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An Italian Uncle - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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An Italian Uncle

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  • An Italian Uncle

    I got a call today from a guy who is installing a Forno Bravo oven in Northern California who is Italian America. His uncle lives outside Lucca, and owns a building materials store there (along with a summer vacation rental house) and he is a dealer for our oven producer. He's installed a bunch of them locally. Our customer called his uncle to ask him which pizza oven brand to install, and of course he says to use Forno Bravo. They went back and forth translating our instructions back into Italian, and he agreed that we have it right. I think that's great. If everyone had an Italian uncle in the building trade -- everyone would buy a Forno Bravo oven.

    Finding a dealer for our producer in Italy isn't that difficult -- they have over 3,000 dealers there.

    James
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Hey James it is me, Luciano. Thanks for the post about my uncle....if things go well he will be here probably in October. Will you be in the States around that time. I was planning on taking him for a drive to the wine country and coming by your place to purchase the oven. By that time it should be ready for install. Which brings me to a couple of questions:

    I am about ready to pour the hearth and was going to proceed with vermiculite for the top layer of the hearth. While viewing the forum, I noticed a new product called Super Isol. Now I am confused. Here are my questions and if need be I will post them in the appropriate thread.

    1) If I decide to go with vermiculite, I am unclear on the 5:1 ratio. Obviously, vermiculite is lighter than cement and less dense. What is the best way to ensure you are getting the proper ratio.

    2) If I instead decide to go with the Super Isol, what should the pour be for the concrete on the hearth? I was planning on 2x8's with 3 1/2' of structural concrete and the remainder vermiculite with cement.

    I was thinking if I went with the Super Isol, I could then frame the hearth with 2x6's and pour to the top of the frame and then glue the Super Isol on top. That would give me the 7 1/2 hearth thickness as originally planned.

    Please let me know your thoughts or anyone else who happens to read this post. As James mentioned, my uncle has assembled quite a few ovens and has built a villa which he rents throughout the summer months near Lucca. Additionally, he owns a building material supply store and sells and recommends very highly the Forno Bravo brand.

    Comment


    • #3
      Luciano,

      Slightly off topic, but I am going to be staying near Lucca for 1 week in October. (somewhere between Zone and Segromigno en Monte).

      Please ask your Uncle for any good local restaurant reccomendations if you get the chance!!

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

      Comment


      • #4
        super isol vs vermiculite

        I would go with just the structural cement and the super isol on top of that. With product like the super isol you can have a hearth temp of 800 degrees and barely feel the warmth on the bottom of the super isol. It is definitely the way to go. Forget the vermiculite.

        Chad
        Renaissance Man
        Wholly Man

        Comment


        • #5
          What do you recommend for the height of the structural concrete pour?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DrakeRemoray
            Luciano,

            Slightly off topic, but I am going to be staying near Lucca for 1 week in October. (somewhere between Zone and Segromigno en Monte).

            Please ask your Uncle for any good local restaurant reccomendations if you get the chance!!

            Thanks in advance,
            Drake

            Will do and have a great time!

            Comment


            • #7
              2 x 6

              Your plan for 2 x 6 slab with insulation on top will be plenty strong and it sounds like it fits your previously intended thickness - you could go thinner if you desire to reduce materials. I used 2x8 with 4" concrete and perlcrete on top - the perlcrete settled as it dried at least 1/2". By the way, if you do use your originally planned vermiculite (or perlite as I did) it is 5:1 ratio by volume - easy to mix, just hard to work with afterwards. I eventually topped it with a thin layer of mortar to "rigidize" the vermiculite. If money is no concern buy the super isol. Likewise, when you insulate the dome consider a blanket insulation like insulfrax. I use loose perlite which insulates just fine but sealing the insulating space is a pain, the stuff finds the smallest gaps. That's actually where using perlcrete or vermiculcrete to fill gaps initially would be smart - or even better spray foam like Drake used. I have used 4 bags of perlite and figure I still need 2 more to have 6" above the dome. These are 4 cubic foot bags at $15 a piece, and I closed dead space that did not need insulation on the corners to try to reduce my use. Hope that helps as you plan some of the stages where you have decisions to make. You're in for a fun time as your oven goes up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by maver
                Your plan for 2 x 6 slab with insulation on top will be plenty strong and it sounds like it fits your previously intended thickness - you could go thinner if you desire to reduce materials. I used 2x8 with 4" concrete and perlcrete on top - the perlcrete settled as it dried at least 1/2". By the way, if you do use your originally planned vermiculite (or perlite as I did) it is 5:1 ratio by volume - easy to mix, just hard to work with afterwards. I eventually topped it with a thin layer of mortar to "rigidize" the vermiculite. If money is no concern buy the super isol. Likewise, when you insulate the dome consider a blanket insulation like insulfrax. I use loose perlite which insulates just fine but sealing the insulating space is a pain, the stuff finds the smallest gaps. That's actually where using perlcrete or vermiculcrete to fill gaps initially would be smart - or even better spray foam like Drake used. I have used 4 bags of perlite and figure I still need 2 more to have 6" above the dome. These are 4 cubic foot bags at $15 a piece, and I closed dead space that did not need insulation on the corners to try to reduce my use. Hope that helps as you plan some of the stages where you have decisions to make. You're in for a fun time as your oven goes up.
                Maver,

                Thanks for the great suggestions. I think I will go with the 2x6 with the Super Isol on top. Question about the blanket....is this an additional one besides the one which comes with the oven from Forno Bravo? I was assuming I would put the blanket over the oven and then fill the dead space with vermiculite. Let me know your thoughts. Greatly appreciate all your assistance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  blankey

                  I made my oven from firebricks, so I was unaware a ceramic blanket was included in the modular ovens. I read the materials list for the casa, they describe a 1" ceramic blanket - this has to be the insulfrax that they also sell at fornobravo store. James has stated on this forum that 1" of blanket is equivalent to 2" of vermiculite or perlite - you'll still need 4" of perlite/vermiculite as either loose fill or a cement mix. Meticulous preparation of the cavity prior to pouring is needed for the loose fill - it will slip through any cracks and pour out whenever the structure takes any vibrations. Purchasing a few more blankets for a full 3" thickness would be a very simple way to achieve excellent insulation - if money is not an issue. However, I will end up spending about $90 for perlite in the end - probably another $30 for materials to close off dead space and attempt to seal the enclosure prior to the pour of loose fill, and my insulation certainly seems to be working well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maver,

                    How hot can the oven get? I have seen where it states the Super Isol can withstand heat up to 800 degrees but I thought I once read the oven can reach temperatures up to 900.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by maver
                      Purchasing a few more blankets for a full 3" thickness would be a very simple way to achieve excellent insulation - if money is not an issue. However, I will end up spending about $90 for perlite in the end - probably another $30 for materials to close off dead space and attempt to seal the enclosure prior to the pour of loose fill, and my insulation certainly seems to be working well.
                      I think money is always an issue, but think of performance and longevity. These ovens you are building are meant to last what 50-100 years? Amortize the cost out over the life of the oven and you will find no excuse to do a shabby or cheap job of it. It was very telling when I was in Europe a few years ago, new construction there follows very strict rules and cheap and or shoddy practices are not tolerated. If you do it, do it right. Someone over there told me that they built for the homes to last a minimum of 150 years. That is far more responsible.
                      Do it right!
                      Peace
                      Chad
                      Renaissance Man
                      Wholly Man

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        just do it

                        Janprimus, I agree with do it right, and I think there is great convenience to e.g. ceramic blanket insulation as I laid out on my last post on this matter. But when James has stated that 1" insulfrax is equivalent in insulating value to 2 inches of vermiculite/perlite then this is a convenience vs cost issue, not a do it right vs. do it wrong - both work well. The "problem" with loose filled insulation is need to do more prep of the area to fill, but the insulating value is excellent. The (small) "problem" with ceramic blanket insulation is acquisition of the product. And there are other options for insulation such as perlcrete, blanket insulations other than insulfrax, as well as other areas of heat loss (hearth, door) to take care of.

                        With my loose fill perlite and shabby (see my other posts on this if interested) test-of-concept door my oven was 380 degrees this morning after making pizza last night. It seems to be working "right" . I'm not sure there is any longevity issue at stake with blanket vs loose fill either.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There is one reason for using the more efficient insulation. It's the idea of aggressively stopping the heat and keeping it inside the oven. There are two reasons to insulate -- keeping heat from getting somewhere you don't want it and keeping heat where you do want it. At one extreme, 12" of concrete around an oven will keep heat from reaching the enclosure walls (where you don't want it), but it will not keep heat inside the oven (where you do want it).

                          Whether you use Insulfrax and SuperIsol, only vermiculite/perlite, or a mix is a shade of grey -- that every Pompeii builder gets to pick. Forno Bravo ovens come with the Insulfrax.
                          James
                          Pizza Ovens
                          Outdoor Fireplaces

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ciao Luciano,

                            One quick note -- the SuperIsol is good to 1800F, so you are in good shape there. Most folks use the 1" Insulfrax, with an additional 4" vermiculite. But as they say, there is no such thing as too much insulation (and there is definitely such thing as too little).

                            I am going to miss you here in Oct. We are going to be in Florence. Drop me an email and we can set you up to meet with Tammy and/or Krista. We are just about finished with a nice new showroom, that makes it easy to see the different oven styles, sizes, etc., along with all of the accessories (without having to go back into the warehouse). We will make a formal announcement on the showroom very shortly.

                            Saluti,
                            James
                            Pizza Ovens
                            Outdoor Fireplaces

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by james
                              There is one reason for using the more efficient insulation. It's the idea of aggressively stopping the heat and keeping it inside the oven. There are two reasons to insulate -- keeping heat from getting somewhere you don't want it and keeping heat where you do want it. At one extreme, 12" of concrete around an oven will keep heat from reaching the enclosure walls (where you don't want it), but it will not keep heat inside the oven (where you do want it).

                              Whether you use Insulfrax and SuperIsol, only vermiculite/perlite, or a mix is a shade of grey -- that every Pompeii builder gets to pick. Forno Bravo ovens come with the Insulfrax.
                              James
                              James,

                              Not sure if you have read any of the earlier posts in this thread, but I was wondering if you will be in the States around October. My uncle from Italy should be here and I though we would take a drive and pick up the oven from you directly if okay. My uncle also stated he thinks he knows who you are. Not sure how, but I know he would like to meet you.

                              Ciao,

                              Luciano

                              Comment

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