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Big Mike's 42" Pompeii - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
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Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

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  • Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

    OK, so I've been lurking long enough I guess. I started the oven late last year and only completed the pad, base, hearth and insulating layer before the weather turned too cold. I had a plethora of other honey-do projects I had to finish before work could get started again but I'm full bore.

    I'm four and a half courses into the dome before running out of bricks and calling it quits last weekend. Today I picked up more and got angle iron to complete the entry tunnel. No arches here, not interested. They are gorgeous and if I were a more detail oriented guy I'd be going that route, but I'm not really going for art. The oven is a means to an end for me, I won't be happy until I'm sliding a suckling pig out of it this Fall.

    I've taken a few pictures, not a lot though. I'll post them in a little bit.

  • #2
    Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

    A few pictures from last Fall, working on the pad and hearth

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    • #3
      Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

      Now the real work begins. My indispensable tool as about as low-fi as it gets, nothing but a piece of wood to set the angle of the courses.

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      • #4
        Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

        You are making headway. Looks like the arch is soon to follow. I am a few days behind you...hope to set the hearth insulation tomorrow. Keep up the good work!

        gene

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        • #5
          Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

          Originally posted by md_massimino View Post
          Now the real work begins. My indispensable tool as about as low-fi as it gets, nothing but a piece of wood to set the angle of the courses.
          Look really good - much like I hope my starts to look like soon.
          How thick are your firebrick - the plans recommend 50mm but your look thicker. I was going to use 75mm thick bricks.

          I will be interested how you do the entrance and flue.

          Brett

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          • #6
            Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

            Here's my entry way. The plan is to cut one brick about 3" wide and let it hang over into the flue, then lock those overhanging bricks into place with another course on top of it which will be the continuation of the dome interior. It will make more sense once I start cutting bricks and putting them in place.

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            • #7
              Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

              Originally posted by Mistertoy View Post
              Look really good - much like I hope my starts to look like soon.
              How thick are your firebrick - the plans recommend 50mm but your look thicker. I was going to use 75mm thick bricks.

              I will be interested how you do the entrance and flue.

              Brett
              I really didn't have much choice with firebrick, all of my block suppliers carry the same size full bricks and splits. I just measured the full brick at 60mm x 110mm x 220mm

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              • #8
                Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                Today sucked. Flat out. Cut and measure and mock up and recut and measure and mock up again, but I think we're ok now. The interior angle is off, so the plan is to take a grinder to the brick profile to make a nice flat surface for the next course of bricks. The chimney flue entrance is coming along very well, we're stepping in the bricks with 1" overhangs at each level until we get to the 6" x 10" opening specified in the plans. We weren't comfortable moving forward with anything else until the bricks we placed today have a chance to set up a little, but hopefully the dome gets closed in by the end of this weekend.

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                • #9
                  Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                  I don't know...looks pretty good to me. But you probably didn't photograph the mistakes The transition looks like it will work nicely.

                  gene

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                  • #10
                    Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                    The angle is only off a little between the blocks on the inside of the chimney opening transition, the worst offender was the rightmost brick which was also the most complicated one to cut. I've since taken the grinder to it and now it's happily lined up with its neighbors even thought the face of the brick is too far back. A slap of mortar on it and you'll never know

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                    • #11
                      Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                      I did some more work on the chimney and transition last night. I'm generally happy with how it's shaping up after grinding down the inside faces so that they're all flush. There will be some tricky cuts to tie the dome into the chimney opening but I can see how it should happen now.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                        Yet more work on the chimney. Testing the fit over the opening to make sure it's all good. I need one more course of bricks under the flue and then it's good to get mortared in. I'm getting as much other stuff done before the weekend task of closing the dome.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                          I've been busy with work and graduation parties and haven't had a chance to update the build progress so here goes. Finished work up to the 9th course without using any supports but it's time. You can see it got a little elliptical from the way we did the square opening with the angle iron lintel, but this way every block is supported by another block underneath. I'm happy with the way it worked out, just going to be slightly out of round towards the front.

                          Tomorrow or this weekend we're going to build a small support to help finish the remaining courses. I'm hoping 12 courses and keystones for closing in the dome will do it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                            Here are a few miscellaneous shots of the chimney and oven profile. It looks so nice, everyone has said that we should just stucco the outside after the insulation goes on and I'm starting to agree. I love seeing the dome shape, it looks so cool.

                            The plan is to have a Pennsylvania blue stone hearth right in front of the opening, potentially running for the entire width of the oven. Gonna be pricey but having saved so much money with free stuff I think I can afford the splurge.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Big Mike's 42" Pompeii

                              Any reason why your not cleaning the dome as your going? Thats going to be difficult otherwise? Looks amazing other than that! nice pics..

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