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jtnasci 08-10-2013 05:10 AM

First, I built the dome last year and let it set for the winter, covered for the most part but it's been sitting in the weather (rain) all spring and summer. I cured it last fall and even cooked a few pizzas and other things. It worked rather well except for losing heat quickly for lack of insulation. I got cracks in the mortar but no smoke. I freaked out one time when I saw what I thought was smoke rising from the dome but it was steam from the dew cooking off the mortar. My question is ... do I need to re-cure dome now that it has been in the weather before I insulate it? In other words, have the bricks soaked in moisture, or do once cured, they stay cured?

Secondly, I've seen a lot of people put aluminum foil over the dome before adding the insulation blanket. Is that necessary? What does that accomplish?

Thanks for any help you can give me!


UtahBeehiver 08-10-2013 06:37 AM

Re: Re-cure?
The ceramic fiber insulation I used was foil encapsulated so my first layer of insulation had the foil on it. But the general opinion of the forum members was it foil cover does not allow the CF to breath and traps water. So I perforated the covering with a zillion holes and the next layer of CF I stripped the foil off. Based on my experience and the opinions of the FB gang, skip the foil.

Since the oven was covered, do you see any condensation under the covering if so you have moisture at least in the outer layer of the brick. I would do a slow small fire and observe the dome for steam and ramp up accordingly. IMHO

Lburou 08-10-2013 06:29 PM

Re: Re-cure?
In my view, unless the dome has been dried-in to keep moisture off, it is a definite yes to re-curing. :)

david s 08-10-2013 08:32 PM

Re: Re-cure?
If your dome has been exposed to the weather, yes you will have to recure it. If you place foil over the dome between the bricks and the blanket, not only will it create a moisture barrier, but it also won't work as an insulating layer because foil only reflects radiant heat. If it is in contact with the brick the heat will jump straight to the aluminium by conduction as aluminium is very thermally conductive.
Once your oven is dry, insulated and an outer shell or enclosure finished to keep out (most of) the weather, it can handle heavy rain without having to go back to square one of the curing process. Just a few fires are needed to restore its normal function.

jtnasci 08-12-2013 04:37 AM

Re: Re-cure?
Thanks for the responses! I think my answers are to re-cure the dome and ditch the aluminum foil. Sounds good to me. But, one more question ... Is it better to cure the dome before installing the insulation blanket and the vermiculite layer or to do it afterward, or is there no difference? Thanks again for the help!


Lburou 08-12-2013 05:35 AM

Re: Re-cure?

Originally Posted by jtnasci (Post 159275)
... Is it better to cure the dome before installing the insulation blanket and the vermiculite layer or to do it afterward, or is there no difference?


I cured before insulation, but it was optional at that point. Curing early allowed us to use the oven before adding the enclosure. Either way will do. :)

jtnasci 08-13-2013 08:08 AM

Re: Re-cure?
Thanks Lee. I'd rather finish the insulation first as I have a large canopy over the project that I would have to remove to prevent it from being damaged by the smoke. It's been so rainy that I'd rather keep it up to finish the project and not worry about the weather.

I have photos of the whole project that I will post soon.


Lburou 08-13-2013 05:29 PM

Re: Re-cure?
Sounds like a plan. :)

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