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42” Pompeii oven and Argentine bbq on California Central Coast

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  • 42” Pompeii oven and Argentine bbq on California Central Coast

    Well finally after months of over thinking this project. I finally got started. Thank you to the people who let me crash their postings to ask some questions, and gave me advice. I am now ready to share my progress and take your abuse or support.
    At this stage I do have two questions if anyone has the time. First I have my floor bricks in direct contact to the foam insulation. I was going to pull them up and put down a layer of clay or sand but the bed is very level. Do I really need to do that? Second does anyone have a formula for calculating the compound angle for the side cut of the bricks. I can see as the courses get higher the verticale grout joint will start to become triangular instead of parallel.
    Anyway, I hope you all enjoy my journey. Michele
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Here is the extent of my progress so far. Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      That’s looking like you’ll have a beautiful outdoor kitchen soon.

      I’ve not seen a Argentine grill quite like that. Is it a particular style, or your own spin on it ? Looks like it’d roast a great hunk of meat.

      my understanding is that the sand under the floor is purely for leveling reasons, and you can skip if you don’t need it.


      • #4
        Search under "deejayoh", he is one of our long time users who developed an Excel spread sheet to calculate bevel and taper angles. That said, you do not need to do full length bevels, unless you want to, only need the adjust the conflicting bricks on the ID. This is to avoid what is called the "inverted V" mortar joint.

        I am assuming you mean CaSi insulation not foam that your floor bricks lay on. No you do not need to level with clay/sand if your floor lays flat. Clay/sand is only used for leveling.

        I looked closely at your IT, be aware the center of the pivot point along the wood rod "must" intersect at the mid point on the brick. This ensures that the brick face is perpendicular to the center of the dome. The errors induced by the current IT are cumulative and will get increasingly more pronounces, you end up with stepped faces on the interior of the dome. Need to adjust the IT now.
        Last edited by UtahBeehiver; 07-11-2022, 03:34 PM.
        Google Photo Album []


        • #5
          Fhausback, thanks. My spin on the Argentine design. You keep a live fire in the basket and rake the coals under the grill to control grilling temp. The live fire allows for longer time for grilling without flareups of adding fresh wood to the coals. And it makes a nice visual when you are sitting around the fire after dinner.


          • #6
            Russell, thanks for the tip on “deejayyoh” I will check it out. And yes my floor inso is high density CaSi.
            The IT has been a puzzle for me. I noticed the curve error in my mock up. I used a converted caster wheel and redrilled for true verticle center but I am an inch high of finished floor. Not sure what the adjustment needs to be.
            All the best, Michele


            • #7
              I have attached a pic of an IT that one of the members did a long time ago, Project a line from the pivot point at the floor to where the rod screws into the nut at the L bracket which is at the mid point of the dome brick that, IE brick is 2.5" thick so center of nut is 1.25". Right now, your IT hits the top of the brick. As I mentioned the error is cumulative and gets progressively more skewed as you move up in courses. The bottom of the next course will not line up it the previous course and you get a stepping of the bricks. While you are at it, make the rod adjustable, using a caster changes the dimensions as you go up. Ideally the pivot. The point should be at floor level otherwise the dome height will be the OD plus how far the pivot point is off the brick floor. This affect mating to a tapered inner arch unless you adjust the ID as you move up, that is why an adjustable IT is preferred. If you are unfamiliar with tapered inner arches, there are dozen of examples in the blog.

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              Last edited by UtahBeehiver; 07-11-2022, 07:00 PM.
              Google Photo Album []


              • #8
                “Utahbeehiver” Brilliant! Thank you.


                • #9
                  Got my IT and compound angle issues resolved. Thanks to Russell and Dennis. You guys are champs.
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                  • #10
                    Looks awesome Michele, excellent workmanship, will be an amazing space when finished. Could you please explain what mix you used for the benchtops? I'm planning a similar (thought much smaller) kitchen and looking for ideas for the benchtop.


                    • #11
                      #Pizzarotic Thank you for the compliment. As with all these projects on the forum, it’s a labor of love. The most important thing with counter tops is to minimize shrinkage cracking caused by concrete that is too wet. I used a six sack pump mix and was very careful not to exceed a 4” slump. (Slump is the measurement of the sag of the concrete caused by to much water.). It also helps to not pour on a hot windy day as that will cause the surface to dry too quickly and crack. A cure compound applied immediately after the finish will help to seal in the moisture as well. I also added black concrete pigment to get the dark color.
                      All the best, Michele


                      • #12
                        Today’s progress. Second course and layout for the door. First picture looks distorted the course is more level than appears in the photo. My tip for the day. Make sure you have a wet heavy duty sponge to wipe down the bricks and mortar joints at the end of the session.
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                        • #13
                          Does anyone have a suggestion for the dimension from the center of the oven to the oustide face of the inner door arch? I am going with 20” w x 12” tall door opening. The Mark Jerling drawings are excellent but I don’t see that dimension anywhere. Is this dimension critical for the oven to draw?
                          Thanks in advance, Michele


                          • #14
                            Michele, I set the outside face of my dome arch to be about 2" outside the radius line of my oven, so in my case 20" from the center, or 38" from the back of the dome. My thinking was that when I build an insulated door about 2" thick inside of the dome arch, the center of the inside face of the door would be the same as the dome... now If I end-up with a thicker door, that logic goes out the window.

                            Enjoy the journey! - Sixto - Minneapolis
                            if it's worth doing, it's worth doing to the best of your ability!
                            Sixto - Minneapolis


                            • #15
                              You need to make sure that your arch and dome will intersect properly - here is a link to another 42" oven where we talked about arch placement
                              It's kind of usual practice to figure out arch location before you start laying courses, as it kind of sets fore/aft placement of the oven on the slab. I have seen builders need to add an extension to the front of the slab because they didn't allow enough room for the vent/landing area in front of the oven arch.
                              Last edited by JRPizza; 07-19-2022, 09:07 PM.
                              My build thread