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  • Hello All

    Hi all,
    I am Mark, I live in Virginia, Lake Anna, and started building my outdoor pizza oven. Poured the foundation for it last weekend. I have been surfing the web for information and when I think I have it, Wallaaa, it confuses me more. However, I have read every string here and just want to say THANKS, the information here is the best!
    I do have some more questions, I notice that some of the ovens lay the fire bricks flat, and some stand them on the side, what is the difference.
    When using the vermiculite mixture do I use that as the mortar between the bricks on the dome also?
    I will start my pictures this weekend, I just didn't take any pictures of me digging the plot for the foundation, got way too tired

  • #2
    I am still building my oven, but I have done a lot of research along the way.

    The mailbox design by Alan Scott sets the hearth bricks on their edge (making the hearth thicker).

    The Pompeii design on this site puts the bricks flat, making the hearth thinner.

    The main difference is mass. Less mass heats up quicker and is easier to get to very hot temps (for Pizza say). More mass takes longer to heat up but stays hot longer (for mulitple rounds of bread baking).

    That is the short version. The long version has been discussed at legnth on this forum!

    As an aside, if you are new to this forum, you may not be seeing all of the threads when browsing. Make sure you change your default Thread age cutoff in the User CP (upper left part of this screen) to "show all threads"...

    Welcome!

    Drake
    My Oven Thread:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Drake, that did add quite a bit of threads, LOL, now I have more reading to do. Thanks for the info on the difference of laying the base. I plan to pick up the firebrick in the morning so I will go with my original number of brick I estimated for the base. There is a lot more to learn about this then meets the eye, I have several plans but none really explain the differences on why certain things are done.

      Mark

      Comment


      • #4
        Vermiculite and Perlcrete are for insulation, NOT strength!

        Originally posted by mnlewis
        Hi all,
        <snip>


        I notice that some of the ovens lay the fire bricks flat, and some stand them on the side, what is the difference.

        (M) Drake answered the above ^

        When using the vermiculite mixture do I use that as the mortar between the bricks on the dome also?

        (M) NO ! Vermicrete, or Perlcrete are used for insulation. They have very little strength. The mortar between the bricks, if mixed by the builder is in the following proportions: Portland Cement: 3 parts ( Note ! Cement is NOT mortar but the pure adhesive) Sand: 8 parts, Fire Clay ( also called "Green Stripe": 2 parts.

        (M) The plans are in the process of being converted to .pdf format. The old plans are still available though there are some old images that don't always agree with the text. Still, most of us used them. Go to:

        http://www.fornobravo.com/pompeii_oven/oven_dome.html

        (M) And, as you did in this posting, ASK ! There are many seasoned builders who will try to help you. Ask BEFORE you start a new phase.

        I will start my pictures this weekend, I just didn't take any pictures of me digging the plot for the foundation, got way too tired
        (M) Lots of luck!

        Ciao,

        Marcel
        "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
        but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)

        Comment


        • #5
          As to being too tired after digging foundation. Robert Musa posted this a while back and it has become part of my vocabulary...


          He called that phase the "Man With a Hoe" phase and linked this picture...
          My Oven Thread:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

          Comment


          • #6
            ROFLMAO, hey thats me in the picture, Thanks Drake, I represent that picture. thanks Marcel, I kind of knew that but I wanted confirmation. The people at the brick yard in Richmond suggested the the same mixture but never mentioned the vermiculite mixture as being for insulation. I noticed they keep refering back to the colonial masons so apparently a lot more people around here in VA are building or have built these ovens.

            Thanks, I really appreciate all the assistance. Will start posting pictures this week.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also note that some people choose to use a real refractory mortar instead of the portland/fireclay mixture. James sells one on this site called refrax. two other brands are:
              Alsey FLUE-SET
              Heat Stop

              Eventually the portland cement will break down at high heat. I don't really think this is a huge issue, but I still sprung for the refractory mortar.

              Drake


              My Oven Thread:
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all, a seven hour trip to the brick yard, LOL, of course other stops too, can't go to Richmond, um, the big city, LOL, and not do other things also. but I have the cinder block base almost done, have to pick up a few things in the AM to finish it. Man, talk about wearing a person out though.

                I just can't wait for the first firing and food to come out of my new oven, have tons of recipes to try, the wife if getting more and more with each step finished. I took pix today but don't have the connection from the camera here so we will return to our weekday home on Wednesday and then I will post them.

                Thanks You have been a great help and I will still be bending your ear for a bit.

                Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  Welcome!

                  Mark,

                  Welcom aboard. Good luck with you pizza oven adventure. I look forward to seeing it progress and to hear about the first firing that produces food!

                  TPCS (aka bill)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok, next problem, big problem, I am having a lot of trouble finding the vermiculite for the portland mixture. All places I have called and visited do not carry it any more. Any suggestions...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How about this?

                      http://www.vermiculite.org/asp/membe...rmiculite+Ltd..
                      Drake
                      My Oven Thread:
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Perlite

                        Vermiculite has a aesbestos problem. Some deposits have a small but detectable amount of the stuff, and some dealers don't want the liability exposure.

                        Perlite is white, and easier to see if it's thoroughly mixed with the portand cement.

                        There's a type of volcanic pumice that's used in landscaping. It's almost as good as the two things above for trapping air pockets, and insulating. It has the additional benefit of being the traditional Italian oven insulation. (think pompeii)

                        good luck
                        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Home Depot in California sells it in the garden section as a soil conditioner.

                          You can try wholesale nursury supply companies, pool chemical supply companies and commercial ag supply companies.

                          If you strike out, write me (james@fornobravo.com) and we can always ship it to you.
                          James
                          Pizza Ovens
                          Outdoor Fireplaces

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Vermic

                            Lewis,

                            I had trouble locating vermiculite, too, until a helpful guy at a lumber yard suggested I talk to pool builders. I ended up with a product called PoolPac; it's bagged vermiculite used to bed pool liners.

                            Jim
                            "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Vermiculite and Asbestos

                              The vermiculite sold at Home Depot in California is certified "asbestos free." There is a big label on the bag -- "certified asbestos free."

                              If you are concerned, ask your local supplier and see what they say, or what the bag says. You can also use perlite.

                              Or, you can import Tufa from Mount Vesuvius in Campania. Even better, you can import Greco di Tufo, a wonderful white wine from the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius.

                              James
                              Last edited by james; 05-31-2006, 10:41 PM.
                              Pizza Ovens
                              Outdoor Fireplaces

                              Comment

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