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Ben 12-21-2009 06:56 PM

granite oven?
 
I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I was wondering if a oven could be constructed out of old granite cobblestones? I have a bunch of them and they are all very solid and I thought it might be a cool way to use them. I would be using them like bricks to constuct a pompeii-style oven. I was afraid they might explode if they are heated too much.

jurassicjockey 12-24-2009 04:57 AM

Re: granite oven?
 
If you were closer, I would gladly swap new unused firebrick, for your ratty old cobblestones. I would look at what they are worth on the used market, before I considered using them in an oven.

Steve

jmhepworth 12-24-2009 05:37 AM

Re: granite oven?
 
I would figure out a way to use the granite on the exterior. I would go with what we know works. It's way too much work to build the oven not knowing whether it will work or not.

dmun 12-24-2009 06:13 AM

Re: granite oven?
 
We get the granite question all the time. It tends to chip and spall in direct flame: Google "flame finishing" for examples of this. Trust me, you don't want granite chips in your pizza.

Keep the granite for your oven exterior. Belgian blocks would make an excellent stand for your oven.

Archena 12-24-2009 07:19 AM

Re: granite oven?
 
It's not a stupid question - it's a perfectly reasonable supposition. However, granite just doesn't happen to work well for oven interiors. But it would be gorgeous as an exterior!

If cost is an issue you could build a cob oven and use the granite on the exterior. When you can afford a brick oven it would be simple to reclaim the cobblestones for the new oven's exterior or base.

Ben 12-28-2009 05:33 PM

Re: granite oven?
 
Thanks for all the replies. I may just attempt something with fire bricks on the sides and a ferrocement dome on top. I don't think I have the skill to do a pompeii-style brick oven right now. I'm still in the planning phase of the project right now. Thanks again.

nissanneill 12-28-2009 07:28 PM

Re: granite oven?
 
Ben,
getting a good brick saw and cutting say 1" slabs off your cobblestones would make wonderful 'tiles' for the outside of your Pompeii. One cobblestone will produce up to 6 different sized 'tiles' but would require considerable cutting.
Just a thought.
Neill

jmhepworth 12-28-2009 07:35 PM

Re: granite oven?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben (Post 75462)
I don't think I have the skill to do a pompeii-style brick oven right now.

I make my living on my butt, and have very little skill working with my hands. But I'm willing to read (a lot) and learn from others. I had very little experience with brick, yet I was able to build an oven I'm happy with. Did I make a lot of mistakes? Yup. But nothing I couldn't recover from or re-do. I believe almost anyone can build one of these if they are willing to study it out and learn from others. You're obviously willing to do that. I don't believe any other approach would be any easier than a Pompeii. And the dome oven looks so cool when you are done, that it's worth the risk and the effort.

dmun 12-28-2009 08:09 PM

Re: granite oven?
 
Quote:

I don't think I have the skill to do a pompeii-style brick oven right now.
One of the problem with the current builds shown here is that they are all really better than they need to be for strength or cooking purposes. The pompeii oven was designed to be made with bricks whomped in half with a chisel, and an angle iron over the door to support the vent, and the top of the dome. They don't look as nice but they cook just as well. There's also the fact that refractory concrete is REALLY expensive in the US, far more expensive than firebrick, particularly if you put it together with home-brew mortar.

You'll get lots of support here if you decide to build a brick dome. It really isn't that hard.

cynon767 12-30-2009 01:07 PM

Re: granite oven?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dmun (Post 75473)
One of the problem with the current builds shown here is that they are all really better than they need to be for strength or cooking purposes. The pompeii oven was designed to be made with bricks whomped in half with a chisel, and an angle iron over the door to support the vent, and the top of the dome. They don't look as nice but they cook just as well. There's also the fact that refractory concrete is REALLY expensive in the US, far more expensive than firebrick, particularly if you put it together with home-brew mortar.

You'll get lots of support here if you decide to build a brick dome. It really isn't that hard.

I'd second this; about half of my bricks were, in fact, "whomped in half with a chisel"; the others were cut with several passes through a borrowed low-end tile saw. It really is doable, more time consuming than technically challenging. They say about masonry that it's one of those things that takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master; well, the dome of an oven doesn't need to be a masterpiece... it just needs to be functional. Some people here have gone the masterpiece route, and they are rightfully deserving of respect for it. But an oven with cracks in the wedge-shaped mortar and a less-than-perfect-hemispherical shape to the dome will still cook excellent food. The other nice thing about a masonry dome like the one in the pompeii plans, the design of which has been pretty well time-tested, is that even if crudely constructed, it will be quite stable; even when built by an amateur like myself, it will still probably last far longer than any of us here will be alive.


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