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Reducing Mortar Usage with Firebrick Shims?

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  • Reducing Mortar Usage with Firebrick Shims?

    I was looking over some pics that Dusty posted in his insulation thread:

    I noticed that he used brick shims along the top of his wood storage arch and I thought it looked pretty good. AND it got me thinking. Has anyone made firebrick shims for the Dome?

    Seems like you could lay a course and then lay in the shims. The amount of mortar used would be reduced.

    Combine that with a "left and right" taper to the half bricks and the oven would be mostly brick with very little mortar at all.

    AND Finally, I wonder if the left over bits from the "left and right" taper cuts could be used as shims for each course...

    Just brainstorming here. Any thoughts on this?
    Steve Kennemer
    Austin, TX

  • #2
    Re: Reducing Mortar Usage with Firebrick Shims?

    Yes, I used brick shims or wedges to "pitch" each course of dome bricks to the desired angle. Also used shims/wedges where I had some large side gaps between the back ends of adjacent bricks of the same course.

    Had lots of left over brick wedges from cutting and seemed like the best way to go, since you can just mortar and leave them in. I put about a 1/2-1" layer of cladding on, so did not worry about anything that protruded out of the dome less than that. The few pieces that were longer, easily chipped off after the mortar was dry.
    Wade Lively


    • #3
      Re: Reducing Mortar Usage with Firebrick Shims?

      I've also been using spare bits of firebrick insted of shims - the reason being I have lots of bits of firebrick lying around and no shims. It just struck me as being less fiddly and seems to work fine (so far).
      "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)