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Planned build with features from Alan Watt

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  • Planned build with features from Alan Watt

    I read the books by Alan Watt and Alan Scott but found the Forno Bravo Pompeii pdf best and plan to mostly follow the 36” diameter, high roof build. However, I would like to incorporate the following ideas from Alan Watt unless I hear about any problems from you.
    1. First soldier course will be an oval 36”x42” with top of dome height 18”, door opening height 12” (67%), door width 18” at the bottom. Sand dome form will be half avocado shaped with highest point more than halfway back. The fire will go in the back and air will have a steady flow downward to the vent.
    2. I will use minimal mortar and no angle cuts in building the dome, then fill gaps with fluid refractory castable when done. Extra half inch of refractory castable over whole dome to lock in place.
    3. Front entrance will be a semicircular arch 12” deep with parts pre-made while lying on their side. Arch next to the dome will be poured using refractory castable with a 4x4 cross section 9” inside radius then set in place on bricks. In front of that will be a decorative arch with vent, made from mostly whole red bricks with half bricks at top, rebar in holes, 9.5” inside radius.
    4. Why does the Pompeii oven have a 4.5”-thick dome but only 2.5”-thick floor? Is this to keep the floor cooler while baking? Watt has more thermal mass below the floor for his brick-dome oven.
    Please let me know if these are good choices. See link below for construction outline, list of materials, and drawings. We won’t start building until spring.

    Last edited by Llamadave; 11-06-2019, 06:41 PM.
    Find my updated oven plans and photos here: