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Planning in Minnesota, Questions about pre-cast dome

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  • Planning in Minnesota, Questions about pre-cast dome

    Hey all,

    After years of lurking, reading about, and lusting after wood-fired ovens I'm starting to seriously consider building one myself. I found a local company that sells precast refractory cement oven domes here which seems like it would cut out a lot of the most difficult work of an oven build. Any opinions regarding the pro/cons of using a pre-cast dome as well as comments about this particular model (price, quality, usability, etc) would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: Planning in Minnesota, Questions about pre-cast dome

    Hi Ryan,

    I'm just up the road a bit near St.Cloud. Looked at the site you mentioned and was interested because it was close enough to drive to and pick up - it seems shipping is what adds significantly to the price of these type of things.

    It looks good, but there still is quite a bit of work and expense needed to get the casting finished as an oven. I have about $400 invested in the pad, stand, hearth and hearth insulation. You would need all of these things to set a casting on. Medium duty firebricks sell for $1.89 in Minneapolis, I'll need about 225 for my 40" build. Add about $75 for homebrew mortar and you are slightly over $500 for what these guys are selling for $875. So for $375 extra you won't have to (or get to) build a dome and vent out of firebrick.

    My vermiculite layer is drying and I hope to start laying brick in a week . Come and watch if you interested.


    • #3
      Re: Planning in Minnesota, Questions about pre-cast dome

      what did you use as an outside layer, on top of your firebrick around your dome? We've built our own dome, and have the firebrick completed. We're only about 100 miles from you - interested in what you used - stucco?? Type S mortar? Did you mix with anything or insulate first (if so, why did you insulate and what did you use - does it not perform well without insulation) ?


      • #4
        Re: Planning in Minnesota, Questions about pre-cast dome

        I am still in construction phase, my dome is up to the 7th course. I am going to insulate with one 1" layer of blanket. Then I am going to build a house style enclosure with metal studs with a Hardiboard exterior. This will be filled with loose vermiculite. I have decide against stucco for the exterior due to potential moisture and cracking issues.