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colombo 04-08-2006 01:08 PM

Ceramic Floor Tile Oven?
 
I Am Going To Build A Pizza Oven Soon And Was Hoping For A Little Guidance. Is There Any Reason That You Could Present Me As To Why Ceramic Faced Floor Tiles Cut Into The Necessary Shapes To Form A Geodesic Dome Would Not Be A Good Idea For A Pizza Oven? I Live In Mexico And Bricks, Teraa Cotta Clay, Volcanic Rock And Stones Are Readily Available Along With Masons But I Had The Idea Of Using The Floor Tiles As I Believe That They Are Terra Cotta Based With The Ceramic Glaze On One Side. A Little Info From Someone Out There With The Know-how Would Be Greatly Appreciated.

Thanks
Dennis Fascilla

Robert Musa 04-10-2006 11:59 AM

in my opinion, the structural strength of a pompeii style oven, comes not from adhesion of the mortar and the bricks, but rather from the weight of the bricks pressing down and against one another in the dome. in other words, i think it would be a mistake to build an oven relying on adhesion of tiles to one another with mortar. (which is probably what you would need to do to get the geodesic effect). tile also would lack the necessary mass to store the quantities of heat you would want for a pompeii oven (but see pancake thought below for a mass effective approach).

as an aside, most beginners, myself included, tend to over emphasize (and needlessly stress about) the importance of the mortar. you should view the mortar only as a method of keeping the bricks aligned and at the right angle pending completion of the dome. once the dome is complete, the mortar merely acts as "filler" and does not really contribute as much to structural integrity as you might think.

that said, i wonder if an oven could be built with terra cotta tile if you cut 4 inch squares of the tile and then stacked them up like little pancakes (like the world's thinnest 4 inch bricks). it would be a lot of work but if you had a bunch of free tiles it might be cost effective.

final note, when using glazed tiles it might be a good idea to get a lead testing kit before using a bunch of what might be lead infused tile for cooking.


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