Old 02-26-2007, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3
Default Question on bricks and soap stone


I have two basic questions, and I would appreciate to hear back from you guys.

1. How do you determine the correct angle of the bricks for each row to get the correct shape of the dome? Can wooden shims be used to make the angle of the bricks?

2. I heard that soapstone is an excellent hearth material. Any comments?

Best regards,
Long Island, New York
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:35 AM
maver's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 571
Default Re: Question on bricks and soap stone

I built my oven dome with wooden shims. I laid out full bricks in the profile of my dome and measured the gaps (adjust the bricks to the same gap on each side of the dome), then cut 9" shims (which gives you a handle when using half bricks). Each gap was different (larger gaps at the base of the dome, smaller near the apex).

Others have mentioned soapstone here in the past. There has been suggestion that it heat too quickly and may lead to difficulty preventing the crust from burning but I do not recall any actual user testimony, so I think you would be adding new information to the community if use this and let us know how it works. Alf might have experience with this.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 96
Default Re: Question on bricks and soap stone

To set the angle of the bricks, I laid out the arch on a piece of plywood, then cut it in half to get two 1/4 circle pieces. I put attached some blocks so it would stand by itself, marked the center of the oven, then rotated it around in a circle while setting each brick to the correct angle.

Once I got to the 9th ring, the bricks would start sliding, and I resorted to styrofoam centering.

Ditto what maver said about soapstone. No personal experience, but have heard it's too efficient at conducting heat.
I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:

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