I have more done on the enlargement and reshaping of my manabigama. I had all the excavating done and was ready for stone dust base to put my concrete blocks on. I took my time and got them all leveled up and ready for the expanded steel mesh or lath as some masons call it.
Now I started the layout, in brick as I had everything done on paper, making room for my shelves and the firebox. I made the necessary adjustments and it's looking good. I moved the level for the grates up one brick as I know it's good to leave enough room for lots of glistening embers without choking the primary air intakes.
Now i can get the brick saw and make up some special mix mortar consisting of 50% fireclay and 50% grog. I'll make it the consistancy of peanut butter for troweling and like a milkshake for dipping. It will setup nicely when we fire. No Portland cement on the inside of the kiln though. I will add 10% to the outside's insulating coating (as a binder) of the course sawdust, fire clay, vermiculite and sand mix. I will also use chicken wire to hold the insulation together as it will crack.
I will remove the placed bricks and "mortar" them in place. This was a "dry run" to make adjustments where needed and get the layout right.