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First Pompeii - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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First Pompeii

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  • First Pompeii

    Hello, this is my first post on this forum.

    I have built several Alan Scott Bread Builder Ovens and am about to build a couple Pompeii's. I see obvious advantages for the builder and the user for this style.

    The Ovens I plan to build are 39" inside Diameter.
    I will enclose them in all masonry surrounds with roofs.

    I am curious about the application of concrete around the outside of the dome. Do I use refractory Cement/Concrete or can I use the Clay/Portland Sand Mixture in the proportions listed on this site?

    How thick should I apply the mixture around the Dome?

    How many Chains will I complete for this size and how many brick will I need?

    What should the Door dimensions be for this size oven?

    Has anyone experienced severe cracking of the Domes for this stlye of oven, and if so, what should I be concerned about during construction to avoid these problems?

    In general I am looking for any help tips from all of you who have already experinced this.

    I am very visual, thus I would love any sites you can point me to that show as much detail , via pictures, of the entire dome and exhaust construction.



  • #2
    Hi Keith,

    I will take a stab at these, and see if other folks will also answer based on their experience.

    1. You can use the same mortar on the outside of the oven that you use for the brick work -- either a commercial refractory mortar or the fire clay mix. Still, you don't want a lot of coating outside the oven. Jim found that he rarely fills his 4 1/2" brick dome with heat during standard cooking, so additional mortar isn't necessary, and even a negative. Even commercial pizza ovens for restaurants have about 4" of dome mass.

    2. Here are the oven and opening dimensions that we list on the plans:

    Interior Interior Opening Opening
    Diameter Height Width Height
    Low Vault
    36 15-17 18.5 10
    42 15-17 19 11
    High Vault
    36 20 19 12
    42 21 19 12.5

    I think the lower vault is harder to build, and might even need internal forms, where the higher dome is more freestanding during construction. The lower dome is consider "Naples" as the lower dome is hotter for fast pizza, but probably not necessary for a home oven. Most Italian pizzerias outside of Naples have higher domed pizza ovens.

    3. Here is a link to the photos for Jim's oven (lots of photos)


    There are also photos on the Yahoo Groups site. Simone posted photos, including her vent brick work. We should get them on this site when we can.

    4. I am posting a series of messages on cracks next, under "yahoo-archive."

    Hope this is helpful.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces


    • #3
      For a diameter of 39" the "optimum" height of the dome (inside measurement) is 19.5" -- round it up or down without worry. The door height can range from 12-13" without any issue. The door width is subject only to your ability to span the space but 16-18" is a good rule of thumb.