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does anyone make special cuts in the bricks other then at the top of the dome - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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does anyone make special cuts in the bricks other then at the top of the dome

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  • does anyone make special cuts in the bricks other then at the top of the dome

    I like to lay out things in Autocad to help me think and plan ahead.

    If I layout an opening like I show in the picture there are gaps in the opening does anyone cut bricks to match? (that is the first course of bricks shown on the hearth).

    I was wondering if any one thought the floor of the oven was to low. and adding another course of cinderbock would make it easier to look into?

    and yes I have to much time on my hands if I'm drawing Bricks.
    Attached Files
    Cooking Homer, Hmmmm Pizza

  • #2
    it seems the perfect height for me. commercial gas pizza ovens typically have two tiers: the bottom one is about 2 1/2' high and the top one is about 5' high (these are guestimates). the low one is annoyingly low, and the high one is much more workable, but still just higher than comfort level.
    i'm guessing james and jim designed the pompeii based one average height of backyard ovens in italy. one million italians probably can't be wrong, no? (ignore WWII, please).

    by the way, here's how i cut that last piece you have pink in your diagram. i cut the side that gets mortared, so that there are clean faces in the dome and entranceway.

    how do you post thumbnails?
    Last edited by paulages; 07-08-2005, 11:24 AM.
    overdo it or don't do it at all!


    • #3
      inner archway

      Thanks for this photo, which makes clear all but one thing. The inner archway, against which the wooden door sits, is formed by what? How much does it protrude into the outer arch?
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        i'm not sure what you're referring to by 'inner arch', and 'outer arch'. do you mean the doorway to the oven, and the actual outer facing archway?
        i am using the same arch bricks for both, so it will actually be a tunnel from the oven to the opening in the front, with a gap in the middle where the chimney will vent. if you look on the thread where i am posting my photos, you'll see the bricks this will be made of.
        overdo it or don't do it at all!


        • #5
          Oven meets landing

          I guess my question is unclear because my understanding is incomplete. The oven is in the form of an igloo, with an arched tunnel intersecting with a semi-spherical oven, with the flue going up from the top of the arch in front. There is a removable wooden door that fits in the back of the arch, behind the flue, to keep heat in while you're baking. I assumed that this door pressed against some kind of masonry stop, which I am calling the "inner arch" so it doesn't fall inward into the oven.

          This commercial oven has a steeply tapered entry with a clear inner arch:


          I assumed that domestic ovens had some sort of sill for the door to set against. Maybe what I don't understand is the use of the door in general.

          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            i see what you mean. yeah, you could build something like that for sure.i would probably lean toward just making the door freestanding, so it would just slide into place, but the craftwork on building something like that would be beautiful.
            overdo it or don't do it at all!


            • #7
              WOW thanks for the reply on my first post.

              I like all your replies on my post and I think I will need to think about a door jam in there.

              I have gone to Zuni, a Native American Reservation, with a friend whose family comes from there and they use the big outdoor mud ovens I remember she stuck a large flat stone over the front entrance of this oven then took the water hose and made some mud in front of it in the dirt. Pickup the mud and used it to seal the rock in place until the food was cooked.
              Cooking Homer, Hmmmm Pizza


              • #8
                more about the entry

                I'm now thinking that if the walls of the archway going into the oven were tapered outward, there would be a clear way to plug the entry of the oven with a matching taper on the edges of the door. I'm also thinking that if these flared entry walls were radial to the edge of the circle, it would make the geometry of the wall-meets-curve much more easy to make. It would also give more room to work, give easy peel access to the entire oven, and have a larger space to grill, and to admire the fire while eating. I'm a little concerned that making a wider arch in front would provide less support for the masonry chimney which I am determined to build, but people have been supporting massive weights on brick arches since the time of the Romans, so I should be OK.

                I'll be back at the end of the week from a business trip, and will try to sketch up this tapered arch then.

                Last edited by dmun; 07-11-2005, 04:25 PM. Reason: spelling
                My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                • #9
                  The standard way to do this is to use a steel lintel across the oven opening (between the flue & oven). That provides a stop for the door. You can use brickwork on the sides to provide a similar stop on the side (making the soldier bricks project into the tunnel about a half-inch).

                  You can get a good tight fit on the sides leaving it with the soldier bricks lining evenly down the side. Before building the door, take a short piece of scrap wood and place it up against the side. Take a pair of compasses (drafting type) opened the distance of the widest gap. Run it down the side of the oven with the pencil leaving a line on the wood. That gives you a profile to sand your door edge to.

                  You can make the door in two pieces as well - a left & a right side. Use a lipped overlap (like shiplapped siding). Then you can pop one side in first and follow it with the side with the overlap strip. That gives you a nice seal without having to finagle a single piece doorway in the opening.

                  Or, make sure your outer opening is larger than the inner opening. The only downside to this is that you can see the exposed inner opening construction that way which may or may not be what you want. Of course, building the two doorways (inner & outer) and the tunnel out of arching bricks would look nice even if the inside doorway shows - it's just a more advanced masonry technique than most backyard builders have.



                  • #10
                    just to clarify here...
                    the door you are referring to sits inside the vent, effectively sealing the oven off completely once the fire is gone, and the oven has cooled a bit, yes?
                    overdo it or don't do it at all!


                    • #11
                      Yep. When you're cooking with retained heat the door seals off the inner chamber from the chimney & the outside. That keeps the heat & moisture in. It's what gives bread the unique crust you can only get from a brick oven of this design. Other ovens like the Horno from the Southwest need to have the chimney sealed in addition to the door & it always seems that steam leaks out.

                      That's the way I cook most non-pizza/flatbread stuff except when I do something like a salt-encrusted pork/beef/fish where I like to do it in the oven surrounded by fire.