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Can anyone recommend a good skilled bricklayer?


Guest Me&BearDog
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Guest Me&BearDog

I hope this request is permitted if not I understand.

I'm needing to have a large brick smoker built at my house with some exact needs. Two weeks ago I emailed and called a man that was recommended to me and he said he would call me back but never has. Can anyone recommend a person or company to hire that has the time and skill to do this work? The photo is of what I need built. 

 

2ivlkys.jpg

Edited by Me&BearDog
correct some spelling
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Is this cast iron door of any use for you? It is U.S. made, cast by the Amish. Could use as a small oven door, or a good, fireproof door for your ash pit. This type of hardware is expensive these days, and shipping even more so.

https://www.lehmans.com/product/dutch-oven-left-door-for-building-your-own-brick-dutch-oven

Also -don't fall in love with red bricks here. A great many of them here are under fired, warped, and the ones from Mezcales are useless. Think the concrete "blockas". Very strong, all the same size, then cover the unit with lime plaster, and use lime whitewash every year to clean it up, and kill any molds or ambitious insects.

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Bricks will be just fine as you want it. This  pech in a Ukrainian homestead was made with a willow frame and clay/straw and used in the winter to sleep on in Alberta, Canada. Yes it's a dirt floor. I'm sure you can find an iron worker to make the doors for far less than ordering them from NOB. My friend pedro was kind enough to lend me this pic and advice.

picking adventures 030.jpg

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3 hours ago, johanson said:

Thanks for the picture Pedro, AKA Ned Small.

Typical Alberta engineering - how do you flush the darn thing!?!?

The door is here in Chapala, for barter or sale.

Now mr. small has to look in the mirror and ask Peter to give us a local source of waterproof, wire cut bricks, and a cast iron foundry. I know how to make the molds for metals.

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The OP requires what looks like a 2 or 3 tier smoker for which local bricks are quite adequate as well as sheet metal doors all of which can be done right here from locally available materials and maestros and will be more aesthetically pleasing than those smokers made from old refrigerators. He is not asking for a replica of the McLeod Building.

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But why I know about bricks is because I was strongly encouraged to put in a bid to restore a historical hotel in Edmonton. I think it was Alberta Hotel, this was a long time ago. This was one of the first hotels in Edmonton, Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier stayed there, when Alberta was made a Province in 1905. All the old bricks were numbered,in storage, but there were an awful lot of them missing. They expected some government contributions, which require keeping to heritage materials and mortars. The structure would also have to include a steel frame to meet current safety codes. I found that the only economical way to do this was to bring up a brick making crew from Lagos de Moreno, Mexico. Some of the best hand crafted bricks and most skilled masons in the world. Mexico!?!? they exclaimed, there is no way THAT was going to happen. The hostility genuinely surprised me, but I didn't say anything - didn't put in a bid either.

The local bricks are too soft, they absorb a lot of water (ever heard of salitre?) and the local mortar is weak. The heat and then cooling would cause constant flow of humidity in and out. I do realize that this a smoker, with long time, hot/warm smoke.  If that rather remarkable smoker was made with these bricks, and the usually low grade Brazilian or Chinese sheet steel, the structure would be riddled with cracks and broken bricks within three years. The metal doors would have a constant rust problem, even if you painted them every year. Within 5 years it would be a sorry sight, within 10 years it might even be dangerous. Just my opinion. Stick to solid concrete "blockas" -that all I see being used today. You can build doors from other materials than steel which keep in heat, only use the doors when smoking. I thought it was a good idea for a built in ash pit, so you only have to shovel it out once and a while. A heavy metal door on it would be useful, especially if you have kids and dogs running around.

http://www.edmontonsarchitecturalheritage.ca/structures/alberta-hotel/

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The Alberta Hotel was never slated for restoration but a facade was considered for it's replacement using the salvaged materials. The job was far too big for your company to even do the facade. There are a few of us who actually lived and or worked in Edmonton unlike you from BC who did one job there which had nothing to do with brick work. Me and beardog[the OP] will be just fine with his plan. I'm sure that he and his Mexican friends and family will succeed using local resources. Here is the CKUA Radio building on the old site completed in 2010 when you were already in Mexico for a long time senor Gary chillin. Border promotions work very seldom.

ckua radio building.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry I have not been following this thread after I found what I needed. I went with Gustavo as he was an old neighbor of mine. It took a little longer to build than I/we thought it would just about 6 weeks. Water is not a problem being the smoker is under a roof. I've used it now for almost one year with good results. 

It would not be economical to use wood only for heat and smoke as the correct wood is expensive. So I went with propane for heat. 

The end results are this: 

When I was using electricity it cost around $10 American per smoke.

When I used wood only it was about $5 American per smoke.

Using propain it is some place around $1 American per every time it smokes. Not to bad when you smoke things for 8 to 16 hours.

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2 hours ago, La Media Luna said:

Sorry I have not been following this thread after I found what I needed. I went with Gustavo as he was an old neighbor of mine. It took a little longer to build than I/we thought it would just about 6 weeks. Water is not a problem being the smoker is under a roof. I've used it now for almost one year with good results. 

It would not be economical to use wood only for heat and smoke as the correct wood is expensive. So I went with propane for heat. 

The end results are this: 

When I was using electricity it cost around $10 American per smoke.

When I used wood only it was about $5 American per smoke.

Using propain it is some place around $1 American per every time it smokes. Not to bad when you smoke things for 8 to 16 hours.

15392756_1042317822581354_4921224615631865909_o.jpg

15443182_1047795945366875_6610661093862413042_o.jpg

15369164_1045991668880636_2520657484488807249_o.jpg

15403638_1046874532125683_6391103088579117700_o.jpg

15625905_1051827094963760_543068357272317700_o.jpg

IMG_20161216_174425.jpg

IMG_20161219_173829.jpg

30.jpg

31.jpg

33.jpg

34.jpg

36.jpg

37.jpg

38.jpg

43.jpg

44.jpg

IMG_20170211_092940.jpg

IMG_20170211_093151.jpg

Great looking smoker, congratulations, enjoy!!

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