Sunday, January 22, 2017

Form-free brick dome building

 Some time in the distant past I saw plans on building brick ovens that required a form to support the bricks while assembling the dome.  It struck me that without access to the inside of the dome as it was constructed, I would end up with hardened mortar in the interior ceiling.

With the proper mortar mixture and technique I've been able to build the dome and clean them as-I-go.

This results in a clean dome.

 There are 'tricks' to this.
Sticky mortar. Tightly fitting bricks.  Thin joints.
Missing any of these three factors and the bricks slip making the sharp angles on the upper two-thirds impossible.
The last  bit of cleaning is done through the smallest hole in the dome before cutting and fitting the keystone.
Finally, whereas a very large brick might fulfill the needs for a round keystone, I have also developed a way to cut this piece from two full bricks and four wedges.

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