I think I used the wrong mortar for the frame

I was reading in the forums about leveling the cooking surface fire bricks and ran across a comment that said I should have used the refractory mortar for the red bricks!! I used ‘N’ mortar. Now what?

I was so proud of myself as these are the first bricks I’ve ever laid. I had to chisel off the first five already and redo them. I’m afraid I’ll have to chisel these all off and buy new bricks.

(I’m still leveling the fire bricks)

First, congratulations on joining the Brick Layers Guild! (Seriously, isn’t it fun?)

And second, be at peace. While using high-temp mortar to set up the frame is [preferable] acceptable, it is not necessary. Type “N” works just fine.

The reason this works won’t be obvious until later in your build. The oven arch will rest on the joint between the firebrick hearth and the outer frame bricks. Those red bricks will not be exposed to direct flame. They will get warm and maybe even hot occasionally, but it’s literally the case that “those babies were born hot.”

The mortar might gradually deteriorate a little bit over the years, but not where you can see it and not in a way that is going to cause your oven to fall apart, ever.

So keep on leveling out that hearth, and keep on building. You’re doing fine, and your concrete work looks amazing!

Thank goodness! I am so eager to light those curing fires I can hardly make myself go to the office.

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Bikerbud—the instructions State that n mortar should be used. They just followed the instructions correct?

Asking because now I’m saving guessing myself.

Yes, that’s correct. The issue is that various builders have posted over the years saying they chose to use high temp mortar. While there is nothing wrong with doing that, it also is not necessary.

So yes, I tend to take “deep dives” on some questions because it’s good to understand why something is spec’ed a certain way. There have been instances where @BrickWood has modified the instructions as a result of these conversations!

And in this case, you are fine.

Thanks Matt!

Should the nervous among us send you a copay for your guidance? :slight_smile:

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Nah! Those two words at the top of your reply are all the copay I need. :slight_smile:

I would total add to a tip jar! :wink:

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The best tip you could offer would be to tip off your friends and neighbors about your experience building a BrickWood. That both of you have worked through the issues and are ending up with a great, long-lasting addition to your homes—well, that’s an achievement worth sharing!

Always glad to help.


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