Closing off front opening

I accidentally posted this in the general section the other day I’ll try here for better luck. Id like to close off my front opening of my oven and am curious about how to support the fire brick over the opening? Do I just lay a piece of angle iron over the lower support bricks and brick right over it? And if so does the iron need to be anchored into the arch on both sides or does it just set there and float? Any help would be great.

Hi Adam,

Thanks for reposting; I’m sure the “invisible” posts from the General section are on @BrickWood’s radar to fix.

Yes, just float it. Although, in fact, you’re also anchoring it.

Lay the angle iron, vertical toward the oven rear (closer to the mouth), on the lower bricks before adding your next layer of mortar. When you mortar the next layer, you will add mortar to the angle iron itself. Allow that course about 30 minutes to set before you continue with the next course.

The reason it works: You are laying the bricks on their sides, not their “bottoms.” So a 2 inch angle iron will support either the entire brick or very close to it. Because you’re staggering the courses of bricks so no joint is lined up with a joint in the course immediately below, your veneer face will be as strong as if it were a solid wall. The angle iron serves the same function as a beam across an opening in a load-bearing wall—it bears the load from above and transfers it to the lower support bricks.

Hope this helps, and sounds like you’re on your way!

1 Like

So I just lay the angle iron on top of the bare fire brick row and then add right on top of it… When I add the next row are you saying to actually mortar it to the angle iron or just set the bare bricks right
on the iron and mortar the vertical joints and backside where ever it meets more firebrick. Doesn’t seem like it would adhere to the actual metal anyway?

Actually mortar it to the angle iron. Notice that the angle iron does not span all the way to the outer edge of the course, so (1) there’s a “pocket” that holds it in from each side. The mortar forms one continuous surface, and (2) the vertical mortar joints support the bricks that span the opening. And (3) when heat-resistant mortar cures it will definitely keep the whole structure in place.

The angle iron is intended for this kind of work. If you look at mason-constructed fireplaces you will see essentially the same kind of structure, with an angle iron used to span the fireplace opening.

Not sure if you have already built this but have you considered an arch? It would not require a steel angle and you can avoid the temperature issues with embedding steel in the masonry at such high temperatures. Expansion etc may cause cracking where you least desire it.

I finished mine with an arch and so far its not given me any issues.

1 Like