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Finally decided on 32in castable dome

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  • Warhorn6 sorry for the delay - I’ve not been on here for a while! You’ve inspired me to do a post on lessons learned soon.

    So no problems with spalling. You might remember my inside of the dome started out not very smooth in any case - but it seems to be holding up well. I definitely have cracks in the dome but I think that’s fairly standard given the stress it comes under and I certainly don’t see any issues getting it up to temperature or anything. There’s one hairline crack on the outer stucco / render - but again it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

    Like I say - full post on lessons learned to come but I can’t recommend highly enough the cast oven - really works a treat!
    My cast oven build thread


    • 18mths on - lessons learned / review

      I thought it might be helpful to share a few reflections because it seems people are still viewing the thread.

      The best bits:
      • Finding this forum - what a resource is, what a community - by documenting my build I got support at every stage - and I needed it! Can’t imagine building the oven I did without this site.
      • Casting an oven to me felt more accessible than a full Pompeii brick project for my first try. Especially given that I had very few masonry tools or experience.
      • Building my base with 2 compartments accessible from the side I think is a good design. 1 compartment accessible from the front would have been too deep and therefore underused.
      The harder lessons…
      • For the base it would have been easier and probably a straighter result to use the hollow cinder blocks than pour in concrete and rebar. My bricklaying wasn’t the best. No problem with strength of the base - just not as good looking as it could have been.
      • See my post 104 for some of the hardest lessons - using MDF in a wet environment…screws you can’t get to, casting in the heat - some tough lessons!
      • When casting I think I could have taken more time to lay the home brew, really packing it down and then maybe had a smoother finish inside the dome.
      • I also would consider skipping the newspaper. Grains of sand inside the dome are inevitable anyway and the newspaper was really tricky to control - especially with it being so hot the days I did it.
      • I didn’t need to have an outer piece to the frame for my mould. It made it harder to remove and was unnecessary.
      • Just buy the proper firebricks for your floor. If you haven’t already spent more than your budget by now, you soon will - don’t skimp on the cooking surface. I’m glad I went for the proper ones in the end but I wasted hours researching alternatives to try and save a fraction of the total project cost!
      • Learning to build and maintain fires takes practice - you will get better! My fires now light easily, burn strong - it’s just a world away from those first few months of not quite getting them going properly.
      • My glazing on the pergola is polycarbonate - clear glass like to look at. Second winter and it got a lot of condensation on it - so much so it caused quite a few puddles across the decked area and oven worktops. I was determined I wanted to be able to see through the roof and get the light, but I’m just not sure it’s possible to get a see through material that doesn’t condense….

      Anyway - to any one not yet decided - BUILD - one of the best things I ever did - pizza will never be the same again - it’s just different level.

      And to those part way through - your rewards will come!
      My cast oven build thread