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42 Pompeii in San Felipe, MX

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    I premixed dry ingredients in a 5 gallon Homer bucket then would mix small batches mortar in a two gallon bucket. It was about the right amount for me before the mortar started to flash.

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  • modified9v
    replied
    Hey thanks Ricky and JR for the mortar tips. I’ve been all over the map with this... seems a wetter mortar has worked well so far for me. No matter the consistency I have cracking on the giant backside mortar gaps that start almost immediately. I’m getting no cracking on the tighter joints.

    Here is how I do it. Maybe you can spot a problem or you will say “Yep, that’s it.” I make enough mortar to lay about 8 bricks in a shot. I pre cut and fit them knowing that when I meet a termination point I will need to trim an edge to account for mortar creep. When I mix the home brew it’s 3 full scoops of sand and 1 each of the clay, lime and portland. I use a red solo cup and it all goes into a bucket. I thoroughly mix the dry ingredients until it’s like nice an fluffy... like bread flower almost. Then, the water is added slowly with the drill mixer. When it’s incorporated and not super wet I let it rest for 5 minutes... then slowly wet it while mixing until it’s wet. It doesn’t have standing water on it when I’m done but almost.

    I don’t butter the brick I’m laying, I butter the chain and the brick I’m setting it next to. I put a bunch down, put the brick in my IT and set the brick edge to edge with it’s neighbor. I’m able to push it, by hand, almost all the way down. I finish by tapping it down and tight to it’s neighbor with the end of a 2 pound hammer handle. I immediately remove the IT and pack in mortar where ever I see a holiday.

    I was wondering if there was any harm in pre-mixing the dry ingredients (less sand) so I can make this happen faster. Is there a chemical reaction I need to worry about or a separation of ingredients that could potentially mess this up?

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  • Chach
    replied
    I agree with JR because you have to adjust for different climates and what works for you. I did not use a clamp and didn't have any issues with bricks falling I had a few want to slide but I held it there for a 30 seconds and then it was fine. I just had that one or two brick set in the course from the previous day and alternated on installing the bricks on each side of it/them. This gave the brick a chance to set while i set the brick on the other side. I did not bevel the whole side of my bricks so I packed the joints after a installing a few bricks and that seemed to really get things locked in. The fire clay makes this mortar real sticky pretty good stuff.

    Ricky
    Last edited by Chach; 10-23-2019, 07:03 AM.

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  • JRPizza
    replied
    You need to find the mortar consistency that works for you. I had zero luck trying to use a "peanut butter" consistency (disbonds) and much better success with slightly damped bricks and wetter mortar. I would mix the mortar very wet/sloppy, then add dry mix till I could get start to get some ridges in the in the mix when I ran my trowel through it like a blade. Probably the best thing I learned from youtube. This wetter mortar allowed me to build the upper parts of the dome without any holding devices (sticks etc) and I even abandoned the clamp I had on my IT once I had it dialed in.

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  • Chach
    replied
    The brick needs to be damp but obviously no standing water should be on it. you want your mortar like peanut butter maybe a slight wetter for your area since its dry and sunny but it should stick to the trowel when you flick it. You obviously are doing something right your build is looking good and your almost over the arch and thats when the speed picks up. Looking good


    Ricky

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  • modified9v
    replied
    Originally posted by david s View Post
    The ideal is somewhere between dry and fully saturated.
    That is a pretty broad spectrum . I’m going to try to lean a bit more towards the drier side. Maybe a drier brick and wetter mortar for the rest of the build?

    Thank You David,
    Mikie V.

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  • david s
    replied
    Be careful with fully saturating the bricks. You actually do want them to suck moisture from the mortar to create a decent bond. If the surface of the brick is wet this will not happen and the mortar won’t bond properly. The ideal is somewhere between dry and fully saturated.

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  • modified9v
    replied
    OK... thanks builders for the rapid response. It is in and the template is out. Pulled it almost immediately to clean it up. It’s not going anywhere. I pointed it in as you stated and it did work out pretty well... couple of spots that will need some additional pointing and there are other areas that will need some more work too.

    Everything was wetter than normal. The mortar was so set that when the brick was turned it wanted to fall off the brick... so I waited about 10 seconds and re-applied more and slipped it in. No tapping required, just a gentle push. Pointed in from above and there you are. I did shave quite a bit off the keystone before putting it in... no way was I going to be able to point the mortar in other wise.

    I did vacuum out the floor and removed the protective plywood. Two reasons, one to clean it up and the other to make sure I could get it out. It goes back in later today.

    Thanks again everyone, Mikie V.

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  • Chach
    replied
    Yeah the firebrick suck up a lot of moisture I threw mine in a bucket for an hour before using them...you would see them bubble as they took the water in. you need to have these adjacent bricks wet as well no doubt about it. you can get the mortar in there..push it down from the top with the side of the trowel or backfiller. turn the trowel or backfiller sideways and use it like a knife and push the mortar down then add more at the top and push it it down until its full. It will ooze out the front and back. kust keep doing it until its full.

    Ricky

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  • slschoming
    replied
    Originally posted by modified9v View Post

    Attached are photos of the sand... seems pretty fine to me.

    I have been spraying L8 & R8 every 1/2 hour this morning... seriously, within seconds those bricks are dry to the touch and will continue to take more moisture. Those bricks were soaked for over an hour yesterday before I mortared them in. It has been windy, warm and dry here the past few days. The tarp I had on it over night was torn to shreds by the wind overnight.

    I’m going to follow your suggestions and give it a whirl.

    Thanks SLS for chiming in... I appreciate it.

    Mikie V.
    Yeah, that sand looks good. I went through a couple bags of sand that weren't quite as fine, which was ok for larger gaps or where you have wiggle room on one side, but it made it difficult to squeeze the last brick in on a chain. That fine sand should make it a little easier to slide that puppy into place! Good Luck!

    I hear you on the wind as well, I just did a layer of stucco yesterday and the wind was drying it so much faster than usual..

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  • modified9v
    replied
    Originally posted by slschoming View Post

    Also, how fine is your sand? I would be tempted to use as fine of a sand as you can get your hands on for this one as well.
    Attached are photos of the sand... seems pretty fine to me.

    I have been spraying L8 & R8 every 1/2 hour this morning... seriously, within seconds those bricks are dry to the touch and will continue to take more moisture. Those bricks were soaked for over an hour yesterday before I mortared them in. It has been windy, warm and dry here the past few days. The tarp I had on it over night was torn to shreds by the wind overnight.

    I’m going to follow your suggestions and give it a whirl.

    Thanks SLS for chiming in... I appreciate it.

    Mikie V.

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  • slschoming
    replied
    Throw TDC into a bucket of water and leave it there for a couple minutes. While that is soaking, mix up some mortar, I would go a little wetter than usual, and spray L8 and R8 with a mist from your garden hose. Try to saturate those adjacent bricks (L8 and R8). Once you feel they are saturated pull TDC out of your bucket and give it a shot. I had to GENTLY tap my last dome brick in with a rubber mallet. I don't know if that's advisable, but it worked for me...

    Also, how fine is your sand? I would be tempted to use as fine of a sand as you can get your hands on for this one as well.

    If you get it positioned where you want it and have some mortar holding it in place you can always remove your template and point from below.

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  • modified9v
    replied
    Thanks Ricky!!! That’s kinda what I was thinking but man, my mortar only seems to stay fluid enough for a few seconds once it makes contact with anything. Like when I set a chain brick... I have about 10 seconds to get it where I want it and after that it is not movable without breaking it completely loose. The one time I didn’t have that issue was when there was standing water on the brick I was mortaring to. Maybe that is the key???.

    Maybe I’m just not getting these bricks wet enough and my mortar is too dry. When I watch YouTube videos of guys laying brick it seem like they can move their bricks several minutes after setting them, and their mortar looks drier than mine. Maybe it’s the lime and fireclay in the Homebrew.

    I just can’t imagine being able to stuff that 3/16” gap full of mortar before it starts to go off.

    I also wanted to add that after looking at that keystone sitting on top of the arch form the top join is smaller than the bottom join. I’m thinking that the wedge shape is wrong. I will shave the keystone so the join is wider at the outside than it is on the inside before mortaring it in today.

    Thanks, Mikie V.
    Last edited by modified9v; 10-22-2019, 07:46 AM.

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  • Chach
    replied
    Butter the brick both sides with mortar keep bottom clean so your brick sits down all the way..makes sure your brick and adjacent bricks are damp enough so it doesn't suck the moisture out of your mortar. set brick in and use a backfiller tool which is a 1/4" - 3/8 brick tool to pack the joints with mortar. Point the joints and then your done. You can always just set the brick without mortar and pack it with the the trowel and push the mortar in with the backfiller. Just make sure the motor starts losing out the other side so you know you have all of it inside there.

    Ricky

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  • modified9v
    replied
    Wow, thanks everyone for the support on the droopy chain bit... I think I kinda have it coming. As you can see in the pictures I wayyyy over compensated on what you see in the left, the one on the right is perfect in the IT. I’m sure I can fix it but this is the second time that that side intersection has been a bugger. I’m sure it will be all good, but it’s frustrating when you are looking for it and it still doesn’t go where I thought/mocked it to be.

    All in all I’m pretty happy with the overall results so far... funny how you forget about a brick you set the other day that gave you a fit... there is always another, until there are no more. LOL

    Second picture is where my question comes from... I have never mortared in a brick like this... How do you get the joints full of mortar and glued together real good? I’m thinking that the mortar will need to be super wet/soupy and the bricks very wet...



    Thought? And thank you, Mikie V.

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