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Work in progress RMH in green house floor

Posts: 12
Location: Vermillion, SD
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We began our RMH this fall. When weather threatened, our hopes of testing prior to raising the green house were dashed, we went ahead and raised the green house around it. It took awhile for our clay sand mortar for the firebrick to dry.

We want to finish our heat riser. We are using 8" stove pipe for the inner dimension and have carefully measured 1/4" hardware cloth for the outer. I have had a 5 gallon bucket of fire clay slip in my kitchen all winter hoping for a January heatwave to finish. I have tried searching the forum for answers to my questions, so I apologize if my questions are redundant. I can keep it relatively warm with a temporary electric heater, but obviously I want to minimize that

My questions are:

Can the perlite/slip insulation go all the way down to the fire brick? or does it need to be 6" away like straw in cob
How warm must the space be to start packing the perlite/slip into the hardware cloth?
If it dips below freezing before it is completely dry, am I going to have a disaster?
What do you recommend for how dry the perlite/slip must be before putting on the barrel and cobbing?

I appreciate any and all comments and suggestions.

[Thumbnail for 20121202_173955.jpg]
heat riser fit check
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