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twenty-one images of How to Build a Wood-Fired Pizza
So, the base is made, the
wedges for filling in 'dome imperfections' are made. This is
the exciting stuff! In the image above of the pizza dome
sections propped up, you will notice how tightly the
fire-bricks are laid with the refractory cement beneath and
between the bricks. Don't use inferior bricks,
as this brick surface will be where you cook your delicious
pizzas and you will want it to remain serviceable for many
years. Only firebricks and an oven made from quality
fireclay will suffice for the over 400C temps you will
|Do a dry run before using the
cement. The pencil lines will be your guide as to
where the refractory cement is to be spread. Try not to get
it all over the place! Mark the sections 1,2,3,4, and use a
pencil to mark the wedges. Wedges need to be large enough to
fill the gaps but slender enough to allow a spread of
refractory cement on either side. Always keep a level, a
set-square, and a tape measure within reach.
A good photo to study so
you can decided how you are going to create the landing area
when taking out pizza. Note the perfectly fitting door
but the gaps under section. No worries! The
wedges will fix this. The side walls which enclose the oven
have been started with 100mm blocks.
The Vermiculite cement can be cut with a chisel to
accomodate your personal plan. I cut mine to take a
fire-brick tile approx 75mm (1.5 inches) thick and 230mm
square. Do remember to temporarily strap the sections
together at planning stage.
|Fire! What a satisfying
moment this was (will be). One of my family insisted
on lighting a small candle in the oven just to mark the
occasion. You will notice I have done a bit of
plastering on front of base walls. The blocks extend
over the side of the walls because I skimped when
building. I corrected this with judicious use of
cement plaster which brought out the side walls of base
support. You must have room for insulation between your
traditional pizza oven and side walls.
|This extraordinary material is
a ceramic fibre blanket. I am told that you can hold
in in your hand and turn a blow-torch on the material and
you feel no heat! Do not try. It is used to wrap
the dome and is one of the stages you must not skimp
on. Remember, the dome will be heated to over 400
degrees and you must contain that heat! Other wise you
will be losing heat and wasting fuel. Ceramic Fibre Blanket
is one of the best insulating materials on the planet! It is
used extensively in furnaces and pottery Kilns.
|Cut Sections of
Ceramic Fibre Blanket and stick it to the dome with blobs of
refractory cement. You know you are making progress when you
have to start using a ladder
||Having covered the
entire dome with an extra layer on top of dome, wrap netting
wire around the entire dome; this is to allow you to cover
the dome in Vermiculite Cement. The wire holds the wet
cement in place. Ingenious.
||This is a bit messy
but the wire makes it work. Tie the wire across the
opening to secure it. It can be trimmed later. Keep a
water bottle nearby for wetting. A regular 'plasterer's
trowel' is ideal and keep a small 'ordinary trowel' to hand
|This is the
vermiculite cement being mixed. It takes a lot of
water. Use cement fondu. Remember that the water takes time to dry
out. Letting it dry out naturally is best.
Instructions for mixing will be given later.
Don't be in a rush to set a fire in your oven until the
vermiculite has had a chance to dry!
|When the coating of
Vermiculite cement/concrete has dried (almost) you must put
on another coat. three or four inches is
recommended. I managed to get the three inches on. You
won't get another chance to add more after th roof goes on,
so don;t skimp now. I must say that even at 450c
degrees in the oven, there is no heat escaping thought the
insulation as described here.
Vermiculite is a mineral that is widely used as an
insulating product. It it also has many uses in garden
nurseries including being used as a growing medium.
When mixed as a concrete - in situations where dry product
is unsuitable - it is a magnificent insulating
product. Best mixed with Cement Fondu.
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