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how high on the base? - 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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how high on the base?

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  • how high on the base?

    Im 6'2" and am on my 3rd course on my base. Even if I go to 4 courses, I have a feeling that the oven will be too low for my liking.
    Is there any issue taking the base courses to 5?

    My thought is this:

    5 courses of cinder block 8" high each=40 inches
    6" slab for the oven surface+1" insulation board, +1"fire brick
    total 48" before oven base is installed.

    48" gives me just enough space to slighly bend to get a pie out of the oven.....I think.

    Any advice would be great.


  • #2
    Re: how high on the base?

    1" of fire brick? Aren't they usually 2" or more?

    Anyway my oven floor is at 100cm which is 39". I'm 6'0" and don't have any trouble with the height. Remember that the lower floor level might also help you to have a slightly better reach in the oven if needed.

    You could probably mock up something to test what's the best height for you? Like table with something on top of it?


    • #3
      Re: how high on the base?

      Hi Eddie,

      When I was designing my base, I stacked boxes up on a table to simulate different oven floor heights then used a pizza peel to play "Pizza Chef" When you are playing around with floor heights, make sure you choose a height that you will also be comfortable reaching as far inside the oven as you can (positioning firewood, cleaning, etc).

      There should be no engineering issues with stacking your base 5 courses high. You mention that your floor will be 1" thick. Are you buying a kit or building a Pompeii oven? Pompeii builders typically use full bricks laid flat for the floors.
      Ken H. - Kentucky
      42" Pompeii

      Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

      Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
      Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album


      • #4
        Re: how high on the base?

        At 6'4" my hearth is about 46 inches high. My base was 4.5 courses (you can get half-height blocks), with a 4 inch slab, 3.5 inches of vermicrete, 1.5 inches of Insblok 19, 1/4 inch of leveling sand/clay, and 2 inches of hearth brick. 48 inches before the hearth is set seems a bit high, but it's your oven. It is difficult to reach the back of my oven, although it is a 42-inch oven.


        • #5
          Re: how high on the base?

          Most commercial WFO hearths are in the 46-48 range to make it easier to look into the oven, I made mine elbow bend high, 44".


          • #6
            Re: how high on the base?

            Opt for higher.

            If you go to the "doing it again" threads most people who have commented on height have said they would go higher if they had to do it again.

            If your final oven is too low, you are stuck with it. If it is too high, you have the option of building up your patio.

            Mine is 44 inches and is mostly operated by my wife who is 5'4" tall.
            Last edited by Neil2; 05-15-2012, 10:02 AM.


            • #7
              Re: how high on the base?

              Do you guys see a problem with a 5.5" layer of vermicrete to gain height on a 35" oven base? I was planning on a 4:1 or 5:1 mix to make it stronger. I have FB board to go on top of vermicrete. I mainly want to add the vermicrete for height, but the extra insulation is mentioned several times in the "doing it again " thread as well.
              My Progress:


              • #8
                Re: how high on the base?

                "Do you guys see a problem with a 5.5" layer of vermicrete to gain height"

                No problem at all. A 1:5 mix is plenty strong enough.

                One note with this layer. Try to provide positive drainage. This may entail sloping (or grinding to slope) a slight grade away from the center in your structural slab. Flood your slab with water and make sure there is no standing water or "bathtubs".