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Curing Pompeii oven

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  • Curing Pompeii oven

    Our dome is completed! Now please your suggestions about curing the
    oven. When should we start, for how long, etc??
    Dianne & Stanley
    PS I've heard that on average it should take about two weeks to cure
    a 36" oven. Is it true?

  • #2
    You can start curing it now. If you have a small quartz heater or one
    of those other small space heaters put it inside the oven set for max
    temp and let it run for a few days. That should get it warmed up.
    Sprinkle the outside of the dome mortar with water everyday for the
    first week to keep it damp. You don't want fast drying to get maximum
    strength. After the first week, you can start with small fires. If you
    make it to the 2 week mark you're more patient than I <grin>.

    The worst thing that will happen if you cook it too fast too soon is a
    few cracks. Those are easily dealt with using a tube of furnace cement
    from the hardware store. (The result is actually stronger - furnace
    cement is rated to 2000F+ - than the plain mortar so it's no great



    • #3
      I think that 1 week should do it. Start with a
      newspaper fire, then get a little larger each
      time -- a little kindling, then a small piece of
      wood, etc. Seven straight fires should have you
      doing some cooking by the 7th day. The oven will
      perform better and better from the 7th though
      10-odd fires.

      The very long two week period you have heard of
      is to cure the very heavy concrete cladding that
      you did not pour around the oven. That is why you
      should be OK with the shorter period.