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jawnn 05-16-2011 04:58 PM

Easyest way to build?
About 15 years ago I built an oven using 'glacier-till' + cement + cheap fire-clay (from pottery supply). Then used too much cement on the out side, (seperated by aluminum foil that collapsed so that there was no air space between). it worked, but the dome was to high to cook well. And the cement swelled up and seperated from the base.

So this time I want to forget the problems of clay and go for brick. the question is "how many medium duty bricks would I need for an oven that can hold about 10 loaves?" And can I use 'fire clay' from a pottery supply for the morter?

And can I use only one layer of brick, with some thing on the out side to make it water proof?

There is so much info to absorb, I maybe here for a while.

GianniFocaccia 05-18-2011 08:17 AM

Re: Easyest way to build?
All the info you need is contained in the FB Pompeii oven plans which can be downloaded directly from this site at no charge. No, you can't realistically expect good results from a single layer of bricks only. The minimum requirements for a brick dome include a minimum amount of insulation, a waterproof shell (either igloo type or 'house-like' enclosure) that you can finish with stucco, brick, tile, rock, etc. The more insulation the better.

Good luck.

Lburou 05-18-2011 09:00 AM

Welcome Jawnn :)
There are many ways to build an oven, with as many levels of cooking performance. The focus of this site is mainly toward a dome oven, although several pillars of this bulletin board use barrel ovens and are happy with them.

To address your questions:
  • You can use the 'home brew' mortar found in the free plans here, it contains fireclay.
  • The pompeii oven kit gives you an idea of what you need to build an oven with real good performance. That oven will cook a lot of bread, or, anything you want to cook.
My long winded advice for a new person on is here. You will find several important links there to help you sort out the information you are looking for. :)
Good luck!

Lburou 05-18-2011 09:11 AM

Don't forget to download the eBooks
The section of the Fornobravo store containing eBooks and CD's has some good information you'll need to get on with your building project, or start making and cooking better pizza and breads. They are FREE!

azpizzanut 05-18-2011 09:11 AM

Re: Easyest way to build?
Hi Jawnn,

Many builders use one layer of firebrick (half bricks) for the dome and cover it with a thick layer of insulation made from Portland cement and either vermiculite or perlite in a 1:5 ratio (up to 1:10). You will also need a firebrick hearth and insulation under it too. There is a preferred oven opening ratio of roughly 63% to interior dome height. It's all explained in the free Pompeii plans. There are lots of options and alternatives to explore before you start your build. Look around on the forum and ask lots of questions.


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