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how high on the base? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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how high on the base?

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  • how high on the base?

    Im 6'2" and am on my 3rd course on my base. Even if I go to 4 courses, I have a feeling that the oven will be too low for my liking.
    Is there any issue taking the base courses to 5?

    My thought is this:

    5 courses of cinder block 8" high each=40 inches
    6" slab for the oven surface+1" insulation board, +1"fire brick
    total 48" before oven base is installed.

    48" gives me just enough space to slighly bend to get a pie out of the oven.....I think.

    Any advice would be great.


  • #2
    Re: how high on the base?

    1" of fire brick? Aren't they usually 2" or more?

    Anyway my oven floor is at 100cm which is 39". I'm 6'0" and don't have any trouble with the height. Remember that the lower floor level might also help you to have a slightly better reach in the oven if needed.

    You could probably mock up something to test what's the best height for you? Like table with something on top of it?


    • #3
      Re: how high on the base?

      Hi Eddie,

      When I was designing my base, I stacked boxes up on a table to simulate different oven floor heights then used a pizza peel to play "Pizza Chef" When you are playing around with floor heights, make sure you choose a height that you will also be comfortable reaching as far inside the oven as you can (positioning firewood, cleaning, etc).

      There should be no engineering issues with stacking your base 5 courses high. You mention that your floor will be 1" thick. Are you buying a kit or building a Pompeii oven? Pompeii builders typically use full bricks laid flat for the floors.
      Ken H. - Kentucky
      42" Pompeii

      Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

      Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
      Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album


      • #4
        Re: how high on the base?

        At 6'4" my hearth is about 46 inches high. My base was 4.5 courses (you can get half-height blocks), with a 4 inch slab, 3.5 inches of vermicrete, 1.5 inches of Insblok 19, 1/4 inch of leveling sand/clay, and 2 inches of hearth brick. 48 inches before the hearth is set seems a bit high, but it's your oven. It is difficult to reach the back of my oven, although it is a 42-inch oven.


        • #5
          Re: how high on the base?

          Most commercial WFO hearths are in the 46-48 range to make it easier to look into the oven, I made mine elbow bend high, 44".


          • #6
            Re: how high on the base?

            Opt for higher.

            If you go to the "doing it again" threads most people who have commented on height have said they would go higher if they had to do it again.

            If your final oven is too low, you are stuck with it. If it is too high, you have the option of building up your patio.

            Mine is 44 inches and is mostly operated by my wife who is 5'4" tall.
            Last edited by Neil2; 05-15-2012, 10:02 AM.


            • #7
              Re: how high on the base?

              Do you guys see a problem with a 5.5" layer of vermicrete to gain height on a 35" oven base? I was planning on a 4:1 or 5:1 mix to make it stronger. I have FB board to go on top of vermicrete. I mainly want to add the vermicrete for height, but the extra insulation is mentioned several times in the "doing it again " thread as well.
              Texman Kitchen


              • #8
                Re: how high on the base?

                "Do you guys see a problem with a 5.5" layer of vermicrete to gain height"

                No problem at all. A 1:5 mix is plenty strong enough.

                One note with this layer. Try to provide positive drainage. This may entail sloping (or grinding to slope) a slight grade away from the center in your structural slab. Flood your slab with water and make sure there is no standing water or "bathtubs".