Friday, November 15, 2013

Brick Oven Dome Building Revisited

Brick Oven Dome Building

Three years ago I posted this subject and it has been the most visited of all posts (1480 visits).  I can only assume that either 1480 potential brick oven builders looked at it, or one guy checked the details a lot:)
Since then, a number of details have changed in my approach to building brick ovens. 

They are:
  1. The mouth of the ovens are on average 20" wide while the face arch is about 32". Rather than angle the walls from back to front, I build the side of the face arch perpendicular to the face creating a wide flat surface larger than the mouth for the door to set against.  This simplifies the masonry but still allows easy access to the interior of the dome.  Nearly all precasts have a straight tunnel-like face and mouth creating blind spots within the oven
  2. The floor of the oven is laid herringbone style with standard firebrick but unlike the previous post illustration, the ovens today lay the pattern diagonal to the face.  Aside from a good looking pattern this avoids the possibility of the metal peel used to handle baked products from catching on a brick edge, however minute. 
  3. I no longer cut the arch angle on bricks but use #1 and #2 manufactured fire brick.  In combination, this allows me to perfectly predict how many of each brick is needed for each diameter oven.   I cut the a fit the bricks dry, number them, and then take them to the project.
I still cut the wedge and skew, angles that make the mortar joints very thin and the dome strong.

Current domes using these materials and techniques are beautiful inside and out.

This is very similar to the bakery ovens I found on my visit to the excavated ruins of Pompeii, in Italy.

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