Catalan Vault half way done for roof

Oh my, this Catalan vault is quite the project.  I knew it would be labor intensive, but I had no idea the issues I’d have on the corners. Should have stuck with a barrel vault.  Guastavino, I am not.  Overall, there is about a 40-45% rise, so close to a perfect hemisphere of 50%.  Spanning 11 feet with a 4.5 foot rise.

 

Vault halfway done

The scaffolding is up and usable, but needs some plywood decks on it.

Scaffolding a little shaky but safe. The guidework is out of true 10 rows up, I have to fix that this week.

The corners are so labor intensive, 3-4 tiles must be modified for each corner per row.

Tools seen: water sprayer to get the receiving tiles wet. Giant pretzel container that keeps the plaster of paris dry overnight. Blue mixing container for plaster of paris.

Back of the shed with just a stucco cover

I figure 40 more manhours then I have to put on the coping stones around the shed, and then design a glorious Gothic door.

Found a very detailed plan of how catalan vaults were built in Great Britain, including tips and tricks that I really wish I knew before I started. If anyone out there wants to try their hand, follow this advice:

Construction of Catalan Vaults Thesis

Lessons I’ll be applying:

  1. Cover working edge with tarp to keep it moister
  2. With Satillo tile, like AAC, they have to be very damp to get a good bond.
  3. Do 3 courses at once to see the curvature, and because the course below will already be moist

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