Hi. Thought I'd introduce myself. I am a bread baker (sourdoughs and others) and pizza maker who has been contemplating a wood fired oven for a couple of years now. I have read Alan Scott's and Kiko's books on ovens, and had been debating between the two when I stumbled upon this site and the Pompeii plans. I now think that a 36" Pompeii is really what I had been looking for.
I've been pouring over the plans, forum and pictures of Pompeii oven projects here, and still have a few questions:
1. It seems that a modified island hearth (IIRC) might be want I am looking for. Perhaps an additional 1" to 1-1/2" of concrete embedded in the insulating layer. Never having done this (but having poured a bunch of concrete and done masonry some) it seems that one could pour say 2" of insulation vermiculite mix; let it set; setup a ring 1-1/2" high; pour regular concrete for the island; let it set, then remove the ring and finish pouring insulating concrete around that. Or one could even increase the total depth to 10" and thus keep a full 3-1/2" of insulation-crete under the hearth.
Something like this would give a bit more thermal mass to the floor, but not as much as a full second layer of firebrick. And it would keep an insulation layer around the hearth area, so should help with heat loss.
2. I am a bit confused that the plans say that a free form build up of the arch is the best way to go, yet several of the picture histories seem to be using foam board forms for the arch. Is the "group wisdom" that the form method is really easier or better?
3. I have been leaning towards the igloo type outside covering for my stove. But in looking on the forum, it seems that most of the threads have built the standard house-like cover over their stoves. I'm curious as to why that is. Is there more to the igloo vs house covering than just the visual look?
4. I live in the Colorado foothills at about 8500' elevation. Winters are cold here and it can be quite windy at times too. Any additional considerations I should be planning in to my oven (frost protection for the foundation, extra insulation, opening placement for the wind, etc).
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