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Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

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  • Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

    Hi Guys, my name is Dvir, I live in NY and am hoping to start build my first Pompeii oven. I am very excited to get started. I was wondering if someone had any advice for me regarding making the oven on wheels. I am thinking of welding a metal frame on heavy duty wheels and build the Pompeii oven on that. Any suggestions or helpful tips? I've been enjoying reading everyone else's success and it has given me hope for my own.
    Thanks, Dvir

  • #2
    Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

    Welcome Dvir,

    There are several folks who have worked on and built mobile ovens that have reported on this forum... A wealth of information for you.

    The easiest way to access these discussions is to use the "search" function and search for 'mobile ovens'. The list that comes from that search will keep you busy for a long time, reading other people's results with the process of building a mobile oven.

    Good luck with your project, and keep us posted on your progress. Pictures are a good way to tell your story!



    • #3
      Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

      I am building one and will share pics as soon as the shackles of serfdom are released.


      • #4
        Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

        Hey, thanks for the responses. I decided to go with the Pompeii Tuscan 42" oven. I am going to make a wood frame from double 2X4" and I'm going to connect wheels to it. I have a few questions.
        1.Where can I find heavy duty wheels in the NY area. I looked in Lowe's and Home Depot and couldn't find. The sales people were not very helpful.
        2. I found med duty bricks for the oven and it's 9X4.5X31/4" and I want to know if those are OK since in the plans they write 2.5" thick.
        Thank you very much.


        • #5
          Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

          A double two by four frame is not nearly strong enough, and more to the point, not nearly rigid enough to support that huge, expensive, brittle, heavy oven. Your mobile frame should be made of heavy duty welded structural steel.

          These are the kind of wheels you need:

          MSC Item Detail

          Six inch diameter, cast hub, 900 pound capacity

          As far as the three inch bricks, you can use them, but they are an expensive specialty item around here. Why not get the cheap low duty ones from the brick yard?
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

            Thank you so much for your advice. I think you underestimate the power of the 2X4". I consulted with a frame guy who builds houses from wood and if you think about it - your whole house is made of wood so doubled 2X4 is even stronger than doubled 4X4".
            Regarding the brick I got an amazing price $1.5 per brick.
            Regarding the wheel I found a different place who sells them for less than 1/2 price. Here's the link - they are located in Chicago but can ship anywhere. They are also 900LBS capacity.
            6AEMPS 6" Swivel Poly on Poly Wheel
            I am open to any other tips (this helps me gather more information for my build).
            Thank you,


            • #7
              Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

              I don't doubt that two by fours are strong: One of their strengths is their flexibility. I live in a 100 year old frame house that sways and creaks in high winds: that's one of the reasons (aside from being kept completely dry) that it's still standing.

              There's also a reason that the light wood is put on top of the heavy masonry foundation, and not the other way around. Masonry is brittle, and really doesn't like to move. These are some of the reasons we don't recommend wood stands for brick ovens.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


              • #8
                Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                I'm going to build it from wood which has been through a process of being outside - it is used to build decks so it is weather resistant.


                • #9
                  Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                  1.Where can I find heavy duty wheels in the NY area
                  harbor freight sells a ton of wheels check their website for stores near you, you can also buy online and they are cheap..... how are you planning on framing the base ?? and what will you use under the oven ?? remember there is a great deal of weight and HEAT involved, and wood doesnt take well to heat.... you will need a ton of insulation to keep the wood from burning..


                  • #10
                    Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                    wood which has been through a process of being outside - it is used to build decks so it is weather resistant.
                    Pressure treated wood is treated with bug poison. I wouldn't have it anywhere near anything used for food service, nor would I burn the scraps in my oven.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                    • #11
                      Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                      Hi Dvir
                      Do you have any construction experience? I guess I'm not clear on why you'd want to use a wood frame in the first place, particularly when you want your oven to be mobile...?

                      Structural engineering 101, wood holds up wood, concrete and steel hold up concrete and steel.
                      Putting a WFO on any kind of wood base is ill conceived in the best of circumstances. Factor in that you want it to be moveable, and it's about 100x worse an idea.


                      • #12
                        Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                        Going against the grain here...

                        My oven is built out of castable refractory concrete. It weighs 600lbs before the 4" to 6" of perlcrete insulation another 200lbs.

                        I do have framing carpentry experience and I know I could build a wooden frame that could hold up 800 lbs easily.

                        Dvir, if you need any framing questions answered feel free to PM me.

                        Good luck with your build.


                        • #13
                          Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                          Holding it up is not the issue. It's the flex and that wood is affected by changes in humidity, etc. vs. steel.


                          • #14
                            Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                            Of course steel would be stronger but I don't believe he wants to tow this oven behind a vehicle so a stout, wooden frame should be fine. mho


                            • #15
                              Re: Tips for Mobile frame for Pompeii Oven

                              OK, usually I keep my mouth shut when someone suggests building a stand out of wood, letting other people give reasons why it should not be done. First, a disclosure - I work for a building materials supply company, so anything that sells more wood is a good thing, especially in this economy. Having said that, I think that a metal stand is still a better approach, and the reason (in this case) being that you want to make it mobile.

                              Think about it, a 42" Pompeii oven kit ships at 2000 lbs. Add in the hearth, the stucco or walls and roof, chimney, etc. and you are talking over 3000 lbs. And all of this weight is sitting up 3 feet off the ground - a very high center of gravity. The static compression that a couple of 2x4s nailed together have to handle would not be the problem. The problem comes up when you introduce a lateral force to the structure - moving the WFO. Even though it is on wheels, that initial force will crumple your whole wooden base like a house of cards, unless you build it in such a way as to handle the stress.

                              How do you intend on joining the joists to the studs? Remember, lumber is relatively soft, so just nailing the wood together (or even using carriage bolts) will not hold up to the pressures. As an experiment, take 2-2x4's, 3 ft. long, and nail them together at 90 degrees, forming an "L". stand on the lower part of the "L", and push against the upper part. You will find it will not take a lot of effort to literally break the joint. Of course, there are ways around this - build the sides of the stand as walls (12" or 18" on center), using CDX plywood as sheathing. Now you need to figure out how to tie the walls together. And tie the walls to the floor. And we have not even started to discuss how to build the top of the stand that can support 3000 lbs of weight over about 16 square feet.

                              The point here being - you really need to engineer the stand right if you want to make it out of wood. Since mobile is a requirement here, you can relate the design to building a house that can withstand a substantial earthquake (look at the pictures from Port-au-Prince to see what happens when underengineered structures are subjected to large lateral forces).

                              Given all the other reasons, you might want to go back to metal - and just think, you can learn a new skill by welding!

                              Good luck, whichever way you go!