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Beaglestorm's Oven Questions - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

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  • Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

    I have decided on a 42” floor and 18 ½ high dome oven. It seems like a good happy medium. I’m hoping it will work better for pizza being lower but still work well enough for other cooking (breads and meat roasting). I was hoping ya’ll could answer a few final questions based on my attached plan:

    1) Is the 12.5 degree angle on the soldier course small enough to not have to worry about buttressing? (RTFlorida’s was similar, but used a much smaller brick and it was sitting on the cooking floor)

    2) It seems like a lot people put a sub-course of bricks to bring the dome level with the cooking floor then they start with the soldier course (Acoma’s is a good example). Is there a reason for this? Is it only aesthetic? Any problems doing it the way I show in the picture? The continuous soldier will be almost a full brick 8” on the outside and 7” on the inside. It will start 2 ½ inches below the top of the cooking floor and finish 4 ½ above.

    3) How do you keep the ¼ inch expansion gap between the soldier and the floor clean and consistent? I plan to put a cardboard cover to protect the cooking surface during the build but the cardboard is not a super tight fit. All the little crumbs of mortar as the dome goes up seems like they will fall straight down along the wall into the gap.

    4) Finally, each brick in the course has a flat top and a 4 degree bottom taper to keep the joints under ¼ inch. Can the HF 10” saw make this cut? Seem like the 4 ½ inches will be too much for it to cut. Do you spin the brick or flip it over or is there a trick to get it to make the cut, or do I need to borrow a bigger 14” saw?

    Thanks for everybody’s help. (jcg31 and dmun thanks for inspiring me to remember how to use AutoCAD. It really helps build up your confidence before you start.)

    -Michael

    Sorry about the huge size of the picture, the way windows scales it to fit on a normal screen you can barley make out any details, you have to hit the full-size button in the lower right of the picture to really see anything.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by beaglestorm; 04-02-2008, 08:24 AM. Reason: Explain how to see lage attachment

  • #2
    Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

    I know I'm in the minority here, but I think that a low dome oven is stronger if the soldier course sits on the oven floor, instead of on the insulation layer. There's less vertical run to force sideways by the horizontal forces of the low dome, and the downward force is spread out over a wider footprint. I know that commercial ovens wear out their floors and they need periodic replacement, but our home ovens typically get a lot less use.

    Sideways cuts on firebrick are difficult. Most makers looking for a close fit oven trim the inside edges for better fit, and let the mortar take care of the outside. A ten inch saw can make a cut on the face of a firebrick, but you'll have to have the blade raised, and turn the brick to complete the cut.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

      Well I have two options:

      1) Spend the $275 on the HF Saw (saw+blade+warranty+tax) and get to keep it afterwards. This could be modified, screwed on and hacked to make repetitive cuts easier.

      2) Borrow a friends rarely used 14 inch Paver saw. I would have to buy a blade for the saw, which a decent one I believe is about $125. I would have to take good care of this saw and return it when I'm finished.

      I will have to think about putting the dome directly on the floor. It sure would be easier to build it that way. Seems like you might still be able to replace a brick in the floor in the heavily used areas, just not a brick near the edge of the dome.

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

        I'd get the HF saw. That way you can take a break for a few weeks and come back to it without having to 're-borrow' your friend's saw.

        I thought I was done with my HF saw in December. As it turns out, I pulled it out the other day to do some touch up work on my vent floor. I will also be using it in a few weeks on the porcelain tile and decorative brick arch.

        And I'm sure my better half will come up with some tiling projects down the road! .

        I'm glad I bought the HF saw. Although my saw seems to be working fine, if I were to do it again I'd buy the warranty. It's definitely not a finely tuned precision made product .
        Ken H. - Kentucky
        42" Pompeii

        Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

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

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        • #5
          Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

          Well a man can never own too many tools right? Even if it is just a cheapo saw, the Pompeii Monument it ultimately builds will vindicate it. Let’s just hope this is the one time HF does not extend the “sale” price of the $199 saw. It was supposed to end tomorrow, but I can’t get out there till Saturday.

          Amazon sells a 10” MK Turbo wet blade for brick/masonry for $27.99. I would think a bottom barrel MK blade is better than the HF blade and it’s even 2 bucks cheaper. Any comments on the HF blade? The only thing I can imagine about the HF blade being better would be that it is really designed for tile so it will probably cut smoother but not last as long as the MK blade. The MK turbo blade looks thicker and may not cut as clean but should cut faster. Anybody used a turbo type blade before (see picture). Should I just stick with the smooth rim HF blade?

          I guess I will just have to be the guinea pig for the MK blade like I am going to be for the HW refractory mortar since the Refmix was too expensive to ship.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

            Um, you know the picture is of a seven inch blade?
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

              Thats's the only picture the MK website had and amazon does not have a picture, only a model # but it will be the 10" I get. The turbo edge looks the same on both though.

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              • #8
                Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                I'd spend the 40 bucks on the HF. You'll get through your oven with blade intact and ready to cut some more.
                GJBingham
                -----------------------------------
                Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                -

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                • #9
                  Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                  I bought the HF "Chop Saw" for like $59. It cuts GREAT so far (only 15 cuts) but it kicks up A LOT of dust!

                  I'm just using the cheap "cut off blades" - looks like a large dremel cutter.

                  Dick

                  I'm going to borrow my brothers respirator instead of using my disposable drywall mask.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                    My blade experience? I used only the smooth edge tile saws. I used the original that I bought from HF, and I was disappointed with the amount of diamond on the blade. Traditional diamond tools have that lump on the edge, that's all sintered diamond. I found that with the HF blade the blade gave out LONG before that edge was worn away. I bought a name brand blade from Loews, and two Home Depot no-name blades from the tile department. Now I did a LOT of cutting, including every brick on my dome, and I found the Harbor Freight blade seemed to wear out the most quickly.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                    • #11
                      Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                      I went ahead and ordered one of each. They have a $20 Smooth blade and the $26 Turbo blade. I plan on doing a ton of cuts trying to minimize the mortar joints. I will report back any differences in the way the two cut.

                      I think I originally misunderstood Dmun's response when he said, "Most makers looking for a close fit oven trim the inside edges for better fit, and let the mortar take care of the outside." Dmun, were you referring to cutting the sides of the brick as opposed to the top and bottom? I read it a completely different way the first time and came up with the following idea or it may have been what you were trying to say. Either way, will the following work?

                      It is just a partial taper of the bottom of the brick. It can be easily cut with a 10" saw and really cuts down on the size of the mortar joint. Only thought I had was that it may alter the Line of Thrust or cause some other instability. What do you all think?

                      Picture #1 is using a full half brick with no taper - all joints are > 1/2 inch alomst 3/4
                      Picture #2 is the same dome with the mini-taper - all joints are near 3/8 inch
                      Picture #3 is a detail of the brick and the cut.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                        Picture one is what almost everybody does. It works fine. The gaps that show on the inside are the gaps between bricks as they start to tilt in. This is what most makers trim to avoid.

                        Picture two is a nice way of tapering your bricks without needing a huge diamond saw. Who am I to say something is too much work? You'll get a better, stronger oven with less mortar if you do it that way. We'll all be cheering you on.

                        There's a post in today's newbie forum, on a lead on affordable low duty tapered firebricks. This might be worth paying a trucking company to send you a skid, if it could save you two weeks of work.
                        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                        • #13
                          Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                          A week late! I could not find firebrick under $3.50 here in El Paso, so I had a pallet of Low Duty trucked 800 miles from Dallas. It just arrived on Wednesday. Total price with shipping was 1.20 each brick. I would have loved to buy that tapered stuff, and with my friends trucking discount it probably would not have been that much more to ship from Ohio.

                          -Michael

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                          • #14
                            Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                            Hey Beaglestorm,
                            Your drawings and oven dimensions are what I was planning on my own oven. A 42" floor with soldier course around floor, sitting on 2 layers FB board. I think I'd like to bring my height down to 18" as well. It makes for beautiful curve.
                            BUT HERE IS MY STUPID QUESTION: Your dome above the soldier course is basically the upper part of an almost perfect half-circle that's very slightly flattened. Is it ok to depart from a truer parabolla or catenary arch? Is the FB forum consensus that your design (especially with tappered cuts) is satisfactory and wont blow out (that's way to strong a term-I know) the sides? I really hope this is a non-issue because every catenary arch I draw addes courses of sharper in-ward tilting bricks and bigger gaps to fill or cut plus the "egg" shape of a catenary is kinda ugly compared to your dome drawing.
                            Thanks, Dino
                            "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

                            View My Picasa Web Album UPDATED oct
                            http://picasaweb.google.com/Dino747?feat=directlink


                            My Oven Costs Spreadsheet
                            http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?k...BF19875Rnp84Uw


                            My Oven Thread
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...arts-5883.html

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                            • #15
                              Re: Beaglestorm's Oven Questions

                              Dino,
                              dmun knows this stuff really well. From my readings, the catenary arch is the strongest way to build an arch. The Pompeii pizza oven design departs from that half-egg shape catenary arch to maximize the radiant/infrared heat produced by the top of the dome being closer to the food being cooked. The Neopolitan style pushes that even farther, bringing the top of the dome lower in order to cook pizzas faster.

                              The higher the dome, the slower it will cook. There's no guarantees in life. The design works and domes built without tapered cuts are holding up and not blowing out the sides (so far as I know anyway)
                              GJBingham
                              -----------------------------------
                              Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                              -

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