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36" Corner Build in Minnesota

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  • mongota
    replied
    I agree with NCMan and JR. Since you're not cooking this year, there is no need at all for any fires. Even if you were to drive any residual moisture out of the dome, it'll just absorb atmospheric moisture over the winter.

    In the springtime when you open it up, don't fire it up until you have the insulation on. The insulation will buffer the overall temperature of the dome, allowing it a more even heat up as well as a gentler cool down. Moisture within the dome will turn to vapor and pass through the insulation to free air.

    Put me in the group that let my dome go through a winter unfinished. Actually, two winters! My wife and I had to go out to the midwest for family issues; caretaking of her parents. My dome sat quiet for quite some time while we were gone. I had 6-mil poly over it plus it was double tarped. The winds did abrade the poly against the brick, and moisture did get in to my board insulation. When I returned I was able to dry it out with several days of fire with no ill effects.

    I'd recommend putting a Harbor Freight moving blanket over the dome to protect the poly from brick abrasion, then 6-mil poly for water, then a tarp for overall protection.

    You're doing nice work! Congrats on your progress.
    Last edited by mongota; 10-20-2021, 12:03 PM.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. I finished another course today. It’s going to take me at least another week or so to finish the dome. JR - it’s good to hear from someone else that has gone through this decision, NCMan - I like your idea to just finish the dome and close it down for the year. It will get cold enough to freeze in November but I can try to protect it with insulated blankets for a couple weeks.

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  • NCMan
    replied
    If it were mine, I'd just finish it up and forget the drying fires. Cover it up good and let it cure naturally. If you get some warmer days and it's not too much trouble to uncover it, let it get some air if you can, then cover it back up. Just my 2.

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  • JRPizza
    replied
    You are shutting down for the winter right about where I did in my build. I spent the late fall getting chimney/vent bricks cut and played with layouts and spacings. I had some thick visqueen that was big enough to cover the dome and extend down the sides of my stand, then wrapped it in tarps to protect the integrity of the plastic wrap. If you just use woven tarps you might get more moisture than you want. I also had a tarp cover over the roof structure I had erected that helped keep the majority of the rain off. I still had lost of water that had to be driven out of the CF board but I attributed that to the early soakings it got.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    My plan is to just finish the dome this fall. I'll leave the outer arch/flue until spring. I was planning on running the series of curing fires and then wrapping it up with tarps to keep the snow and water out for the winter. Does that sound reasonable?

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  • NCMan
    replied
    Mainly just after you use it, as the more water is in it, the more vulnerable it is. As to when that time passes, it is no exact science, as your conditions are not known. But, to answer you, the longer you can protect it, the better. Generally, in lots of cases, a few days is enough, but, as long as there is moisture in it, it can freeze.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    Is it vulnerable the whole time until I'm able to run the curing fires or just in the days following the mortar and bricks being placed?

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  • NCMan
    replied
    Other than what you suggested, no. Maybe an electric blanket or putting a small heater/heat lamp under it(?) Just simply covering it w/a regular blanket will do if it doesn't freeze hard, but I wouldn't take many chances w/it.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    I will have to invest in some insulating blankets until I'm able to complete the dome. Any other tricks of the trade to keep in mind to ensure it does freeze until cured?

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  • NCMan
    replied
    Originally posted by MnDude45 View Post
    I have a question regarding cold temperatures. Here in Minnesota we've had a warm summer and a mild fall thus far but we've got frost warnings coming. I have 5 courses left plus the outer arch to go before I would plan on running the curing fires. I'm thinking that after that is complete, I will shut down until spring. The average highs/lows are dropping and with sub-freezing low temps expected to be the norm beginning in November.

    Anyone have thoughts on the impact of colder temps on the dome and mortar prior to running the curing fires?
    As long as you keep it all from freezing, you're fine. Actually, cooler weather is better for all cement, as it slows down the curing process. No way do you let it freeze, though.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    I have a question regarding cold temperatures. Here in Minnesota we've had a warm summer and a mild fall thus far but we've got frost warnings coming. I have 5 courses left plus the outer arch to go before I would plan on running the curing fires. I'm thinking that after that is complete, I will shut down until spring. The average highs/lows are dropping and with sub-freezing low temps expected to be the norm beginning in November.

    Anyone have thoughts on the impact of colder temps on the dome and mortar prior to running the curing fires?
    Last edited by MnDude45; 10-18-2021, 05:40 AM.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    I used the IT for the whole course except for the blocks meeting the arch. I will continue to use it but that transition to the arch really is tricky.

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  • Gulf
    replied
    I found the IT really "indispensable" at this stage. It was like a third hand to me. It will still set the pitch for you while you are eyeballing the level.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    Once you clear the arch the IT will come in handy again. Just make correction over several courses.

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  • MnDude45
    replied
    Another course down today. I was really conscious of the droop today after all the warnings. The dome really fights you on this point. I felt it was better to put away the IT and use the level on the bricks that meet the arch.

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