Gaps in mortar and stucco

Hey Guys! I have a couple of questions, I am at the stage of putting the ceramic blanket and stucco. I pulled the form out and noticed a few gaps in the mortar. I know I can use the Rutland products, but when? Also when I put on the blanket and the chicken wire do I snug the chicken wire down or leave it loose. What I can find for stucco is a base coat and a white coat from Quikcrete. What should I use for both coats?

Thanks much,

Hi rochknox,

For the gaps inside the oven it my understanding to not fill them. The patch could fail and fall in your pizza. But I’m not 100 percent on that so I’ll let someone else answer that.
As foe as the stucco? Well if stucco is going to be you finished look you should do the scratch coat or base coat. Then a finish coat.

If your going to do what I did and build a enclosure over it then you do your scratch coat or base coat in two layers and paint it to seal it. Here is what I’m talking about as an enclosure.

Hope this helps.

I think he’s asking about gaps “inside” the oven, not the outside. Anyway my 2 cents is that yes don’t worry about gaps once the deed is done. If you come back afterward and try to fill gaps on the inside they won’t be bonded to the rest of the mortar and will eventually fail and become pizza toppings!

If you haven’t mortar’d the “igloo” yet, then make sure you use plenty of mud on the inside brick-edge. It’s tempting to not do that since that will make it easier to get those angles…however instead of cheating just put a TON of fire mortar on the angle side of the brick and a reasonable amount on the inside. Then it will squeeze excess through when you tap the brick into its proper angle with a mallet. Don’t worry about wiping excess inside, it helps and it looks rustic!

Hi Carlos,

Yes I understood rochknox was talking about the gaps on the inside as stated in my post. You should resist filling them.

@423tommy’s correct. Your impulse is going to be to want the inside of the oven to look perfect and uniform. But resist.

It sounds like you have not yet applied anything over the exterior of the firebrick. If you have complete voids in the mortar (by which I mean you can shine a flashlight into your oven through a gap from the outside), you could try a shallow patch from the outside with very stiff mortar. Wet the brick first, and don’t try to fill it all the way through. The arch construction will support it when you get into the upper courses of brick, and gravity will keep it from seeping in the lower courses.

The idea, and I must emphasize this, is to avoid the impulse to fill it all the way through. Just don’t. All you want to do is to seal the exterior from hot gases.

And again, if your exterior mortar work is presenting a solid surface, just leave it alone.

One of the least popular topping combinations for pizza is anything that includes mortar crunch. Ben & Jerry’s tried it as an ice cream variety, once. It didn’t work for them, either.


Sounds like an expensive trip to the dentist…ouch!

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