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ralogan55 01-29-2010 11:40 AM

New Pompeii challenges on space
I'm looking to build my first brick oven using the Pompeii model, but I have a number of restrictions/limiting factors that I could use some help:

(1) I'd like to build a 36" Pompeii as part of a 44"+/- wide and 8'-9' long BBQ island that will back up to my wooden perimeter fence.

(2) My biggest challenge is the recommeded size of the foundation (67" x 78") and block stand (59" x 90") is huge (IMHO) and more than the space I have. My space between my fence and patio cover post is 79" (70" to the post foundation. Is there any practical way to reduce the total size of oven (and the related foundation and block stand) and still maintain 36" interior diameter? My desired capacity is two(2) 15" pizzas (realistic? BTW - I won't go to refractory material, I want FB).

(3) I have a very tight budget and looking to spend maybe $1,000. I'd like to buy from Forno Bravo, but with freight it would be $2,000+ all-in (out of my budget). So I may have to just buy some of the components. I thought I saw a thread about making homemade FB, but couldn't find it a second time. I can buy MFB from the local brick yard for $1.47.

If all of this is too much and not do-able, I suppose I could move the oven project to the corner of the yard and set it up in a 45 degree angle.

I've read many threads and know you guys are pretty creative so I hoping for some good solutions.

Les 01-29-2010 11:53 AM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space
I don't see why the foundation needs to be bigger that the block stand. With that said, it looks like you will need 55 inches wide. This doesn't include the vent area or any working surface. If you build it on the end of your island you should have plenty of room. The home made mortar is:

3 parts sand
1 part portland
1 part lime
1 part fire clay

Good luck,


ralogan55 01-29-2010 12:05 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space

I like what you did. Mine plans are similar except the oven is at the other end. That's where the problem comes in. I can live with the 55" wide foundation and it'll still give me enough room (41"??) for the grill and counter space. My real problem is with the depth and it running into my patio post/post foundation and possibly interfering with the planned garden wall. See photo, if possible.

Can you make fire bricks from your mortar formula and is it work the effort vs. buying them?

Thanks for the tips.

Les 01-29-2010 12:15 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space
1 Attachment(s)
If you are miking the island 8-9 feet long you should have plent of room. Here is a crude drawing of what I was trying to explain. Also, buy the brick. I think making them would be way too much hassle and most likely not as good.


ralogan55 01-29-2010 12:25 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space

Do you have measurements for your entire kitchen/island? I could build my island out from where you store your pizza utensils, but I'm still concerned about running into my patio post with the block stand. Thanks.


Les 01-29-2010 12:27 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space
I need to run to a meeting - I'll post them later.


ralogan55 01-29-2010 01:12 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space
No problem.

I looked at all your photos - very clean job - strong attention to detail. I see that your stand is the standard 80" deep. That'll run into my patio post so I need to come up with something different.

I tried to download my photo, but the file is too big.

dmun 01-29-2010 01:44 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space
Make firebrick? They're cheaper than the refractory clay you'd make them out of, to say nothing of the effort and expense of firing them. In countries like Australia where firebricks are ruinously expensive they struggle with plain red brick and various refractory concretes, which we don't need to do here.

If you're on a tight budget, you need to scrounge for used/surplus materials.

Your space questions will be answered by laying out your oven on paper. All will be revealed.

Les 01-29-2010 04:27 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space

Originally Posted by Les (Post 79025)
I need to run to a meeting - I'll post them later.


The island is a little over 14 foot long and 4 foot wide. The area where the oven sits is a little over 7x7.


ralogan55 01-29-2010 05:05 PM

Re: New Pompeii challenges on space
I went out and re-measured and if I remove another few feet of the planter I can make it 11' long. With a 7X7 stand I'll still run into the patio post and footing.

I'm going to lay it out on grid paper like dmum suggested and see what I can do. Most of the people that are doing brick ovens seem to have lots of space. Most of the lots in San Diego county are small (unless you have crap-load of money) at around 5,000 - 7,000 sf. That doesn't leave a lot of room for a patio and a pizza oven.

Thanks for your help.

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