Pizza Oven: Joints and Trimming

9. Jointing the Floor

This works needs to be done with care. The oven floor is the bare cooking surface for pizza and it needs to be flat and smooth without any holes or unevenness in it. The floor panels supplied are smooth and you have already ensured that these are installed with their top surfaces in-plane. The jointing closes the gaps between these panels.

  1. Use a dry-ish mortar made of a courser sand like riversand or crusher sand. A good mix is cement:sand = 1:4. After adding water it should have the consistency of moist topping or moist Christmas cake mix.
  2. Work the mortar into all joints within the oven - all around the dome floor and also the cross joint.
  3. Ram the material tightly into the joints with a piece of wood say 100mm long  x 12mm thick so that all cavities are filled densely.
  4. Smooth off around the walls and remove any surplus mortar.
  5. Now pay good attention to the cross joint and the door joints. Use a steel trowel and broad scraper to scrape it down to zero. Get the joints flush and smooth by downward pressure with the flat face of the trowel. Add bits of mortar as required.
  6. When you are happy with the joints, remove all surplus material and carefully clean round the floor with a damp sponge.
  7. Leave to harden for a day.

10.Dome Joints

This work can be started directly after the floor joints have been done. As seen before, the four quadrants of the dome butt against each other forming a recess on the outside all along the joints.  This recess is to be filled during the jointing process as follows:

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  1. Cut out 2 x strips of chicken mesh: 80mm wide x 1.5m long.
  2. Fold along the length resulting in a double strip 40mm wide x 1.5m long. You will have two of these.
  3. Pre-fit the strips into the joints by bending it to shape. Set aside.
  4. Clean the recesses with a wire brush and moisten with water.
  5. Use ordinary brick mortar but not too wet and fill the joints halfway.
  6. Place the chicken mesh strips in the joints and press down into the mortar.
  7. Complete by filling up the joints up with mortar and flush.
  8. Cover the dome with a canvas or a plastic sheet for three days so that moisture is retained.

11.Trimming the Vermiculite Bricks

Once the joints are all cured and strong, the inner dome is secure. You can now trim away the excess vermiculite bricks all along the outer edge of the dome. Use a small angle grinder or chisel carefully.

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