My Uncle built two ovens using regular red clay bricks. He put two layers of bricks on his dome, using a sand form. Another innovation he has innovated for the dome of his next oven is using one of those big inflatable exercise balls, half inflated as his dome form. I'm kinda thinking I might go the same route for my maiden oven. Anyone feel like talking me out of it? How much money have people spent on their pompeii ovens? Is there a God?
Regular red brick in fireplace service has the reputation for cracking and "spalling" (having chips break off the exposed surface of the brick.) This might be a problem if the chip falls on your pizza.
Here's a link to the rumford site that discusses this:
It may not be that important. If aesthetics are a consideration here in Jersey I can get reddish firebrick - they are redder than the yellow ones, but they don't look like red brick.
(M) What follows is a Copy-Paste from an earlier posting of mine in regard to using a ball as a temporary dome support:
(M) "I used 8 vanes and should have gone for 16. But if I had it to do over again I think I'd re-examine the ball idea as explained in the post below:
(M) If the link above is not clickable, just Copy-Paste it into your browser window.
(M) Look for a picture of a blue ball toward the bottom. I'd write to Davy, the builder to ask if it continued to work out well for him. He lists his email as firstname.lastname@example.org
Red brick dome
You can build the dome out of red brick, but unless the extra cost is a killer, I would recommend firebrick. The spalling issue is right, and I even think there is more of a chance of chunks of bricks cracking. That happened in the dome of my outside oven, where the dome is red brick. 1/3 of a brick cracked and fell in.
I also think that firebricks are better at reaching the higher heats you want for pizza, and they heat up faster.
If the question is doing the oven with red brick or not at all, do it with Home Depot clay bricks or found bricks. But if the question is whether a firebrick oven is better than a red brick oven, the firebrick oven will be better and last longer.
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