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Old 10-23-2009, 03:12 PM
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Default a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

I have been mortaring my soldier course in place and I stopped about halfway through to make sure everything was coming out correctly, and i realized that there will be about a 1 inch gap between the inside face of two of the bricks...the rest of it looks fine. my question is this: is there any harm in filling the 1 inch gap completely with mortar and thus avoid any tricky brick cutting? I'm using a dry premix of Heatstop 50...just in case there are any issues about the materials i am using.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

I was just wondering about this because the instructions advocated leaving no gaps for mortar along the inside face of the bricks. I couldn't figure out if this was an important detail that will affect things later on down the road, so I just wanted peace of mind before i continue.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

One inch of mortar is a bit much. You will most likley get shrinkage cracks. Cut some brick shims or extend the mortar 2:1 with mortar sand.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

As a rule, it is better to cut 2 bricks rather than make one small piece. That is, if you will end up with a one inch gap, cut 2 bricks to equal 1 brick plus 1". If the gap is in the middle of the course, remove one brick and do the same.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

So this is what i'm working with. the first picture is how big the gap is going to be, and the second picture is the shim i cut to fit...it doesn't look like it fits, but it does lol. so what i was thinking of doing was to take the other half of the brick that i cut to make this wedge and mortar it behind the wedge so that the bricks will be roughly the same thickness as the other soldiers. with the type of saw that i have, i can't taper the front of the brick like i want to, so i had to cut it like this. Neil, is this what you were talking about when you mentioned brick shims...sorta? do you think it will work anyway?
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

Matt - seems to me, that with the amount of brick you have to work with on the ring, you would just need to space them maybe 1/16 inch further apart to make that up space without a shim. It also looks like you have some of them mortared so that may not be an option for you.

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Old 10-24-2009, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

Mortar and brick have two different properties. Cut wherever you can and keep the mortar thickness to a minimum to avoid issues with shrinkage.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

Keep going and then cut the last two instead of the last one. they will be tucked away and will never be seen. The utting of two is better than one smallone.
Good luck
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

You will find that you need to cut one to fit on every course, and you really won't know how big or small it needs to be until you are ready to cut it. Just keep those keystones for each course tucked away near the entry arch and no one will ever see them.

Joe
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course

thanks everybody for the replies. I followed the advice and made a custom piece...two actually...to fit in the gap. Not only that but i was able to almost finish the vent arch. i would be done by now but i ran out of Heatstop 50 and the place i buy it from won't be open until tomorrow. I did find something from a company called IMPERIAL at Lowe's. it was a stove and fireplace mortar, but it only came in 8 oz containers. i didn't know if it was even the right material so i just decided to wait...oh well. here are some pictures of what i have done yesterday...keep in mind, this is my first time mortaring or even working with bricks. it's not perfect, but i'm proud of it!
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a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course-2009-10-24-17.12.21.jpg   a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course-2009-10-24-17.15.13.jpg   a quick question about refractory mortar and the soldier course-2009-10-25-09.39.11.jpg  
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