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carioca 10-04-2006 04:04 AM

several dumb questions, if I may...
Hello there!

Still wading thru the info from the forno bravo site and making notes of key ingredients. Also checking out the (few?) Australian suppliers of refractory stuff.

One of these has a materials list for a circular dome pizza oven measuring 100 cm in diameter and quotes $A3.50 ea. for the medium-duty bricks (there are no low-duty bricks listed).

My question: the list states the dome will need 67 of their arch 75/63 bricks and 33 of their arch 75/57 bricks, plus 25 base bricks - what do these fractions refer to? (I guess I'll also ask the company when they're open again tomorrow...) Perhaps they make the bricks the right shape for building a cupola? This would be just to beaut for words, saving all the cutting and splitting of bricks (not something I'd look forward to at just over 70!)

Another question to the wise:
For a round oven, why not make the hearth (and by extension the slab) round also? I'm thinking of using the stiff clay soil on our property to "form up" for the base concrete by just digging a circle etc.

Then I would build blockwork walls as described for the Pompeii model - except mine would radiate in quadrants from the centre! This will leave me with four open spaces to put the cut timber in... I may even leave the walls short at the centre, i.e. unconnected, so that the little poisonous black snakes (one just killed a young hen who thought she'd found a nice big worm!) can slither away in any direction when disturbed...

Then the round hearth slab would be cast on top of the four radial block walls. I guess the radial walls would be even better at holding up the hearth because than the rectangular stand as there's more support where the weight is...

I'm certain to have more questions once I really get going... can't wait to start! And all this because my wife's fancy s/s electric oven that I'd been keeping going for the past 13 years has finally conked out and we have to BUY 'bread' instead of baking our own sourdough loaves...



james 10-05-2006 06:22 AM

I like the idea of a round stand and hearth. There are a number of them in the photos section of the Forno Bravo web site, and I think they look great. As you note, if you build your stand as describe, your support will be good under the hearth.

If you are doing to put the oven directly on footings, not a slab, make sure that they are level and capable of carring the 1500-odd pound load. You wouldn't want it to settle and not be level.

It seems as though firebricks are all a little different in size -- so it don't think we can be completely accurate with brick counts. Have any builders kept really good counts on their brick dimension and usage? The basic idea is to use a standard low-mid dut firebrick because it is findable and cost-effective, then do the cuts to build the dome.


carioca 10-06-2006 03:26 AM

thanks, James
Thank you for your reply, James. Yes, I was thinking to pour a round hearth also for the oven. And of course put these radial block footings on a proper round slab!

Meanwhile I have received a reply from an Australian supplier about the odd "fractions" in the brick sizes - it turns out they actually provide you will fully cut, as a kit for the different sizes of dome ovens. Here's what I received from toniataylor at darleyrefractories dot com dot au (I cite the address in case there are other potential Aussie brick oven builders :-) )

================================================== ====
Hi Luis,
Yes, these bricks are cut to form the dome. So they are 230mm long x
115mm wide x 75mm thick at one end that tapers down to either 57 or 63.
These would be the best way to go by far - rather than have to hand cut
each brick.
The idea of firebricks is that there is as small a gap as possible
between each brick (mortar joins between 1-3mm).

I don't have any plans on how to make these ovens, the approximate
requirements were worked out by our last Plant Manager(who was wonderful
at this), but he has since retired.

I can only tell you that we have quite a lot of people buy these bricks
and make the dome oven - although if you haven't done much bricklaying,
I believe that the dome can be quite difficult to build. You are
building it from 4 sides instead of 2, and it needs to be precise as the
last brick will key in the whole lot together.

================================================== ======

Darley Refractories sell kits for 1 metre diameter ovens consisting of 67 of one type of cut brick, and 33 of the other (forget which is which). Also part of the kit are 25 pizza floor tiles, and assorted mortar, insulation, vermiculite etc.

I am waiting to hear from them re freight prices to my location in the coastal woods of NSW.

One thing I noticed is that theyur materials list does NOT provide for any first course of 'soldier' bricks as you have for the Pompeii oven - what I might do is fire up my old CAD program, Visio, and plug in the various types of bricks listed to build a virtual model of the thing with their numbers and measurements. Will then report back, respectively ask for more advice from the forum...

La ringrazio per le sue righe,

Ci vediamo :-)


NB: For those Australian oven builders, I could supply the maker's "ingredients' list for the various sizes of pre-cut domes as a Word document.

james 10-06-2006 06:14 AM

Ciao Carioca,

Good find. I went to their site, and the wood-fired oven page doesn't seem to work for me. Does anyone else have this problem. I would be interested in seeing more about their kits.

carioca 10-06-2006 07:28 PM

dysfunctional site :-)
1 Attachment(s)
Yes James, the site doesn't work on several levels - I think they need to do some serious work on it.

I only found out about their kits by e-mailing them direct, whereupon the person Tonia (e-mail supplied in my earlier post, with 'at' and spaces in it) sent me three Word documents, one of them the page that I'll attach to this post if I manage. That is where I learned about their "precut" dome oven kits, with further information in her subsequent reply to my queries re the angles (I quoted that part of her reply).

She hasn't yet replied with a quote for the whole kit & kaboodle, railed to my nearest railroad town (60 km).



carioca 10-06-2006 07:43 PM

pls check out the attachment
Hello James,

I've now managed to attach the Word doc as a txt file. Please have a closer look at their "full cut" dome pizza oven materials.

They don't seem to include a first course of straight bricks...

Their 1 m dia dome would equate to 39in - I'd have preferred your 42in size, but their next one up is 1.2 metres, which is a bit too big and requires a lot more materials.


LMH a.k.a. Carioca

carioca 10-08-2006 08:48 PM

kit prices for a 39in dome
Hi James et al.,

further to earlier, the suppliers have today sent me a quotation for the 'kit' plus transport charges & tax - a third of the total goes to transport!

I attach the .pdf file for you guys to check out what's on offer "Down-Under" :-)

Would be grateful for any comments re the actual components.

Kind regards,


STOP PRESS: can't send attachment as is too large for your system (385KB). Anyone interested pls supply e-mail address and I'll send privately...

carioca 10-08-2006 11:55 PM

here's the oven kit price quote as a txt file...
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by james
Ciao Carioca,

Good find. I went to their site, and the wood-fired oven page doesn't seem to work for me. Does anyone else have this problem. I would be interested in seeing more about their kits.

Hello James et al.,

further to earlier: I've now uploaded the supplier's quotation for a fully pre-cut dome oven kit as a text file.

Australian oven builders may be interested...



james 10-09-2006 04:29 AM

This all sounds interesting. If you go ahead, we will look forward to seeing how it all comes together and how much work is involved. If it all comes together, perhaps we could put together a kit like this in both the U.S. and UK. Alf had actually brought this topic up before you located your source down under.

I think you will be fine with the 100cm, 39.3" oven.

Also, see if you can order more insulation. The cost isn't that much more, and the oven will hold heat better.


carioca 10-09-2006 03:55 PM

what about the soldier course?
Hello James,

thanks for the encouragement. Yes, there is also a spun/woven ceramic blanket available for $A120... I am now designing the footings and hearth slab (on a pile/beam foundation) and will take pictures and add text as I go. In the event of a successful construction, I intend to bundle these "instructions" in an article that I might place with a suitable magazine or two... perhaps I can recoup some of the cost :-)

One or two things still bug me:

1. the Darley Refractories kit has NO rpt NO straight bricks for what you guys have described as a first course of 'soldiers'. Do I need to order a quantity of straights from them, or will the arch bricks form up into a dome from the hearth layer - without ill effects for the baking process?

2. The Darley cut (tapered) bricks measure 230 mm x 115 mm and taper from the normal thickness of 75 mm down to 63 mm (for two thirds of the total brick quantity ordered), and taper to 57 mm for the other third of the quantity needed for a 1000 mm diameter oven. How are YOUR cut bricks laid - with the short dimension facing the inside of the oven, or with the long side of the brick facing inside?

Thanks again.

Ci vediamo!

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