#21  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

Lars,

I am using Refmix. With the right hydration levels, it is very easy to work with. I am well past the 45 deg angle for my bricks, so it looks like they should slide right off. If I let them sit for 60-90 seconds before i move my form, they stay right in place. It dries very hard after 24 hours. I tried grinding a bit off with an angle grinder and a cutting wheel (not diamond); I got nowhere, just sparks flying.

Having cleared the arch, I feel like I am in the home stretch! That ugly arch transition is a distant memory (it actually looks pretty good from the underside.)
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Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.-photo-4.jpg  
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  #22  
Old 07-12-2009, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

I've finished the dome!


A closeup of the plug:



A shot from down-low:


It was a marathon to finish on Saturday, but it sure does feel good to be this close to real pizza!
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  #23  
Old 07-12-2009, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

Gorgeous, meticulous work! You'll be eating pizza in no time!
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2009, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

Thanks, Nikki. I loved your "I'm so crafty..." tee. That would have been so perfect for my wife. But it is a little late for that now; we are at four with sixteen month old twins.
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  #25  
Old 07-25-2009, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

I am finished now with all but insulation and the enclosure.


I put a slight slope on the floor in the entry to help keep Gulf Coast rains out of the oven. I buttressed the entry walls with insulating firebrick; I'm not sure I would take that approach again as it was difficult to get mortar to adhere due to the porosity. Interesting tidbit: insulating firebrick floats for about 5 seconds until it soaks up so much water that it sinks.



I left the vent wide open in hopes that the chimney will draw well. The vent opening is 20x6.5




Rather than casting a vent transition, I built it from brick. It transitions to 6.5x6.5 over a 16" rise.

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  #26  
Old 07-25-2009, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

Wow David, you have one of the widest vent openings I've seen and to top it off, you've got a wonderfully tall transition to your SS vent. That combination should vent smoke quite nicely. I like the look of the Refmix, almost black mortar next to the firebrick. I assume it will all be covered up but it looks so cool now. That's what's nice about this forum. We all know what's underneath and can see the pics anytime.

So: insulation time? Curing fires? what's your schedule?
Cheers, Dino
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  #27  
Old 07-26-2009, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

Dino,

I figured I only had one shot at getting the venting right (without going with a 20 foot chimney), so I would err on the side of overkill.

I plan to insulate over the next couple of days. I am considering following RodneyF's curing schedule:
http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f16/...hods-7297.html (Curing methods?). I am waiting for MK1 to post results on his use of that schedule.

I hope to have the first pizzas next saturday. I picked up Caputo flour at Central Market yesterday and went through a trial run this afternoon based on the FB recipe for dough. I don't want to leave anything to chance for that first bake!
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  #28  
Old 08-04-2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

My very 1st pizza was roasted peppers and kalamata olives; the 2nd is a traditional margherita. I lifted the margherita up to the top of the oven where the flames were lapping the dome; it gave it an incredible smoky flavor. My son got out his earth-moving equipment to help out with putting the pies together.

For all of my effort to make sure that the chimney would draw perfectly, it still lets a little smoke out the front when the fire big enough to spill out of the dome and in to the vent. I did get more cracks than I would have like to have seen, but I was pretty well prepared for them due to everybody's warnings.

I can tell that it is going to take some practice to find the right balance in the oven between hearth and dome temperature. I used RodneyF's single firing curing method with "heat beads"; I brought the temperatures up nice and slow over 36 hours. In the 1st bake at the end of the curing fire, the floor was too hot relative to the dome. My 2nd firing was about 90 minutes between lit match and pizzas. I got better char on top, but the bottom was not as crispy as I would like.
Attached Thumbnails
Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.-dsc_4354.jpg   Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.-dsc_4409.jpg   Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.-dsc_4360.jpg  
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  #29  
Old 08-10-2009, 11:04 AM
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Location: England, Butleigh, Somerset
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build - A dome design question

What an excellent posting and I love your design for the rotating form.

I have just purchased the bricks and mortar and am about to start construction. I have decided to go for a 36” x 18” design with a single 9” soldier course. This is because my main use for the oven will be for bread rather than pizza so the higher dome will be better. Given that I don’t intend to taper the soldier bricks, I will end up with a similar dome shape to yours.

You say that you decided on a “non-hemispherical shape for the dome” – is it still an arc i.e. a section of a sphere? I intended to use an elliptical cross section but having drawn an ellipse 36” wide by 9” high to fit on top of the soldier course, it looks daunting. The dome would be so flat at the top that I can’t believe that the mortar will hold the bricks in position during construction or that the structure will be self-supporting. Given that your dome construction obviously worked well, it would be great to know how you designed it.

Martin.
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  #30  
Old 08-10-2009, 06:57 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Smaug: A 36" x 16" build.

welcome to the club... your build looks great, good luck and enjoy

Mark
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