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black olive 04-15-2010 07:13 AM

newbie thinking of building a pompei
Hi from Sunny england.

thinking about doing the 36 inch pompei- we have an ideal spot outside that is under used and lends itself perfectly.

Plan is block base, cast slab with ceramic under insulation, and ceramic blanket top insulation in igloo shape.

the only problem here in the uk is the cost of firebrick- looking at 300 just for the bricks- can buy loads of takeaway pizza for thet .

SO the million dollar question. My friend in the building tray has pallet loads of red clay bricks from dismantled barns etc.. as I can get these for free, will I notice 300's worth of difference in the performance of the oven ??

I will of course use new brick for the cooking floor so there are no gaps/rickety bricks.



jammyweb 04-15-2010 12:59 PM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei

good luck with your build, it is a struggle to find the right materials for fair prices in the UK

my first oven was built with normal clay bricks and worked well, it got to the high temps for pizza thou it did not hold heat that well

my next attempt used old storage heater bricks. 1 year on they are doing very well


DimTex 04-15-2010 05:58 PM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
There is a huge difference between red brick and fire brick. While upfront cost is an issue, think about how much more firewood you'll have to burn to get your oven up to temp and maintain it. There is always an answer, I would do some more research about supply. Talk to some masons who build fireplaces, find out where they buy or ask anyone who's doing major remodels, maybe they are taking down a fireplace or chimney.

nissanneill 04-16-2010 02:39 AM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
standard red bricks can and are fine to use but beware that bricks vary considerably from location to location.
Numerous red brick ovens have been made here in Adelaide, South Australia quite successfully but we have a good red brick supply.
Get a random sample of the bricks intended for use in your oven, put a few down on a very solid base and give each brick a good hard hit with a large 10-16lb sledge hammer. If the brick(s) break into a few pieces, then they should be fine. However, if they smashup and crumble into gravel and dust, then forget them and find harder, higher fired bricks to use.
Clay pavers fired at 1200˚C are commonly used here instead of the costly firebricks, so chase them up as well as your oven will rarely get much over 500˚C.


black olive 04-21-2010 05:11 AM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
Thanks- firewood isnt an issue- I have a woods to go at :)

I think will probably end up going for reds with a firebrick floor.

ralogan55 04-23-2010 04:06 PM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
Try making your own. I looked into making my own here in USA and it wasn't cost-effective since I was able to buy manufacturer's "seconds" (off-color) for $.25 US. Normal cost was $1.10 - $1.47/brick. But if you have to pay over $2 US per brick I'd look at used firebrick or make my own. I think you'll be glad you used real firebrick.

black olive 05-01-2010 02:38 PM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
its a non starter im afraid. had a day off work yesterday and went to the builders merchants. found what looked like a suitable brick, but whacked the blowtorch on it, and it spalled then cracked in half. So then spent a bot of time measuring up the intended spot, and it will take up most of the decked patio area and will look monstrous. May make a tandoor instead yet

nissanneill 05-02-2010 03:26 AM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
Why build it 'on the deck', when you could build it adjacent to the deck and only accessible from the deck!
There are always alternatives to be considered.


turkey 05-02-2010 04:59 AM

Re: newbie thinking of building a pompei
36" is not that wide, but with insulation is much to deep for my small garden :(

atm I am trying to work out if its practical to make this

Pizza Week! - Day 4: Brick Oven - The Food in my Beard

but make it a bit more akin to the pompeii ovens here (ie with insulation etc), but make it low so ontop of a decent level of insulation I can mount a bbq grill. I know i cant make a perfect job but I think it might be able to make something "useable".

I know this is down south coast, but


has some "fire bricks" of sorts, he also had some more brick shaped ones with grooves in which may still be for sale in his yard, thay may require some manual adjustment to square them off but I think they may be ok for the hearth and then try to go cheaper on the arch.

There was a user here in Liverpool area saying he had spare FB's for sale last year, dont know if he still has them but you might be able to get some cheapies for at lest a hearth?

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