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jaymac2087 09-15-2009 06:25 AM

Dome forms
I am just beginning my oven building journey and would like any advise on how to build dome forms for a 42" oven. I have no masonry skills at all and figure that any type of support for the dome would be great. I just don't know how to go about figuring out how to build one. Any help would be great.

dougrappe 09-15-2009 10:15 AM

Re: Dome forms
Hi, take a look at this thread if you haven't seen it already:

I used a similar tool building a 36" pompeii and also found it "indispensible." It keeps the dome nice and hemi-spherical, and is an aid in cutting bricks as well if you go the route of minimal mortar joints. It allows you to set the brick in the mortar bed, maybe hold it for a few seconds until it grabs and then move on to the next one. The nice thing about building the dome is it is self supporting, at least until you get up to the higher courses. A good example of how to deal with that further on in that same thread.

I like this method because you can see exactly the fit you're getting inside of the dome and clean up any excess mortar as you go. There's nothing wrong with using fixed forms, a good example of this in the free e-book/pdf, available here if you don't already have it.

Brick Oven Plans | Build an Italian Brick Oven

Good luck and have fun!


fxpose 09-15-2009 12:20 PM

Re: Dome forms
I plan on using the above mentioned tool for my build as well but I'm curious about using a form. Which method is faster in erecting the dome for someone who's really pressed for time? Time might be an issue for me as I work over 70 hours per week, although I don't mind dragging the project for months.


Neil2 09-15-2009 01:12 PM

Re: Dome forms
1 Attachment(s)
I built an elliptical dome and used Styrofoam as form. A 1/2 inch sheet of Styrofoam is all that is needed and is quite cheap.

fxpose 09-15-2009 03:13 PM

Re: Dome forms

Originally Posted by Neil2 (Post 64690)
I built an elliptical dome and used Styrofoam as form. A 1/2 inch sheet of Styrofoam is all that is needed and is quite cheep.

Hmm....I remember seeing your form in your Flying Saucer thread. Seems very effective and simple to prep. Much easier than erecting a sand form. How difficult was it to clean up the interior brick faces as you were building?

Neil2 09-15-2009 04:01 PM

Re: Dome forms
Not too bad. If a joint happened directly on one of the styrafom "fins" the mortar got flattened.

Doug's method is good for a hemispherical dome. If you want an ellipse you have to set up some sort of form. Forms are faster as well - you lay the bricks as fast as you want.

fxpose 09-15-2009 04:23 PM

Re: Dome forms

Originally Posted by Neil2 (Post 64712)
Forms are faster as well - you lay the bricks as fast as you want.

Thanks Neil. That was exactly my thinking. Seems like you can lay bricks this way in no time... me thinking again... :D

DrakeRemoray 09-15-2009 05:01 PM

Re: Dome forms
I used forms for my oven build as well, you can see it documented in my oven thread.

If I did it again I would use the indespensible tool as you can make a nicer looking build. Mine is totally functional, but compare my joints to the current builds...

Removing the forms and checking out the joints...

I guess it would be a challenge to get a dome that had the shape mine does, which is a portion of a circle..



fxpose 09-15-2009 05:18 PM

Re: Dome forms
That's a very nicely finished oven Drake!

I don't mind filling in the voids on the inside after removing the form. I guess one much also consider, if you do plan on crawling in the dome, dome opening size must be taken into consideration according to your waist size....? :D

RTflorida 09-15-2009 05:39 PM

Re: Dome forms
fx, if you have kids (or maybe a petite wife), put them to work cleaning/pointing the inside. I played the "guilt card" with my adult daughter who happens to be a size 0-2 and is literally half my size - hmmmmm, maybe NOT really MY daughter........I played up the fact that I was a physical wreck after all the work and all of the things I had done for her.....she slid right in. Although this approach probably will fail miserably on a teenager.


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