Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The oven floor, inner arch

The next stage was to get the oven floor down, made of the cheap firebricks I got from ebay. I've decided to use them laid on their thin side, but because some of them were a bit worn, I've used some nearer the edge of the oven that are the 'wrong' way up with the the brick mark uppermost. I used about 1/2 inch of sand between them and the insulating block, whacked down hard with a mallet to make a solid and (relatively) level base. I drilled the middle brick to about half way and fitted a thermocouple, so I can tell what temperature the floor is at when I use it.

Next came the inner arch - the one that will join to the clay dome. I split the free bricks I'd been given in half (these are solid bricks, with about two inches of one corner cut off) and used a mix of 50% fireclay, 50% grog as a 'mortar'. This wasn't that easy to work with, and was more like moulding a clay arch with bricks in it rather than building a brick arch with mortar. I used some of the chopped corner bricks for the top of the arch to encourage the smoke upwards and up the chimney. Here's the result:

The gap between this inner arch and chimney will be filled up with my insulating mix later on to seal all these gaps. It's below freezing tonight, so I've put a 100W light bulb on a cable below the wet clay and brick arch to stop it from freezing solid. Hope this works.

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