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36" Pompeii low-dome in Livermore, CA

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  • #61
    Originally posted by JRPizza View Post
    Larry, I think we are heading in similar directions. I have enough blanket to do three layers, but do not have a good mental model how to finish off the igloo. We probably want to use brick squares similar to what Gulf used in the Mississippi Queen, but have not ruled out using tile. I hope you document your finishing well so I can copy as much as possible . Also want to put up a metal roof but have a pretty minimalist structure - again will look to see what ideas I can borrow from you.
    I'd say you want to take a close look at both Russell's and Les' builds. Russell did a form for the perlcrete/vermicrete dome and build it in layers. Les did a dome-shaped cage from 3/8" rebar and chicken wire and filled in the vermicrete behind it. I'm leaning towards what Les did, but skeptical I can get a good dome shape from it.

    For tile, I want to do a shattered tile mosaic. I'm going for the look of a volcano, as an homage to Vesuvius. I was going to shatter the tile myself, but worried about sharp edges and chips under the colored tile. I found this source which is expensive on the black but about the same for the tiles I was going to use for colors (about $13.50/sq ft): http://www.mosaicmercantile.com/Craf...mic_c_232.html I'm getting samples to see how I like the tile.

    A minimal roof is a good idea. I can see that being a real issue in the PNW with the amount of rain you get. I'm not kidding around here with the UV. In short order the sun bleaches and damages anything left outside. Considering I expect the oven to stand for decades, it's a concern. Maybe I'll consider the possibility of bolting something on.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by gastagg View Post
      Larry, the oven looks great! I love the ebony firebrick! Did you find that locally or did you have to order it? It's a long-standing discussion on the forum, but there are some good points to consider about curing after insulating. It seems to me that the argument leans in favor of curing while insulated, esp. with the point that the temp differential is less for the bricks when curing insulated, which minimizes the potential for cracks. And you're going to have (some) moisture anyway in your insulation after you stucco, so you'll need to cure some more anyway after putting up the igloo.

      Anyway, your oven looks great and you can tell you value and are attentive to craftsmanship. Looking forward to hearing about your first pizzas!
      Thanks! That's something to think about regarding insulating and curing. It has been something I'm puzzling over, is adding the perlcrete, and the amount of moisture that brings, after curing. But I also want to see the condition of the dome after I fire it. Maybe there's a middle ground - do a few fires and then insulate? I guess this is why it's *hotly* debated. I can say though, Saturday will be almost 2 weeks since I pulled out the form, and I'm really itching to light something on fire.

      The ebony bricks were in stock at my brick yard (Peninsula Building Materials). I didn't even know they existed until I walked the yard. They stock all 4 colors of HC Muddox firebricks https://www.hcmuddox.com/fireplace-p...lar/fire-brick and only a mile from my house; very convenient! I love the ebony. They fit well with my volcano theme, and should hide smoke stains nicely.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by RandyJ View Post
        I hear you on the garden. Mine pretty much died during the build. Working full time and doing a 300 hr side job really eats up all of your free time for months. Add in a 1 year old and it is all you do. I can't wait to see the finished product. It is looking great.

        Randy
        Thanks! We'll be putting in tomatoes by the end of the month. I think I'll have the garden in shape by then. The curing fire stage should be more meditative than the construction stage I'm sure.

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        • #64
          First fire today! It's raining steadily but I decided to leave my canopy up and go ahead and burn. For the most part the done has been between 300-350F with a couple times kicking up to 370. The walls and floor are more around 200.

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          • #65
            Just a little side trip, I was chatting with the chef at Rosso's in Santa Rosa last weekend, and the first thing he asked about my oven was, could I fit a sheet pan through the door? It turns out that was the 2nd time a chef had asked me this, the first one a friend in Portland who got to me before I started:

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            • #66
              Yesterday was my 2nd fire, and at times I put on a little too much fuel. Early on I was having trouble getting it over 300F, then added too much fuel and Hit over 400 on the hottest part of the dome, but luckily no cracks formed. I tried to roast some root vegetables, but the oven wasn't really hot enough for it. I was able to keep the oven hot for about 10 hours.

              Now it's Monday and back to work, so all-day burns are out. Should I continue curing, firing the oven a few hours each night, or wait until next weekend?

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              • #67
                I would say that you would want to keep going with the fires. And maby not do as much of a jump as you would have in temperature. It will speed up the process and you won't lose ground if it rains or something from the humidity.

                Randy

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                • #68
                  We got 1.25" of rain over the weekend; it made for a pretty miserable weekend overall. I burned anyway with a canopy over the oven. It's all stained from smoke now. It looks like I'm in the clear for a while, 20% chance of rain on Thursday and this weekend sunny and 80s. Curiously, I disassembled my door yesterday after leaving it on the oven overnight, and found a lot of condensation inside. You can see rust around my entry arch from it leeching out I guess. I might need to add a temporary vent to the door.

                  I want to take one night off the burning this week to install my chimney plate, caulk the inside of the heat break between the entry arch and the oven, and maybe back the backside of the heat break with perlcrete. This weekend I'm hoping to do pizza. Depending on how that goes, probably start insulating next Sunday or Monday.

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                  • #69
                    Today is my 5th day burning, getting progressively hotter each day, although I've been overshooting temperature by a little just about every day. Last night I got about 6 good hours and got the oven pretty hot, in the 550F range on the top of the dome, the soldiers around 350F and the floor not getting much over 200F except very near the coals. Today it seemed like I just couldn't get the oven hot, then boom all of a sudden the dome is at 700F, walls at 500F, and the floor pushing 350-400. Did I overdo it? I don't know, she seems to be holding, No water is streaming out the bottom. The dome just started to clear. I think I'll stop adding fuel for tonight and seal it up once the fire dies down.

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                    • #70
                      It takes a while to get water out of the floor insulation if wet. Each firing get better and better. You should be able to do some cooking with you curing fires now. Be patient and stay the curing course, now is not the time to hurry the process.
                      Russell
                      Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
                        It takes a while to get water out of the floor insulation if wet. Each firing get better and better. You should be able to do some cooking with you curing fires now. Be patient and stay the curing course, now is not the time to hurry the process.
                        Hurrying isn't the issue for me, so much as controlling the fire. I'm either too hot or too cold.This is what happened last night - thought I had the fire going well, but the dome was not getting up to the target temp. I threw another log on and next thing I know... hot! Anyway I'm sure the bricks are fine. I have one barely perceptible hairline crack, which I guess is to be expected.

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                        • #72
                          If someone says their oven has "no" cracks anywhere then they rank right up there with politicians and used car salemen........LOL it is the nature of the beast!
                          Russell
                          Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Larry P View Post
                            Today is my 5th day burning, getting progressively hotter each day, although I've been overshooting temperature by a little just about every day. Last night I got about 6 good hours and got the oven pretty hot, in the 550F range on the top of the dome, the soldiers around 350F and the floor not getting much over 200F except very near the coals. Today it seemed like I just couldn't get the oven hot, then boom all of a sudden the dome is at 700F, walls at 500F, and the floor pushing 350-400. n.
                            This is often the point at which cracks begin to appear because the temperature difference (and therefore uneven expansion) between the top of the oven and the bottom is so great. Because the chamber is getting pretty dry the fire then gallops away.The use of brickettes here avoids a sudden increase of damaging flames, providing a safer more gentle heat.
                            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                            • #74
                              So I've been burning every day since last Saturday, starting around 300F and creeping up the temp every day. How soon before I can go to pizza temps? Do I just keep creeping up until I'm there? I'm hoping to do pizza this Sunday, unless someone tells me it's a bad idea.

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                              • #75
                                I"m envious! Our rain is back so I am working on finishing my shelter, roof and door. Might be nice enough for some fire this weekend.
                                My build thread
                                http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

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