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A few questions from Austin TX - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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A few questions from Austin TX

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  • #31
    Thanks everyone for the advice. I made some of the suggested improvements to the IT. It is now adjustable using a turnbuckle.

    I also got started with the first few courses of bricks. Nowhere near as pretty as the tight joints I have seen on many posts, but hopefully good enough. I do need to make sure the bricks don't line up at the seams, will watch for that as I go. Sure seems like I am using a ton of homebrew

    Any alarm bells jump out?

    As soon as i am done with the form for the entry arch, I'll include pics of that as well.


    • #32
      Mortar is you friend and "cheap", You use a lot since the back side of the dome has quite large mortar joints. I see you are doing all your pretty work on the back half of the dome, good, no one sees the front inside half once you are done. As you mentioned you need to watch your joint bonds, especially the front 4 bricks joints are lining up too close, so cut one or two bricks smaller in width to help stagger bond.
      Build Link............... Picassa Photo Album Link


      • #33
        Thanks - is there a big disadvantage (structurally, cooking, heat retention, etc..) to these big joints? I guess the way to reduce them is to taper or bevel the bricks?


        • #34
          There is no disadvantage, you could reduce the side mortar joints by a taper or angle cut, which I did on my build, IMHO, it is not worth the effort, save your time resources for other activities. However, you will need to start doing a bevel cut fairly soon in order to minimize the Inverted V joint. You do not have to bevel the whole side just enough so the Inverted V does not take place. Use a rubber mallet to help set the bricks in place, you still should strive for tight joints on the inside of the oven.

          Click image for larger version

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          Build Link............... Picassa Photo Album Link


          • #35
            Thanks again for the continued advice.

            I am making progress. I got my arch form built 20" wide x 13" tall. Question - do I go ahead and mortar in the arch? Or do I build the arch as I complete each level?

            Any significant alarm bells from what you can see?


            • #36
              IMHO, I would mortar up the arch then build the dome to the arch. If you do not want to do this then have the arch brick a least on course ahead of the dome course. It is much easier to tie into the arch. This is the purpose of the tapered arch you did. BTW, you did a good job. This concept is difficult to wrap one's head around.
              Build Link............... Picassa Photo Album Link


              • #37
                Looking good ! your arch is looking spot on, I completed my arch first and then I bonded the dome to it, as you get up higher in the dome you can then use the arch entrance to help clean your inside joints, rather than struggle with a former in the way. Keep up the good work, and enjoy your build.


                • #38
                  Thanks a lot. Yes, the arch cuts were very tough to get my head around. I am finding it equally difficult to cut the bricks that connect to the arch, but making progress. Here are few more pic updates.

                  I am starting to think about the next couple of steps - like the entryway, whether to use a heatbreak, and dome insulation.

                  For the arch I already built, it sits on top of the floor bricks. The oven floor was cut into a circle and sits inside the soldier course. Any advice on the walls of the entry? Would it be stronger/better to sit on top of floor bricks or cut the entry floor bricks to sit inside?

                  I feel like I should go ahead and order the blanket. On the FB webpage, I see it comes in 50 sq ft rolls. Any advice - is one enough? I do plan on an enclosure and will probably fill with vermiculite or perlite after I wrap in blanket.

                  Hope to make some progress this weekend before.


                  • #39
                    I cut my entry bricks to sit inside, thinking I could replace them if they got excessively stained or do as Gulf mentioned and put them in a hot oven for a little self cleaning action. What I do regret doing is building my arch on top of insulating board. I have a feeling that I will eventually get some settling and have to live with some cracks or even worse need to rebuild the vent area.
                    My build thread


                    • #40
                      That helps and makes sense. Once done, I hope to never have to rebuild.

                      Did you use a heat break? I was thinking using a heatbreak between the arches, but letting the floor be continuous from the oven to the entryway.


                      • #41
                        I cleared the arch. Feels like a real milestone. Lots of travel and weekend commitments coming up, so may be a while until I can make more progress.

                        For now, I have the whole thing under tarps.


                        • #42
                          Here is a pic looking down into the oven. If anyone has any advice on how to calculate sq footage of the outside dome of a 42" or thoughts on how many rolls of blanket, thanks in advance.


                          • #43
                            Take the area in square inches of a sphere, divide by two, and that will give you the area of a dome (half sphere). Your dome is 42' ID. Add 9" for the total thickness of the brick to that for the circumference. 42"+4.5"+4.5" = 51" for the circumference. 51" divided by 2" = 25.5" for the radius. Plug that in for the first layer of insulation if it is 1" thick. Convert that number to square ft. You can use that to compare to the square footage of a roll of insulation. (usually 50 square ft) Each layer of insulation will add 1" to the radius for that layer. Figure for extra.
                            joe watson

                            "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

                            My Build
                            My Picasa Web Album


                            • #44
                              Making progress. Left it without a tarp for a few hours and the birds decided it was a good place to lay a couple eggs. Little do they know that is not the last time they will be in the oven, just a good bit warmer in the future.


                              • #45
                                The dome will be closed this week!

                                This weekend got the last course set in and the keystones cut and dry fit.