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Question on bricks and soap stone - 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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Question on bricks and soap stone

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  • Question on bricks and soap stone


    I have two basic questions, and I would appreciate to hear back from you guys.

    1. How do you determine the correct angle of the bricks for each row to get the correct shape of the dome? Can wooden shims be used to make the angle of the bricks?

    2. I heard that soapstone is an excellent hearth material. Any comments?

    Best regards,
    Long Island, New York

  • #2
    Re: Question on bricks and soap stone

    I built my oven dome with wooden shims. I laid out full bricks in the profile of my dome and measured the gaps (adjust the bricks to the same gap on each side of the dome), then cut 9" shims (which gives you a handle when using half bricks). Each gap was different (larger gaps at the base of the dome, smaller near the apex).

    Others have mentioned soapstone here in the past. There has been suggestion that it heat too quickly and may lead to difficulty preventing the crust from burning but I do not recall any actual user testimony, so I think you would be adding new information to the community if use this and let us know how it works. Alf might have experience with this.


    • #3
      Re: Question on bricks and soap stone

      To set the angle of the bricks, I laid out the arch on a piece of plywood, then cut it in half to get two 1/4 circle pieces. I put attached some blocks so it would stand by itself, marked the center of the oven, then rotated it around in a circle while setting each brick to the correct angle.

      Once I got to the 9th ring, the bricks would start sliding, and I resorted to styrofoam centering.

      Ditto what maver said about soapstone. No personal experience, but have heard it's too efficient at conducting heat.
      I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:
      Il Forno Fumoso