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When we demo'd the slab in our backyard to make our foundation, we found that chainlink fence was used as rebar.. If the difficulty it took to remove it was any indication, it works. We re incorporated it into our foundation, along with some rebar we found for the perimeter trenches. As far as the hearth slab goes, it's gotta be rebar. Whoops.. just re read your post and realised you werent planning on using it as rebar after all.. Wire mesh.. That'll work.
Just one note: If I were doing it again, i'd only pre-assemble the pentagon for the top, and lay the rest up as triangles. I had to re-cut a bunch of my polygons, and they didn't fit together as well as I hoped.
The saying goes that March "comes in like a lion and out like a lamb." Well, bull. In Ontario during the last week or two, we've had high winds, low temperatures, blowing snow over the ice that already had formed during one warm day. Generally dismal. The saying should read: "in like a demented lion, out like a snarling tiger." Geesh.
"Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827
I will assemble with the triangle route and bypass the preassembly. After mortaring the tips of the triangles on the bricks, I tend to agree that the joint becomes stable quickly. So, I will assemble one triangle at at time. I'll take photos of these steps incase it goes well!!!