Old 10-30-2008, 04:00 PM
Bandrasco's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa, FL.
Posts: 208
Thumbs up BA's Dome! Let the games begin!

Well I really thought that I'd be able to start the actual build yesterday but work somehow found it's way to the top. I decided to take today and tomorrow off to get a good start. At 3:00pm I was done with emails, phone calls, and trying to convince everyone that I was in fact on vacation and needed to get going... What a vacation!

I managed to set half of the soldier course including the right side of the arch base. Tomorrow will be the left side and maybe the first course.

I'm a bit miffed about the Heatstop-50 although I know that it is not the mfg fault but after I spent a ton of time getting my cuts nice, clean, and tight, so I would only need maybe 1/16th mortar in between them I mixed up a very small amount of the mortar (not knowing how it would set up) and proceeded to get started. While spreading the mortar with a margin trowel I noticed that the mix had rocks! Small BB size cured mortar! Boy did my gage peak! I struggled with it the entire time. Each time I tried to get the bricks tight I would hear 'scrape' in between the bricks. I managed to make it work and feel ok about the way it turned out but my worry now is that the mortar has already hydrated and maybe already cured. We live in a swamp here in FL. It's humid all the time and mortar does not humid climate; well I guess I should say it does. I spent almost 14 years in the tile and stone business; I've seen what happens to mortar that has been exposed to too much humidity... Nothing; it just doesn't set up.

I hope that all is well and it's just a few rocks; I can sift them out it if does end up setting. The good news is that I only used about 2 mixed cups for 50% of the soldier course so I should have plenty with two bags. I expected this stuff to be more sticky like non-sanded grout; it's a little sandy, although fine, and I had no issues with it kicking off too fast (I hope thats not a bad sign).

Pictures will be posted tomorrow. I have been going solo and my photographers haven't been around (kids) to take those all too funny candid shots.

Wish me luck!
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:05 PM
Bandrasco's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa, FL.
Posts: 208
Default Re: BA's Dome! Let the games begin!

Sorry everyone, I posted this in the chimney section... I re-posted it under the build section.

I'm a bit exhausted so I apologize.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:27 PM
Master Builder
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 575
Default Re: BA's Dome! Let the games begin!

I feel your pain. I also cut my bricks precisly only to find that the sand I used to mix my mortar had tiny pebbles in it. I ended up filtering my sand through a screen before mixing my oven brick mortar.

But I certainly would have been more ticked if my grief was caused by my
expensive product being flawed!

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Old 10-31-2008, 03:23 AM
Bandrasco's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa, FL.
Posts: 208
Default Re: BA's Dome! Let the games begin!

Thats what my biggest gripe was as well. $70.00 a bag! You'd think this stuff would be in a vault locked up in a climate controlled area

Thanks Dusty, I'm posting my pics and everything else on the thread in the build section.

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Old 10-31-2008, 07:19 AM
egalecki's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,049
Default Re: BA's Dome! Let the games begin!

My heatstop was ok- any really small lumps sort of mashed out with the use of my gloved hand. I tend to get really personal with my mortar- if I'm not covered in it I didn't work hard enough!

Of course, I wear long sleeves and long pants- but I really did break up the few lumps I had with my hand. No problems with it curing here...

I've done a bit of tile work myself- the heatstop doesn't behave at all like tile mortar. Even when you add a lot of water it doesn't have that "plastic" nature that good tile mortar or grout have. It's a different feel altogether.

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