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Newbie from Australia - 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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Newbie from Australia

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  • Newbie from Australia

    G'day folks, after lurking on here for a while I think it's time to join in!
    I'm from Central Coast of NSW Australia and in the process of building a wfo and have the foundation done, the concrete slab poured and next will be the base and dome.
    Am I right in thinking that it's ok to use pavers as the base as opposed to firebricks?
    I intend to lay a 'ceramic insulation paper' under the pavers/firebricks to assist in the insulation, but just wanted to get thoughts on using pavers.

    Great forum and a minefield of info which seems to cover every topic known to mankind!

  • #2
    Re: Newbie from Australia

    Hi Jakhall

    welcome to the club. When you say the base,, Im assuming you mean under the block the oven will sit on ?? If so I wouldnt see any problem with that.. Keep in mind, Your completed oven will weigh over 3000 lbs... I used 220 firebrick at 9 lbs... about 4 kilo each so the dome alone was almost 2000 lbs..

    What Im saying is be sure your base is strong and supported and you will not have a problem,

    Cheers and good luck


    • #3
      Re: Newbie from Australia

      Hi Jakhall and welcome aboard.
      Another Aussie to add to the forum.
      Have you read the book written by Russell Jeavons, "Your brick oven, building it and baking in it"
      ISBN 1 904943 25 X
      Well , he runs a pizza restaurant at Willunga in the Southern Vales just south of Adelaide.
      He has 2 ovens which he uses for 3-4 days a week and has built 5 others using 'old pressed red bricks' and he used 2" fired clay pavers for his hearth. He has 2 layers so a total of 4" which he says can be easily replaces should they wear and need replacing. See:


      A little warning on your insulation though, don't skimp and use the good stuff! It will pay dividends and once you get your oven hot (500˚C for pizzas) and with a good well insulated door, it will stay hot enough to cook for up to 3 days.

      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      Neillís kitchen underway


      • #4
        Re: Newbie from Australia

        I intend to lay a 'ceramic insulation paper' under the pavers/firebricks to assist in the insulation,
        Refractory paper is thin, and used to establish slip planes between masonry layers. It has no insulation value to speak of. Under your floor you need either four inches of vermiculite concrete, or two inches of refractory insulation board. Any shortcut here will leave you with an oven that will waste wood, and have trouble getting to temperature.

        As for pavers, builders have used fired clay pavers with success, but bear in mind that any non-refractory ceramic material will have the tendency to crack and spall. Mandatory disclaimer: In the US "pavers" universally refer to portland cement slabs, which are completely unsatisfactory in oven use.

        One final thing: unless you're building a fire-every-day bread oven, you really don't need a four inch thick floor.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2