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Pizza History in the Hammer Continues

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  • #91
    Hello Friends!

    Thank you for your continued kindness and support!
    RandyJ I'm in S. Ontario - Hamilton - so more temperate than some - but still prone to cold and wet so have to get going! This weekend will be a build-fest!!
    P3 Stoaker I'm hoping to try the sanding on Friday (took the day to extend the weekend build-fest!) and will definitely let you know! I will certainly repoint any gaps though Neil suggest a flexible grinder ... hmmm I'll see if that is a possibility.

    I have to get thinking about sourcing the proper chimney around here (going to go stainless steel, not ceramic) - hoping to find some luck in that!

    I'll certainly post the progress on Sunday - I hope I can show you a finished dome!!!
    Gotta have goals!!!

    Take care everyone!
    You are welcome to visit my build HERE


    • #92
      Hello Forno Friends!!

      Well - the build-fest weekend was good - but not as good as I hoped - there is still a hole in the top of my dome!! Ah well - the effort was there!
      (I would have thought by page 7 of my build I would have had much more to show - but then again, I learned a LOT from those who posted lots of pics, engaged in explanations and asked MANY questions - so, for what it is worth - I'm sharing some more)

      Way slower going when the thing gets steeper!
      Got the courses over the arch and it went quite well! I was very happy and proud. A bit of grinding and pointing but it was successful!
      subsequent courses went well and on course 10 now! Moved to 1/3 bricks - tapering but not as tight as I would like - then again - not the worst in the world - I'll keep trying until the last brick!

      Wondering about closing the dome - did others find they were at 1/3 bricks? Smaller? Tapered?
      I've seen some that look like petals of a flower (triangles surrounding a circular plug) - is there a best-practice way? Or just close the damn thing?
      Insight most welcome!

      I've included my pics to date - I would have finished Course 10 but my diamond blade finally gave up - off to get a new one just near the end (that's ok - will need it for the stone veneer finish to come!).

      Hope all are well
      You are welcome to visit my build HERE


      • #93
        Very nice. Your arch transition looks great, well done.
        I think until you get to your last row you won't know how you are going to finish/close.
        Because my dome wasn't perfectly round I experimented with a cross shape, whole brick laying flat(12"*6" bricks) and a few others.
        None i was happy with. In the end I decided on triangles with the tips cut off to form a 10 sided polygon. It originally started as a 9 side tightly fitted when laid out dry, but once I started laying there was too much gap around the uneven circle. The keystone is 9 sided but you don't notice.
        My 32" oven, grill & smoker build


        • #94
          Neil.B thanks for the insight on your close! I like your result!
          Good to know the thinking around the process you used - seems like it really is just a think-it-through-when-you-get-there gig.
          Unless, of course, you had a plan from the beginning!

          Did you scour out your dome after closed? Ie/ did you wire brush it? Wipe with vinegar and water as some suggest?
          I'm interested in what people are doing when you see folk half in their ovens!
          You are welcome to visit my build HERE


          • #95
            Hi Barry, Nice job you're doing there. Some day next spring I may have to call up and ask you to drop in for some hands on advice. However before that I was hoping you could pass along where you got your materials. I'm in St. Catharines and haven't actually started going to building supply stores yet but starting to get my head around the harder things to find like the Ceramic Board and Blanket and even the Fire Clay.


            • #96
              No planning, most of the build was made up as i went along and will continue this way for smoker and grill

              I wiped down as I went along, any very uneven areas were ground down with the flexible sanding pad. You might notice some of my bricks are smooth (no sign of mortar as easy to wipe) and some are rough (slight evidence of mortar). The rough are either the inside of a brick that has been cut in to six, or from sanding down because of by dodgy brick laying

              You can lay inside to tidy up the pointing or fill in small gaps/cracks. I put my phone in selfie mode to be able to see where I missed or where to sand.
              My 32" oven, grill & smoker build


              • #97
                Neil.B Hmmm - these are interesting questions now - (though comforting words to know your on-the-fly approach resulted in a dome still standing!). Your flex sanding pad - i need to explore that - anyone else in the forum using this approach? Did anyone take out high/off points by grinding/sanding? I know mongota had a VERY smooth vent transition to chimney (gonna try to copy that!) but SO smooth making me wonder HOW!? Was it grinding? Sanding pad? If so - what grit? good to do inside the dome? Create pock marks? Like I said - all interesting! Open to learning more!
                You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                • #98
                  GFI - hey Glenn! St. Catherines! Yes - my cousins live there and I know it well! Good for you to be planning for the Spring! I'm happy to bring my newbie learning to you if you'd like. Just shoot me a DM and we can sort that - but please know there are AMAZING builders in this forum that have WAY more knowledge than I about building and craftsmanship!! But happy to share what i learned.

                  There is a Regional Forum section in this Forum on the home page. You'll find Canada - then various discussions there.
                  One talks about sourcing materials - it is a thread called Hamilton/Niagara and post #12 outlines some places to get stuff in the region.

                  I have worked with a friend of mine that has a refractory company for the blanket, board and brick - lucky me!
                  BUT - there are folks in Welland, Niagara Falls (bricks, blanket, board, etc and in my thread - some suggestions from members who helped me find suppliers of Foamglass and Fireclay locally here in the Hammer - have a look here- our American friends did a better job finding stuff for me locally than i did just down the road!) and a terrific support in Markham, ON at Alphatherm with a fellow named Elvis - seriously - and he is GREAT!!! Very helpful! I just ordered my chimney assembly from him!
                  Hardest thing I had to source was high-heat mortar - found it up around Jane-Finch at a small joint called Skycon - I used Thermobond 915 - it has been great - $35/50lb bag and I'm just starting bag 4. They have firebrick and all kinds of stuff there too - long drive though. You may decide on the homebrew mentioned on the forum here - apparently it is outstanding - so go for it - if not - this Thermobond is working great.

                  There's things I'd do different if I did it again - but would never give up this experience of building something so amazing.
                  One thing that is NOT optional for any builder ... is to ignore this Forum - so many wonderful, kind and giving people here that can help you through some of the most unfathomable aspects and get you over "analysis paralysis" and the like.

                  Hope your planning goes well - reach out any time!
                  You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Baza View Post
                    [ I know mongota had a VERY smooth vent transition to chimney (gonna try to copy that!) but SO smooth making me wonder HOW!? Was it grinding? Sanding pad? If so - what grit? good to do inside the dome?
                    Thanks, Barry.

                    I shaped my vent transition bricks using a diamond wheel on an angle grinder. No flex, it's a hard steel diamond wheel. Here are two, one a 4", the other a 4-1/2".

                    I simply held the brick in one hand and cut to shape with the grinder in the other. Freehand. Very easy, very fast, with quite good results. I'd venture only if you feel comfortable doing so, and if you understand the premise of making relief cuts so as to not bind the blade, that you could make the cuts on your wet saw as well. Do understand where the spinning blade will pull the brick if it does bind, and how to keep your hands/fingers out of any danger zone. I've held many a brick or tile in my hands while running them through or against the wet saw blade to shape them. But again, it's paramount to not bind the blade in the kerf.

                    With all that written, It's much easier using an angle grinder.

                    Stay safe and within your ever expanding skill set.

                    I did not do anything (grinding, etc) to the interior surface of my dome.

                    Best, Mongo

                    My Build:


                    • And always wear a decent mask when dry grinding or cutting. The tiny shards given of when cutting brick or tile are very dangerous to inhale.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


                      • Thanks Barry, I've got lots more homework to do this winter but will be ready come spring and I'll be sure to keep everyone posted as well as reach out for help when I need it. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished oven.


                        • mongota - THANK YOU for that! Wow - awesome quick reply!! You were definitely in the zone when you cut those - spinning angle grinder in one hand - brick in the other - quite the combo! Quite the confidence! It is just that the finished product in your post is so clean and smooth - looks like a post-treatment to do so - I'm keen to have a go - likely as you did - not with the wet saw - wondering - i have a 4.5" segmented blade - this may be a bit too harsh for such a smooth result?

                          GFI - yes it IS a homework project - but a FUN one! Looking forward to your build! And like you - I'm looking forward to my finished oven too!

                          david s YOU BET! Wear an N95 for every cut (wet or dry) AND to mix mortar (the powder is no good for you either). Great of you to write this to ensure safety!

                          Thanks Friends!
                          You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                          • Originally posted by Baza View Post
                            ... wondering - i have a 4.5" segmented blade - this may be a bit too harsh for such a smooth result?
                            Correct. A segmented blade will typically give a rougher cut than a continuous rim blade. I would be slightly wary of 'catching an edge' when blending with a segmented blade. However, I think that in capable hands a segmented blade can certainly give good enough results for this application.


                            My Build:


                            • I used a segmented blade with no problems. Just lay it flat on the surface as you can and drag. If it's a deep shape then cut loads of v shapes first to get as much material out as possible.
                              The downside was it wore the blade down quicker as only one side got used. So I started using the flexible sanding pad instead.
                              My 32" oven, grill & smoker build


                              • Barry, regarding cleaning brick I wanted to share this. I too was looking for a way to get dirt, loose mortar, etc. from the brick surface. Attached is a photo. For what it's worth..... I first tried the wire brush which I chucked up in a drill. Drill doesn't provide enough speed to make this brass brush effectively do its cleaning thing. I didn't feel this worked that great (the reason in a drill, it noted on item no more than 4500 RPMs) Then tried the other item in the photo. This worked great. Screwed this on to the angle grinder threaded mandrel (11,000 RPMs). It wears down with use. needed one for each (in) side of the dome. $7.99 at ACE Hardware, if you have ACE where you are. I'm sure other brands of this type of item would work. There's some items similar at Amazon. This particular brand item was $14 at Amazon which seemed expensive compared to with what I paid at ACE. Hope that helps........ I also sprayed a solution of 50/50 water and vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. I don't really think that helped.

                                Good luck, Barry


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                                "Success can be defined as moving from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm"- Churchill
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