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Another new Pompeii guy

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  • Another new Pompeii guy

    Background: I'm retired,my wife and I have three grown children who have provided us with 6 wonderful grandchildren, all living in the northwest. We live west of Seattle across Puget Sound just north of Bainbridge Island, in Indianola Washington
    I have been baking bread for a number of years in an electric oven, but now want to build a wood fired oven. My investigation says build a Pompeii oven.
    Hopefully I will get the best of both worlds, pizza and bread. I have printed the plans for the Pompeii oven and have ,for starters, a few questions. Does the vermiculite concrete compress over time? A lot of weight will be sitting on it.
    Does it make any sense to first pour the reiforced concrete, then pour the vermiculite next and inbead the Super Isol in the vermiculite where the oven floor will be? I would then build the brick oven floor on top of the Super Isol and vermiculite mix. OR would it be better to place the Isol on top of the vermiculite and then add the vermiculite mix around the Isol in order to bring everything up to grade? I don't see any mention of an ash drop, what about having one? Does putting the wood storage acess on the side of the stand and send the enclosed ash to a relativly small opening at the bottom of the stand make any sense? Looking forward to your responses. Jack

  • #2
    Welcome armac

    Originally posted by Jack Chastain
    I have been baking bread for a number of years in an electric oven, but now want to build a wood fired oven. My investigation says build a Pompeii oven.
    Hopefully I will get the best of both worlds, pizza and bread. I have printed the plans for the Pompeii oven and have ,for starters, a few questions. Does the vermiculite concrete compress over time? A lot of weight will be sitting on it.
    Someone did the load calculations, and it seems that it's plenty strong. They use perlite concrete in swimming pools that support tons.

    Does it make any sense to first pour the reiforced concrete, then pour the vermiculite next and inbead the Super Isol in the vermiculite where the oven floor will be? I would then build the brick oven floor on top of the Super Isol and vermiculite mix. OR would it be better to place the Isol on top of the vermiculite and then add the vermiculite mix around the Isol in order to bring everything up to grade?
    I may be misunderstanding here, but if you spring for super-isol, you don't need vermiculite concrete under the oven. Just glue down your sheets on top of the support slab, and lay out your floor bricks. Your insulation concrete (for igloo construction) or loose fill (for house construction) will fill in whatever is exposed after your oven is built.

    I don't see any mention of an ash drop, what about having one?
    The few people who have put in an ash drop don't use it, and find it just gets in the way. You remove your ashes (or coals, for retained heat baking) with your pizza peel. Not worth the work, is the consensus on ash drops.

    Does putting the wood storage acess on the side of the stand and send the enclosed ash to a relativly small opening at the bottom of the stand make any sense?
    The great thing about the pompeii oven, is that you can configure it any way you like. It's your oven, you can build it any way you think will work best for you.

    Good luck with your project. Show us pictures as it progresses.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      David,

      Thanks for the, as always, good response. That all sounds right.

      I like the fact that builders use vermiculite under pools. It seems a little crumbly to the touch, and I think everyone feels good knowing it has very good compression strength.

      I am one of people who has an ash drop and doesn't use it. I think it even gets in the way.

      As a rule, you don't have to use both Vermiculite and Super Isol. They serve the same function so you can use one or the other. Still, I was talking with one of our serious Artigiano owners yesterdat, who overbuilt his hearth insulation (vermiculite) and says looking back, he would even use more. He cooks a lot, and he cooks hot, and he says he can feel a little heat at the bottom of the hearth.

      So, if you really want to insulate the hearth, you can use lots of vermilculte, or a double layer of Super Isol, or you "can" use both. It's really your call.

      James
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces

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      • #4
        Insulation under the floor

        If I were to use Isol and vermiculite, which one would be on top or just under the fire brick? Jack

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        • #5
          you want to stop the migration of the heat. Use the best insulator under the bricks - Will have to check the stats but first blush says it might be the Super Isol

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          • #6
            Super Isol first

            Agreed. Just like putting the Insulfrax on first, and back up vermiculite second, you would put the Super Isol right under the cooking floor.
            James
            Pizza Ovens
            Outdoor Fireplaces

            Comment


            • #7
              insulation

              I used a double layer of super Isol on the bottom and double the insulfrax type product on top. It never hurts to overdo the insulation.

              Chad
              Renaissance Man
              Wholly Man

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Another new Pompeii guy

                My oven is almost finished!
                The Popeii plans and all the postings by so many wonderful people enabled me to complete my oven without to much stress and lots of enjoyment, though I do admit to waking up around 2 AM on ocassion to plan the next phase in my building project. The following will provide an outline of what is hidden behind the stucco.
                The slab is reinforced with rebar and wire mesh and is 6" thick. The concrete was dry stacked with rebar and concrete in every other hole.The rebar sticks up into the slab area to assure reinforcement. A 4" slab was poured with rebar and wire mesh and then 4" of perlite and concrete A 2X12 was secured to block to insure everything was square and level. Maver had seen my orriginal posting and welcomed me to the group! He offered and I accepted his generous offer of his extra firebrick, and as it turned out responded to my numerous questions about the project. The oven is 36" in diameter and wound up 22" high. Bought a Chicage tile and brick saw that was a big help. Insaulfrax from FB covered the entire dome. Chicken wire was next, then 4"to5" of perlite and cement over everything. The oven opening is 12" by 19".An 8" stainless insulated chimney draws well and no smoke out the entrance once everything warms up. It takes almost 2 hours to get the oven up to 1000 on the dome and 800 on the floor. I burn ceder for kindling then Alder,Maple or Madrona. The dry fire wood comes from our property,cleared when we built about 15 years ago. My dome is a little uneven, mortar and brick protrude a little here and there. I pointed the worst spots. I don't have claustrophobia but "crawling" inside isn't any fun. The interior is covered with stucoo, 2 coats, except for the entry erea which has red brick. I haven't observed any mortar or brick cracks and smoke goes where it is supposed. The roof helps keep some of the rain of the baker.
                When I stucco the back side of the stand,waterproof and paint and put pavers around the area I'll be finished.
                Forno Bravo is a wonderful site to learn about building a wood fired oven and making both bread and pizza. I've got the best of both worlds! I'll keep coming back to see whats cooking!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Another new Pompeii guy

                  Hi Jack,
                  Nice to see your posting (thanks for the kind words), and your oven looks great. I had already posted a copy of it on FB.com.

                  Have you fully cured your oven? In not yet, be care and take your time.

                  And your timing is great, the FB Wood-Fired Cooking e-Book is done and will be ready for download in a couple of days. Spring is coming and your oven is finished; you can't do much better than that! Send food photos and recipes.

                  When does the nice weather start rolling into the Puget Sound? I've only been there for work (when you don't care) and vacation in the summer.
                  James
                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Another new Pompeii guy

                    Hi James, Yes I think the oven is cured. I'm sure it will improve even more over time. The Seattle area enjoys it's best weather during July, August & September. With several other weeks thrown in for good measure. It is beautiful here today. Jack

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