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42" Pompeii construction in Adelaide

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    G'day All,
    Hope everyone is going ok in the crazy climate in which we live. I recently travelled overseas with work and therefore had to complete 2 weeks hotel isolation once back in Australia confined to the room. Had its benefits though, I knew when I got home I'd be super busy for, well months really. I think I'd be happy with a weeks isolation ( forced rest) every month!!
    So the build continues, many thanks to all for the terrific advice and assistance along the way, it's made a huge difference.
    Things are getting seriously steep now. I've been quite surprised though, resting the brick in the IT tool for just a few minutes is all that's required before it can be removed and the brick stays in place. I'm not yet vertical but it's not far off. I think the next level will require longer support. Also, tapping the brick down in place, whilst in the tool, I think that helps. I made the IT tool with a clamp but haven't as yet fitted it and I don't think I will, just not required.
    Up until now after laying each brick I have reached in, tidied up the mortar and wiped the face clean with a sponge. Very soon I will not be able to do this. I expect the inside to be a mixture of joints with spewing out mortar and joints requiring additional mortar. A similar thing to photo 1 and 2 where the inside of the dome arch couldn't be accessed. If able I'd appreciate comments on what you did to deal with this issue?
    One other question relates to the flue. I plan to have a flat metal base plate fixed to a horizontal brick surface, above the vent arch/vent. I was talking to someone who raised two concerns about this plan and I would appreciate any thoughts comments regarding,
    Firstly, assuming some sort of brick bolt/screw fixing, the metal plate and bricks would have vastly differing expansion/contraction rates. I wonder if sitting the plate on some insulation type material and having large holes in the plate would allow the necessary movement?
    Also this chap has concerns the collected water running down the flue will eventually run into vent brickwork which will soak up water every time it rains and when fired up will mean significant drying of the bricks, possible quite often. Has anyone experienced/heard of this as an issue?

    It's great to be back, thanks for reading my post and good luck to you all.
    Regards
    Greg

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  • Baza
    replied
    Looks FANTASTIC - I struggle with the fear of too much mortar showing in the interior and I know it is brick over mortar for the interior - but I think there has to be some forgiveness (I sure as hell hope so!) to give us some permission for leeway! The thing will still cook a mean pie!
    Great job, mate - looks like a solid clean build.
    Barry

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    G'day All,
    I had to stop work around 3 weeks ago and I've been meaning to update since then. Unfortunately work will prevent any chance of continuing the oven for the next few months.
    A huge thanks to all for your comments and assistance so far, certainly results in not only a much better result but no doubt quicker as well.
    It was good to at least close the dome off over the inner arch before I stopped. I'm still not sure I really grasped the tapered inner arch, I think it was a lot of luck but I do know the assistance from forum members informed me enough to get the position of the arch reasonable which was the main thing.
    I purchased the dome bricks as is, tapered. The benefit for me was they were available, for the same price as square bricks and have reduced cutting. My old petrol brick saw probably wouldn't make it through cutting all the dome bricks and I had little appetite to do so, so these bricks became an obvious choice. I'm not too fussed with some mortar joint on the inside, I've kept it neat so hopefully all will be fine. Main thing that has caught me out with using them is the joints aligning. Difficult to predict and as you can see quite a few vertical joints have aligned, despite attempts to avoid. Even though I'm only mixing very small batches mortar there is still the need to get on with it and by the time I get bricks wet, height, square, aligned etc etc, well the bloody joints caught me out, a number of times. I can only hope this wont become a significant issue.
    As you can see, row 6 is where the switch happened, all bricks are then the same way up. I'm not sure how they will go for the higher rows?
    Regards to all, and thanks again.
    Greg

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    My build ranks right up there in slowness. I started in 2011 and barely put the finishing touches on in 2021 and only because I needed a Covid 19 stay at home project..LOL.

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    Thanks BeanAnimal, and thanks to all for the feedback. In the end I drew accurate lines in the arch form, where the centre of the arch brick needs to be and I'l aligning that with a centre line along the centre of the brick. I'm keeping the gap required at the inner joints and then simply aligning the brick line with the form line. To be honest I still don't know why the measurements of the required gaps based on the circumference (mathematical calculations) didn't work but oh well pressing on anyway. So getting there around work and other things requiring time. Is there a comp for the slowest build??
    Regards

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  • BeanAnimal
    replied
    As mentioned above, the center of the brick face is what needs to be touching the form. So, less wedge angle for each brick.
    Last edited by BeanAnimal; 07-26-2020, 10:48 AM.

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    Thanks Russell. Certainly makes sense what you are saying, but achieving it, or importantly why I'm not is the question. The first brick is square and not tapered, 75mm (2 61/64") thick and the bricks above that I'm planning to use are tapered, with the same size at the back, or outside of the arch and reducing to 65mm (2 9/16") on the inner face. As detailed above I positioned that lower brick and started the arc above the floor. For info, given all the advice is that the radius of the arch width along the bottom, across the arch is shorter than the height required what is the common way to combat that ? ( some measurements in posts above). What I did was to start the arc at the top of that first brick which meant the radius width and height worked, but as described the height was lifted by the lowest brick thickness which is why its a square brick.
    So currently working through, do I cut it all out, or continue where I'll likely have a wedge at the top as a result of not opening the gaps at the back to the required 24mm.
    I'm going to run into the same issues with the outer arch so understanding this will be important sooner or later, might as well be now. Many thanks for your ongoing assistance.
    Kind Regards

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    I agree with JR that prelaying out the full arch is you best bet. I also believe the issue starts with the first arch brick, the face is not perpendicular to the center of the arch but rather tipped up too much. Mark the center point on the face of the brick this should be the contact point on the form, not the edges of the brick.

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    Thanks JRPizza. Initially I was going with a lower inner arch and I did dry lay which worked perfectly. I then thought safest to stick closer to the 60 odd % ratio and raised the arch, using a new form for which I didn't do a dry lay. I've just now removed the form and tried a dry lay which has the same problem. One issue I previously looked at was the inner arch height (radius) needs to be taller than the radius of the arch width, according to all the guidance. I assume everyone works through this, did anyone have the same considerations? So the arch height is 315mm (12 inch and 13/32) and the radius of the width is 240mm (9 inch and 29/64). So what I did which may be the problem was to essentially start the arch radius around 3/4 the way up that first brick which was layed on the oven floor.
    Another possible problem may be the bricks I'm using. I've worked out the required gaps along the inner and outer to be around 3.25mm (1/8") and 24 mm (15/16"). The bricks are already somewhat tapered but it seems that opening the back up to 24mm causes the inner edges to be mis-aligned and yes that lower brick is not tangent to the form, but seemingly cannot be when the back is set to the required gap.
    The only thing I can think of so far is to reduce the outer edge gaps thereby improving the inner alignment which will most likely require a wedge at the top. A little disappointing given bot too much of the brickwork is ever seen and the arches definitely are seen !!
    Any thoughts/comments on how to solve this will be greatly appreciated.
    Kind Regards

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  • JRPizza
    replied
    P3, I'm a big fan of laying out the arch flat on the ground to make sure you know how it is going to look. If it is not too late I'd encourage you to do similar to the pic I attached. If you do this you can probably come up with a better way to space the bricks and index them to your form. At the very least you need to make the center line of the brick tangent to your form, which the lower bricks don't appear to be. This also requires your form to be a nice smooth circle.
    As far as mortar goes, I had the same problem and all I can say is try to butter up enough mortar that you can see the joint being filled and the mortar squeezing out as uniform as possible - you have visibility on the lower rows. Then try to do same on upper rows. I had to go back and do some grinding and filling after I pulled my form.

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    G'day All,
    I've run into a bit of an issue with the inner arch which is causing a few headaches. In addition to the question above in the last post I have also discovered the inner edge of the arch bricks are kicking out and therefore look stepped. To be honest I'm not not all that fussy but I will try to get things looking reasonable, and the misalignment looks worst than the photo shows. In photo no 1 you can see how the lower edge of the next brick kicks out in relation to the brick below. Any thoughts on why or how to fix would be appreciated. I don't really want to continue as the stepping may get worse ?
    Few other photo's of progress.
    Kind Regards

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    G'day All,
    Thanks again Russell, and I must say I had a good laugh at your comment, paralysis by analysis, I know it got me !!
    I have had some progress, a little slow with competing time consuming requirements. First course down this morning and preparing to lay the second, photo's later tonight.
    One thing I've discovered is the inner arch template prevents access to that mortar line to tidy it up/finish it, the long inner line along the inner joint of the inner arch, and will be the same for outer arch I guess.
    What did you all do about this? Did you simply tidy that mortar joint later when the template was removed?
    Regards

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    IMHO, you will be fine by using a peanut butter consistency slurry of 50/50 fireclay. The difference between the cuts and factory edges cannot be extreme, what are we talking, 1/16 or 1/8"? There is plenty of compressive strength in the slurry and merely acts as a spacer. These ovens are not precise tolerance, you can work yourself into "paralysis by analysis" pretty easy.

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  • P3 Stoaker
    replied
    G'day All,
    Thanks Russell / Tom appreciate the feedback.
    Pretty much set to lay the first course but its pissing down rain all weekend so I might start next week as looking a lot better.
    I'm using 12" square floor bricks and 2 of the cut edge pieces are a little lower which will cause the dome brick to tilt back out of reasonable alignment ( dome on floor). So I thought I'll get some fire clay, start at the highest point without the fire clay and move around the dome, using the fire clay to keep things level. I'm not a person to fuss too much but I do figure the better the first course is the less work later.
    When purchasing the fire clay the salesman knew it was for a pizza oven but no detail. He advised me it wouldn't set and would wash away with rain or water. Whilst it shouldn't get wet and I don't plan on hosing it, I do wonder about its weight bearing strength? I know the advice is 50/50 fire clay and sand but I can't imagine sand increasing it's strength. So I'm now wondering if there is a difference in the product here in Australia compared to USA, I know other products are significantly different to the point I'm cautious and like to avoid a disaster.
    I might mix some up and do a test.
    Regards

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  • GreenViews
    replied
    Greg, If you see my build, I did that very thing. I placed my first course (actually did half solder even) flat on ground, then over compensated with angle of my second course (which for me was also half soldier). That worked out very well for me! I found that adjusting as I went with my template worked very well and I didn't sweat it when one course or another ended up slightly off... I just adjusted the next as I went.... for the last few courses, I stopped using my template at all. The ending became obvious p.s. our ships in life usually never fully sail, the journey just changes course or direction. You got this.

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