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james 10-26-2006 05:43 AM

Leave a reveal at the entry to the oven
The thread about the door sealing the front of the oven got me thinking that you need to leave a reveal (set back the vent landing walls back) enough to allow a door full close the opening of the oven. The door has to be able to slide inside the walls of the vent landing area, and close again the actual bricks that form the oven opening.


A look at the Casa photograph shows what I had trouble putting in writing.

Do the builders in the group think that this is clear in the plans, or should we add something to point this out?

dmun 10-26-2006 06:14 AM

Leaving a step for the door to seal against is hard to do when you are using a whole-brick / half brick building method. It is one of the reasons that I originally designed a tapered entry to my oven so I would have a tapered side wall to plug a door into, like a ground glass stopper.

If you are going crazy with a diamond saw, that vertical ledge is do-able, but it would be hard for someone renting a saw for one morning to cut bricks in half.

The whole transition from dome to rectangle is one of the most difficult things in oven building.

james 10-26-2006 06:53 AM

I was thinking more that the walls of the vent landing area should be set back from the opening into the oven. If you picture the oven dome as a single piece, with the walls of the vent landing area as a separate (and even optional) piece, then you can make sure the vent walls don't line up with the opening into the oven. Do don't modify, or cut the opening, just set the vent walls back.

I guess I am saying that you don't have to change to opening, but makes sure the vent walls sit back atleast 1/4" or more so you can push the door up to close the opening.

Is that better?

jengineer 10-26-2006 07:28 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Chapter 06 Building The Dome

Building the Oven Opening
The oven opening is built either after the dome is completed or in conjunction with the chain that is at the same height as the opening.

There are four traditional ways for framing your door opening.

The easiest, fastest and least costly way of framing the oven opening is to use standard size bricks to frame the side of the opening, and a length of 2"x 2" x 3/16" angle iron to support the top of the opening. Build your opening to the oven about " larger on each side, Figure 13. This will allow you to seal the door and close the oven when you are done baking pizza, after the fire has been removed and you want to bake that roast or desert.

The other methods are: building a curved arch using bricks to frame the opening; building (or having a metal fabricator build) a complete door frame built, either from steel or cast iron; or framing the opening with stone lintels. The curved arch method is beautiful, but difficult to build. Because the oven opening tends to a little black and sooty, we aren't sure it is worth the effort. Having a welder build a doorframe that also integrates your oven vent is something you might want to consider if you have access to a good fabricator. The stone lintel approach is authentic, and will look great, but you are on your own when it comes to finding the right material, and it can be tricky making your brick oven work with the non-straight lines of the stone.

yes the last sentance will be wordsmithed as it comes off a bit harsh

the first picture is figure 13 and has this statement attached
"13. considering extending the 2nd bricks from the fireside entrance about 1/2" 3/4 further apart. This would leave a masonry door stop."

The second picture has this statement attached
"21. Finished dome with support forms still in place. This oven does not have the opening larger by inch on either side of the door jamb. Fitting a door to this design will be a challenge."

james 10-26-2006 12:54 PM

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for this. I will make these edits on the web-based instruction pages. Still, I kinda like the "left to your own devices part". There are some very skilled builders out there. :rolleyes:


james 11-07-2006 04:59 AM

The plans have been updated
I added a paragraph in the building the oven dome page of the Pompeii oven plans that describes setting the vent walls back from the opening to leave room for the door. You can find it here:

I am also making this posting sticky, so it remains at the top of this Forum section.

dmun 11-07-2006 06:53 AM

We need a picture on that: I'm not sure a novice is going to understand this. Maybe we can get someone to contribute a photo from their oven construction (I'm using the tapered entry plan, so I can't volunteer)

A hint: Trim the bottom off picture 6 so no one gets confused seeing the full upright bricks.

arevalo53anos 11-07-2006 08:08 AM

2 Attachment(s)

I have just writing to Jahysea (Santa Helena oven) showing him that their oven did not have any reveal at the entry of the oven.

IMHO it is an important step to close the oven properly when trying to maintain heat in it.

In the following pictures it is possible to see the two soldier bricks presented with the edge to the open landing area. If I could made again I definitively could fix the soldiers with the side stand up to the landing/vent area. In this way could be more easy to grow up with the vent giving more area to lean out the door.

The second picture shows that this reveal, even being sufficient, could had been a little width and more forgiving.


james 11-07-2006 08:18 AM

Your photo is perfect. If you don't mind, I will size it and add it to the published plans. Thanks.

You are right that having a door that seals is important for heat management, steam, and controlling (and killing) the fire.


arevalo53anos 11-08-2006 02:11 AM


Thanks, I do not mind if you use the picture. By fact it is there just to help who needs.
By the way, I have a lot of pictures of the various steps in the oven building, as is baking pizzas, bread and so.
There will be when you need!


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