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Gauge or sand mold - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.

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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Gauge or sand mold

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  • Gauge or sand mold

    I can't decide whether to use a gauge or a sand mold to shape my dome.
    If using a gauge I imagine that you could really only do one course of bricks at a time allowing time in between for mortar to set. A sand mold looks to me like you could pretty much do the whole dome at once.
    I'm not sure that I could get a good even shape using sand. The gauge method looks much more accurate.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Gauge or sand mold

    Or you could use a "fan" form system such as I did and as Terry did:




    • #3
      Re: Gauge or sand mold

      My two cents - I used a piece of plywood (quarter circle) castored in the center. The only problem I can see using a mold is not being able to clean and properly mortar the inner seams and bricks. The homebrew sets pretty quickly, so I can't imagine a situation where you would need to slow down because of the gauge. I think you'll find keeping the inside of the dome clean as you go would be the better route.


      • #4
        Re: Gauge or sand mold

        You can't build your dome "all at once". It's pretty much one brick at a time.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


        • #5
          Re: Gauge or sand mold

          building a sand dome is easier than it sounds. I've done three and getting the form right is quite easy. You need to have damp sand and simply tap the sides with the flat of a trowel and look at the profile by eye. A stck of the required height placed in the centre is useful to get the correct height. A few polystyrene boxes in the middle saves on sand.
          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


          • #6
            Re: Gauge or sand mold


            You can have the best of both worlds by starting with a plywood gauge then finish with a sand mold when you get near the top. Many have done it this way successfully.


            Here is the link to my oven number 1 construction photos!

            Here is the link to my oven number 2 construction photos!