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36" Pompeii Build, West Lafayette, IN

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  • Ope-dog
    replied
    Hi Cubslover! I have just finished reading about your build. Thank you for sharing your experience. I know it's been a few years since you built and not sure if you're still checking your thread.. but I have a question about your arch/chimney. Sounds like this was a bit of a sticking point during your build and it appears mine will be no different. :-)

    Due to ...well, some piss-poor planning (for lack of a better term) I discovered yesterday during my template / rough laying that I built my slab too small. While I spent a lot of time compensating for oven OD, insulation thickness, etc. I apparently never compensated for the depth of the outer arch I was wanting to build. So to get a deeper arch, I've discovered I'd have to push my oven off the back of the slab. (Not really an option.) So a shorter landing / arch is probably my best option. But then it looks like I'll be having challenges with my chimney design.

    Looking at your design, it appears you have an arch /chimney that is 1 or 1.5 bricks in length with the chimney opening cut in the middle? If this is the case, does that mean the throat of your chimney is basically 3"~ deep by 9+" wide?

    Any feedback you could share would be greatly appreciated!!!!
    Attached Files

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  • Cubslover
    replied
    Well, Friday and Saturday, I kept a raging fire going. Started seeing temps work their way up Saturday Evening. Decided to do some pies last night, had a hell of a fire going for 2.5 hours. Dome hit 850-900 and the floor was 650-700. Hopefully I've dried out the insulation. I'll be looking at sealing the stucco soon. For now, I have a cover (little pool cover) I will cover it with when not in use.

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  • RandyJ
    replied
    Wow that is a very small opening. I would think it would be hard to use with a door that small. You are actually a little on the low side if your dome is a hemisphere by about a inch or so. If you start going lower it might cause problems and not burn properly or have bad air flow. Good luck with the fires it is nice to sit and watch it burn.

    Randy

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  • Cubslover
    replied
    Good to know! thanks to both of you. MY brother-in-law has a 34" oven with a 5"T x 12"W opening and he can fully heat his in 60 min or so. I figure the opening is so small it heats quickly. I'll get a couple fires going in it (good excuse to empty a few beers), maybe even cook a loin in it this weekend.

    Looks like I also need to invest in a cover.

    Thanks all, I'll update.

    Leave a comment:


  • deejayoh
    replied
    yeah, 90 minutes would be a short heat up for me. I can clear the oven, but it's not really saturated. That takes another 30-60 minutes to get where I can maintain the temps at 850 - ish

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  • RandyJ
    replied
    It does sound like you probably do have wet insulation. Like DJ said have some nice long fires for several days and the water will go away. As for the 90 min heat up I have talked to several people lately that are recommending longer heat up times to better saturate the oven with heat. If you have time might be worth a shot. I normally try for 3-4 hrs sometimes longer.

    Randy

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  • Cubslover
    replied
    That i am, damnit. we just got a ton of rain too. Looks like I'll be sealing it up this summer. Hopefully that's the case.

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  • deejayoh
    replied
    If you left your igloo uncovered through a midwest winter (assuming you are the midwest based on cubslover :-)) then it probably picked up some water. Igloos are difficult to seal completely.

    If you want to dry it out, just keep a fire going in there for a few days. It will get there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cubslover
    replied
    Hey Randy, I usually burn in it for 90 min or more. I don't think the oven has gotten wet, how would I go about drying it out? build a tent over it and burn in it? Oven is 37" ID and the opening is 17" W x 10" tall. 8x12" flue. I have had troubles lately with getting a good sustaining fire going. It'll burn hard for 15-20 min, then it dies out for a little while and I have to stoke it a bit to get it going again.

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  • RandyJ
    replied
    A few questions. How long are you letting the oven heat up for before you make your pizza? Has the oven gotten wet? If you have wet insulation you will have trouble getting to and keeping temperature. Last how big is your oven and how tall is the door? Unless it is out of wacky there is another reason for the problem. Have you always had trouble, and are you keeping a nice fire going on the side?

    Randy

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  • Cubslover
    replied
    Well, I've been having issues getting and keeping the oven HOT. I can get 750-800 out of it at times, but after 5-6 pizzas it's cooled quite a bit.

    Last outing, I used some left over bricks to close off a bit of the inside of the flue. It got hot and stayed hot much longer. It looks like my flue was cut too high into my dome. I am going to try building a frame where I can hold a brick up into that flue opening to try to prevent the extra heat loss. I may have to build a two part door, one for sealing that inside off and the other to fully close the opening.

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  • RandyJ
    replied
    I have been having the same trouble getting the fire to want to get going as well. I am wondering if the cold just makes it that much harder to get the wood to light. Oh well once you get it going there is no problem.

    Randy

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  • Cubslover
    replied
    I thought I'd toss in an update. Projects at work has limited my time using the oven this winter. I did get to do the Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham in it. Both turned out incredible. Pictures make them appear a bit darker than they turned out.

    I've done a few pork loins, steaks, and a bit of Salmon in it. All have been great.

    Only problem I've had this winter has been getting a hot, roaring fire going. it wasn't a problem this summer. It could have been the wood I've been using. I'll keep working at it this spring. I've included a few pics.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    Have the fun and challenge for me was repurposing salvage materials. Nice use of bricks and keystone, adds nice character.

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  • Cubslover
    replied
    Well, the oven is done. The Stucco I applied came out a couple different shades of white, so I may paint it this next spring if the colors don't blend together. I also, might stucco the inside of the wood storage opening....

    It was a long, laborious build, but it was fun. If one were to ask if I'd build another; absolutely. The finishing has been the most fun. I've re-purposed some different materials for the finishing. Arch bricks are old Belgian bricks, the keystone was a couple POSTON BLOCK bricks I got from a friend, and the countertop was a limestone slab that served another good friend as a hearth to his fireplace.

    We've used it many, many times now and it looks great on the patio.

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