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30" cast dome design

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  • hello sergentania, congratulations on your oven and thank you for sharing your pics and experience. your food looks amazing! I am currently in the middle of building a 31" dome with brick (which I will hopefully post about soon) and am very glad that you find your 30" big enough. As I'm painstakingly cutting bricks right now as I try a geodesic dome, I am very curious about what it would have been like if I had gone the fireclay homebrew cast route as you have done. do you have an idea as to the weight of your cast dome? do you know the heat retention ability of the oven for multi-day cooking? thanks again. I'm a first time poster but long time lurker and have learned much from this amazing forum. hopefully I can add something to it as well soon.

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    • Hankplank

      Thank you and happy to hear someone finds my experience useful! As I was going through the build I was also thinking whether 30" is enough. Yes, definitely, for most home cooks cooking most foods. Honestly, I can't even imagine building an oven from bricks. That must be a lot of work but you will feel great looking at the completed dome. I never considered using bricks because I wanted to keep the weight down - after all the oven sits on a wooden stand. I wish I would still remember how much concrete I have spent for the dome. I think I have used 8 55-pound bags of castable concrete. The oven stays hot very long time. I never really needed it to but it keeps stored heat well and I only have a single layer stainless steel door with a fairly large oven entrance. Once I cooked a pork shoulder the next day after making pizza without making a fire. Of course, it drops faster when colder outside - one time I could not bake a pie next day after pizza but it was freezing, literally. Also, the oven gets hot very quickly so I don't hesitate using it for cooking because it is relatively easy.
      Hope I have answered your questions. Best of luck with your build and start your build thread! I like seeing how others build and so do lots of folks here and that's how others can help.

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      • Originally posted by sergetania View Post
        Hankplank

        Thank you and happy to hear someone finds my experience useful! As I was going through the build I was also thinking whether 30" is enough. Yes, definitely, for most home cooks cooking most foods. Honestly, I can't even imagine building an oven from bricks. That must be a lot of work but you will feel great looking at the completed dome. I never considered using bricks because I wanted to keep the weight down - after all the oven sits on a wooden stand. I wish I would still remember how much concrete I have spent for the dome. I think I have used 8 55-pound bags of castable concrete. The oven stays hot very long time. I never really needed it to but it keeps stored heat well and I only have a single layer stainless steel door with a fairly large oven entrance. Once I cooked a pork shoulder the next day after making pizza without making a fire. Of course, it drops faster when colder outside - one time I could not bake a pie next day after pizza but it was freezing, literally. Also, the oven gets hot very quickly so I don't hesitate using it for cooking because it is relatively easy.
        Hope I have answered your questions. Best of luck with your build and start your build thread! I like seeing how others build and so do lots of folks here and that's how others can help.
        Ah I think I confused your build with another's who used the homebrew mortar to cast. but I see now you used castable refractory concrete which likely performs like firebrick. It seems your oven retains heat quite well. Glad to hear that you don't hesitate to use it as it heats quickly. I'm hoping I can get good usage too like I do currently with my Uuni Pro, which I fire up about two/three time a week.
        I've been hesitant to post because I'm doing things a bit unconventionally but as I'm in a bit of a lull I will put a post together. I think you made the right decision not using bricks!

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        • I hope David or someone else knowledgeable may be able to correct me but I would expect a commercial castable behave rather close to homebrew. When I say the oven heats up quickly I mean probably one hour on average for general cooking (600-700F) and at least an hour and a half for pizza (800-900F).
          Now, this is just my reaction to what you said, not trying to tell you what to do. I thought I was doing things unconventionally with the wooden stand. That's exactly the reason to ask opinion of experts here. I was so afraid to do something stupid to ruin long and fairly expensive build I wanted to make sure I was safe. Especially considering my total luck of experience working with these new for me materials. That was me, your situation may be different.
          ​​​​

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          • May I ask the percentage of the alumina content of your castable? From what I've seen of the castables sold they are similar in alumina content and weight to firebrick (mine is low duty 20% alumina), and I thought I had read on the forum alumina content is a major consideration in heat resistance and retention ability. Just estimating but I think my dome will weigh about the same as yours, about 450 lbs. The homebrew recipe seems to me like it would have a lower alumina content because it is only one part fireclay.
            I've never laid a brick or poured concrete before this project as well though so your point is taken and I will start a thread. And one hour to general cooking sounds great!

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            • I have used Harbison Walker KS-4Plus castable. You can look it up to see exact numbers but alumina content is 45%. Honestly, these numbers don't make much sense to me. I just used whatever I could get. Also, I think I have used only 7 bags, still have leftover bags in the garage.
              Last edited by sergetania; 04-21-2021, 08:14 AM.

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