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mkenniso 05-19-2009 08:08 AM

Pompeii in Progress...
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Hello all. I am happy to say that I am joining the elite WFO club. I've wanted to open a gourmet pizza/deli shop for some years now. Currently my father I own and a gourmet dog treat company, which is a great business but my heart and stomach have been pulling me towards the food business. Finally, the time is about here. The location is about complete. I have acquired pizza ovens over the past few years, but I must say the more I fell in love with all that is true pizza the more my desire for an authentic brick oven grew. I sold my pizza ovens, but even that additional income was not enough to have a custom wfo and grill professional bought/built. To get my location to the point where I was truly I proud to put my name on it, took far more investement than I anticpated. It is is an historic building, built with very old buildings comes very old problems. Long story short, money was very tight and the final project, the brick oven, became a financial issue. Well after some research I said wfo or bust. I did most of the construction and renovation on the building myself with the help of some loyal friends so I decided I wasn't stopping there. I was nervous, and did some second guessing and so did others but I stuck with my gut and the oven is under construction. This forum has certainly given me some renewed confidence and I must say I am excited to join you wfo enthusiasts. I very thankful I came across the forno bravo pompeii plans, and this forum!

I do need some advice though. The foundation and hearth is built and it's time for the cooking floor and dome. It is spaced for about a 48" oven. I do not have any insulation for under the cooking floor. I am in the process of buying the fb board. Is this enough insulation??? Since this is for commercial use, should I use 2 layers of firebrick for the floor for improved heat retention??? This is my next step so I would really appreciate some feedback. Thank you all.

dmun 05-19-2009 10:08 AM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
Two inches of FB board, which is a mineral fiber refractory insulation, should suffice. Additional firebrick, or firebrick on edge, is really not needed, if you want to go crazy, use more FB board, not more brick. That said, a commercial oven that never cools down won't have a performance problem with a thicker brick floor like an intermittently fired home oven would, but there's really no reason for it.

Good luck with your project. Keep us posted.

mkenniso 05-26-2009 04:24 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
Thanks for the feedback. I read on the james commercial oven post that the modena oven has 6" of under dome insulation. This is composed of high efficiency solid state refractory insulating tiles. Is this something I should look into or is 2" FB board all I need? The Modena has two layers of the tiles. Would maybe one layer of tile and one layer of FB board be a solid bet? I really just want to garauntee that insulation is never an issue as I plan to really have this oven cranking around the clock. I thought just to double up on FB board, but I need 4 as it is and to double that price is costly and I want to be sure this would be a wise decision; efficently and structurally speaking. Also, should the tiles or fb board be mortared down. I have a few bags of heatstop 50 thus far. Just going around in circles on this issue and any addtional help would be greatly appreciated.

mkenniso 06-06-2009 12:43 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
Got my Fb board in and its back to it. I think one layer should suffice. If I'm not mistaken the first course should not be mortered down to the cooking floor to allow for thermic expansion. Is this correct???

christo 06-06-2009 12:58 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
you are correct. One layer of the FB board should be really good.

Not mortaring down the first layer is good advice, IMHO.

Some unasked for advice:

As you lay down the floor keep in mind that the ceramic board really sucks the moisture out of the clay.

I tried and tried with moist clay and got frustrated. I finally gave up and used dry clay to level the floor. my floor is still very level after 2 years.

Have fun!!!


mkenniso 06-07-2009 02:17 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
Great, thanks for the advice. My next debate is whether I should lay the floor bricks on their side for increased heat retention. If so would having that many seems be an issue? By the way, Christo your oven is certainly impressive. Well done.

mkenniso 06-10-2009 04:39 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
Final thoughts are in and I'm ready to rock. I am going with the single layer of firebrick laid flat. It's all about a hot cooking surface and a hot pizza. The Pompeii is excently designed and I'm going with it. Saves me on wood and heat up time. I was worried that it may not hold enough heat for an over night roast and not losing surface heat when really cranking out the pies, but I'm sure I'm covered and that it's more about being well insulated. Back to work...

mkenniso 06-26-2009 02:56 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
I Finished laying the cooking floor. As I plan the dome build it seems that it is going to be a bit difficult to build being that it is a corner build and rather high off the ground. Would it be concievable to build the dome on a slab of wood and transfer it onto the cooking floor; then insualte??? I'm anxious to get started but was pondering over the pros and cons. Any thoughts?

DrakeRemoray 06-26-2009 03:21 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...

Originally Posted by mkenniso (Post 58578)
Would it be concievable to build the dome on a slab of wood and transfer it onto the cooking floor; then insualte???

I really do not think this is feasible. Maybe you could build a temporary scaffold or step nearby to make it easier to build the dome.


dmun 06-26-2009 03:35 PM

Re: Pompeii in Progress...
It's possible to build your dome in very close quarters: You end up standing on the floor for the first few courses. If you have headroom above it and can stand up, you're ahead of what I had to work around.

As far as pre-building your oven and moving it into position, it's what the makers of the FB Artigiano do: I'm not exactly sure how they do it. I think you'd be better off building a "ship in a bottle" than trying to move a homemade dome once it's done

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