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  #111  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

A bit more progress on the oven. I did another couple of curing fires last weekend, including one that cleared the dome completely, and so called it good (plus a bonus fire last monday when I left some wet logs in a too hot oven to dry out overnight and *foosh*). I built myself a slightly decrepit door by covering some leftover board insulation with aluminum (still need to get a picture of it).

We have company coming tomorrow and I figured that would be a good time for an inaugural pizza bake, and we've also had a bunch of unpredictable rain lately, so I fired up the oven on Saturday just to "re-cure" and get any moisture out of the insulation. Saturday evening I made 4 dough balls for pizzas on Tuesday. I also decided I would try baking a big batch of bread on Sunday with the residual heat from the re-cure. Some combination of insufficient heat retention and bad oven management (letting the fire burn down to low coals before putting the door on doesn't seem conducive to long term heat retention) meant that by Sunday morning the oven was down to 400--too cold for bread.

So I fire the thing up again late Sunday morning until it cleared the dome. And there I was, at lunch time, with a pizza-hot oven and pizza dough in the fridge. I couldn't resist. Sure, my oven tools from FB hadn't yet arrived, but I figured I could fake it with a wood peel and a fireplace poker.





Homemade barbecue sauce, tomatoes and cilantro. A Texas Margherita, if you will. Room for improvement on the cooking. Fumbling around with the poker I burned one half, and then undercooked the other. Still pretty tasty. I just got my oven brush, square peel and round peel via FedEx today, so tomorrow's bake will go better!

After the coals were out of the oven, a good hour later with the door off the temperature finally dropped low enough for bread.
Came out pretty good! Need to let it sit with the door on to equalize a little more before baking though--on some loaves the bottoms burned.

Then Sunday evening, with the oven now at 450, we roasted a chicken--man, that was a tasty bird, wonderfully moist.

I'm loving this oven!
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  #112  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Also this weekend I started trying to stucco the outside of the dome. Based on discussions over on the "Design" forum, I established that it would probably work okay to smooth out the lumps in the insulation by piling in more stucco, as long as I had plenty of rebar wire and added fibers to the render. This only kind-of-sort-of worked. Or rather, it would have worked with more wire and more materials. Especially more materials. Lumping extra render into the weird low places created by the layers of blanket insulation was fine, but takes a lot of render! I only got about half of the dome covered before I ran out of sand, mostly ran out of fibers, and totally ran out of daylight :P. I covered the parts I'd rendered with plastic wrap to keep them moist, and I'll try to finish next week with lots more materials on hand.
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  #113  
Old 12-11-2012, 05:38 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Utah
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Congrats on the inaugural fire. Your end product turned out much better than my first cooking experience. Have fun with your new toy....
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  #114  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:12 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: monterey ca
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Awesome pics! looks like fun I think you are going to enjoy the oven so much and its good for the kids to get involved as well. You did a GREAT job!

Best

Maria
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  #115  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:01 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Waikato New Zealand
Posts: 48
Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

great project result - well done - hope mine is any where near close to this and I will be happy.

Once again, Well Done - Andy
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  #116  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:29 AM
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Location: Ausitn
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

I call that a "Guadeloupe".
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36" Pompeii in DC-0424pizza5.jpg  
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  #117  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:56 AM
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsandler View Post
Came out pretty good! Need to let it sit with the door on to equalize a little more before baking though--on some loaves the bottoms burned.
Try giving the oven a damp moping about 30 minutes before the bread goes in and it will help with the oven temp equalization.

14 pound turkey going in the oven this evening outside temp 22F.
Chip
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  #118  
Old 12-23-2012, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Over the last three weekends I put two coats of stucco on the outside of the oven. I tried to make a web of rebar wire in addition to what I used to tie down the InsWool blanket to give a base to render onto, and I was trying to get the lumps of the blanket (and especially from overlapping layers) smoothed out.

This did not work particularly well. I never had enough wire, the render would not stick to the blanket by itself, and even where there was wire I had big clumps of wet render flopping off the dome as I worked :P. Independent of the difficulty of the task, I ran out of materials halfway through the first layer and had to wrap it all up and continue the following week. With, as it turns out, a different kind of sand that gave the render a different color. What a pain!



The key lesson here is that it just doesn't work to use stucco to smooth out big hills and valleys. It's not that a 1-2 inch layer of render with reinforcing fibers won't hold together once dried. It's that a 1-2 inch layer of render will collapse under its own weight rather than stick to any surface at all. I don't think there was room for it or time for it, but I really should have gone with a small layer of vermicrete to smooth out the lumps instead.

Anyway, this weekend I put a second coat on, using white portland for the cement. Went on much easier, and came out cleaner, and with a more pleasant color too. It will do for the short term, anyway!



When done, I wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap, then put a blanket on top (in case it freezes in the next couple days), then a tarp.

At this point, the plan is to leave the oven alone until spring (except for cooking, as the weather allows). Once it warms up again, it will be time to build the counter extension, pour concrete countertops, put some kind of finish on the stand and decorate the outside of the dome with a tile mosaic.
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  #119  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:23 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Mississippi
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Sorry, that what you were trying to accomplish, wasn't what you ended up with. Vcrete/Pcrete is, (then render) in my opinion, the best way to true up a well insulated dome. However, pompeii's don't have to be perfectly symetrical spheres to be appealing. Most ain't.
I am all about "the build", but the cooking is what really counts . Your's is built by the plans, well insulated, and (I bet) is the best pompeii in the whole dadgum state. The food, the family, and the friends gathering around your oven is what we are all really looking forward to.
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Last edited by Gulf; 12-23-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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  #120  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Got home yesterday after two weeks in California, to find that we'd had enough wind to rip the covers off my stucco layer--tarp, blankets and plastic wrap all in a heap! Had a moment of "Hey, the stucco came out looking nice...wait, I didn't leave the stucco uncovered, did I?" Ah well, I'm fairly sure it stayed on long enough to let the stuff cure. And if it doesn't, and cracks? We'll cover it all with tile in the spring.

Quick question for the forum: with two layers of stucco on (and most of it fairly thick), approximately how waterproof is this thing? I recognize that it won't fully keep rain out without some kind of acrylic or other seal, and so I ought to tarp it if major rain is expected, but how worried should I be about it getting drizzled on in its current state? It seems like it couldn't be too bad--even if moisture gets to the blanket, all that will do is decrease the insulating efficiency a bit, and it seems unlikely that water is going to get through an inch of plaster and 5 inches of blanket to reach the bricks, barring a deluge.

This weekend for some reason we're supposed to get weather in the 60's (San Diego weather followed us home?), and I'm planning pizza, bread, and pork spare-ribs during the week with the retained heat.
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