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New Build Sierra Foothills

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  • New Build Sierra Foothills

    Working on a new oven, because my friend and jack-of-all-trades is a pizza master. Funny, he turns out to be a brick master as well! He says it's the Irish genes...

    Any thoughts, tips and suggestions would be very welcome.

    Here are photos from the first week. So far, we have built the base (from used bricks my recalcitrant boy has cleaned for one or another bad decision he has made), framed and poured the structural base (concrete) and today poured the insulation layer (~ 4ish :1 perlite:concrete).

    Monday, it will be firebrick base. I will be building the IT this weekend.

    the base is 48"x60" - I am hoping for a 42" interior, but realize we may need to go a touch smaller -- is there magic in the 36" and 42" or is it just the roundness?

  • #2
    Oh! The hope is that we can build the oven (and opening) big enough to fit one of my home-grown turkeys in a few months...


    • #3
      Congrats on the build start Amusinglisa. The base insulation layer of 4:1 is a little cement rich. Normally 5:1 is recommended, so you might lose a little heat through your base, but as long as wood's not a problem and you aren't looking at cooking/baking for a couple days with retained heat, it shouldn't be an issue.

      As to your oven dimensions, I can easily fit 25# turkeys in my 39" oven. Your 42" should not be a problem for baking suckling pigs or turkeys. Do remember to make the opening wide enough for a full sheet pan or the largest roaster you think you'll use. The 63% magic ratio for door height to inside dome height of a Pompeii style oven will leave you plenty of room inside as well for that bird. The 36" and 42" versions of the Pompeii are just what most people choose and thus are well documented here. There are plenty of bigger and smaller ovens on the site that have produced lots of fine pizza and's normally just based on what you want/need and how much you depend on using someone else's plans.

      What kind of insulation are you going to use over the dome? If you are using the recommended 3" of ceramic batting for insulation, it's going to be a little close on the oven base ((3+4.5)+42+(4.5+3))=57". That gives you a 1.5" on each side for the primary enclosure (plenty if you are planning on stucco or some other coating directly over the insulation). If you are going to use the recommended 6"-8" of 10:1 perlite:cement instead for the top insulation, then you'll be over the edge of your top slab by at least 1.5" on each side (leaving no oven base slab under the edges for the primary enclosure...causing a lip around your oven's outer edge).

      Hope that helps...looking forward to watching your build progress.
      Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
      Roseburg, Oregon

      FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
      Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile


      • #4
        You can make the ID any diameter you want. One builder recently did a 39" ID oven.
        Google Photo Album []


        • #5
          I grow 'em big, Sable. Last year, I had to cut mine in half to fit into a full sized, single oven. =)

          Beehiver, I hail from the State where INdustry is the motto. I would love to come see your WFO next time I come see my folks. They are in Murray, over by Cottonwood High.


          • #6
            Stop by next time you are in town. Let me know. I'm fairly close, near the Capitol in the Aves.
            Google Photo Album []


            • #7
              OK. It has been a LONG year.

              The oven project came to a dead standstill sometime in late summer/early fall and there has been nothing from the guy that was building it (he had taken over the project, there are no shared notes or anything). SO, I have a partially built dome and an IT:

              , a possibly reasonable opening tunnel form:

              some cut bricks - angled both front to back and top to bottom...

              , a few BIG favors to call and a desire to have my outdoor space back.

              Does anyone have any advice?


              • #8
                I can't see your pictures so can can't admire the workmanship . But so far it looks like any project that I ever tried to outsource to a professional only proves the "want it done right, do it yourself" saying (aside of electrician, that I am lucky to find actual pro). village engineer who performed final inspection of deck I built other summer said that it is very often that amateur carpenter but a motivated homeowner does significantly better job then paid so called pros.nothing beats motivation.

                So advice is : brace yourself, take those tools and make it happen! It is possible, humans do that, no reason why you can't.
                it is first time in my life that I'm laying bricks, it's hard work but the sense of satisfaction is immense. And then there might be some extra perks - as wife brought me snack yesterday she paused to witness me muddling with mortar. After a while "Wow, didn't realize you can do that too". After all these years surprising your old lady is priceless

                My 36" -


                • #9
                  Thank you, Agrasyuk! Just what I needed to hear. Off to resupply mortar material and see if I can figure these bricks out.

                  IF I am lucky, an artist friend will be sculpting the final outer layer...