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david 04-16-2005 10:34 AM

Oven Hearth Slab
and firstly thank you for all the plans and sound advice.I started to build last Monday and am just about ready to pour my Hearth slab.Should I use the same Quickrete Crack resistant Concrete for both pours and when mixed with the perlite for the Insulation layer ,how much water approx. should be added to the 6-1 ratio?I have read that the mixture dries to an "Oatmeal consistency and i'm worried that this will crumble under the cooking floor!
I really want to build a Neapolitan Oven but am nervous about the 15" dome hight and acute angle of the bricks.I looked at a few professional ovens such as Acunto ,but can't figure out how they do it.Any suggestions?I plan to cook primarily Pizza and tandoori nan type breads.(I miss the Curries from my London homeland ) I'll post an update later with photos.Thanks for any help.

james 04-17-2005 06:12 AM

Hi David,

Don't forget that you mix the vermiculite or permilte with pure portland cement, not concrete (which has aggregate in it). It looks funny, but it really does set.

Anyone have a guess on the ratios of water? I've done it by feel.

On the low Napoli dome design -- you need forms to build the low vault, where you can built the higher dome without much internal support. You can get to upper chains before you need support.

I have seen photos of the wooden collapsable forms used for a Napoli oven, and it looks pretty sophisticated to me. I know I have said this before, but the high vault isn't a mistake, or an inferior oven. It really is a regional design style. The higher vault is prevelent in Tuscany. My guess is that unless your builder was from Naples, most ovens in Italy are the higher design.

You can make great Naan and tandoori in these ovens. Something to look forward to!


david 04-19-2005 05:31 PM

Re :Oven hearth Slab
Thanks James. Too late -I screwed up big time and completed it with the quickrete before I realised my mistake or read your message...........ouch!
I'm going to try and start the Pompeii dome tomorrow.

james 04-20-2005 12:34 AM

Don't worry
Hi David,

Don't worry. Lots of ovens get installed on a straight concrete slab. It will work fine, and as you got vermiculite in your slab it will be somewhere in the middle. Heck, the official installation guide for a handful of the smaller Italian oven producers tell you to use a standard concrete slab.

Keep going!


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