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Building The Dixie Darling

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  • WarEagle90
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    Dome Plug

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  • WarEagle90
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    10th and 11th Course

    You can see in the second photo where I let it get out of round there about 3 O'Clock.

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  • WarEagle90
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    Dome is closed . But first, lets catch up. Laid course 8 and 9 last weekend. No major issues other than gravity starting to rear its head. Once I got several bricks stuck together, everything stayed in place quite nicely. Started on course 10 Friday afternoon and it just didn't go well. Couldn't get the bricks to stay in place. Tried sticks, tried hanging weights off the back, nothing really gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling that I wanted. So, I resorted to theft. I stole ...... I mean copi ....... heck, borrowed Gulf's method of using a plywood form and a jack. I measured the diameter at the top, inside edge of course 9 and then cut a circle with the same diameter out of plywood. I placed this inside the dome and held it in place temporarily by tying some paracord to a nut and then running the cord through the center hole and tying it around the overhead frame of the canopy I have covering the oven. This allowed me to move the plywood until I got it where I wanted it. I then built a stand in the oven out of brick and one of the spare floor tiles I had laying around. Atop this, I placed a car jack and a short 2x6 to hold the plywood in place. The paracord was removed. I cut another plywood circle that would act as a support to get me the correct angle on the brick and screwed it to the bottom piece. Laid course 10, rinse and repeat. This works great except you can't clean up the joints inside the oven as you go. Got a little sloppy, but some mortar and a little work with the grinder will clean it right up.

    I cut the plug from a 3" floor tile. Its about 6" in diameter. It was either that or a real tiny one so I chose the larger one. I haven't cut the top part of the plug yet. I'll do that one afternoon this week. Ok, photos coming.

    8th & 9th Course

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  • WarEagle90
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    Didnít I see someoneís build where they made some metal brackets that supported the bricks from the back? Sort of a L bracket with a lip to slip over the front edge of the brick. Iíve thought about printing such a bracket and include an eyelet so I could suspend a little weight that would keep them in place. Doesnít take much to keep them in place and the castable I am using on the horizontal joints sets quickly.

    Since I will have the thermal break between the dome and the vent arch, I think I will set the vent on the hearth and add the calsil under the vent floor. Vent chimney will be substantial. Very much like Gulfís.

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  • UtahBeehiver
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    No fooling mother nature, you can see from my pic that I made several adhoc supports to hold the upper course bricks in place. It was a slow go near the end.

    After giving it some thought, I remember that Gulf did a "huge" masonry chimney and although he extended his CaSi out from the vent, the arch/chimney base was on a P-crete support. I am not sure how big your chimney stack will be but this is another option.
    Last edited by UtahBeehiver; 05-09-2018, 07:00 AM.

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  • WarEagle90
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    Yeah, Russell, the tapered arch was well worth the effort. It made the transition more or less painless. Does gravity ever take a day off? It sure would make these last few courses much easier if I could turn it off for a couple of hours .

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  • UtahBeehiver
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    Most of the heat will come from radiant heat rather than transmission heat from the floor especially with a thermal break. Since you have left over CS board why not use it. I placed insulation under my vent area, does it make a difference, beats me! But if did not cost me any more time or money to do it since I had the materials. BTW, nice finish on the taper inner arch, worth the effort?

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  • WarEagle90
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    Ok, I'm starting to think about the vent and the first thing I have to decide is if I will put it on insulation. The dome sits on 4" of calsil board and I have enough to put 4" under the vent too. Is it recommended to insulate the bottom of the vent or does it matter. The vent will have a thermal break from the oven so it shouldn't act as a direct heat sink to the hearth. The vent will be all masonry so it will be heavy. The calsil board has a compressive strength of about 72 psi so it should be fine unless it gets wet. That is my biggest concern. Any words of wisdom?

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  • WarEagle90
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    7th course photos.

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  • WarEagle90
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    Mr. Paws (inspector) has given approval for the oven construction to continue. He said he had his eye on a possum (that's how we spell it in the south), a few squirrels and a bunch of chipmunks he wanted to cook in it when complete . Finally got back to work laying brick this weekend. First milestone reached: CLEARED THE ARCH!!!!. That felt real good. Now the next challenge: GRAVITY. Had a couple issues with brick not wanting to stay in place on course 7. The problem ended up being mortar was to dry. Made a wetter batch and held gravity at bay, for now at least. May take some time off of work later this week and try to get the dome closed this weekend. I need to start planning the vent. I want to build a brick vent similar to Gulf's and I have placed the oven on the hearth with that in mind. I just have to work out all the details. I'll throw something together in CAD and let you folks take a look at it and let me know what you think. Progress photos below (6th course). I'll post 7th next.

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  • Gulf
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    I few years ago I left my storm door off after a cook. It was a cold morning when I went toward the oven. The insulated door was in place and laying in the entry was a stray cat soaking up the warmth . During the next firing I pulled plenty of coals into then entry to sanitize the area .

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  • WarEagle90
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    I'm having withdrawals. Been away from the oven for almost 2 weeks now and I know its getting lonely. Weekend can't get here soon enough. I forgot to tell everyone about the visit from our local inspector. A few weeks ago, I started noticing footprints around the oven build site. It took me a while to figure out who they belonged to, but one evening when I knew it wasn't going to rain for a few days, I left the tarp off. The next day, I saw those same footprints in the dust on the hearth. I could make them out a lot better and it hit me ... the darn inspector has been snooping around. Well, I finally caught him on camera a few days later.

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  • WarEagle90
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    Here are a couple photos of the work needed on the arch.

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  • WarEagle90
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    Between the weather and helping my Dad, I didn't get a whole lot accomplished this weekend. Spent yesterday playing cowboy helping my Dad with his cows and spent most of today watching the liquid sunshine fall from the sky. But did manage to get a few hours in on the oven. Late yesterday I finished the arch and most of course 5. Today I tied No. 5 into the arch, set the anchors for 6 and removed the arch form. By golly it didn't fall . Some touch up work will be necessary on the underside of the arch where it sat on the form. I'll need to tuck point some of the joints and get the grinder after some stray mortar but I kind of expected that. I think I remedied the minor case of the droop I caught last week. Take a look at the photos and let me know if you see any lingering issues. Won't be any more real progress for a couple weeks. I have to go to NC to my nieces wedding next weekend. As always, thanks for following along.
    Last edited by WarEagle90; 04-15-2018, 06:16 PM.

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  • UtahBeehiver
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    coming together nicely

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