did you get the plans?
My main source of inspiration was "The Bread Builders" book by Alan Scott. It's cheap and easy to find online and contains one set of plans.
Can I buy the plans from you?
I don't sell plans but I do have a Construction CR ROM available which contains more than 400 high quality pictures I took while building my oven. My CD ROM combined with Alan Scott's "The Bread Builders" book should give you the answers to all your questions. How did you cut the bricks?
I used this
Where can I find Vermiculite?
I bought mine from a local manufacturer but I've seen bags of Vermiculite in the garden section of Home Depot. Give them a call and see if they can order you a couple of bags. If you can't find Vermiculite, you can use Perlite. Usually also available at Home Depot.
Do the stainless steel pipes go the full length of the dome?
How much did it cost to build the oven?
Roughly $1,500 (US). For a breakdown click here
What are the dimensions of the flue liner?
The flue liner I bought is 2 feet in height.The ouside measurements of the flue liner are 8.5"X8.5". The inside measurements are 7"X7".
How wet is the Vermiculite/Cement mixture?
Not very wet, about the consistency of damp sand.
Do I need special concrete for the cladding?
If you use you oven recreationally, you're fine with regular Portland cement. If you going to use the oven often (as in commercially), you will want to look into using refractory cement.
Are you happy with your cheap Craftsman thermometer?
Yep, recommend it to anybody willing to spend $30.
protective cover do I need
for the thermocouple inside the oven bricks?
Since the wire is burried inside your brick, there is no need for additional protection. The brick offers protection.
What's the deal with the height ratio between the oven door and dome?
If the ratio is between 63% and 67%, you will have a perfect airflow. (fresh air enters through the bottom half and smoke escapes through the top half). If the ration is less than 63%, the fire will have difficulty to burn. If the ratio is greater than 67%, too much heat will escape. If the dome height is 100%, your oven door should ideally be between 63% & 67%.
If this doesn't make sense, it's time to call your math teacher :)
How did you make the fireclay mortar?
10 parts sand, 3 parts portland cement and 1.5 parts of fireclay.
Can I imitate your oven?
Sure, this guy did.
Consider getting my Construction CD ROM if you need detailed pictures of the construction process.
What are the dimensions of the concrete foundation?
The slab is 76" X 84"
How wide is the oven door?
It's about 15"
You really didn't have any prior brick laying experience?
That is correct. It's really not that difficult. I did read some books from the library on masonary stuff, but that's about it.
What did you lay they bottom oven bricks on? It looks like some kind of mortar.
The hearth bricks are laid on a mixture of fireclay, sand and water. Equal portions of fireclay and sand. Add water to get a "toothpaste-like" consistency.
Did you use refractory concrete for the hearth slab and cladding? If yes, what product did you use...ie Fondag etc. If no, are you having any problems with using normal concrete?
I just used regular QuickCrete concrete. I've had no problems.
I know that you would want to use the special stuff (Fondag etc) if you're going to fire up the oven on a daily basis, but if it's only for recreational use you should be fine with regular concrete.
How did you know the vermiculity mixture was dry enough before applying the stucco?
If you haven't fired the oven yet, fire it up (starting with small fires and gradually increase the length and heat). This should help dry out the vermiculite mixture. I did the smell test. Not exactely scientific but it made me feel important. Smell the vermiculite when firing the oven. If it smells musty, it's probably still somewhat wet. If it doesn't you're fine.
How does the bread taste and how often are you using the oven?
The bread tastes great. I makes a really good crust. I mainly use the oven during the winter weekends since summer is just a bit too hot for me.
The stainless steel pipes, are they placed between the concrete cladding and the vermiculite or in the vermiculite?
Inside the vermiculite
Do you read all the e-mail you get?
Yes, I read all my mail daily. You might not get a quick response but I greatly appreciate hearing from people who have enjoyed the site or have a particular question.
Got a question that wasn't answerd in the FAQ?
Let me know