Old 09-15-2009, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 305
Default Re: Dome forms

Mitchamus just posted this video. check out their awesome wooden collapsible dome forms.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 23
Default Re: Dome forms

Thank you for the link to "the indispensable tool". It sounds like it would be perfect. You had mentioned that you used something similiar, were you able to purchase it or did you have to make it? I was considering using styrofoam forms but am not sure on how to figure out the measurements. Any help would be great.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:58 AM
dougrappe's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: chicago
Posts: 71
Default Re: Dome forms

Further along in that same thread is a picture of my variation on the tool, pretty much stock parts with no welding required, the most complicated part was drilling and tapping a piece of aluminum angle (which isn't even necessary come to think of it now)

about half way down the page:

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/28/m...me-2985-4.html (My indispensible tool (a variation on a FB theme))

there are a few other versions shown and described if you follow along that same thread, so you can pick and choose the bits and pieces that work for you. I hadn't considered using forms since there was just something appealing about seeing the dome go up unsupported, or self-supporting I should say, (not that there's anything wrong with formwork) I thought it went pretty fast, you could do two or three courses in a day I guess, maybe more, depending on how much cutting you do.

Either way, with or without forms you have to be very careful that you don't disturb the recently positioned bricks before the mortar is fully set. I guess with the forms you'd do less damage if you bumped a brick accidentally, since the form would hold it in place.

If you wanted to make forms, I would just use a pencil on a string and set the length to the radius of the desired oven diameter. Depending on the height of the soldier course you'd need to adjust the formwork to make it a bit taller. So the forms wouldn't be exact quarter circles but would be a bit taller than they are wide. I think either way you should to a layout with the actual bricks you are using on a flat surface, so you can visualize the cross section of the dome you'll be building. There's a good illustration of this in the FornoBravo Pompeii plans e-book. (Which I'm sure you've read cover to cover and memorized by now .)

I used angled half bricks for the soldier course so the dome ended up 19" tall inside, even though it's a 36" diameter oven. This would be considered a Tuscan style dome, hemispherical as opposed to the low Neapolitan style. I have no idea how to lay out one of those, seems extra challenging to build too!

Hope this helps,

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Old 09-17-2009, 12:14 PM
Neil2's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 1,374
Default Re: Dome forms

Just like many things there are several ways to do this. In summary:

Indispensable Tool
- Good for hemispherical domes
- Easier to clean inside joints as you go.

Form (wood or styrafoam)
- Better for elliptical domes
- Faster brick laying
- May have to clean up some interior joints when finished.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:27 PM
Bandrasco's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa, FL.
Posts: 208
Default Re: Dome forms

I used a mason string tied to a screw I had in the center of the dome floor. If you mark it or tie a knot in it at the desired length you can use it to guide you all the way to he top like a champ. Check out my build pics; I believe I have a picture of this in there. It's easier than you can imagine.

Good luck,

Check out my build
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