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Dome cracks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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.
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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.

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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Dome cracks

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  • Dome cracks

    Here's my two cents on oventhusiast's cracks.

    I think we all do everything we can to minimize the chance of cracks, including high quality bricks, good quality mortar, making sure our bricks are wet during construction, slow mortar curing times, slow oven curing fires, etc. You do your best, but sometimes brick ovens just crack. We're working with heavy mass and big temperature variation, so we're fighting nature.

    Even Mr. Becuzzi, the artisan who makes the Artigiano ovens, basically says the same thing. It doesn't impact how well your oven will cook, or how long it will last.

    What does everyone think?
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Re: Dome cracks

    I agree with James. I see posts about replacing bricks in the floor of the oven if they crack. I can't see any reason for this. They still absorb and hold heat as though they were whole. Replacing them for a new unbroken brick seems lake a waste of time.

    Same same for a dome. I can see wanting to fix the stucco, but I think all and all, the cracks will have very little effect on the ability of the oven to cook food, which is what we are building them for.

    That's my guess.
    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.



    • #3
      Re: Dome cracks

      That sounds really good to me. After all the insulation is what holds the heat in, and as long as the dome doesn't actually fall down...

      The ovens some of you are building are so impressive, but they can be a bit intimidating to less skilled builders. So thanks James for posting this thread. Cracks are not the end of the world (or the oven).
      "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



      • #4
        Re: Dome cracks

        Thanks James, and everyone else who replied about the dome cracks. I know it's almost impossible for a dome to not get some cracks in it, with all the expansion and contraction going on. I just was wondering if the cracks I realized on my dome seem small, normal, or excessive by other peoples experiences ? Also, do I 'need' to parge coat my dome with more heat stop if I'm going to cover it with a 'dog house'? And is one box of Insulfrax enough? I plan on using at least six inches of vermiculite over the Insulfrax.
        View my pictures at, Picasaweb.google.com/xharleyguy


        • #5
          Re: Dome cracks

          Hi Rick,

          You might want to coat the exterior where you have the hairline cracks -- at least if you have some mortar already on-site. Use what you have.

          Then, you are ready for the Insulfrax -- one box will do it. That, plus 6" of vermiculite will do a very good job.

          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces


          • #6
            Re: Dome cracks

            Cracks in the outer stucco (render) layer have had me thinking lately .....has anyone here applied a clear weatherproof coating to the exposed stucco layer to help stop mould or mildew on the outside? You know to keep the stucco looking nice and new over the years

            I was thinking of trying something like they use for sealing pavers, concrete, etc. a benefit might be that if applied thick enough it could also dribble into the outer hairline cracks, effectively sealing them stopping mositure entry under the stucco.......sure no big deal to the oven function....but hey could my theory work?

            ....yes I have a couple cracks.....ok I am nearly over them

            Build #1

            Build #2 (Current)


            • #7
              Re: Dome cracks

              Hi guys, we have noticed a couple of hairline cracks in the dome which is from the cement render. My dad is going to put another coat ontop which should hide them (not real noticeable anyway).

              Unless they are large cracks i wouldnt worry too much.