Old 02-03-2008, 05:18 PM
dmun's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216
Default arched opening?

Jim posted this photo of a pre-fab FB oven today.

Is there any reason that home builders don't build this style of semi-circular entrance arch? We see so many ovens crack at the thin arch top of the usual style rectangualar or shallow arch opening. It seems that this would be stronger, as well as being easier to tie into the shape of the dome.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:35 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL
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Default Re: arched opening?

I think 2 reasons:
1) The bricks pictured all appear to be tapered, with the bottom brick on each side appearing larger than a tyical firebrick - Tapered bricks can be very expensive; the local refractory supplier (the only place within 100 miles who stocked them) had prices that started at $4.50 per brick and wnet up to nearly $8 depending on size and degree of taper.

2) Novice builders are a bit intimidated by the geometry involved and more importantly the skill they think they need to accomplish this. Remember, the basic Pompeii plans really don't call for anything more than right angle cuts and 1/2 bricks. Personally, I had done considerably BASIC stone, tile, and masonry work in the past and I too fell into this category to some extent. I actually started with the arch and entry, then proceeded to the dome where I tapered every brick...I think the confidence I gained building the arch and entry was the driving force behind tapering every dome brick and attempting as tight a fit as I could achieve. Bottom line, I think many believe arches to be difficult and as I mention, a bit intimidating. If I ever build another it most certainly will have a more decorative and supportive entry/arch.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:50 PM
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Location: Charlotte Bay, Australia
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Default Re: arched opening?

I built a catenary-type flue arch from tapered blocks but apparently was a bit careless when mortaring in the keystone: resulting in fine cracks on either side of the keystone. And on advice of the supplier of tapered flue and door arch bricks, I started on the twin arches FIRST and only then began laying the dome bricks...

Still think the arch itself is nice and stable, and the tapered bricks worked very well. I'd recommend this type to other dome builders - just take extra care with the keystone!


"I started out with nothing, and I've still got most of it"

Last edited by carioca; 02-03-2008 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:46 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
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Location: Prince Albert, Ontario, Canada
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Default Re: arched opening?


Just for clarity, I should point out that the archway on the Modena is cast as a single piece. The "brick" look comes from the mold they use. On the sides, it's nearly four inches thick. There's a slot in the top into which the metal vent fits quite nicely. Good thing I had help to get it into position.

The next one I do, I'll take photos of it from various angles. This might help.

"Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

Last edited by CanuckJim; 02-04-2008 at 07:47 AM. Reason: incomplete
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:35 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
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Location: san angelo, texas
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Default Re: arched opening?

I'm seriously contemplating opening a pizza establishment with a financial partner. So.. I've been checking out ovens.
I think I am leaning toward gas fired... (I don't want to live at the place taking care of a wood fired oven) I've been checking out James selection of gas ovens for commercial use.
Have you had much experience with these types Jim?
And can they put out 60 - 70 pies an hour?

Anyways.. I thought I'd ask.

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