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Need advice on dome and opening dimensions - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

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  • Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

    Man, I've read A LOT of posts -- in addition to the Pompeii docs -- about dimensions of the oven. I'm pretty unsure how to proceed and would greatly appreciate some input.

    As a quick aside let me pose this question: How tall is a turkey, in a pan on a rack? Obviously, this speaks to the opening height, which then governs the dome height, which then has a loose effect on the dome diameter.

    I really don't want a big oven, I'm shooting for 36". My love is pizza and I had planned on a relatively low dome, but on a 36" low dome, the 63% rule dictates a pretty low opening, about 10" to 11" I believe. While I think pizza is my priority, I can imagine we will use the oven for many fun things, including the occasional turkey...so, what kind of constraints does that impose on my design?

    Another question: Will I really like pizza from a low dome better than from a high dome? I mean, seriously? Unless I'm the freaking Godfather, will I be able to tell the difference? If so, then please honestly say so, I'm genuinely curious, but, I've never even seen it stated anywhere *what* the difference is. Can anyone explain that?

    Final question. Even a tall oven is barely truly hemispherical in theory, certainly not taller than its radius, but this seems impossible to me with the "indispensable tool", if it is centered at the floor center (not at some distance on a lazy susan). With no solider course, the dome would end up truly hemispherical. However, with a solider course, if you visualize it a moment, you realize the resulting oven has a height which actually exceeds its radius. Isn't that a very strange shape for an oven? Yet many people advocate such a construction process. As a rank amateur, I'm confused about this discrepancy.

    Sorry for the ridiculously long post. Any advice or assistance is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers!

    Website: http://keithwiley.com
    WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
    Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html

  • #2
    Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

    Your calculation is mistaken. 63% is approx 22 inches in height of a 36 inch dome.

    Since I've just built an oven with similar dimensions, what the books don't tell you is only evident when you get the thing lit and require stuff to pass through the door.
    • Calculate your requirements as to width based on what utensils you'll use -- eg: dutch ovens, bread trays, pizza dishes, whatever.
    • The 63% figure seems strange almost abstract but if you are creating an oven where the air in and the smoke and flame out has to vent via the open doorway, then it is remarkable sight indeed to watch that opening work so well as the source for the fire to draw.It's like watching a tumbling wave of heat, flame and smoke rolling in and out of the oven.It's a question of physics.I understand the figure was an average height of traditional Canadian wood fired ovens and the logic is precisely, it seems, the requirements of a fire not some other separate baking preference.

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    • #3
      Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

      I think you're over-thinking things. If you create any kind of indispensable tool (whether that's a piece of string or a fancier version), that defines the radius. The angle of the second course will be slightly different to compensate for the straight vertical nature of the soldier course, but the height of the oven won't be greater than the radius unless the tool magically levitates.

      As for the low oven, I'm certainly no expert, but I believe it reflects heat down from the dome (the hottest part of the oven) slightly more than the pompeii style. It's also reportedly a little harder to build. Having never used or built a low dome oven, I can't say for sure. What I can say is that the pompeii I built is a marvelously versatile oven. It makes great pizza, and all sorts of other stuff, too! If you want a little more browning on the top of the pizza, just lift it to the dome for a few seconds at the end of the bake. I saw all sorts of pros in Naples doing exactly that!
      Nikki

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      • #4
        Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

        Hey Nikki, how tall is your dome interior? I have read of others raising their pizza to the ceiling @end of cook to finish and thats cool I guess.
        From my readings in the fb manual and fb threads, I've understood the two styles are Tuscan (taller), and Napoleon. And that both are still considered pompeii style ovens. It's very possible I misunderstanded though. I am going to build a 36" oven with only a 14" interior dome, despite the more shallow pitch at the top. I am also after shorter heat up time and hopefully the shorter dome will help a little in this area. Wood is my main heat source for my home it's lots of work to supply all my own(cutting, splitting, seasoning, etc.).
        One thing I definitely noticed is that the brick work done using "the indispensable tool" looks impeccable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

          @ratbagradio: I don't think your numbers made sense. You suggested that the opening height of a 36" oven is 22". The oven is, at most, 18" high. 63% of that is 11" tall, max, as in a hemispherical oven. A low 36" oven is around 14" high. Hence a 9" tall opening.

          22" is way off. I think we're misunderstanding each other.

          And as I asked, how tall is a turkey in the pan? Does it fit through a 9" tall door (I doubt it). Does it fit through an 11" door (worried on that one too actually).

          Maybe one simply cannot make a turkey in a 36" oven. That's part of what I'm asking I suppose.

          @Modthyrth: I know that the indispensable tool defines the radius. That was crucial to my question. My point was that if you imagines a radius straight up to the apex, then curve it down to the top of the solider course, but then strike vertically straight down the solider course instead of continuing to follow a hemispherical curvature, you end up with an oven whose radius at the floor is actually smaller (admittedly by fractions of an inch) than its height at the apex. That's all I was trying to say. A picture would help, but the computer I'm on a the moment doesn't have any obvious tools for that.

          Sounds like you're saying a high dome makes fine pizza, so that's more or less what I'm looking for: verification that if I make a high dome (to fit larger items in) it'll still be a good pizza oven.

          Nevertheless, I remain unconvinced a turkey will fit through the door of any 36" oven, even the highest one which would permit the highest possible door, about 11". What do people think? Can you just not cram a turkey into a 36" at all? Or are turkeys shorter than that, even in a pan on a shallow rack. I just can't remember (I make, at most, one turkey a year, so I just don't remember).

          Thanks again. I'm relatively convinced that I will like a high dome. I just don't know if *have* to make a larger oven to cook large items. 36" seems big, but the door is an impediment to large items.

          Look, I'm not trying to be pedantic, I'm just asking if anyone knows the height of a turkey, because I admit that I don't.

          Cheers!

          Website: http://keithwiley.com
          WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
          Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

            "I know that the indispensable tool defines the radius. That was crucial to my question."

            kebwi, if you havn't yet, take a look at this thread. You can still use the indispensable tool with a radius beneath the oven floor.
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

              Dome height 90% of radius.
              Door height 63% of dome height.


              "Can you just not cram a turkey into a 36" at all?"

              Take the backbone out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

                As to the turkey, I use a Large magnalite roasting pan in which I have done a medium to large sized turkey or two. Even with the lid on, which has a handle on top it is only 10.5 inches in height.
                On the Indispensable tool, I have just completed my oven with one and I reduced the radius of each course by simply giving it a few turns at each new course. If your tool is like mine you could increase or decrease the radius to your hearts content.
                My tool is now for sale by the way. I will create a post for it later.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

                  Thanks. I discussed it with some other folks and we agree that a turkey is never taller than ten inches, unless it's enormous...so basically a turkey will go through any oven door.

                  Which alleviates my original concern. I'm now leaning toward a rather high domed 36". I just need to design it (I've burned through about ten designs in the last week already) and I need to decide how I'm going to build it. I've ready about all the various techniques: bare, styrofoam/plywood forms, sand, plywood pancakes (near the apex), sticks wedged under the bricks (basically bare), indispensable tool, maybe a few other techniques I'm forgetting.

                  I just haven't settled on one yet.

                  Thanks for the input. I has helped a great deal.

                  Cheers!

                  Website: http://keithwiley.com
                  WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
                  Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

                    [QUOTE=captkingdom;63777]
                    On the Indispensable tool, I have just completed my oven with one and I reduced the radius of each course by simply giving it a few turns at each new course. If your tool is like mine you could increase or decrease the radius to your hearts content.QUOTE]

                    My indispensible tool has a threaded rod which allows me to adjust for each course. I'm building a 42" oven with a 19" dome height. The tool doesn't seem to help much when connecting the courses to the inner arch. It seems as if there is still a chance of creating the "egg shape" courses until you get above the inner arch then the tool should help. I'll be there shortly - I mortared in my second course today...
                    Attached Files
                    My Oven Progress: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...uild-7155.html

                    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Need advice on dome and opening dimensions

                      I'm close to starting the actual oven. Tomorrow I plan to buy the ceramic board. I have already cut a circle out of fire bricks for the floor. (40 in. diam.) After I lay down the floor over the ceramic board I will start with a row of soldier bricks, as in the picture above. I have two questions.
                      1- How do I make and use an "indispensible tool?
                      2- The local supply house told me to mix fireclay, sand and mortar to use with the bricks. They said the mortar was more "Sticky" than if it was made with portland cement. Does this make sence to you guys?

                      Happy Labor Day.

                      Dom

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