John, the dome was made using a form made from plaster. I drew a circle 30" in diameter and cut some 1/4" plywood into arcs with a 16" height. Hooked them together onto a piece of 3/4" plywood and used rebar wire to make a way to attach wire lath to hold the plaster. I then filled the areas between the 1/4" ply with plaster to get my "inside oven mold". I then divided the mold into quarters and hand packed homebrew refractory onto the mold at the desired thickness(2.5"). The recipe for the refractory is 6:1:1:1 (sand, portland cement, lime and fireclay, respectively). I would say I have about $500 into the build currently(just the oven, hearth, insulation, enclosure). I am still working on the smoker, but I will post up pics as they come.
Thanks for the kind words everyone.
I know you're not trying to be evasive, and I'm trying my best not to be an idiot, but I am still wondering about a few things. If you'd prefer to have me contact you directly, I'd be happy to do that, but I'd bet others would be interested in knowing the answers as well. My questions are:
1. The oven seems to have been constructed in a place other than its final resting place. Did you make each piece, then let each piece dry and then piece it back together, like I did with the pieces I got with my (purchased) refractory concrete oven?
2. The edges of the dome pieces look like they have carefully constructed overlap joints (like my oven). How were these made so precisely?
3. How did you get your inner plaster mold out from the inside of the oven? (I guess the answer to that is that you DIDN'T, assuming that the pieces were made one at a time and then removed from the mold when they were dry.)
4. Do you think that a similar process would work for a lower dome oven, i.e a Neapolitan oven?
5. How many ways are there to REALLY screw this thing up? More specifically --- It looks like you've got some serious masonry experience. Would you advise against someone without lots of experience with masonry, molds, etc going along this route?
Thanks again, and sorry if I'm a pest.