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  • FB Materials List

    Last October I posted a plea for brick numbers needed for a 43? diameter oven. In particular, I asked for clarification of the numbers needed for the dome ? the FB materials list for a 42? oven stipulates 180 but does not say whether they are half bricks or whole.

    Since that time, I?ve considered various members? views and projections of dome quantities (esp dmun?s CAD drawings), and done some mathematical modelling of my own. All of this leads me to believe that the ?180 firebricks? specified in the FB materials list relates to half bricks, rather than whole ones, as whatever method I employ to estimate whole brick numbers, I end up with more or less half of the 180 stipulated. And this is for a 43? oven, rather than a 42? one.

    You will appreciate that at around $4 per brick, I really don?t want to get too many more bricks than I require, and I am curious to know how the figure of 180 was derived.

    James ? anyone ? can you shed some light on this?

    Cheers, Paul.

  • #2
    Re: FB Materials List

    As requested by Hendo, I would also like to know the number of bricks and 'half bricks' needed for the oven floor and dome. Now don't get me wrong, I love this forum (I'm on here almost every night for new info about building,etc.) and it is very helpful, fun, and encouraging for all interested in building, cooking and maintaining these wonderful ovens! However, the Pompeii section is a bit wishy washy in it's attempt on materials and building tips. Maybe I'm stuck on searching for exactly what I'd like to see to build my oven the way I'd like it to look. I know there are many ways to go about building a 42" Pompeii but I wish the instructions were a bit more straightfoward with more photos and explanations of those photos.
    Any brick numbers out there?
    Thanks much,
    View my pictures at,


    • #3
      Re: FB Materials List

      I bought extra bricks with the intention of building my 42" dome and (hopefully to start this spring) a fireplace to extend the season of my patio guests. I am going entirely on memory here, but I believe I purchased 280 whole bricks intending to have 100 left over for the fireplace. I ended up having way too many left over and donated the extras to another FB forum member who has since built his own oven (I think I gave him 75, and imagine he had to buy some more - are you out there, Jack?). I think the count is for 1/2 bricks, but the hearth is made with whole bricks, so I hope someone who did better accounting than I did will weigh in.


      • #4
        Re: FB Materials List

        Answer - it depends I think the answer lies somwhere between 180 to 210. The original "test" oven built was 42inches and needed 180 full bricks some of which were cut in half

        This is not a precise construction project and as you see for the do it yourselfer the instructions are more of a guide rather than a definitive answer. You end up playing a balance game of
        1. you want enough material to do the job - some bulk buying may help
        2. you do not want to make unnecessary trips back and forth to get your material last minute
        3. however you don't want to have so much of a surplus that your building costs (firebrick at $4 a brick having 25 extra is another $100) get too high.

        So check with your supplier about their return policy. Some places do allow for returns.

        DMUN 36 inch CAD production uses a minmum of 172 bricks; 69 are full bricks for the floor, 94 are cut in half for the soldier course and rings and 9 are neither full nor half as they make up the cap and are all specially cut. This does not include his count for the archway which is subject to very hot exhaust gases and should be of temperature resistant materials. Having a large entranway does increase his count by another 44 special tapered bricksand an unknown number of splits for the smoke chamber.

        Mike built a 42 incher and needed more than the 180

        I don't want to highjack the thread but somewhere someone posted teir results for a 36 inch unit in which they used 200 firebricks and another 120 common clay. I have no idea how they got such a good price on the fire brick.

        36 inch pompeii

        4" @ 71"x80" = 22 - 80# bags of concrete
        (I used fiber reinforced concrete so no steel was necessary)

        Roughly 48 blocks (I poured a lintle across the opening)
        12 - #4 x 36" rebars
        Each cell requires 1 60# bag of concrete ($3.29)

        6.5" hearth requires a smidge more than 8 cf of perlite (I got mine in 4 cf bags - $7.95)
        1 - 94# bag of portland cement ($8.36)
        6 - #4 x 10' rebars cut to fit ($4.29)
        17 - 80# bags of concrete ($4)

        Oven Dome & Floor
        1 - 24" x 2.5" x 3/16" angle iron (stainless is nice)
        200 fire bricks ($1.17)
        1 - 25# bag fire clay ($8)
        1 - 94# bag portland cement
        2 - 60# bags general purpose sand ($2.49)

        Insulation Layer (6")
        4 - 4 cf bags perlite
        2 - 94# bags portland cement

        Oven entrance & chimney
        120 common clay bricks ($.71)
        4' - 1.25" x 1.25" stainless angle ($28)
        25# of fire clay
        1 - 94# bag of portland
        3 - 60# bag of sand

        Stucco Finish (scratch coat and finish)
        1 - 60# bag stucco cement ($4)
        4 - 60# bags sand
        Last edited by jengineer; 02-27-2007, 02:30 PM. Reason: added more stuff


        • #5
          Re: FB Materials List

          Here is my list of materials.

          I built a 42" pompeii. I used a total of about 150 bricks, and that includes the wasted pieces. If I were a little more efficient, I might have gotten away with 145 or so. The floor was made up of sleepers in a herringbone pattern, and the dome was made with bricks cut into thirds. The face of the "third" brick was 4.5" x 2 ", and they were 3" deep.
          I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:
          Il Forno Fumoso


          • #6
            Re: FB Materials List

            Note the single malt


            • #7
              Re: FB Materials List

              jengineer ? thanks for your input, it is greatly appreciated. I have a few more questions and comments though:
              Originally posted by jengineer View Post
              I think the answer lies somwhere between 180 to 210. The original "test" oven built was 42inches and needed 180 full bricks some of which were cut in half
              Was this for the floor and the dome combined, or just the dome? I should state that I?m ignoring (for the moment) the number of bricks for the vent ? these will likely be whole bricks and I can easily estimate the number required. And people?s requirements for the vent/entrance vary wildly with their chosen method of construction and/or placement ? eg dmun?s radial approach ? so perhaps it should be excluded altogether from the materials list or itemised separately. After all, a 42? dome with the recommended opening will demand a finite number of bricks, depending only on its height. It would be helpful for all if the size of the bricks was stipulated, too, as there appears to be a variety of sizes available around the world.

              Originally posted by jengineer View Post
              This is not a precise construction project and as you see for the do it yourselfer the instructions are more of a guide rather than a definitive answer.
              Accepted ? but I think you?ll agree that 180 versus 90 bricks for the dome (if this is what?s needed) ain?t a good guide, and contrasts with the excellent guidance provided elsewhere in the instructions.

              Originally posted by jengineer View Post
              So check with your supplier about their return policy. Some places do allow for returns.
              My supplier is happy to accept returns, but I note maver?s comments on 10-17-2006 about possible damage occurring during transportation and handling, due to their weight. So I?d rather not have to return too many.

              Originally posted by jengineer View Post
              Mike built a 42 incher and needed more than the 180
              Wasn?t this the total brick count, rather than just the dome?

              Thanks to all for taking the trouble to contribute ? I?m starting to feel more confident about my firebrick order now, despite the issues raised.

              Or perhaps that?s just the glow after a few drams of Bowmore Darkest! How many oven builders are single malt enthusiasts, I wonder? BTW Highland Park 25yo I?d rate as probably my all-time favourite malt, although I wouldn?t say I?ve ever tasted a really bad one?. I hadn?t thought of costing any against my brick oven account, though. Creative book-keeping indeed!

              Cheers, Paul.


              • #8
                Re: FB Materials List


                I'd have to agree wholeheartedly about Highland Park. I'm also fond of the Irish Redbreast. Both malts to contemplate truth by.

                "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                • #9
                  Re: FB Materials List

                  Why don't I take the time at this point to collalate all this into an updated Materials List page which gives ranges for the 36" and 42" oven. I will do that now, and when the pages are updated, I will let you know and everyone can give it a good lookover before we call it a clean new draft.
                  Sound good?
                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces


                  • #10
                    Re: FB Materials List

                    Highland park 25! Wow, I am a big fan of the 12yr and occasionally the 18...never had the 25...

                    My Oven Thread:


                    • #11
                      Re: FB Materials List

                      Have not had the highland 25, but have to put a word in for Glenmorangie 18. The port or sherry wood finish is great stuff. My Dad got me started on it.
                      Getting harder to find in the U.S. though and the price....... Duty free is the answer. Will make an effort to find try the Highland Park.


                      • #12
                        Re: FB Materials List

                        Cam, Drake,

                        The HP 25 is pricey all right. BUT, nectar of the highland gods is well worth it. Call it a very special treat for very cold nights in front of the fire with the main squeeze. First time I saw a bottle opened, I was standing about 10 feet away. Within a minute or two, the aroma came to me. A revelation only bested by the taste and finish.

                        Slainte (Irish for health),
                        "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                        • #13

                          Best I even had was a 25 YO MaCallan from a bourbon cask instead of the usual sherry. Amazing straw colored liquid gold. Got one sip and called to see if any more was available -- nope.

                          If you are in Europe, find a way to join the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society. They had some amazing stuff 10 years ago. The American branch paled in comparison .

                          That's the one problem with hawaii. Just too warm to drink singles.


                          • #14
                            Re: FB Materials List

                            Yikes ? the thread seems to have been hijacked by malt whisky lovers! I suspected that there would be some aficionados of the amber liquid out there. It stands to reason, I guess ? those who like the good things in life are bound to be brick oven builders!


                            Your proposal sounds good to me ? we seem to be going around in circles a bit on this one (or at least I am) and I hope I?m not being too obsessive about it. It just seems to me that some clarification is needed, but whatever you decide, I think the brick numbers for the dome need to stipulate either ?whole? or ?half? bricks to avoid confusion. And the brick size that the figures are based on would be valuable.

                            As for me and my 1100mm (43.3?) dome, I have ordered 100 tapered bricks ? 230mm x 115mm x 75/63mm (9? x 4?? x 3?/2??) - which will need to be cut in two to make 4?? x 4?? x 3?/2?? half bricks. I?ll let you know how I get on, but as they?re tapered, I?ll likely use more than standard bricks because each ring will have an internal height of only 2?? in lieu of 3?. My calculations resulting in 96 bricks total were based on these smaller tapered bricks, hence my concern about the Materials List figure of 180.

                            Cheers, Paul.


                            • #15
                              Re: FB Materials List

                              It's wonderful that you're getting tapered bricks, but that may explain the four dollar price. Tapered bricks are are a really obscure speciality item here in the US, available on special order from refractory dealers, and yes, they are really expensive.

                              You aren't getting all tapered bricks, are you? They are pretty much useless for the floor.

                              There's not an ordinary fireplace-grade firebrick available from the local lumberyard or brickyard?

                              By the way, the standard US firebrick, used in these calculations, in 2 1/4 inches, not three.
                              Last edited by dmun; 03-02-2007, 05:50 AM.
                              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2