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  #11  
Old 12-30-2009, 12:56 AM
david s's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Place a stick in the middle for your desired height and build a sand hemisphere around it. Build your entry 63% of the height of your stick and trowel away with the castable. My moulds are fibreglass, no pics.You would probably be better off buying a kit that is already pre designed and built you just assemble it. It is easy to stuff thing up and that is a lot of wasted time,materials and cost.
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  #12  
Old 12-30-2009, 02:39 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SA
Posts: 170
Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

I will keep that option in mind. It sounds quite simple with the sand castle option. What sort of sand would you suggest I use that can hold the weight of the cast and avoid the oven falling in and collapsing.
I will look around for a kit with pre-defined moulds thou i dont think it would be easy to find here in SA. Maybe a better option would be to have a company that uses fibreglass to make moulds, design one for me using my measurements and then use the fibreglass as my mould.

Im still open to any suggestions you or anyone else may have. I am thinking very seriously about my design when it comes to the dome. I dont want the other falling apart during the build process. That would be really frustrating considering the time and effort involved. Rather be patient and wary in this step of the process. I think the patience will carry me a long way.

Thanks for all the help so far and continue to feedback you comments and advice. It is much appreciated.

Regards
OM
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  #13  
Old 12-30-2009, 03:48 AM
david s's Avatar
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

A sand hemisphere will hold any weight. Any kind of sand would do. mix about 8% water with it.
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2009, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Thanks for that David. Using your advice, I will create a temporary sand hemisphere. I will then try and cast the dome over this hemisphere into 4-6 pieces. Once the dome dries, I will remove each piece carefully and thus have 4-6 castable pieces of the dome. I can then put those pieces together on its permanent placement directly above the cooking floor.

Regards
OM
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2010, 02:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SA
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Hi Guys
As I started to type out this reply 1 day ago, an unforeseen interruption stopped me in my tracks. Sometimes, things like these happen for unforeseen reasons and in this particular case, the reason is as follows. Since completing my reading exercise yesterday of the manual for building a Pompeii Oven by James, I had some time to contemplate and think more clearly on how to approach this project. Initially my plan was to follow James instructions step by step with a few variations.

As you all know, this oven will be built on a movable trolley. With that, comes 3 variations in the step by step instructions. 1 is there will be no real foundation as the oven with not be on a permanent platform. Number 2 is the stand like the foundation will not be on a permanent concrete block by rather a stand fabricated from steel on wheels. The third variation is castable sections of the oven for stability and to avoid it falling apart.

The next variation I will mention only occurred to me during the time I had to contemplate as mentioned above. According to James, he advises that the small difference in cost and overall labour in building a 42” oven compared to a 36” oven is a small price to pay taking into consideration the effort and work that goes into building an oven. I planned on taking James’s advice and build a 42” oven. I calculated the size of the stand I would require and this came in at around 1.6 X 2 Meters. This would result in a considerably large trolley that will be needed and the thought of moving around such a large trolley with an oven on it will be difficult. After much thought, I decided that this will not be the most practical way.
So back to the Drawing Board for me.

I ask the community to for their comments and advise. From the look of things, I will most probably end up going for a 36” oven or maybe even a little smaller.

Just a few questions regarding a smaller oven.
How many 12” Pizza’s can I cook in a 36” oven?
In terms of overall performance of the oven, like heat retention, wood consumption, bake quality, etc, how would if fair against an oven of larger capacity?
In terms of ease of use like loading/unloading of pies, and taking into consideration the smaller oven opening and cooking floor space, how would it be compare to an oven of larger capacity


I look forward to hearing from you guys.
Regards
OM
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2010, 02:59 PM
david s's Avatar
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

If you increase the diameter by 20% you increase the dome volume by 99% with a subsequent increase in fuel consumption,weight, building time etc. Most folk cook one pizza at a time because it's the waiting for people to spread out the dough and do the toppings that takes the time not the cooking. If you manage the oven well you can do multiple pizzas in a small oven too. Mine is 21" and wil fit three 9" pizzas if I take out all the coals and maintain a fire on the side.I cooked 70 of these pizzas in one night (refiring the oven once)
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2010, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

David S: Before I begin my response, I must first use this opportunity to thank you for all the advice so far, as you have been most helpful. I hope to hear much more from you as I progress.
Now to my response. If my understanding is correct and by means of example, if the dome weight of a 22” Oven is 80KG and one increases the oven size to say 27”, this will significantly set the dome weight at a whopping 160KG. If that is correct, then there’s much more to think about in terms of mobility as the increased oven weight could really impinge on the ability of my trolley to move the oven around.

I have a few questions regarding a smaller oven.
Is there any specified area of the oven that the fire needs to cover, like a percentage of the oven size?
Does the fire need to be placed in a specific section of the oven e.g. back or side?
In terms of the width and height of the oven opening, is it more difficult to Load/Unload pies from an oven that is small in size? The reason I ask this is because I know that the width and height of the oven opening is calculated based on the size of the oven in its entirety.


Look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks
Regards
OM
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2010, 02:27 AM
david s's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Oven man,
Firstly my mobile oven weighs around 170 Kgs, but my permanent oven which is the same size weighs 250 Kgs. I reduced the weight by making the walls a little thinner, using aereated concrete for the base, making the outer shell as thin as possible and making the outer arch in lightweight concrete. It needs to be fairly light because I roll it on and off the trailer frequently.I think 250Kg would be too much for both me and my trailer.
The fire in all ovens usually fills the whole dome and the coals cover the entire floor regardless of size. Smaller oven, smaller fire.
Usually when cooking pizzas a fire is maintained on the side.
Height of oven opening should be 63% of internal height.Width is personal preference and I don't think it matters all that much.
Smaller ovens are much easier to load because you don't have to reach in so far. my pizza shovel has a 500mm handle and I use it for fire tending and is one handed.
A smaller oven has the disadvantage of having its opening a bigger percentage of the oven wall area which must increase heat loss when open
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:14 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SA
Posts: 170
Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

David, did lessening of the thickness of your mobile oven and other modifications to lessen the weight, impact on the bake quality compared to your permanent oven?

Quote:
The fire in all ovens usually fills the whole dome and the coals cover the entire floor regardless of size. Smaller oven, smaller fire.
Sorry for the dumb question to follow, but could you elaborate a little on what you meant in the statement above with regards to the fire covering the entire dome? Do you mean the fire should be large enough to reach the dome physically?

Also you mention the term coal. Is this reffering to charcoal or wood?

I believe there is this little metal type of a stand that sits inside of the oven on the dome whereby the wood is lit ontop of this stand. Have you heard of this before and is it efficient?


Thanks again for your assistance.
I really appreciate it
Regards
OM
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:51 AM
david s's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
Posts: 4,855
Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

No, the slightly thinner walls seem to make little difference in performance, they both seem to work the same.
After about 45 mins I try to get the whole dome filled with flame. The flames swirl around inside, it's really cool (hot).
When the flame has all gone from the burning wood you are left with coals.
I think forno bravo sell the fire grate thing.Folk seem to think it works ok.
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