No announcement yet.

Pizza History in the Hammer Continues

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by mongota View Post

    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
    I did the same thing with the bricks I needed to shape...Grinder in one hand and brick in the other.

    My Build Pictures


    • CapePizza and Chach - thank you both for your insight on smoothing the brick - Ricky - it seems you have Mongo's confidence!
      I will give it a go - then count how many fingers I have at the end and see if I continue with the in-hand approach!

      The soft pad is not unlike what Neil.B suggested though the one you identify, Cape, seems a bit softer.
      I think I saw some of that locally when Neil first suggested it - we don't have an ACE here in the Great White North - but the usual big box places will have similar - worth a try!

      QUESTION: when you DO use the smoothing pads - on what did you use it? You say for loose mortar and the like - but what about the odd brick that slipped or sticks out a bit more? No? Or is this just to help with some cleaning, smoothing of rough areas?

      Thanks everyone - you collective wisdom is so valued by me!!
      You are welcome to visit my build HERE


      • I used it on the top of my inner arch as the bricks were slightly uneven. I also used it on to surrounding keystone bricks as I had a triangle slightly lower than the rest.
        I also used it in the two large smoke chamber bricks above the inner arch and on the end of some of the bricks that were in the middle of a cut brick.
        I'm also going to use it to round off the sharp edge on the inner arch to allow better smoke flow.

        So yes, it can be used anywhere you want, either flat or slightly angled. They kick of a lot of dust, so take precautions.

        If I was to build another oven with the same 12" bricks, I would have two grinders, one with cutting blade and one with a grinding pad.
        My 32" oven, grill & smoker build


        • This picture shows a good example. Both bits were cut from the same brick. The one on the left was ground down with the disk in the picture and probably took about 30 seconds to do.
          My 32" oven, grill & smoker build


          • regarding your post #107, I used that pad I posted a picture of just to try and clean the brick. I did not use it to cut any brick. For cutting, shaping..... removing material.... from the brick I used either a diamond cup wheel which had a female thread that screwed onto the grinder's mandrel (it's basically a flat disc that's diamond coated)..... or this neat cylindrical diamond rod shaped cutter. It's not very big, maybe 2.5 inches long and maybe an inch in diameter...which also is threaded to screw on to the grinder's mandrel. I also have this wheel that is very aggressive with these raised diamond pads that stick up off the surface of the wheel (maybe 6 of them). I used that to take down high spots on my concrete pad. I think this wheel would be too aggressive for cutting brick. I find it not a big deal to hold the brick in one hand and grind material off the brick using the angle grinder held in the other hand. It's not difficult to do. Take little nibbles off at a time till you get used to it.

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


            • Originally posted by CapePizza View Post
              Barry, regarding cleaning brick
              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4432.jpg
Views:	752
Size:	228.9 KB
ID:	431175
              Is it a good idea to aesthetically clean the bricks when any mortar left is an extra protection leayer to the bricks and the mortar?
              I would leave it.


              • Hmmm - this is interesting feedback and I'm not completely sure on my next steps - when the dome is closed - I'll see how "bad" the residue is (as I have been cleaning each course as I got up) and see how much I need to go back at it. Right now it is just the arch that is looking a bit sloppy -

                Thank you - EVERYONE! - for your input - you've given me much to think about!
                You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                • Hello Forno Friends!

                  Today was good - I'm finding the higher I go, the slower I go!
                  Course 9 and stilts found the bricks slipping both forward and in angle (tended to rest down and not be as steep - mortar was too soft!)
                  Looked on forum for other solutions to stilts and found table/jack approach - seemed worth a go and took no time to build.

                  "tabletop" was circumference of top lip of mortared course - 19.5" and sat just inside the lip of the course and served as a prop point for next course both in height and angle.
                  Cranked it up against the lip and began laying the course with 3/4" shims at midpoint to hold bricks from sliding forward.
                  Cuts were very individual to make each joint as tight as possible - I think it went well - not great - but well.

                  Thinking 2 more courses and a plug!
                  Last edited by Baza; 10-04-2020, 08:17 PM.
                  You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                  • Wondering about "The Slide"?

                    Noticed that, as happy as I was with the tabletop approach in above post, there was a bit of slide in one side of the brick course. I have noticed this going up and feel there may have been something off in my IT as I went up - I did see other builds and noted similar lips going up ... overhang ... but they seem to work out and cook just fine. Perhaps I'm perseverating over an aesthetic more than a necessity?

                    On the whole, I'm ok with the joints - but wonder if the lips noted here are/could be of concern?

                    Any feedback welcome as always!
                    Last edited by Baza; 10-04-2020, 08:20 PM.
                    You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                    • Barry, don't sweat the lips (and I hope that phrase never makes it to a T-shirt ). The courses look solid, although I would have liked to see less joints that lined up. Be aware, that it won't structurally affect the oven, but you will probably get some cracks that appear through some of those long mortar lines during the curing process. Relax...they will NOT be a problem! I used the elevated disk approach as well, but I put plastic bags filled with sand on top of the platform to really define/control the inner shape of the dome. Laying the bricks on the plastic made setting the last couple rows & keystone pretty easy. Once you've put the keystone in, you need to pull out those sandbags and the platform and clean up the mortar while it's still relatively easy to do. I waited too long (and was too lazy) to clean up at the inside top, but like with the "lips", everything works as expected (and frankly everyone is looking at the pizza on the cooking floor...not how well you finished up the dome). You oven looks great, it won't be long until you're wondering what to cook next...
                      Last edited by SableSprings; 10-04-2020, 09:19 PM.
                      Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                      Roseburg, Oregon

                      FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                      Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile


                      • Thanks SO much Mike!! Your build and tutelage have been very helpful to me throughout this forum to get this far! Your words are encouraging.

                        yes - I only noticed some connected mortar lines AFTER the fact! (Sigh) and have tried to mitigate it since. I would cut brick, make mortar and by the time I noticed it was going to line up - the mortar was drying - small batch - and just laid it - as you can see I got a bit sloppy in a few places but resigned myself to see some cracks in the curing as you said.

                        I saw your sandbag approach. I tried it but wasn’t confident the mound I was getting was the true shape of the top of the dome.

                        How did you get that shape to work properly to know the proper apex of the sand mound for your keystone and the appropriate slope outwards from it?

                        welcoming your insight again!
                        You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                        • Gravity has a way of slowing the courses down. I started with the jack/plywood concept but ended up using sticks (slow) to hold bricks. It could not see what was happening inside the dome with the ply in the way or could not clean as went, or see internal joint alignment.. But if it works for you that is great. You are on the home stretch.
                          Google Photo Album []


                          • Do you tap the bricks with a hammer when laying (down and side)?
                            I think I had one or two bricks slip for the whole build, as soon as it happened i started cutting grooves in the top and bottom for most bricks. Even the last row around the keystone wasn't supported.
                            My 32" oven, grill & smoker build


                            • Originally posted by Neil.B View Post
                              Do you tap the bricks with a hammer when laying (down and side)?
                              Hey Neil - no, I haven't tapped anything in to place - my last brick I try to cut tight and mortar it such.
                              So far things are good - I think a combo of too-wet mortar and a slightly-off table top make the most of the slippage in the last row.
                              I'm dithering between Mike's sandbag approach and Mongo and Utah's stilts - slow but sure.
                              This weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving - hey we had to change the date to take the theft of your idea and make it seem like ours!) should solve the issue once and for all.

                              Then to the vent ...
                              You are welcome to visit my build HERE


                              • Try just gently tapping a couple of times, it causes suction. Do the same sideways too. It's much quicker than trying to prop them up.
                                If you watch bricklayers they tap or bounce their trowel that is full of mortar, this causes suction and stops the mortar sliding off, the same for bedding down the bricks.
                                For the next batch of mortar try scoping some up and turning your trowel sideways, the mortar might slide off. Do the same and tap the trowel on the mixing bowl or bounce a couple of times, then turn sideways, you should find it doesn't slide off because of suction.
                                Last edited by Neil.B; 10-06-2020, 11:45 AM.
                                My 32" oven, grill & smoker build