We’re building the second prototype of the Duomo cast in place pizza oven kit, and things are coming along very well. We had a full-scale set of drawing printed at our local commercial print shop that we are using to hand cut each of the dome and vent pieces. Each Duomo mold is made up of about 40 cardboard pieces cut from about 14 different designs, including they dome arch, the oven opening arch, the vent arch, all of the cross supports and the covers for the dome and the vent.

Cutting and build the first few molds by hand has the advantage of letting us trial difference design variations and material thicknesses for rigidity and solidity. It also puts me more in touch, in a zen kind of way, with how the mold feels and works. So far, so good.

We’ve cut and assembled the dome arch, the connector that holds those arch panels together, the inner and outer supports the keep the arch panels solid and evenly spaces, and we’ve started assembling the dome cover. That’s a particularly tricky piece, because it’s shape is determined by the specifics of the dome arch—in the case of the Duomo36, a 36″ diameter pizza oven the arch consists of a 2″ vertical rise on the dome side, which is needed to make the outer arch support fit tightly, a flat 10″ hexagonal dome top, a 15″ overall dome height, and an elliptical arch connecting the rise to the dome top. That combination results in an interesting curve, where each of the dome cover pieces meets at the intersection of make a straight, vertical line, and a nice, smooth dome shape.

After those pieces are cut, and tested, we will dry assemble the rest of the dome mold, and when that’s done, we’ll start cutting and assembling the vent oven opening and oven vent. By dry assembled, we means assembling with blue painter’s tape, rather than permanent card paper tape that the person building the oven will use to make strong, waterproof seal between all of the mold pieces.

We are currently planning on selling just the Duomo pizza oven mold to people who want to buy less expensive, locally sources materials, such as vermiculite, fireclay and hydrated lime to save cost and build a very low-cost oven.

More to come, so check in again to see how we’re progressing finishing off the mold and putting it into production.

One last thing. The prototypes are being cut from 2D CAD plans by hand. When we go into production the molds will be cut by a CNC laser directly from those CAD designs, making sure the cuts are perfect, the dome shape is exactly what you want, and each mold and each oven is the same. All good!