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Planning a build of Pompeii in SoCal

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  • Planning a build of Pompeii in SoCal

    My name is Brad and looking to build a 36" inside diameter Pompeii. Had a few questions for recommendations and would appreciate any advise from experienced builders.
    1) Looking for sources for materials.
    a) bricks (I understand maybe 180 are required). Anyone have a source in local area of Thousand Oaks/LA
    b) mortor ( I see I can buy for $50/bag but was thinking to make it onsite, rather than have this heavy item shipped form SanDIego area) - any suggestion on where to purchase Alumina Silicate. Also how many bag is normally used in a typical build if I get it from Forno Bravo
    c) Where to buy the swivel to make a Trammel?
    d) Any suggestion how many layers of insulation blanket are required?
    e) The insulation board, FB saeems to offer. Any alternatives I could locate locally anyone might suggest?
    f) The base bricks that form the floor, anyone have a source for high quality brick for 36"dia?

    I am very open to learn form the lessons learned, so please do feel free to sharte anything that can help me get all my materials onboard. I am already in my backyard build with base concrete ready to pour.

  • #2
    I got my bricks from HarbisonWalker International in Santa Fe Springs. 'Brand Name' brick called 'Ovenz', high alumina content, very dense but pricey at $3.95 each. The only alternative I found was a 'low duty' fire brick at my local supplier that were considerably cheaper at about $1.60 but more than half the alumina content.
    Read the brick primer in the FB plans.
    Personally I agree with something I read in the plans, "better to build the oven with less than ideal bricks than to not build it at all". For me however I wanted the piece of mind of using better bricks than having a few hundred extra bucks in my pocket after the oven is done.
    I'm halfway through my build and I can tell you that money has lost all meaning.

    In this post is the chem analysis for the brick they sell at Sepulveda:

    As for making mortar, check the 'home brew' recipe in the forum. No mention of Alumina Silicate. 3 sand, 1 fire clay, 1 lime, 1 portland
    I got fire clay at Sepulvada Building supply. It's called Muddox which is a brand name I believe. A few locations here in so cal. Sepulvada is who I did not buy my brick from.

    Swivel: I bought a small furniture castor and filed off the head of the rivet holding on the wheel. I switch to using a small hinge with a new hole drilled in the center as I discovered that the castor swivel gave me one radius horizontally and that radius plus an inch vertically. There are many more experienced builders here with helpful info on the 'indispensable tool'.

    I followed the FB suggestions and am using 3 inches of blanket and the 2 inch ceramic fiber board underneath the floor. I just bit the bullet and got them shipped from FB.
    The 2 inches of board under the floor is now considered 'the bare minimum'.
    There are alternatives of course. Search vermicrete.

    I did find a place that has either a warehouse or perhaps someone's garage in Corona, that sells ceramic board and blanket, 'The Simond Store'. They appear to sell a lot of it on Amazon but if you want to drive to Corona it can be picked up. I would check the specs first.

    I'm using the same brick for the floor as the dome.

    Good Luck!
    - George

    My Build


    • #3
      Ok, I will try to address your questions B and C.

      Trammel can be built by using the swivel of a castor wheel (remove the wheel). Only caveat, for whatever you may use to create the swivel is to make sure the pivot point of the swivel itself is as close to the true center of the hearth and as close to the true surface height of you oven floor as possible, otherwise you may get slightly taller or oval dimensions of the dome.

      I've used refractory cement in the beginning of my build. It is good stuff but expensive. Meanwhile I switched to what's often recommended here, namely the 'homebrew'. This consists of 3 parts sand, 1 part portland, 1 part fire clay, and 1 part mason's/builder's lime. Obviously you would have to source these ingredients and mix it yourself, but it is cheaper and seems to have a solid track record here on the forum. For your consideration. As for your other questions - I'm not from your neck of the woods, so maybe others will know.
      My build: