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  • Chop Saw vs Tile Saw

    Hello Brick Oven World! I've dreamed about cooking in a wood fired Brick Oven for years and this past summer I finally started towards making that dream come to life. I've laid the foundation, set the CMU blocks, poured the hearth concrete and cut the ceramic insulation board to size. I'm preparing to start in on building the 42" Pompeii style brick oven in the coming weeks.

    For the brick cutting, any suggestions? Home Depot sells an affordable 14" Chop saw. I've recently read on this forum that others were using a 10" tile saw from Harbour Freight. Any comments on which tool is better for this job? Should I be considering anything different?

    Thanks and Happy 2017!

    -Nick

  • #2
    Chop saw is a dry cut and will be really dirty and dusty. I vote for a min. 10" wet saw such as the cheap HF saw. I see them for a little over $220 and you can sell once done. That said, it depends on what type of mortar joints you want, your budget, etc. I seen some good builds done with a hammer and a brick chisel to 1/16" mortar joints from wet saws. So it is your choice.
    Russell
    Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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    • #3
      Awesome! Thank you Russell. That makes sense. Also, I have admired your build! Thank you for all of the great and helpful photos! Nice project!

      On your build, what is the metal looking piece you installed on the oven floor at the opening? I'm assuming this is for the thermal break. Also, is that a ceramic cord for the thermal break as well? Do these items have specific names so I can track them down, or where did you get them? Do they get mortared into place or will that defeat the purpose of the thermal break?

      Thanks!

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      • #4
        The rectangular metal piece is a thermal break made from light gauge 316 SS rectangle tubing which is was scavenged from an old SS prep table. It is filled with leftover ceramic fiber blanket from the build. SS has a lower thermal transfer than carbon steel or aluminum. "U" channel will work too, The ceramic cord aka ceramic fiber rope is also part of the arch thermal break although I think I favor the "L" cut arch bricks now stuffed with the CF rope and high temp caulking. I suggest you look at the "treasure archives" sticky in the Newbie section for some of the more documented builds.
        Russell
        Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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        • #5
          I used an old 10" mitre saw for my build. I would have bought a wet saw if I could find one for a reasonable price here, but in the end the mitre saw did a good job - ideal for cutting the various angles needed, without having to build a jig.

          With a couple of diamond blades it cut well enough. It did make quite a lot of dust, but not so much that I was bothered by it. Soaking the bricks helped a lot.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Brick Oven Nick View Post
            Hello Brick Oven World! I've dreamed about cooking in a wood fired Brick Oven for years and this past summer I finally started towards making that dream come to life. I've laid the foundation, set the CMU blocks, poured the hearth concrete and cut the ceramic insulation board to size. I'm preparing to start in on building the 42" Pompeii style brick oven in the coming weeks.

            For the brick cutting, any suggestions? Home Depot sells an affordable 14" Chop saw. I've recently read on this forum that others were using a 10" tile saw from Harbour Freight. Any comments on which tool is better for this job? Should I be considering anything different?

            Thanks and Happy 2017!

            -Nick
            While I'm all for adapting tools for purposes for which they were not designed, you need to be aware that a compound saw designed for cutting wood may not be a suitable solution. Brick dust is essentially tiny shards of fired clay which can be extremely hazardous to the silia in your lungs, as well as the risk of silicosis disease. Do a search on brick dust hazard to learn of the dangers, because it may affect your family and neighbours. Wetting the bricks prior to cutting will reduce the dust but not eliminate it. A purpose built wet brick saw will reduce the dust problem to a minimum, but a decent respirator, not just a dust mask (useless) is wise. Some home builders have arranged water feeds to the blades of their compound saws in an effort to reduce the dust, but unfortunately, as the saws are not designed to be operated with water there is then an electrical safety issue. In addition the cooling intake around the brushes and commutator allows the dust in and can decommission the motor. Where possible use the bolster to cut the bricks in half. It won't matter if the rough end sticks out to the outside because this will be covered by blanket anyway.
            i'm not saying don't use it, but be aware. Good luck.

            http://www.brickworker.co.uk/Cutting_Bricks.htm
            Last edited by david s; 01-08-2017, 03:54 PM.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              I would agree with that. There certainly are good reasons to use a wet saw if you can; it's the right tool for the job (or a bolster, of course). I couldn't so the chop saw did the job for me.

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              • #8
                Like Russell, my vote is for the Harbor Freight 10" wet saw. For the money, it is the best power tool suited for this type job..................................However, unlike Russell, I have not been able to part with mine.......................... It is not for sale .
                Joe Watson, "A year from now, you will have wished that you had started today"
                My Build
                My Web Album

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                • #9
                  Hey Gulf, I am a rat holer too. My HF saw sits in the garage encroaching on the SWMBO's parking territory.......LOL.
                  Russell
                  Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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                  • #10
                    Wow. I couldn't wait to get rid of mine once the cutting was done!
                    My build progress
                    My WFO Journal on Facebook
                    My dome spreadsheet calculator

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                    • #11
                      + 2 for the HF brick saw. Many of my cuts were "freeform" with the brick sitting in the middle of the platform (not against an edge or guide) and I never felt like the brick was in danger of binding or creating an unsafe condition. The RPM and geometry of those saws is targeted at cutting bricks. I'm hanging on to mine in case I do a tile enclosure or for any odd jobs around the house. I have already cut a few Windsor blocks for a garden in the back.
                      My build thread
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deejayoh View Post
                        Wow. I couldn't wait to get rid of mine once the cutting was done!
                        I keep finding other projects for mine .

                        Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
                        Hey Gulf, I am a rat holer too. My HF saw sits in the garage encroaching on the SWMBO's parking territory.......LOL.
                        Russell, if it gets to be a real problem, I would try and talk her into a subcompact. .
                        Last edited by Gulf; 01-08-2017, 07:17 PM.
                        Joe Watson, "A year from now, you will have wished that you had started today"
                        My Build
                        My Web Album

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          All,

                          thanks for all the replys and help! HF saw it is! I will buy that and hopefully get back to building soon!

                          So I'm new to this forum and perhaps I still need to learn the proper posting techniques, but I'll go ahead and post another question here rather than starting a whole other thread title.

                          im studying up on the Hearth layers. So my concrete hearth is poured. On top of that I plan to do a thin layer of mortar to level the hearth surface. On top of that and while wet, I will put down my ceramic Insulation Board that I have already cut to shape. On top of that, it seems the plans call for a thin layer of sand/fire clay/ water mixture and then the Fire Bricks as the oven floor. All okay? I'm feeling like I want some sort of hard surface to go on top of the ceramic insulation board before the sand/clay mixture and fire bricks. Maybe a thin coat of mortar left to dry, or possibly non insulated ceramic tiles? Something to protect the insulation board from the Fire Brick Oven floor, and as a layer that encapsulates the insulation board so that the insulation fibers aren't disturbed over time. I'm not quite sure what materials/chemicals/fibers are in that material and so for better health, maybe an extra layer there is smart. Any suggestions?

                          Thanks!
                          -Nick

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                          • #14
                            Unless something goes wrong with the hearth pour you should be able to lay the insulation directly, although as was pointed out on my build a barrier of some sort may be useful to stop moisture from getting into the insulation - well worth considering. If you're using calsil for the insulation you won't want to put it on anything wet - that stuff soaks up the moisture like nothing else I've seen. I reckon it would wreck any mortar and you have to drive that moisture out later too.

                            It's normal to lay the floor bricks directly on the insulation, with the sand/fireclay mix to level as needed. Again, mortar wouldn't be good on the insulation if you are using calsil.

                            I don't think there are any problems with that approach - I've seen it on plenty of builds and did mine that way.

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                            • #15
                              I just finished my first build and all I used was my Skill saw with a diamond blade. Yes, it was dusty, yes my backyard looks like the surface of Mars. But it was cheaper than renting or buying a wet saw. Just my two cents. Also used an angle grinder for oddball cuts.

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