My build is complete, but has gaps in the mortar

So, the oven is complete. I have some gaps in the firebrick and was going to fill them in before firing the oven for the first time. I was going to use the Rutland Dry Mix Refractory Cement - that should be acceptable.

Here are some photos of the work done - it was done by a brick mason. The High Heat Mortar from Sakrete was really hard to work with.

Congratulations, Avtar, and thank you for sharing these photos!

Yes, as you know you can do this before firing the oven for the first time. I do not recommend that you switch products at this point. I understand that you feel the Sakrete that you used for the mortar was hard to work with, but at this point you won’t be working with very much of it.

What was the difficulty? It looks like your brick mason used a fairly wet mix from the way that the mortar spread out under the firebrick inside the arch. You can try making it a little drier (less water) so it will go into the gaps and stay there. My suggestion is that you do not worry about the mortar joints in the arch itself. The only place where it appears you have significant gaps is in the back wall. (Mine was the same way.)

Wet the wall down before you apply fresh mortar back there, and try to protect the hearth from getting soaked. Do not worry about making it “perfect,” because soot will cover it fairly quickly. You’re just trying to make sure gases cannot escape into the mineral fiber insulation layer.

You have a beautiful oven on the way, and I’m looking forward to photos of the finished job, Avtar!

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As @bikerbudmatt mentioned, almost all of that fire brick inside the oven is going to be black / soot soon. And since you closed off the front of the oven, that will further decrease the visibility of the inside of the oven.

You’ve got a great project there and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!

What are you placing on top of the prep-table to the left of the oven? I see the void… do you have a slab of granite or similar heading in there?

Looking Good!

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Thanks for the guidance. For the prep table, I was thinking of putting down blue slate (24"X24") or maybe some sort of colorful outdoor tile mosiac. Still deciding and waiting on the wife to make the call.