The Tenth Rule of Kiln Building States: No matter what, you will end up half-assing something. (The Sixth Rule of Kiln Building is "Have the right equipment." I haven't yet formulated the others, although they are there in my brain, swimming around, disarticulate.) Is it bad if my half-assery begins before the burnerport layer?
Despite all my careful measuring, levelling and squaring, the first layer, all soft brick, is a half-inch wider in both directions than my second layer. This only matters on the corners, where the angle iron will need to come all the way down past the top edge of the cinder block in order to accomodate a tie rod which will run below the stack. At least, I think that is the only place it will matter, so I nipped off the end of the corner brick Cutting soft brick is a breeze with a coping saw. Cutting hardbrick is a different story, requiring lots of patience and a good chisel, or else an expensive chop saw. (Of the tree, I possess only the chisel.) In fact I re-laid the hardbrick floor layer when I was halfway done, to avoid having to cut hard brick. Undoubtedly I will have to do ti at some point, but I'm not going to do it when it can be easily avoided. It's not what I would call recreational.
Each layer seems to require me to stop and cogitate for a while before moving on to the next. In theory that should prevent re-dos like the aforementioned; in practice I think some re-dos are inevitable. Maybe that is the 11th rule of kiln building.