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Debating between Pompeii and Modular build - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

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  • Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

    So - I'm debating whether to dedicate the time to build the Pompeii - or to pick up a Casa modular oven to save time.

    Around 3-4 years ago - I built a WFO . . . a modular oven from another supplier. We absolutely loved the oven - nothing like a 90 second pizza!

    Anyway - we've moved. Built our home and I've spent quite a bit of time on home projects (epoxying garage floors, garage cabinets, outdoor seating walls, firepit, etc.) Prior to our move - I spent the better part of a year building our outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and WFO.

    I'm building another WFO - but am thinking about getting the Casa so I don't need to spend my spring (three young kids that are active with sports, etc) working in the yard "again." I'd really like to build a pompeii - just to say I did it (and to save some $$) - but really would love the time saved by assembling the modular.

    Any thoughts? Once you get the masonry shelf poured - how long does it take to build the pompeii? I'm an amateur mason - and likely wouldn't go through the trouble of making complex cuts (mortar is your friend!).

    Oh the humanity . . .

  • #2
    Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

    Having just completed my pompeii in december, my vote is for the modular. I just spent time this last Saturday speaking with a pizza vendor who has a mobile wood fired pizza oven made by "the fire within", that apparently uses the forno bravo modular ovens. Anyway, the modular heats up quicker, with less logs. I think that might have to do with the thinner refractory skin, as opposed to a dome of 1/2 firebrick. I saw him about 3 pm , and he had a fire going all day, but only had about 2 logs. The infrared thermometer showed about 680 F on the floor and over 1000 F on the dome.

    If I could do it again, I would do modular. The intricate cuts were fun, but go modular and get cooking all that much sooner.


    Good Luck

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

      Originally posted by ThermoJax View Post

      If I could do it again, I would do modular. The intricate cuts were fun, but go modular and get cooking all that much sooner.

      Good Luck
      Thanks for the reply Thermojax. How much time did it take to build it from brick? I'd be doing it a couple of hours per night - and on weekends. I'll have to dig out pics of my old oven - nice thing was the floor and dome were up in one day.

      Cost is also a factor. I'd use the Casa2G 100 (40" oven) - which runs $2400 + $400 or so shipping + around $200 tax = $3000. Seems like the brick route would be less than $1000 . . .

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

        Once you get the masonry shelf poured - how long does it take to build the pompeii?
        You can do it in three weeks if you get help from friends, or you can take five years like I did. This is an elastic number, particularly dependent upon the elaborateness of your enclosure.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

          If I ever move, I'll buy the kit. Building the Pompeii was great fun and very rewarding but it messed up my elbow and shoulder (all better now).

          If you could put a monetary value on your time, buying the kit is probably cheaper.
          Ken H. - Kentucky
          42" Pompeii

          Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

            First I want to send out my prayers to everyone in Japan.
            ----------------------------------------------------------
            It took me about a month to build our dome and flue transition but I enjoyed every minute of it.

            At the same time I think I could build another one much more quickly. Have you seen the slideshow in this thread?....

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/s...ion-12854.html

            If I wanted to go fast, I would not cut my floor bricks except at the entrance. I would set my soldier course and entryway on the floor, build the opening arches under foam forms, and hand set the first few chains. Then, taking a page from the above thread, I would fill it with sand and shape the dome. Except, I might cover the sand with wet newspaper to prevent the sand from wicking out moisture and sticking to the mortar. Next I would mortar in the bricks one at a time cutting as necassary but not worry about filling in the entire gaps between bricks. I am not sure of the mix used by Ferrara but after the dome was complete I would mix up a homebrew batch of refractory mortar with pourable grout instead of portland cement and pour it over the dome as in the slideshow.

            I am thinking one day for the floor, soldier course, entryway arch supports, and pre halfing /thirding of some of the bricks. Another day for the entry arches and first few chains. And a third day for the sand and dome.

            Of course this assumes nothing goes wrong.

            Dave
            Last edited by DaveW; 03-11-2011, 07:44 AM.
            Album: http://picasaweb.google.com/fornososo/Pizza#

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

              I am still building my oven, it's lots of fun but it will consume your time and mind until you are done. You need to ask yourself how much time you have to do this and when do you want to finish it. Do you have small children? I do and they are not helping it go any faster. I like reading the treads with the older kids helping out with the concrete and blocks. As well as how much of a perfectionist are you. A Pompeii oven is not easy and if you don't know what you are doing it might drive you crazy. A modular oven will go up a lot faster but it will only look different from the inside. Good luck.

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                Originally posted by Mike D View Post
                I am still building my oven, it's lots of fun but it will consume your time and mind until you are done. You need to ask yourself how much time you have to do this and when do you want to finish it. Do you have small children? I do and they are not helping it go any faster. I like reading the treads with the older kids helping out with the concrete and blocks. As well as how much of a perfectionist are you. A Pompeii oven is not easy and if you don't know what you are doing it might drive you crazy. A modular oven will go up a lot faster but it will only look different from the inside. Good luck.

                Mike
                MIke - that's really my problem. I've built a modular WFO and my "old" house - and really wanted to build a pompeii. But - given my weekends for the next 2-3 months are consumed with my son's traveling baseball commitment - and the real desire to have the WFO done for this summer - it looks like a modular is in my future.

                I'd like to get thoughts on the different manufacturers and sizes - I'm looking at the Casa2G 36, 40, and 44.

                My old oven was a 32" - and it was too small given the amount of use we'd put it through (60-100 pizzas per-party!).

                Thanks -

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                  I think it might be in bad taste to talk about other manufactures. But as in what size, there is a lot of talk about that on the forum.

                  - How much space do you have? How much wood do you have. The bigger the oven the more wood you will need and go through.

                  -If you make that many pizzas in one party you need a bigger oven than 32" , but you knew that. In reality, one never has more than 2 or 3 pizzas in the oven at one time, unless you have an army working at the oven.

                  -I would say a 40 or 42 would give you plenty of room to do what ever you want. I gives you room for lots of pizzas as well as leaving some spots open to heat up (as in rotate your pizzas to keep the floor hot).

                  Mike

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                    Originally posted by Mike D View Post
                    I think it might be in bad taste to talk about other manufactures. But as in what size, there is a lot of talk about that on the forum.

                    - How much space do you have? How much wood do you have. The bigger the oven the more wood you will need and go through.

                    -If you make that many pizzas in one party you need a bigger oven than 32" , but you knew that. In reality, one never has more than 2 or 3 pizzas in the oven at one time, unless you have an army working at the oven.

                    -I would say a 40 or 42 would give you plenty of room to do what ever you want. I gives you room for lots of pizzas as well as leaving some spots open to heat up (as in rotate your pizzas to keep the floor hot).

                    Mike
                    First point well taken.

                    I've got plenty of space - and wood's not really an issue. It's just a question of trying to hit the sweet spot with oven size.

                    With my 32" WFO - I had the my wood cut smaller and double split. The pizza-parties were an "assembly line." Mostly neighborhood kids - and they would start at one end of the line rolling out dough - making the pizza, etc. I'd man the oven and the pizzas took less than 2 minutes to cook. By the time I was taking one pizza out with the metal peel - another was handed to me on the wood peel.

                    So - while it was "big enough" to do that job - I really want to make bigger pizzas - and want to do a bit more roasting. I'm thinking the 40" Casa2G might be in my future - but I'm still talking with the FB folks about a couple of things . . .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                      Originally posted by Cheesesteak View Post
                      So - I'm debating whether to dedicate the time to build the Pompeii - or to pick up a Casa modular oven to save time.

                      Around 3-4 years ago - I built a WFO . . . a modular oven from another supplier. We absolutely loved the oven - nothing like a 90 second pizza!

                      Anyway - we've moved. Built our home and I've spent quite a bit of time on home projects (epoxying garage floors, garage cabinets, outdoor seating walls, firepit, etc.) Prior to our move - I spent the better part of a year building our outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and WFO.

                      I'm building another WFO - but am thinking about getting the Casa so I don't need to spend my spring (three young kids that are active with sports, etc) working in the yard "again." I'd really like to build a pompeii - just to say I did it (and to save some $$) - but really would love the time saved by assembling the modular.

                      Any thoughts? Once you get the masonry shelf poured - how long does it take to build the pompeii? I'm an amateur mason - and likely wouldn't go through the trouble of making complex cuts (mortar is your friend!).

                      Oh the humanity . . .
                      Cheesesteak

                      Once the shelf is poured it can be anything up to 3 weeks before you complete your build. It is entirely up to you how much time you give to the project on evenings and weekends. Don't feel daunted by the task of building a "Pompeii" oven as there are many WFO guru's on this forum who will help you in every stage of your build. Many are experts and others are well experienced in this field to offer support and advice when needed.

                      I am limited in my experience but try to offer advice where I can to a group of WFO enthusiasts in Northern Europe. We had a person who was a tradesman in Fabrication and welding who wanted to build a Pompeii oven and his comment to us was ....." I'll just have to learn as I go on"

                      He surprised us all with this build... Picasa Web Albums - Charlie - Wood Fired Oven

                      I am a bricklayer by trade but the most impressive builds that I have seen have been built by people outside the wet trades industries....

                      .....Go for a Pompeii.....you won't regret it !!!

                      Terry
                      Honi soit qui mal y pense

                      My 2nd Pompeii build.....

                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...eii-build.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                        You should cut out a template of the floor to size them up. This is a great way to see how much room you will have when cooking. Go to a art supply store and get a few pieces of cardboard. Cut one of your old oven 32" and another 40" or 42" to see what they feel like.

                        You don't usually make big pizzas in these ovens mostly because of how big the opening is (19"-20").

                        But I say if you want to build a Pompeii you should do it. Think of it as a family project. It's not about the money, it's about saying you actually built it the old school way.

                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                          Go to a art supply store and get a few pieces of cardboard
                          Great idea! But you don't have to spend any money on the materials.

                          If you have a Sam's or Costco in town go visit (you don't even need a membership) one and grab a couple of thick paper liners that they place between layers of paper towels/napkins etc. I usually pick up three or four at a time and have used them as templates for my oven floor and arch mock ups. They're easier to cut than cardboard and totally disposable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                            Okay - well . . . it's settled - I'm going to build the Pompeii.

                            I've built the modular already anyway - so I might as well go Pompeii and say I did it.

                            I'll start up a new thread on the build - and I'll post some pics of the modular project with my outdoor fireplace and kitchen - just because.

                            Wish me luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Debating between Pompeii and Modular build

                              Well that decision was quick. Went to ask the same question and you had already asked. I think I am going to build a 36" Pompeii as that fits within general fire code, and I don't want issues down the road.

                              Now my question is whether to buy the kit with all the fancy insulation, or source locally.

                              Comment

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