a domed masonry form

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Project by dan mosheim posted 283 days ago 1875 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

there is probably no way you can grasp what we did here from the six photos above, but i’ll try to clue you in a bit. the goal was to build an easy to set up, collapsible, reusable, form for building domed masonry wood fired pizza ovens. this one is 6 feet in diameter and 26” high. we have made other forms in the past, but the ‘easy to set up part’ always eluded us. my brother in law, peter moore, of vermont brick ovens decided he finally wanted to ‘do it right’. of course we had no idea what ‘right’ was but eventually we settled on the 24 piece ‘turtle shell concept you see above. in the first photo you can see the handwheel that, once the mortar is set, controls the ‘collapse’ process. the second photo shows the ‘build’ form, to which we screwed the 120 curved laminate piecess that make up the 24, 5 layer ‘shell’ sections. the third photo shows a completed dome from a previous oven. the fourth shows us fitting up the oversize sections to the final 8 rib form. the fifth photo shows the form set up on site last friday. it only took about 20 minutes to shim it and set it up and get it ready for the bricks. the last photo hopefully gives you some idea of the complexity and size of the finished oven .. lots going on here. if you are curious, there are many more photos and descriptions of the process in three posts on my dorset custom furniture blog. i try not to whine too much, but this one was a real challenge, and when it left last thursday, i was glad to see it on its way .. we’ll be going back for the ‘collapse’ ceremony later this week .. all for now .. dan

-- dan,vermont,

14 comments so far

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 283 days ago

might I be the 1st to say

nicely done

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View hoss12992's profile


2458 posts in 490 days

#2 posted 283 days ago

Wow, this is really cool, and def very handy. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11058 posts in 1703 days

#3 posted 283 days ago

That is really a neat way to build it. Nice going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14589 posts in 2273 days

#4 posted 283 days ago

Interesting project. Nicely done. How did they do it without a form? Work slow and let it be self supporting as the mortar hardened?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2592 posts in 2310 days

#5 posted 282 days ago


This is far too complex for my puny brain to comprehend! Your work is amazing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View deon's profile


2151 posts in 1623 days

#6 posted 282 days ago

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View shipwright's profile


4840 posts in 1395 days

#7 posted 282 days ago

Nice one Dan.
Might be able to make a boat builder out of you yet. :-)
Does this have to come out of the mouth of the completed oven when collapsed?
Very nice job and great thought process.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View jeffl's profile


283 posts in 1908 days

#8 posted 282 days ago

Nice work! I built a arched pizza oven that works great but I could see the time saving advantages of this design .

-- Jeff,

View mbs's profile


1421 posts in 1538 days

#9 posted 282 days ago

very interesting, and complicated.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View scrollingmom's profile


796 posts in 1061 days

#10 posted 282 days ago

Wow too cool! How big of a pizza or how many at one time will that make? When will they be done for us to join you?

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View stefang's profile


12565 posts in 1932 days

#11 posted 282 days ago

Nicely done Dan. It looks like it is made in small enough pieces to be collapsed and taken out a piece at a time after the mortar is dry, but it seems there must be some magic to the collapse process, so it will be interesting to watch the finale. It does look like the jack in the middle is lowered and maybe the pieces are hinged to fold inwards or something like that. Sorry, I can’t help playing the guessing game.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View littlecope's profile


2882 posts in 2099 days

#12 posted 282 days ago

Great Work Dan and very creative making it collapsible and reusable! Very Well Done!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Vagabondwheeler's profile


50 posts in 587 days

#13 posted 281 days ago

Just amazing work. Thanks for posting.

-- KDW

View dan mosheim's profile

dan mosheim

230 posts in 2286 days

#14 posted 280 days ago

thank you all for your comments. regarding the removal, the 8 rib pieces that the shells are stacked on are just slipped into notches in the top hub, not hinged, and should be easily removed through the oven door once the hub is lowered with the handwheel .. best. dan

-- dan,vermont,

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