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36" dome build, Tobermory Ontario

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  • 36" dome build, Tobermory Ontario

    I'm actually mostly done but wanted to add my build experiences here for any newcomers.

    Overall was a great amount of fun, learned a lot from this site and trial and error.

    Jun 2016 looking at buying a smoker or some other oven that could maybe do pizza
    looked at various fast techniques on youtube, using the exercise ball and just covering with concrete etc
    found this site via some youtube videos and the pompeii book

    Build is at the cottage so only have a small amount of time to work on each time which is challenging

    dome style (mostly for aesthetics in the location chosen
    ideally counter to be used for buffet etc

    have a pretty good location since just of deck is just unused here
    base is on bedrock, so its not going anwhere

    After moving the tons of blocks, concrete, bricks, more concrete, granite, tiles, etc
    realize the weight of this is massive (read the notes on it, but didn't internalize it at the time...) the 6-8" should be enough on the bedrock
    probably would have done a full 8" now

  • #2
    ok time for the slab, thank goodness rented a mixer
    certainly don't know much about getting it smooth, thank goodness for YouTube
    thinking already that this is a lot of sweat labour ... but not bad so far

    Jul 9, 2016


    • #3
      Decided on dry-stacking since the booklet seem indicate that is the best way
      seems pretty easy t this point (other than lugging all this to from home to the driveway and to the back location here)

      add more rebar and (some stuffing the concrete bags in a few holes to reduce the amount of concrete)

      Jul 20, 2016


      • #4
        Now to figure out the right height of the first hearth slab,
        assuming 2" of fibreboard + 2.5"
        and 39" finished height

        used concrete backer board below it I have a set of blocks in the middle of the space below holding that up, which I may remove later
        and of course more rebar and mesh in here
        added some 4" PVC pipes randomly, around where the oven will be be, just so when I pour the next slab it will recess into these
        more for the counter which will overhang
        (not sure if needed really but, was easy enough)

        ugh did this concrete by hand mixing, but still moving reasonably well (hopefully get it mostly done end end of the season)

        Aug 1, 2016
        and a nice sunset from (prev day)


        • #5
          Planning out the floor of the oven
          First time cutting the bricks, bought a 8" tile saw from HD (so it could easily cut the 2.5" blocks (10" was a bit too pricy)
          cutting was easier than I thought (just need a good set of ear protection and its all good, and the FB cutting was simple (wear mask for that, saw that bit of advice)

          I tried adding a layer between the FB and the slab of the slurry of firebrick dust and water but in the end didn't do that, as didn't need to level and couldn't quite get the slurry to be right
          Later I also saw people adding a waterproofing layer under the FB. Unfortunately I didn't really get the reason for it at the time (now I know wicking up the concrete blocks) but I would have done that using like AquaDefense

          A good day, lots of bricks cut and got the first set of soldier bricks in place

          I created my IT, used a pole sanding head, which has a great ball joint, then use a broomstick and nailed a joist hanger onto the end of that
          screwed that to the middle of the plywood, (was trying to figure if it need to be below the plywood, but doing some math it seemed it would work that way.
          thought that was pretty simple (worked well though the build

          I got most of the material from a place in Markham (OutdoorPizzOvens, which is out of Alphatherm office)
          (bricks, mortar, FB, CFB, matrilite)

          Aug 3,2016


          • #6
            when I started to think about the next layer of bricks I realize the full circle plywood on the bottom was going to be a problem getting out ...
            so cut that in 3 pieces so could eventually pull out via the front vent


            • #7
              Various stages at the simple layers, working late into the night and the next morning

              Didn't quite get the right setup for the vent, its not quite symmetrical from the top, but can adjust later a bit in next layers
              Messed up on the vent by not staggering the bricks, not sure what I was doing on that

              Aug 12, 2016, so looking good to get his done, at least the basics


              • #8
                Now for the trickier parts

                I tried hanging water-filled bottles to keep the next levels, but ended up cutting various wood pieces to keep the bricks in place from the inside

                top layers have a bit more mortar than I would have liked, but its not too bad..

                top plug I divided into 2 bricks on their side and angle cut them so one would go in then the next would slide right onto that one on that with mortar etc
                then cut a 2nd layer plug to put on top of that

                Sep 1, 2016


                • #9
                  ok mortared all around, thought why not, should add some strength
                  added some supports on the side of the vent mostly since the floor isn't attached and wanted some extra support for the vent,
                  starting on vent,
                  not doing much on that few bricks and then SS pipe

                  added CFB around main dome, taking it right down to the hearth to overlap with the FB
                  eventually I will add more CFB all around the vent

                  trying to use the halogen lamp to dry out the oven a bit slowly

                  Sep 5, 2016

                  so over the next few weeks doing curing fires, so it can
                  mostly used trays of charcoal for all of that, seems that works well and keeps a real constant temperature
                  hard to do since its not local and need to raise lower 2/weekend and then ensure have time to cool down to tarp till the next week


                  • #10
                    First time adding wood to the charcoal fires, its amazing how quickly that heats up
                    Covered back portion with the Matrilite 18 refractory cement

                    Oct 15, 2016, that's it for the first year of this endeavour
                    covered with 3 tarps, left the wood door 99% in place to avoid any animals but allow some air flow
                    hopefully the snow and ice won't get in anywhere and no mold etc

                    decided, no pizza yet till the family gets up to try out the first one next year.

                    funny, felt like it was almost done after these first 3 months (since its usable) ... 2 years later still not quite done though
                    Last edited by millerlake; 09-05-2018, 08:50 PM.


                    • #11
                      Nice, survived the winter no problem all tarped up

                      Add more CFB and then Matrilite 18 all around the vent
                      then added waterproof concrete on a 2" strip all around the bottom to protect the FB
                      then adding flexcrete (polymer concrete) on the whole thing

                      for the vent added a few extra bricks
                      drilled a screw hole in the top brick, inverted the screw in to the hole so the nut will be on the top side, so the vent plate can be attached to the screws and removed if required, jut remove nuts and remove the plates (of course will have lots of fireproof caulking to seal it)

                      setup the extended platform for the counter, ensuring that the 1 1/4" granite will be at the right level 1-2mm below the vent opening when its added
                      so need to make sure this will be right
                      added a cutout portion in front so can stand in there
                      cement backer-board again for the extended bit

                      Jun 4, 2017
                      Last edited by millerlake; 09-17-2018, 01:19 PM.


                      • #12
                        next concrete pour for the underside of the counters
                        added a channel to the ground on the overhang, for extra strength

                        Jun 17, 2017


                        • #13
                          ok that worked

                          funny thing is been doing pizza's each time, but never actually photo'd one of them yet

                          Jun 30, 2017


                          • #14
                            been trying for a while to figure out what the final coverings bottom and top were going to be
                            looked a lot at various stucco option, some 'sanded' paint,

                            decided to slate tile the bottom 12x24 using kerabond/keralastic thins-set bed and UltraColour FA Plus grout (all polymer stuff for outdoors)
                            this should also stop and water really getting to the concrete blocks and wicking up to the FB insulation

                            Yeah, time for the granite, was fun watching him measure it, laser took measurements basically every 5mm
                            I decided no to get the back part as granite, and would tile it or whatever the top is going to be

                            Starting to take shape

                            Jul 10, 2017
                            Last edited by millerlake; 09-05-2018, 09:20 PM.


                            • #15
                              Added under counter slate and grouted

                              still no pizza photos, but fire roasted tomatoes and smoked brisket

                              Sep 1, 2017 hmm, end of 2nd year on this

                              still need to figure out the front facing, final top finishing, put vent plate in place fully