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Sand form - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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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:
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Dome Installation Video - Casa / Premio / Modena


For many of you who bought a modular oven, you may have asked how we put the domes together when we build them. For those of you considering one of our ovens, we shot a video to make your install easier.

Check it out on our You Tube Channel.


If the link doesn't work, simply go to You Tube and type Forno Bravo Channel. The video title is How to Set your Forno Bravo Oven Dome Pieces.

Thanks for participating in our Forum. We will have more video content available soon.
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Sand form

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  • Sand form

    Has anyone used sand to form the dome? I am not a master bricklayer (teacher actually!) and am about to start on the dome. Styrofoam is very expensive in the UK. Could build out of wood but sand seems practical. Could be wrong but interested to know whether there are any posts.

  • #2
    Re: Sand form


    I have not used this method, but with a little intuition - I could make things worse!

    Seriously though, have you seen those sand sculptures at the seaside? Where they carve dragons from sand?

    I think they are able to do this by adding something to the sand. I know not what that is, but it might be something simple like PVA glue - in large quantities I would have thought.

    If that's the case, how you would shape the dome from the sand is another question. Perhaps create a quarter circle from a piece of wood, fix this to a vertical post in the middle of the dome and then scrape around removing excess sand?

    Like I said, I have no experience of doing this - it's just my initial thoughts.



    • #3
      Re: Sand form

      There are several problems with using sand as a pattern for your dome:
      • you will need to get the exact shape for the dome to replicate it. (although a shaped semicircular wood pattern eill achieve your dome shape)
      • you will not be able to get into or under your bricks to clean them (as you build the courses) as the mortar is squeezesout past the bricks ont their 'oven faces',
      • you will probably need to mix a small quantity of cement to stiffen up the sand if you are going to take more than a single day to construct. This will make it's removal considerably harder.

      Don't get me wrong though, I used a sand mold for the top 3 courses and as soon as they were complete with the keybricks in position, I removed the brick stack, the board and sand, and then immediately stood on the dome top to check the strength and then immediately stood on the dome top to check the strength, then cleaned the bricks. See my pictures and explanation at:


      Last edited by nissanneill; 07-04-2008, 12:05 AM.
      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      Neillís kitchen underway


      • #4
        Re: Sand form

        I thought the point of those sand sculpture competitions was that they use only sand and water...

        Shepster, building the dome is actually much easier than it looks and I really would recommend not using a form for the lower rows. If you want to do it with a form you could make a single template out of wood, and hold it up against the oven wall each time you lay a brick.

        I would think that building a dome without being able to see what the inside looks like is a lot harder...
        "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



        • #5
          Re: Sand form

          The sand in the sculptures is mixed with natural dirt and silt from the body of water they are near. Clay powder mixed with the sand does the same thing, could possibly use the clay from your foundation dig. If you opt to use the sand someone had mention wrapping the sand with wet news paper to prevent sand from sticking to the mortar work.
          Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste
          like chicken...

          My 44" oven in progress...


          • #6
            Re: Sand form

            I used the sand form. It worked but I wasn't too happy with the results. At a minimum I should have placed wet paper over the sand. I had a lot of sand that stuck to the mortar.

            Also, you can't clean out any mortar spills.

            I built a platform that held a small amount of sand in place. In hindsight (if I were to use sand again) I would use wet paper and take the form down to clean the bricks.

            You can see what I'm talking about in my thread "The badgerbuild."

            Net, the oven seems to cook well - just not as pretty as the rest.

            good luck.


            • #7
              Re: Sand form

              More on sand sculpting if it helps with te oven dome. fwiw, I was convinced they used an additive.

              Wrong again!

              Sand Sculpture How-to-do text


              • #8
                Re: Sand form

                Cool link!
                "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



                • #9
                  Re: Sand form

                  Those who haven't yet decided on the final decorative effects their WFO will have may find some inspiration here: OREGON SAND CASTLE CONTEST &bull; The life N times of a Donna &bull; Grab.com Blogs
                  Un amico degli amici.


                  • #10
                    Re: Sand form

                    Thanks everyone...............I think I might use hendos method with the camera mount, It looks ingenious!