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Hello from the Santa Cruz Mountains - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

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.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Hello from the Santa Cruz Mountains

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  • Hello from the Santa Cruz Mountains

    I'm getting ready to break ground on an oven this weekend. So, while I'm getting the slab, base and hearth built, I need to settle on a dome form. I've read the various threads on oven shapes, but no one has really defined why a low dome is better than a full hemispherical dome (Hey, I could get one of those Hemi badges off a Dodge truck).

    My theory is that the popularity of the low domes in Italy stems from two factors, time and money. There is about 3/4 as much material in a low dome (cheaper) and it will heat faster because of that as well, so that's where I'm headed.

    Being an Engineer I'm going to fly in the face of tradition and cast my oven in quarters out of refractory cement, essentially making my own kit. At 3" thick each each quarter will weigh a little under 200#, which two people can move around if I cast them in a form on the hearth. The form will be for the last two pieces to add the opening and flu, although I'm tempted to try and do in in one piece on just the last piece.

    One last temptation is to simply make a igloo shaped form from plywood, cover it with refractory cement and burn out the form once it's cured.

    Any thoughts on these techniques? Perhaps not as creative as the geodesic dome, but novel none the less.


  • #2
    Re: Hello from the Santa Cruz Mountains

    Originally posted by enz View Post
    One last temptation is to simply make a igloo shaped form from plywood, cover it with refractory cement and burn out the form once it's cured.
    I like that idea, even a plastic covered dome of wet sand would work if you didn't want to get into fancy woodworking.

    Did you read about the guy who did a geodesic from cast refractory elements: It's about half way down on this page:


    One thing I learned: smaller pieces are easier to work with than bigger pieces, particularly when you get up the dome.

    Good luck with your project. Keep us posted.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2