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abulsamman 03-07-2012 11:22 AM

Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
5 Attachment(s)
Hello everybody,

after going through the forum and learning lots, I have decided to finally start my build.

Initially I thought of building a brick oven, but then thought of the difficulty of finding the right bricks and cutting them the right shapes and sizes. Also, I thought it's going to take alot more effort than a cast refractory oven..

Anyway, I come from Jordan and I believe I'm the first from my country in Forno Bravo's forum :) At the moment spring is coming up so its probably the best time to start a build. Jordan is a hot and very dry country, so trying to beat summer weather is probably a good idea.

I have been inspired to to do a cast refractory oven build by JoeyVelderrain, and several others on this forum. However, one thing I'm worried about is the availability of materials here in Jordan.

In regards to the cast refractory, I have not found the ready mixed cast refractory with aggregate, but rather the basic fondu mortar. I am wondering if i can just mix it with sand and regular gravel should make it ok for the cast build?? any help on this is much appreciated, including ratios..

The oven size is a 1m low vault oven with a wall thickness of 5cm or 7.5cm, any advice on that also would be appreciated. Cooking floor will either be tiles or bricks have not decided yet. Attached are some pics of the selected location including the dig for the foundation and basic plans for the build.

Pouring the foundation should be done in a couple of days, and the oven stand will follow shortly after.

Can't wait to cook my first pizza :)

abulsamman 03-09-2012 05:10 AM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
2 Attachment(s)
Today got the foundation poured, and tomorrow going to lay the blocks..

david s 03-09-2012 10:02 AM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
Regarding your castable mix using sand as an aggregate, you are in unchartered territory, but I think it will work ok. One of the main problems in making your own brew is to get it plastic enough to make it stick well to your form. Fondu and sand may not produce this, you will need to test a small amount first. Another problem is that proprietary castables contain fibres that burn away at low temp leaving tiny pipes that water can escape through to prevent blowing. You should add something that will do this. If you can find the fine polypropylene fibres sometimes added to concrete for compression strength they will suffice as they melt at 160 C failing that try some animal or human hair. I think also the addition of manure, often used in cob ovens, does the same trick provided it has plenty of undigested fibre (horse manure) I think it also has the quality of making the brew more plastic which helps in the first point I made.

wotavidone 03-09-2012 12:35 PM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
Could you just take a natural fibre rope, such as sisal or hemp, and cut into short lengths, say 30-40mm, and fray that to get your fibres?

david s 03-09-2012 03:20 PM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
Yeah, that's another option, but it won't improve the plasticity of the mix. The beauty of the polypropylene fibres is that they melt at a low temp.(160 C), whereas the sisal rope, or hair for that matter, may not burn away until a much higher temp has been reached, by which time you might already have steam explosions. Do some tests with different materials in a domestic oven to see at what temp they burn.

abulsamman 03-10-2012 10:46 AM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
Thanks David for the info. Not sure if I'm going to find the Polypropylene fibers, but I sure will try to find them and will defenately make some tests. Hopefully my oven won't stink afterwards and will let you know how it turns out ..
Do you think it is necessary to add gravel for grog in the mix??


abulsamman 03-10-2012 10:52 AM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
3 Attachment(s)
Today got the blocks layed and getting ready for pouring the hearth..

abulsamman 03-10-2012 11:03 AM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
1 Attachment(s)
Got a more detailed plan for the oven. Would appreciate suggestions - comments from all you experienced builders..
Still have to do a cross section drawing, will post it once complete.

david s 03-10-2012 12:52 PM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
I wouldn't add gravel to the mix,it will tend to make the mix less plastic and weaker.for those polypropylene fibres, go to someone who specializes in concrete engineering supplies. You need to mix it about double the time that you would think, so they disperse properly.

Your entry is quite deep. A shallow entry makes using the oven much easier IMO.

abulsamman 03-10-2012 01:06 PM

Re: Cast Refractory Pizza Oven Build
Thank you David, do you suggest I push the inner arch inside the dome? If so how much??



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