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Hair line crack - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

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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Hair line crack

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  • Hair line crack

    Hi all,

    Have been following this forum for a long time, sorry i'm not much of a talker.
    I think this is only my second post.
    I am currently building a pompeii closley following the plans genourously supplied by Forno Bravo.

    I elected to go with the third of a brick method to cut down the thermal mass. I now have the issue of minor cracking of the dome and conserned about the integrity of the structure.

    My question to the wise is should i now add a half to 1 inch layer to the outside of the dome to improve the strenghth of it.

    If so could i just use a 3 to 1 sand cement mix or would it be better to bite the bullet a pay a hundred dollars for 2 25kg bags of refractory cement.

    any advise will be appreciated.



  • #2
    Re: Hair line crack


    The crack you have is no worse than any of ours (a lot better then some). If you cover it with a blanket, you are good.


    BTW - you are up to 5 posts
    Check out my pictures here:

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


    • #3
      Re: Hair line crack

      Wow quick reply.
      Thanks Les,

      I probably should have said that this has had no firing yet.
      I suppose i could do the curing fires before the insulation and see how it stands up.


      • #4
        Re: Hair line crack

        Hi bluespider55,
        what was your mortar mix that you used? How wet were your bricks when you built the lower chain beneath the crack?
        I would wrap the whole dome in a thick thermal blanket, put at least 3 x 1" thick vermiculite insulating layers over a chicken wire cover with a final render coat and then dry the lot as a whole.
        That crack looks to me like a join where you had a break from construction, the bricks on the bottom were dry and your mortar didn't bond as well (or at all) as it should have.


        If you don't succeed the first time, try again and again until you get it right!


        • #5
          Re: Hair line crack

          I would say fire it upi and see what it does...mark it with a pencil or marker so you can see if there is any shifting...just looking at the shape of your dome structurally it looks fine...I have seen many worse conditions in brick work than that...and I agree with rastys that it is probably where you stopped work one day and started the next...I have someone wanting my nephew and I to repoint about 1/3 of his house because it appears that the days bricklaying work when it was being built had the mortar freeze before it fully hydrated...it is just crumbling out of the joints...about 6 feet in height wrapping nearly all the way around the perimeter of the house.
          "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
          "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


          • #6
            Re: Hair line crack

            Not to worry. The dome is one of the strongest architectural designs in history. I could stand on a igloo built only of snow. Very very strong shape. There isn't even evidence of spalling. This thing will out last you. Pizza time


            • #7
              Re: Hair line crack

              Rastys you a probably right it each chain was done on a different day.
              I was supprised that it cracked like this as i always wet the previous chain down before starting again and all work was always covered with hesian and kept damp.
              Also it was about three weeks after completing the main dome that this crack appeared.

              Dutch i think i will do as you suggest and fire it up and see what happens, i will have to wait a few days first as i have only just completed the transition to the chimney.
              I casted this in situ.

              berryst Pizza time, yea i can't wait.

              Have been busy reading through the posts can't wait to get cooking some of the food on here looks awsum.