#1  
Old 11-23-2008, 07:30 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: reno nv
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Default New Guy Here!!

Hello, I plan on building a simple pizza oven, and I had a few questions:

1) Where is the best place to find firebricks? And what kind are the best for use in the hearth and the dome?

2) What is the type of sand to use with vermiculite for the void spaces around the dome? And what is the ratio of sand to vermiculite for the insulation space?

3) How thick should the layer of insulation be between the dome and the outside wall in order to not feel burning heat on the outside of the structure? I have a fence a few inches from where I want to build my oven, and naturally I do not want to create a fire hazard!! (I'm also a Reno Firefighter, and that would look pretty bad!!)

To anyone out there who takes the time to respond, thanks a million- I really appreciate it!

Respectfully,
John
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2008, 02:43 AM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 575
Default Re: New Guy Here!!

Welcome John,
If you plan to build a wood fired oven, you have come to the right place.

Best place I know of to buy firebricks is H.C. Muddox in Sacto. They manufacture them and sell "seconds" for 30 cents each - cheap. Low to medium duty are considered best for an oven.

The Forno Bravo oven plans that I built my oven from did not suggest adding sand to the insulating layer under the oven floor. It is simply a mixture of portland cement and vermiculite. Two inches is the recomended thickness.

This is what I used and I am pretty sure I lose most of my heat through the floor. I am very happy with it but if I ever build another I will use an insulating board material (available from the Forno Bravo on line store) under the floor.

Hope this helps.

dusty
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

No sand in the vermiculite concrete. It doesn't need it and it reduces the insulation value dramatically. And you need four inches under the floor, not two. If you are limited to two inches, you should go with one of the insulation boards, either cal-sil or mineral fiber.

Similar guidelines apply to the outside of the dome. Four inches of vermiculite concrete, or two of mineral fiber blanket. Many of us have used both on the top of the oven, since heat rises.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

Thanks for the information guys! Dusty, I live in Reno so visiting H.C. Maddox in Sacto is no problem. I will shoot for 4 inches thickness for my hearth (bottom). Also, I was still wondering, is it better to use refractory concrete over Portland cement? Does it really matter, especially if you aren't firing your oven more than, say, once a week? And I'm assuming at least 4 inches of insulation all the way around the dome will be enough to not really feel the heat to touch on the outside of the structure?

Thanks again,
John
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

John - Just noticed you are in Reno. If you don't want to make the drive over the hill, you can buy the brick at Basalite.

Les...
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

If you choose to use vermiculite for the hearth insulation - 3 1/2" is recommended. The simplest way to achieve this is to use 2x8s to frame your hearth pour; then pour the 4" rebar/mesh reinforced support slab and fil the remaining 3 1/2" with the vermiculite. I believe this is per the FB plans. Download the plans from the FB store (they are FREE) and read them over several times...this should clarify a lot of the questions you have/will have. This is what I did 20 months ago.
If I were building today, I would choose one of the ceramic fiber boards (FB board - as it is called on the forum). The pricing has dropped considerably since my build and is available through the FB store (if you can't find a cheaper local supplier). As mentioned, you only need 2 inch board to equal the insulating value of 3 1/2"-4" of vermiculite.

RT
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2008, 11:39 AM
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Location: reno nv
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

RT,

Thanks for the information, I will be picking more brains like yours' in the future as I get closer. I think I will utilize the FB as it saves me height (and work!) as I can only go a certain height due to CCR restrictions. I would like to go with a gabled roof, but again, I am limited by height, so I may have to end up with something flatter. I will check Basalite for vermiculite and firebrick.

Talk to you soon!
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

Saw no answer to your portland quesiton so far. I'll take a whack.

Portland breaks down with high heat. So it's not so much the frequency of use as the temperature that makes it unacceptable.

Some of the home brew mixes have portland in them and that is so there is some inital set or strength in the mix.

Christo
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2008, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckj View Post
I will check Basalite for vermiculite and firebrick.

I'm not sure if they will carry the vermiculite, but you can get it at Moana Nursery.

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  #10  
Old 11-24-2008, 12:29 PM
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Location: reno nv
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Default Re: New Guy Here!!

Les, you are from Carson City (I grew up there). You built a pizza oven there? Maybe some time I could take a look at it (if that isn't too forward!!). Anyway, nice to have locals on this site, especially in order to take a look at some real life examples at some point!

Thanks, look forward to talking with you some more!
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