey USA
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Default Re: Keeping cement moist and fire starters

After you pour your concrete slabs, you will want to keep them damp for a week. The process of curing concrete is called hydration, and what that means is that if the slab dries out prematurely, it will loose a lot of its strength. During that week, the cement is bonding with the aggregates, becoming stronger and stronger.

I suppose you can use a firestarter, but I am inherently opposed to paying money for what I can get for free. Make friends with your local cabinetmakers and floor layers. They will be glad to get rid of their scraps for free.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Keeping cement moist and fire starters

Someone on the forum put me on to dried tea bags dropped into a jar of methylated spirits. They work exceptionally well, but you need to cut the strings off to avoid tangles. I used to compost the tea bags, but they don't seem to break down.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Keeping cement moist and fire starters

I use this stuff: Fatwood Natural Fire Starter: Wood Products International: What is Fatwood?
They are thin pine strips with a naturally occurring high concentration of resin. One stick burns like crazy and will have your fire started quickly.

Available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. There are different brands available, they are all the same stuff.
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