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Vermiculite Questions - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Vermiculite Questions

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  • Vermiculite Questions

    I finally located vermiculite in the garden section of Lowe's. Is this the same product as what is used in the oven construction? I read somewhere that the correct ratio is 5:1 but nothing more. I assume this is 5 parts vermiculite to one part portland cement by volume. Is this correct?

  • #2
    Re: Vermiculite Questions

    Correct. I have seen builds here on the FB site that utilized ratios from 5:1 to 12:1. Understand that the higher the percentage of portland cement,the stiffer the mix will be and the lower the insulation value and vice versa. I went with 8:1, right in the middle. I made a slurry of the cement in water and added it to the vermiculite in a wheelbarrow and added just enough water for it to become (gently) combined, or in cook's terms, incorporated.


    • #3
      Re: Vermiculite Questions

      Yes, garden variety vermiculite is what you want. You may want to try calling any local growers or landscape suppliers. The Lowes around me only sell the small bags at a pretty steep price. The plant growers usually have the large 4 cu. ft bags for $18-$30.
      5:1 ratio is recommended for the under hearth insulation. If using the same for the dome, you can stretch it to 8:1 or even 10:1. Yes this is the ration of vermiculite to p cement


      • #4
        Re: Vermiculite Questions

        Hi All,
        I'm busy cooking and eating, all the time, but finally I am Builiding my first oven, likely a 36 in. ID Pompeii style!
        Wondering how thick my support slad should be ? Hearth is 48 x 48 in. and plan to use 10 pieces of 1/2 rebar in slab. Then a second slab of vermiculite - concrete mixture on top of the slab. Is this correct so far ?
        thank you !


        • #5
          Re: Vermiculite Questions

          Originally posted by eatingmorefood View Post
          Hearth is 48 x 48 in.
          You should go a little bigger than that for a 36" oven.

          My 34" WFO build

          Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO


          • #6
            Re: Vermiculite Questions

            How big should my Pompeii oven be if My hearth plan is 48 in x 48 in ?
            Would you think I am crazy to build it next to my WOOD DECK ?
            What are the chances of sparks jumping out ?


            • #7
              Re: Vermiculite Questions

              George is right: 36+9+8 = 53, not counting cladding or enclosure, and you'll need more for the entry side unless you're planning a corner opening.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


              • #8
                Re: Vermiculite Questions

                Hi Dmun,
                Your oven is amazing. Thanks for the reply, maybe it will be 32 inch ID ....
                Wondering how thick my support slad should be ? Top of concrete blocks stands at 48 x 48 in. ( I could pour slightly larger) plan to use 10 pieces of 1/2 rebar in support layer of the slab. Then a second slab of vermiculite - concrete mixture on top of the slab. Is this correct so far ? Plan to use my large supply of 14 in x 16 in. x 1 in. pizza stones (cutting them up).
                Would you think I am crazy putting this oven 1 foot from my wood deck ? I want to be able to cook off the high deck. The oven will have a door, of course. Do many sparks pop out the front of your oven?
                thank you !
                EatingMorefood - Chef