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42" Pompeii Build in Boca - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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42" Pompeii Build in Boca

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  • 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

    Hi to all. I have promised to post pics so that others can learn as I did from those who came before them. As an Eye surgeon, I know the value of learning from watching the work of both great surgeons and terrible ones. Hopefully as a mason, I will be at least some of the former, despite being mostly the latter. I will give my novice's pitfalls as I saw them during the build. Step one after downloading the plans: dig a hole. Not too hard, took longer than I thought as do all projects I haven't done in a while. Best advice? Buy a professional wheelbarrow. Needed here and more for next steps. Feel free to laugh, chastise, inform, throw rocks and garbage as we go. I'm nearly done, so it can't be changed anyway...
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  • #2
    Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

    OK. On to step two. I know that this looks like all the other builds out there (except more messy and poorly constructed), so if you want a different pic or info, let me know. Round two: plastic in hole, rebar raised above plastic, pour enough concrete to fill a swimming pool in hole. Level and screed. Rest hands and back. Advice: LISTEN UP DUMMIES! DON'T DO WHAT I DID AND TRY TO MIX 55 BAGS OF CONCRETE IN A WHEELBARROW. I'M TOUGH, AND IT DAMN NEAR KILLED ME IN GOOD WEATHER! PERSONALLY, I WOULD FORGET THE PERSONAL CONCRETE MIXER TOO!!!! CALL YOUR LOCAL CONCRETE COMPANY AND A PUMPING COMPANY (THE CONCRETE COMPANY CAN OFTEN DO BOTH), AND HAVE THEM DO IT. DRINK BEER OR MARGARITAS WHILE THEY DO IT. PAT THEM ON THE BACK WHEN THEY ARE DONE! LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK. THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS, TIMES ARE TOUGH AND THE CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS IS TOUGHER RIGHT NOW. IN MANY PLACES IT IS CHEAPER TO HAVE THE CONCRETE DELIVERED AND PUMPED. YOU ARE GOING TO BE CARRYING LOTS OF CBS BLOCK, REBAR AND HEATSTOP, LET THE OTHERS POUR THE CONCRETE! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
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    Last edited by rlodad; 06-19-2011, 04:05 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

      Looking good!

      I'm there with you when you prescribe lots of help

      But don't stop with help pouring a slab. I agree with dmun when he recommended getting some help with the heavy lifting! Swallow our pride and hire an expert when you are stumped. I hired a mason to lay the blocks, assist in pouring the slab and hearth, and to place 70% of the firebricks, all at my direction and per the pompeii plans.

      This is a bigger project than you think, and protect those hands -I just had six stitches in my index finger from a construction mishap, but I'm not a surgeon

      Regards,
      Lee B.
      DFW area, Texas, USA

      If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
      Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
      An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

      I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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      • #4
        Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

        All true, Lee. I am almost done, two months of weekends, and nearly all myself! I can't work weeknights, as I operate on Wednesdays and need to be able to operate in case of emergencies all other days. I just placed 3 blankets of ceramic insulation followed by chicken wire- that's a workout too! Taking a break before starting on the Perlcrete. Maybe I'll post another couple of past steps.
        Last edited by rlodad; 06-19-2011, 04:45 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

          OK, taking a break after ceramic insulation and chicken wire, so i'll post a few of the earlier steps.

          Step three: get the blocks, hearth concrete, rebar, plywood (I had that, my first hobby is woodworking). take your 7 yo son out to torture the guy with the truck and forklift. Just so you newbies know what you're getting yourself into, this is what the blockstand and hearth supplies look like when delivered. May as well get into the saw now too. I am a cheapo, so I used the junk home depot 7" $39 wet saw I used to put marble on the floor of a bathroom. I would, as nearly everyone else has said, go with the HF 7" mitering wet saw, or see about an MK on Craigslist. I added a blockstand pic.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by rlodad; 06-26-2011, 04:29 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

            Good on you Doc, that pizza will taste that much better knowing you laid all the bricks yourself.
            Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443

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            • #7
              Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

              Boy, I hope so. Perlcrete is my least favorite substance on earth. But I'm done for the day- off to real work tomorrow...

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              • #8
                Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                I opted for a ready-mix trailer of concrete. Ended up being "roughly" the same price as bagged concrete. Lots of work heading your way - there's a great payoff when you're done.

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                • #9
                  Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                  Smart. The work is nearly done, though, I just need to post more of the pics. Second fire was today. Pizza soon.

                  Thanks.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                    So people think I am at the stage of the pics I have posted, maybe I wasn't clear, I'm almost done. So let's at least post some more pics: Stage 4 block stand building. Tricks here? First to cut the cinder blocks for the angle iron, don't use a grinder- use a circular saw with dry masonry blade. Faster and more accurate. Obviously use safety glasses and a respirator or mask.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by rlodad; 06-19-2011, 04:48 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                      Stage 5, Perlcrete hearth pour- be careful, don't cover family handprints on hearth! Again, I'm cheap, so I did Perlcrete instead of FB board. Only point here is don't sweat the crumbly nature of the insulating hearth Perlcrete, it hardens up and holds the oven perfectly. I also put a pic of the stand as I put down the hardibacker board- no room after 5 pics in last post. I had extra cinder blocks, so I made a small support wall in the center of the stand.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by rlodad; 06-19-2011, 04:48 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                        One point I forgot regarding the stand- Use Hardibacker, unless you can't get it locally. It requires minimal support, and doesn't have to be removed. Just put in on the blockstand, cover with concrete and it's there for eternity. Plywood is more expensive, needs an elaborate stand to support it, and must then be disassembled when the concrete is dry. Hardibacker is available at Home Depot and Lowes.
                        Last edited by rlodad; 06-19-2011, 04:07 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                          Third fire today, but back to where I've been. Next step after insulating hearth is fireclay and sand base, and firebrick floor. So off to Cemex Concrete in Delray Beach, just north of Boca. First batch is 200 firebricks and three bags of Heatstop 50. I thought about mixing my own refractory mortar 3:1:1:1, but I am even more paranoid than cheap. The heatstop 50 is $65 a bag, but not mixing low quality mortar and losing your hard work is priceless. The cool part about picking all this stuff up is that your nerdy minivan becomes (sing in Tex-Mex accent) a low-ride-er...
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by rlodad; 06-19-2011, 04:08 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                            Moving on. After carrying 200 firebricks and 3 bags of heatstop around to the backyard (this is why you should have a concrete company do the pour for you), you are ready to ACTUALLY START BUILDING A BRICK OVEN!!!!!!!!!
                            So, you put together a crummy but functional version of a hendo dome gauge (RIP, Mr. Henderson, I wish I'd made a version of your tool that looked like an adult made it), My first hendo gauge was simply a threaded rod attached to a door hinge. Then I got further up the dome and realized these builders had a reason for attaching a woodworker's clamp- it holds the bricks in place and fights gravity while the mortar dries. Next, lay out firebricks in a herringbone pattern, and draw out the dimensions of the oven and landing on the bricks. Cut the bricks keeping in mind that there is no such thing (as far as I know) as a masonry band saw. You therefore are going to make a series of straight cuts along the edges of all the outside curves of the oven floor, yielding a round surface. They look good in pictures. They look lousy in person. Don't sweat it. Decide if you want a soldier course or not, and start cutting fire bricks in half. Do that for the entire weekend.

                            At least.

                            I'm not kidding...

                            When you are sure the floor and soldiers are ready, place the floor on the fireclay base, and make sure it is level. Then place soldiers either at the periphery of the floor, or on top of the periphery of the floor. If on the fireclay, be sure there is an expansion joint (1/8") between the floor and the soldiers.

                            Relax.

                            Drink a cool refreshing drink.

                            Thank wife for watching kids.

                            Dream happy dreams knowing that when people show up at the house and ask, "what the hell is that?" you can say, "It's a brick oven!" and they will actually believe it because it looks like one for the first time!
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Re: 42" Pompeii Build in Boca

                              True, True.

                              I laid out the herringbone pattern on the insulating hearth, and realized the bricks I had cut weren't wide enough at the inner arch level. (I only measured once before I cut...). I didn't feel like cutting all those bricks again, so just for the landing, I made them straight. The bricks making up the floor of the oven are still herringbone shaped. I hardly touch the landing with the peel when placing food in the oven, so I don't imagine having the landing with straight placed bricks will be a problem. When I post more pics, you'll see that the landing is much more rectangular than in the pics before install, where it is almost triangular. Boy, you guys look closely. I have to be more careful in picking pics!

                              :^)

                              Thanks.
                              Last edited by rlodad; 06-07-2011, 07:12 PM.

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