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32 Inch Cape Build

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Finally finished up the percrete layer. I think starting out the first layer was a bit dry and caused application issues. Making it a bit wetter made the rest of the applications much easier. Having let it dry out for a number of days now, I'm planning on starting the curing fires today. I'm surprised how "large" the oven looks. Having a 32 inch oven, this most recent application of the perlcrete layer makes it look much larger than when it was just having the brick. Hard to imagine how large an oven in the 45" size or larger must be.

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  • david s
    replied
    Originally posted by CapePizza View Post
    One other question.... once the entire dome is covered with the perlcrete/cement mix (in my case about 3 inches thick), about how long to wait before start doing the curing fires?

    Thank you all for the help.
    So much depends on how dry the layer has become. Weather, thickness of the layer etc. When it turns white you'll think it's dry but it won't be deeper in. If fired too aggressively the vermicrete layer can swell and crack. Try the sheet plastic over it during firing to observe any condensation on its underside, or use a garden moisture meter.

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    I think you can start (small) curing fires as soon as you have your insulation layers on.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    One other question.... once the entire dome is covered with the perlcrete/cement mix (in my case about 3 inches thick), about how long to wait before start doing the curing fires?

    Thank you all for the help.

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  • david s
    replied
    The higher the proportion of cement in the mix, the stronger it will be, however it also reduces its insulating capacity markedly. If you are not asking this layer to insulate then you can make it stronger by simply making it richer. I find a 10:1 ratio is about as lean as is workable yet still providing sufficient strength to act as a firm substrate for rendering over. If you leave the surface too loose it sets as a rather crumbly layer. I tap the surface with the flat of the trowel when I've finished the later and this compresses it slightly as well as producing a nice flat surface that doesn't dry crumbly. Also a little powdered clay added to the mix imparts some stickiness. I also find a 50?50 mix of both perlite and vermiculite (medium grade) produces a better result than either of them alone.

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    Last edited by david s; 04-15-2021, 06:31 PM.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Thank you Russel. So back to my original question, when the mix cures, what is the consistency supposed to be? Should it be hard, like cement, or is it crumbly?
    thanks. Just looking for a point of reference.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    Depends on you final outer coating, if in a structure you are probably good as is. Remember there is a ton of water in pcrete and you need to really let it dry out before or if you put on a render coat.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Hello.... Perlcrete question. I've started applying the outer perlcrete mix to the dome (using a 7:1 mix and about 30% water). My question is what is the finished consistency to be like? From what I've read it really has no strength. But some areas I can rub my finger against and it just seems to crumble away in bits. My first thought maybe the mix needs more water. This was just in one area where I had some leftover loose mix and just haphazardly added some water. But the main question what should the consistency be like when it sits for a day after application. Thanks very much.

    Also... I'm wondering.... once the perlcrete mix "cures", is the finish render supposed to kind of hold the perlcrete mix in place, even if the perlcrete mix is a bit crumbly?
    Last edited by CapePizza; 04-15-2021, 05:23 AM.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Thank you for your comments Boogie-D. Appreciate it.
    Have been doing a bit of cooking in our new oven. It's really great. I can see it will take some time and many cooking sessions to really come to understand how the oven works. On New Year's Day we cooked pizzas in the morning (for lunch).... tried cooking a bread when the temp dropped (need to experiment with that a bit) and then cooked a chicken in a dutch oven. That chicken was outstanding. But the really great thing was the oven was still hot the next day and we put some of that chicken back in the oven to heat it up in a cast iron pan and it was the best chicken I've had (reheated). I raise my own meat birds and this was excellent. There's something about the way the oven cooks that keeps the moisture in the meat.

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  • Boogie-D
    replied
    Awesome build John... amazing detail.. I really like your base.. simple.. and also took note of how you sealed your outer perlicrete layer... sounds like what I need to do in Hawaii.. thank you

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    Don't worry about your pizzas not being round. After some practice, mine are round where, before, they were almost always oddly shaped!

    I lightly dust my peels with rice flour and sprinkle some semolina on the bench after I've formed my bases. The peel glides in under the pizza effortlessly and likewise deposits the pizza in the oven without drama.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Finally did some actual cooking in the oven. Our first attempt Monday night was an embarrassing disaster. The dough was not right, the pizzas stuck to the peel.... a real mess. Tuesday I played around with the dough recipe (used Bobby Flays Pizza Dough recipe and followed the instructions to the tee). The only issue I had was being able to get the pizzas to a round shape. Used a roller on the third pizza and was able to get it to round. Later that evening cooked Swordfish on a raised grill with the retained heat. Was incredibly moist. Next time will try placing some burning coals under it. At this point just doing some experimenting and kind of playing around with my new oven. And need to get a door made.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Up to the 700 curing fire today. Getting ready to cook "something" any day now. As far as "finishing" the oven, just have the outer perlcrete layer and final render to go but will wait till spring to do that.
    I've been just working on the structure around the oven lately. Installed some corrugated metal roofing overhead, put up some lights and a few other finishing touches.. I ordered an 18 inch pipe extension to get the flue up a bit higher over the roof.II feel like the oven building part of the journey is almost over. Now reading up on the 2nd part, COOKING in the oven.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    no need to cool

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    When doing the curing fires is it necessary to let the interior dome bricks cool off completely prior to starting the next round of curing. For example, yesterday I got up to 500 F. This morning the interior dome bricks are at 180. I was going to start the next fire to get up to 600. Should I wait till the interior dome bricks cool down more, or is it okay to go and start the next fire now. Thanks very much.

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