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rbirchell 08-20-2009 01:03 PM

Bob's 36x16 oven and kitchen project
Edit: retitled thread to reflect actual design.

I'm mulling over my design and almost ready to lay the solider course. Any major problems with these dimensions?

36 inch round. 17 inch interior height. 12 inch sldier course. 5 inch dome rise. 10 inch opening x 18 inches wide.

I've considered a lower dome at 14.5-16; working off of a 9 inch upright soldier. Higher might be nice to avoid the dome transition. But, I am not against that at all. I'll do what is considered ideal.

I'm after a flatter dome for pizza's, flat breads and shallow pans. Although, the smaller opening height makes me curious about getting inside after it is done (if needed). It will be a tight squeeze.

I have no intention to put a turkey inside. The only part that is certain is the 36 inch diameter constraint. The hearth is in the corner of the outdoor kitchen area.

Any advice is appreciated.

rbirchell 08-21-2009 08:31 AM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
The side load on a tall soldier was pointed out to me. I think lower is wise.

Neil2 08-21-2009 04:31 PM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
The "rule of thumb" for an elliptical dome is to have the dome height 85% to 90% of the radius. In your case you are 17/18=94%. I would go a bit lower, say 16 inches.

This will be easier to do from a lower soldier course. I suggest a half block (4 1/2inches) high.

shuboyje 08-21-2009 05:27 PM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
I personally just closed in my low dome yesterday, and didn't find it as difficult as some seem to imply. My oven is only 30" with a 8" soldier course and a 13.5" interior height. The dome is a catenary segment. I had very little issue building it with homebrew mortar and no form of internal support, just a piece of foam cut to a profile I used as a guide. To deal with the side force I welded a angle iron frame for the door and anchored 3 cables to it which I wrapped around the soldier course and tensioned lightly with turn buckles. My brother in law who is a very experienced civil engineer gave it a good look over and happily gave it his ok to support the load it would bear.

rbirchell 08-22-2009 08:26 AM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
Interesting idea shuboyje. Thanks for sharing.


I'd like to stay as close as possible to the dimension you suggest. However, the trade off between door height and side wall height is the part I am struggling with. It might not be an issue. I plan to play with some layouts today and see which one appeals.


Neil2 08-22-2009 01:52 PM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
Another "rule of thumb" is that the door height is 63% of the interior oven height.

rbirchell 08-22-2009 08:57 PM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
It's going to be hard to fit my head in a hole that low Neil. ;-)

Between laying tile, processing sweet corn, and other odds around the house, I didn't get anything done on the oven today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the bar tile laid and the oven floor done. The wet bar surface came out nice.

I'll ponder all the dimensions more tomorrow; once I draw the ellipse.

Neil2 08-23-2009 09:08 AM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
Nice looking tile work.

If your interior height is 16 inches your door should be about 16x.62=10 inches. I have a 40 inch oven and my door height is 11 1/4 inches. I have no problem getting anything I want in.

The .62 ratio is important as this allows the hot gasses from the fire to give up the heat to the oven bricks before cooling and exiting the door.

The door width is not a critical dimension.

stidik 08-23-2009 03:02 PM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
I'm not an engineer, but I would suggest that you are careful not to make your dome too flat. The arch is a very strong design which Rome was built upon. The shape of the rectangle, needs reinforcement in the way of metal or wood to be structurally sound. If you make your dome too flat, you create a modified rectangle and you have to depend on mortar to hold the top of your dome together. Perhaps mortar is stronger than I think, and I am not an expert. It is just one more theoretical point to consider when planning your dome. Best of luck.

rbirchell 08-25-2009 11:28 AM

Re: 36x17 with tall soldier?
I just got done evaluating some ellipses and I am going with the 16 inch height over an 11.5 inch rise. The soldier course will be 4.5 as suggested. The flatness of a 5 inch rise looks to be a nightmare. The floor is done and I am about to cut a dome template.

Thanks Neil. The bar turned out just as nice as the wet bar. We had our first meal on it last night. Chile's relleno, salsa chicken, rice, tamale, and Blue Moon. Wonderful way to top off a good day. I have been working hard towards this day. The day I begin on the wood oven as a primary focus.

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