Old 07-12-2010, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 17
Default Tapering bricks in the upper courses

Howdy folks,

Greetings from North Idaho on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. My apologies if this is a duplicate post, but I have not been able to locate the question that I posted during the weekend.

I am building a 40" hemispherical oven dome and I have a question regarding the upper brick courses in the oven dome.

Is it better to taper the bricks for each course (for strength and/or insulation) as compared to keeping a straight edge and having an angled gap between the bricks within a course? Obviously, not having to taper each brick is a lot easier (although you end up using more mortar).

Also, I assume that I should progressively decrease the brick width for each course of bricks (for better fit to the course below it). Is this correct?

Thank you for your assistance.

Good Roads

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:40 AM
Neil2's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 1,374
Default Re: Tapering bricks in the upper courses

On the upper courses of a 40 incher you will want to taper or bevel the bricks. You will actually end up doing a "double bevel".

This is easier than it sounds and as you get into it you will see what I mean.. A cheap chop saw with a diamond cutting blade will do the trick.

You may also want to pick up one of these, a bevel setter. It will speed up getting the changing angles correct for the cuts.
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Tapering bricks in the upper courses-bevel.jpeg  

Last edited by Neil2; 07-12-2010 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:37 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,206
Default Re: Tapering bricks in the upper courses

Vertical brick joints that span courses is what you're trying to avoid. The bricks are stronger than the joints and if you can avoid spanning courses I think your oven will be stronger for it. If you choose to decrease the width of the brick and can avoid brick joints spanning courses, great! I think you'll be happier ignoring the brick width and focusing on spanning vertical joints. I'm including a link to a tool that helped me deal with dome brick cuts. I'm quick to say that an oven built with half bricks, and loads of mortar, will cook the same as a oven built with taylor cut bricks.

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f28/...ool-12478.html (My brick cutting tool.)

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