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The "In your home" install is going to force you to find a contractor who understands the building codes and permits.. I think I'd start with a call to FB and see if they know of installations in your area and have some names and numbers. You may also find that you're forced to install a UL approved natural gas unit rather than a wood buring oven.
I wish I knew more and could help guide you better.
You here in SD? I am here in the el cajon area trying to hook up with folks building wfo's. got my base up and now working the dome. Stuck on the vent phase and working the details the dome. Hemispherical vs catenary. Bricks vs cob vs hybrid. Lots of resource availability concerns. Looking for your response. Thanks.
I'm in So. Orange Co. so I'm about 60+ miles north. Pacific clay is located in Lake Elsinore and if you call you may be able to buy seconds at a deep discount. Insulation should be available, at multiple locations, in SD, rigid and blankets, at good prices. Cob vs Brick.. Go brick, unless you want something less permanent, I'm guessing that you don't. I'll monitor the thread so whatever question that you have, I'll give you my opinion. Remember that an oven built with custom cut dome bricks, where every brick is tailored to minimize mortar lines will perform equally as well as a dome built with 1/2 bricks and huge quantities of mortar. Insulation is critical and somewhat costly, it's more costly to not insulate, you won't use the oven as much as you will if you insulate.
Thanks, Chris. I am finding parts here in SD. Blankets, firebricks, mortar, clay, stainless steel vent pipes. Having issues with the way the refractory mortar is setting up. My front door and opening re holding up ok, but the mortar has not hardened. I can easily dig into it. It has been a week now. Considering a redo before i start with the dome. Any insight to why the mortar may still be flaky?
I like your advice on going brick for longevity. I will.
I am using a commercial refractory mortar from rcp. I was told that by the folks there that it is ready for h2o. Very fine gray clayish product from the north American refractory company in Pennsylvania. It may be a binder like you said. The mortar joints seem to hold up despite being a bit soft in places. I am able to stand atop the opening without fail. My design is using a catenary arch. Thanks for the response.
The mortar you have may need significant heat to setup as the manufacture intended. I don't know what load you'll be putting on the arch area and I’d be guessing by saying that you’ll be fine, but you might be. If you’re tempted to break it down and rebuild it, do it and don’t dismiss the use of home brew, as far as I can tell most are mixing and using home brew these days.
As hot as our ovens get, it isn't hot enough for commercial refractory mortars to really set, to vitrify.
I used a premixed, wet, refractory product that many have criticized for the lack of stability when it gets wet. If my oven ever gets wet, submerged, for some long time, I’ll be in trouble… maybe.. For my intended use, where the oven is kept dry and enclosed in an oven house, I don't believe that this mortar will ever be a problem.
Because I wasn’t completely comfortable with mixing my own batches of home brew, I used another product. At this point the FB community is filled with success stories and a firm recipe is available, this wasn’t the case several years ago, at least to the degree that it is now. If I ever build again, I'll go home brew. Advantages the premix provide are easy cleanup, easy batching and minimum amount of loss due to making too large a batch and having to throw out the overage.
Thanks, Bill. Today is a great day to pick up from where I stopped. Will re-cast vent transition using home brew 3111 (sand-clay-portland-lime) formula. Will use these for the soldiers, et. al. Thanks or your response.
A nice trick on the homebrew mixing I picked up here is to use those plastic red solo cups for mixing.
I set up my mixing area in a corner of my garage. Four bags in a row sitting on the floor. Sand, portland, lime, clay. Each bag had a red solo cup sitting in it. Table sitting in front of the bags with bucket on the table. three cups sand, and one cup of each of the others.
My ratio of water to that was just about 1.5 solo cups of water...adjusted somewhat depending on humidity. Go outside to add water and mix.
That was very clean, very easy, and extremely repeatable...and just the right amount to do in one batch. As I got better toward the end and was faster, when I knew I had a nice chunk of time to work I'd double the recipe.
I was pretty darn slow compared to some around here. The single batch of mortar would, for me, stay good about an hour...maybe an hour and a half. Obviously, if I was putting down full size bricks on an easy stretch say...a side wall (remember I did a barrel vault), I'd go through the mix in thirty minutes or so. Ditto if I was doing the low parts of the arch where I could go pretty fast, and where there is a pie-shaped wedge of mortar between the bricks, I'd go through it pretty fast. But even there I was pretty slow because rather than do the "normal" arch of three or four separate courses, I followed the advice of Al (brickie in oz) and Tom (Tscarborough) and did my arched roof in a staggered bond. That was a definite learning curve for me and slowed me down somewhat on the arched roof, but I'm glad i did it.
Where I was doing chimney arch or entrance work, I was very slow. The stuff would start setting up in an hour or so on a warm day. But the nice thing about homebrew is that you can re-hydrate and stir to some degree. I'd never go over ninety minutes on a batch though. On hot days I'd be sure to keep my bucket out of the sun when possible.