Everyone talks about the skewbacks but no-one talks about how to figure out an arch. Really, simply, step-by step… Perhaps because there is no magic formula. You really just have to decide how wide and how tall the arch has to be. Then get a piece of ply-wood and begin the agonizing process of trying out all the possible brick combinations at your disposal until you find what you need. Basically an arch that ‘looks right’ not too flat, not too pointy, with a nice secure key brick, and hopefully the right dimensions… So that’s what we did.
The pay-off: the perfect alignment of the top of the arch, with full-brick courses, which meant that once the arch was built, and the corners filled, it was a breeze to go across with a brick course. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Filling in the corners was not an easy task (as the brick saw at our disposal was not really a brick saw, but a tile saw). Luckily Henri and Mary had arrived the day we were ready for this job. Henri (with his mad math skills) figured out the angles, and rigged up a cutting template for the saw, and saved the day really.
And there it is: An arch that ‘looks right’ with the corners filled ready to take on the wall that separates the firebox and the ware-chamber.