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Advice: Dome Building Radius

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  • Advice: Dome Building Radius

    Hello! I am working on building my first 36" pizza oven. I used a string to mark my base block and have everything ready to go. I cut them accordingly.

    I ran my first course along the outside standing upright (and cut in half).

    Last night, I spent some time making an indispensable tool with a 2x4, L bracket, and hinge. I have the tool fastened to another 2x4 in the middle of the oven floor. That 2x4 stretches across the inside diameter and touches both ends of the first course to hold it in place (it's shimmed tight).

    Once I did that, I started to dry stack bricks for my second course. I quickly realized that I do not have a true 36" round floor. Perhaps some of my cuts on the rounded outside floor are not perfect. This gives some variation here and there where the first course butts up to it.

    So, I'm wondering: does that matter?

    The tool will work, but I have to keep the 2x4 base that it's fastened to loose a little bit. When I get to a block that really should be pulled in 1/4 inch, I just move the tool over the 1/4 (or less) to hold the brick in place.

    I hope that made sense.

    This has to happen to others. Nothing is perfect, right?

    The end result may NOT be a perfectly round dome, but I guess that's ok? I'm hoping there are no other possible issues. I'd like to get started on it soon but wanted to get some feedback.

    Thank you!!

  • #2
    It sounds like you could bring the oven back round in just a few courses, and if you do it a little at a time it should hardly be noticeable. I think when you get to the top of the dome you will be better off if you are back to round. How about some pictures of your IT and how far out of round you are talking about?
    My build thread
    http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for taking the time to help me. You might be right about bringing it back to round.

      Do these pictures help explain? I can take more. They show how the tool lines up nicely with some and not with others. The bracket sits on top of some on the first course, and fits nicely up against others. I think this shows what'll happen once I start stacking courses.

      Is it worth bringing it back to round, or just move the tool a little to compensate and build the dome accordingly?

      Comment


      • #4
        Chris, I really don't know if it would matter if you didn't bring it back to round with such a small error, but I've only built one oven and have no experience with non-round builds. Maybe someone else can chime in. I do think that if you could bring it round you would not have to constantly fuss with the position of the tool. It does almost look like you could re-position your tool to sort of split the difference (move the center point a little) and get to round without having to adjust bricks very much.
        My build thread
        http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

        Comment


        • #5
          It looks to me like the right half (in 4th picture) of the base course seems fairly circular, and the left half (unmortared) is the portion that is more out of round. Could you adjust the center of your IT like JR suggested and finish the base course as round as possible? then you could shift the entire floor so the gap around the edge of the floor is even. Actually, as long as the base course isn't mortared to the p-crete below or the floor bricks, you could shift the base course bricks that are already mortared to even the gaps around the oven floor as it sits, then continue with making it as round as possible.

          (i'm not sure if this is possible as i laid my base course on top of my oven floor rather than floor inside dome walls)

          It seems given you have not mortared the left half you can still make it close enough to round.


          (Just throwing thoughts out there, in case they may help. Not an expert as i'm only a few brick courses ahead of you)

          p.s. i wish i had though of such a simple IT using 2x4s. I went with threaded rod & couplings, but didn't think about such a simple approach!
          Last edited by shanxk8; 08-15-2017, 09:30 PM.
          David in Calgary
          My Build Thread

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the tips. Everything is actually mortared in place that you see there: base and first course. I didn't get to mortar the left side to each other yet, but they are sitting on a bed of fire mortar.

            I wish I didn't cut the base, but read somewhere it's easier to replace damaged base blocks if they're cut down the road. Not that anything would really happen to them though.

            I am wondering it I really need to spend the extra effort on making it perfectly round. I could move the center point as recommended to split the difference here and there.

            If I make my courses by sliding the IT 2x4 around where needed only, I don't think the courses will be bad really. I thought I'd ask in case someone was in this situation before and regretted it for some reason new to a beginner like me.

            I gave a lot of thought to the IT. I was looking for threaded rods and couplings too, but then it hit me to make something super simple. I tend to over-complicate things and am happy I simplified the tool.

            Thanks again for the advice. If you have any other thoughts, I'll take them! I probably won't start the courses for another week yet.

            Comment


            • #7
              You have a kindred spirit here, i overthink things as well. (Then i get impatient and get working in a rush, its a great combo )

              Is the fire mortar dry or mixed with water & cured? If the left side isn't mortared to each other i'd think to shift them & the floor to bring things as close to round as possible. If immovable, i second JR's suggestion to "recenter" your IT tool. Then as you lay the first 2 courses above your base, you may adjust bricks by hand in or out ~1/8 inch or less to bring things back to round.
              (relating to this I know that after positioning bricks with my IT with the mortar wet some seem to slip a little. The result being when mortar is dry and I put the IT back on some bricks it fits easily (even with tiny gap), while others are a tight squeeze. So my variations are probably on the order of 1/16")
              David in Calgary
              My Build Thread

              Comment


              • #8
                I jumped the gun. We are two peas in a pod. My impatience kicked in so everything you see is wet mortarted and cured. I just went for it!

                I like knowing your bricks vary by a bit. It'll help me sleep a bit easier. I'll do my best trying to bring it back to round!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chris,

                  I'm not nearly an expert by any stretch of the imagination but mine started out perfectly round and, whether it was due to bricks slipping or my IT moving without me realizing it or who knows why, I had variations on almost every course I did here and there. My IT is easily adjustable so I am constantly adjusting it by 1/16" or 1/8" as I go around in order to make the bottom edge of the course I'm doing flush with the top edge of the last course. Other than some of the perfectly cut and placed domes I've seen on here, I think us amateurs will end up with a little variation but I'm told it won't make a bit of difference. My dome with only 2 courses to go (see pic) looks round and hopefully will cook some great pizza and I'll be the only one who knows how imperfect it really is.

                  I wouldn't sweat it

                  Marc
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1671.JPG Views:	2 Size:	117.3 KB ID:	400536Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1667.JPG Views:	1 Size:	128.4 KB ID:	400537

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                  • #10
                    That looks awesome! Good luck finishing it up. Thanks for letting me know that. I am happy I posted. I feel better knowing how others built theirs.

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                    • #11
                      As the others have noted, the slight out of round will make no difference in the quality of pizza. Although a minor pain to do the frequent adjustments, as JR commented -- with a little fudging you could bring it back to round pretty quickly if you feel compelled but why stress out? Relax and enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishing the build. Looks great and as is often said in this forum, YOU will be the only one who even notices the imperfections in the build (especially when looking at a sizzling, bubbling pizza on the cooking floor!)
                      Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                      Roseburg, Oregon

                      FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                      Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                      Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "But I'll know. I'll KNOW!"
                        (right chris )
                        David in Calgary
                        My Build Thread

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                        • #13
                          I redid a bathroom in my home a few years ago. I tiled a floor-to-ceiling shower. My tile saw needed a new blade, but I only had a few more cuts to make. One of the last tiles chipped on the face, but I figured the grout would somehow conceal it. I blame the worn out blade. Definitely wasn't my fault, ya know (ha!). I was frustrated with it and just used the tile anyway! I didn't feel like cutting a new one.

                          I look at that chipped tile every day when I'm in the shower. It haunts the crap outta me.

                          Everyone else who sees my bathroom compliments me on how nice it is. Even after guests use it.

                          So I totally get your point!!

                          I've learned to accept 'ok' as long as it really is ok. In a situation like this pizza oven, I think I can live with it and not regret a perfectly round dome which will never really be seen. This post was like therapy. I needed to know it's 'ok'.

                          I'll shimmy my IT around as needed to set my course bricks and go from there.

                          Thanks people!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Take a look at Atak's IT and UtahBeehiver's comments (posts 205 and 206 in thread below)...might make for an easier adjusting job in your build

                            https://community.fornobravo.com/for...b-theme/page14
                            Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                            Roseburg, Oregon

                            FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                            Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                            Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Very cool idea! Thank you!

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