An Italian Uncle
I got a call today from a guy who is installing a Forno Bravo oven in Northern California who is Italian America. His uncle lives outside Lucca, and owns a building materials store there (along with a summer vacation rental house) and he is a dealer for our oven producer. He's installed a bunch of them locally. Our customer called his uncle to ask him which pizza oven brand to install, and of course he says to use Forno Bravo. They went back and forth translating our instructions back into Italian, and he agreed that we have it right. I think that's great. If everyone had an Italian uncle in the building trade -- everyone would buy a Forno Bravo oven. :D
Finding a dealer for our producer in Italy isn't that difficult -- they have over 3,000 dealers there.
Hey James it is me, Luciano. Thanks for the post about my uncle....if things go well he will be here probably in October. Will you be in the States around that time. I was planning on taking him for a drive to the wine country and coming by your place to purchase the oven. By that time it should be ready for install. Which brings me to a couple of questions:
I am about ready to pour the hearth and was going to proceed with vermiculite for the top layer of the hearth. While viewing the forum, I noticed a new product called Super Isol. Now I am confused. Here are my questions and if need be I will post them in the appropriate thread.
1) If I decide to go with vermiculite, I am unclear on the 5:1 ratio. Obviously, vermiculite is lighter than cement and less dense. What is the best way to ensure you are getting the proper ratio.
2) If I instead decide to go with the Super Isol, what should the pour be for the concrete on the hearth? I was planning on 2x8's with 3 1/2' of structural concrete and the remainder vermiculite with cement.
I was thinking if I went with the Super Isol, I could then frame the hearth with 2x6's and pour to the top of the frame and then glue the Super Isol on top. That would give me the 7 1/2 hearth thickness as originally planned.
Please let me know your thoughts or anyone else who happens to read this post. As James mentioned, my uncle has assembled quite a few ovens and has built a villa which he rents throughout the summer months near Lucca. Additionally, he owns a building material supply store and sells and recommends very highly the Forno Bravo brand.
Slightly off topic, but I am going to be staying near Lucca for 1 week in October. (somewhere between Zone and Segromigno en Monte).
Please ask your Uncle for any good local restaurant reccomendations if you get the chance!!
Thanks in advance,
super isol vs vermiculite
I would go with just the structural cement and the super isol on top of that. With product like the super isol you can have a hearth temp of 800 degrees and barely feel the warmth on the bottom of the super isol. It is definitely the way to go. Forget the vermiculite.
What do you recommend for the height of the structural concrete pour?
Will do and have a great time!
2 x 6
Your plan for 2 x 6 slab with insulation on top will be plenty strong and it sounds like it fits your previously intended thickness - you could go thinner if you desire to reduce materials. I used 2x8 with 4" concrete and perlcrete on top - the perlcrete settled as it dried at least 1/2". By the way, if you do use your originally planned vermiculite (or perlite as I did) it is 5:1 ratio by volume - easy to mix, just hard to work with afterwards. I eventually topped it with a thin layer of mortar to "rigidize" the vermiculite. If money is no concern buy the super isol. Likewise, when you insulate the dome consider a blanket insulation like insulfrax. I use loose perlite which insulates just fine but sealing the insulating space is a pain, the stuff finds the smallest gaps. That's actually where using perlcrete or vermiculcrete to fill gaps initially would be smart - or even better spray foam like Drake used. I have used 4 bags of perlite and figure I still need 2 more to have 6" above the dome. These are 4 cubic foot bags at $15 a piece, and I closed dead space that did not need insulation on the corners to try to reduce my use. Hope that helps as you plan some of the stages where you have decisions to make. You're in for a fun time as your oven goes up.
Thanks for the great suggestions. I think I will go with the 2x6 with the Super Isol on top. Question about the blanket....is this an additional one besides the one which comes with the oven from Forno Bravo? I was assuming I would put the blanket over the oven and then fill the dead space with vermiculite. Let me know your thoughts. Greatly appreciate all your assistance.
I made my oven from firebricks, so I was unaware a ceramic blanket was included in the modular ovens. I read the materials list for the casa, they describe a 1" ceramic blanket - this has to be the insulfrax that they also sell at fornobravo store. James has stated on this forum that 1" of blanket is equivalent to 2" of vermiculite or perlite - you'll still need 4" of perlite/vermiculite as either loose fill or a cement mix. Meticulous preparation of the cavity prior to pouring is needed for the loose fill - it will slip through any cracks and pour out whenever the structure takes any vibrations. Purchasing a few more blankets for a full 3" thickness would be a very simple way to achieve excellent insulation - if money is not an issue. However, I will end up spending about $90 for perlite in the end - probably another $30 for materials to close off dead space and attempt to seal the enclosure prior to the pour of loose fill, and my insulation certainly seems to be working well.
How hot can the oven get? I have seen where it states the Super Isol can withstand heat up to 800 degrees but I thought I once read the oven can reach temperatures up to 900.
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