I made the sand bed on the hearth and started placing the firebricks in a herring bone pattern. After a few false starts, I figured out what to check to keep the bricks aligned.
My question: when facing the oven I noticed that the angled corners of the firebrick do not touch the red frame bricks on the right side of the frame as shown in the instructions. They are between a quarter to a half inch short. Does this mean that I need to start over and change the angle of the starting firebrick? Is there a specific angle that I should use for the first firebrick?
I don’t have a picture, heavy rain today so the oven is covered up.
The rendering in the instructions (in my opinion, anyway) show an ideal layout of the herringbone pattern. If the angle is a little “off” in either direction it really won’t matter. Your overarching goal here is to make sure you are not presenting any right angles to a pizza peel when you’re sliding a pizza into the oven. The firebrick will lie flat and flush when you complete the floor, but inevitably one or two will heave a bit and if your peel were to hit that right-angle edge, you’d feel it all the way up to your shoulder.
So don’t worry about perfect contact or perfect angles. The edges on three sides will be completely covered by the barrel arch when you start laying it out. Fill with a small wedge of firebrick if there is enough space, and if there is not, you can add a little construction sand in that spot.
Hope the rain has let up and you can get started again!
Thanks Matt, that’s a big relief, I was starting to think I was going to be moving a bump in the rug for days trying to get the edges to touch everywhere.
The forecast is looking a bit better, hopefully I can complete the initial layout and leveling in the next day or two. Then it’s on to my first attempt at cutting bricks with my old Ryobi tabletop table saw (diamond blade). It’s not a wet saw, but I will soak them thoroughly before attempting to cut. Hopefully it will get the job done. Any tips on cutting the many triangles for the oven floor?
Thanks very much for all your timely and fantastic responses, they have saved me so much time and effort!
It should do the job, and glad you found the tip about soaking them first. (There’s so much building lore available on these boards!)
For triangles, the trick is to use a single brick and get your triangles out of it. A table saw will be a little easier than a miter saw, which is what I used, because you can work the brick across rather than having a 3,000 rpm digit guillotine descending and obscuring your view of the cut.
Try to stay with one end of the brick and get triangles out of it, rather than giving in to temptation and cutting off the four corners right away. That will give you more brick to work with, and you might be able to cut all of them out of that one brick. As with any table saw work, make sure your blade is about ¼ inch above the top of the brick so you don’t delaminate it.