Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community (
-   Pompeii Oven Construction (
-   -   Mississippi 44" (

Gulf 11-27-2011 08:58 AM

Mississippi 44"
3 Attachment(s)
Thanks eveybody for your pics, ideas and Forno Bravo for hosting this site. It is unbelievable how much information is on this site. And learning from so many who have first hand experience is priceless. I've learned from your success's now maybe some one can learn from my mistakes.:

It's raining, every thing is covered up, and I'm out of brick. So I guess it's time to figure out this photo posting stuff and start chronicling my build.
I started a Picasso album and it looks like the link works in my signature. I'll figure out the rest as I go. I may have to edit this original post so please bare with me as I learn.

I began a hearth set into a space left in a retaining wall that I had originally meant for a BBQ pit. That space seems to be just right for the WFO. All but about 8" of the hearth stand will be below grade. I hope with the plastic underneath, surrounding the block stand and along with the sandy soil that moisture is't a problem. If it is I'll just get the shovel back out and install a french drain like I should have to start with.

Since the storage can only be accesed from the front I became conserned about clearance underneath the stand. I wanted a center support and that also seemed to make the back of the storage area more unaccesable. I did not want to add a half row of block thinking that that would make the landing higher than I wanted.

Attachment 27723

I decided to not use angle iron to support the lintel blocks and went on to pour the lintels and the hearth monolithic. I formed an arch over the opening lintel and the center support lintel. This will give me about four more inches of head room in the very middle.

Attachment 27722

Gulf 11-27-2011 09:37 AM

Re: Mississippi 44"
1 Attachment(s)
Poured 4" of 5-1 vermicrete on the hearth. I had figured that it would take seven cubic feet of vermiculite. I bought two 4cubic feet bags. That was'nt enough. I lacked about 1/2" across the entire form. The nursery closes at noon on saturday. No other source for the course grade so I had to settle for some expensive horiculture grade vermiculite from Walley World. It is a lot finer than I wanted and I'm sure that it is as not as good as an insulater. It did make a smooth compact surface though. If had it to do over and vermiculite was going to be my only floor insulation I would fab a 1/2 deeper form and pour this stuff for a top coat. It firms up the surface.

Attachment 27736

Gulf 11-27-2011 10:08 AM

Re: Mississippi 44"
2 Attachment(s)
Started out to build a 42" pompeii, but I ended up laying out for a 44". The 42 just looked small on that big hearth. It may not be a true pompeii when finnished though. I am thinking about gradually pulling the dome back in to about a 20 to 21" at the apex. (Any and all suggestions welcomed)

After a few unsuccessful attempts I finally found something from which to fab a dome guage. The pivot is from an old commercial door closer. It happened to have the same threads as a large turnbuckle that I picked up at Ace hardware. Along with a short piece of allthread I had an adjustable dome guage.

Attachment 27738

I had took the time to build a plywood floor that would be removable when finnished. I had the dome guage attached to it but It was warped. I sacrificed a brick to keep the exact center built a wood brick to replace it as stable anchor for the guage. Now the box for the HF saw has a new use covering the oven floor.

Attachment 27739

No welding:)

Gulf 11-27-2011 11:20 AM

Re: Mississippi 44"
2 Attachment(s)
I built the inside arch first and tied it in with the first three rows of dome brick. (no soldier course) I was thinking that it would lean in more than it does in order to match the curve of the dome. I felt that it would need the support at the base as it would be standing alone temporarily. From the photo below you can also see that I ended up with 2" of CalSil. (I'm glad that I did not add a 1/2 row of block to the harth stand) The CalSil was given to me and I was also glad to find out that it is great insulation for the oven floor. I will have to extend the vermicrete and CalSil out a little further to include 2 full brick for the flue.


I knew from reading many builds that there would be a problem keeping each row level as it tied into the curve of the entry arch. I decided to concentrate to completely finish the dome/arch tie in before completing the remainder of each row. I laid just enough brick of each row to allow me to rack back the next row. This left the back of the dome open to allow me easy access to make these difficult cuts.

I must admit that I did not really think that this really going to be a problem, but I discovered that I too was dropping as much as 3/16 of an inch per row tying into the curve of the arch. Being forewarned by studying other builders projects helped me catch this early.

I then found a use for a tool that I have had for a long time but had not got much use out of. That would be a laser level. It worked like a charm. I set it up just out side of the back of the oven directly opposite of the arch. I found that if I set it up back far enough, its beam shown on both sides of the arch. Using the dome gauge I would set a brick on each side of the arch for the row that I was working on. I then adjusted the level to the height of the bricks. Surprisingly they were always at the same level. This gave me a reference point to work back into the arch.


I wished that I had got more pics, I hope this explanation helps.

Someone else may have already be using this technique. If not here it is. There is probably a better way out there, but this worked for me.

I cleared the arch with the 9th row. Didn't get many pics as I was trying to beat the rain last night. I will get more when the weather clears.

Another edit
I felt like that I needed to go back and clarify what type laser level that I used on the build. Mine is a rotating, self leveling, cross projection laser . It is not the type that you mount to the surface that you are working on like those used for hanging pictures. It has to be set back away from the project. The picture hanger stud finders are useles so I have been made aware. I think that you can tell what brand from the pic.
The further you set it back from the project the wider the beam. If you set it back to far though, bright sunlight will obscure the beam. It can be placed on a stand or (as I did) set on an ever increasing stack of bricks. This is the only laser level that I have ever worked with and did not think about the different types that are available out there.

Gulf 11-27-2011 02:49 PM

Re: Mississippi 44"
I'm still working on including photos in the post. I've tried the fixes and the tutorial. I'm not sure but it may be that I haven't reached the minimum number of posts. I have some more pics on another camera if I can get it to be recognized by this computer. I'll add them to the Picasa album if I can.

Tscarborough 11-27-2011 03:29 PM

Re: Mississippi 44"
It looks great so far. Where are you in Mississippi?

Gulf 11-27-2011 04:16 PM

Re: Mississippi 44"
Thank's Tscarborough
I'm in southeast MS. I usually start out answering that question with the nearest large town. That would be Hattiesburg. If someone is a little more familiar with the area I tell them the nearest small town. That would be Richton. To be exact I am from a very small community in Greene county called Piave, MS.

Tscarborough 11-27-2011 06:25 PM

Re: Mississippi 44"
Too small for me to know. I am from Gulfport, my wife's family is from Hattiesburg and my parents moved back to Woolmarket (Biloxi) when my Grandmere died.

brickie in oz 11-27-2011 07:47 PM

Re: Mississippi 44"

Originally Posted by Gulf (Post 124051)
I'm still working on including photos in the post. I've tried the fixes and the tutorial.

Use Pixresizer (google) to make the pics 800 pixels wide, thats the biggest problem with up loading pics, and the fact they are 1.2 Million pixels in size. :)

Gulf 11-28-2011 05:37 PM

Re: Mississippi 44"

Originally Posted by Tscarborough (Post 124059)
Too small for me to know.

Yea, that's why I start out with Hattiesburg:) I began this post also to tell you that I was born in Houston,TX. I first read your location as Austin. I did not get a hit on googling "ausitn" though. Not trying to replace "Brickie" as the "spelling police" for the site.:) Is that a misspell?, or is that in another country?

We love the coast and everything about hiway 90. All the way from New Orleans to Pensacola. Love riding down there.

"Pizzaa Anarchy" COOL. I like that. I will book mark that so that I can find it when I am done with "take out" and "Hunt's Brothers".

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC