The second Duomo mold is done and ready for a trial casting. If you’re reading about this for the first time, the Duomo Series is a family of cast in place pizza oven kits based on high-end castable material and insulators that work in conjunction with a cardboard mold. The molds are 2D CAD designed and they will be cut with a CNC controller laser for a very high degree of accuracy. Far better precision than any precast pizza oven kit.

We built the first proof-of-concept mold using shipping boxes we had stored in the attic from our move from Europe to Alexandria, VA. I cut the mold pieces by hand, using measurements from the initial pre-production versions of the CAD design. It went together, and we’ve shared images of that mold, calling it Beta 1. Following that successful attempt, I refined drawings, and had a full-scale set of drawings printed out, that I used to cut the cardboard for the second prototype. I used the drawings as templates, and still cut the cardboard by hand. I used standard 0.125″ single wall cardboard—new this time!

I then went through a started cutting the pre-production parts, starting with the dome arch and support structure, and then the dome cover pieces. Getting the dome cover panels to line up was a bit tricky, but I eventually figured out the math and cut the curve in the shape of the panels, where they would line up to form a vertical line when curved against the dome arch.

The next step was to build the vent, including the support structure, and the covers, plus the tricky piece that joins the vent assembly to the dome, and forms the door jamb, or door stop for the oven opening. And finally, we needed to form the flat, 8×8″ square where the chimney anchor plate is attached.

And today, we successful cut and assembled those pieces. And the mold is ready to be permanently taped to become a solid mold, easily capable of holding the castable material that makes up the oven dome. I’ll be writing more about tape and cardboard later—these are two new materials where we’ve learn a great deal in a short amount of time!

At that point, we’ll be ready for our first trial casting. That’s exciting.

We’ve decided to put the mold in the Biscotto di Sorrento Shop for sale at this point. If you find this site and are interested, please reach out to us. We’re looking forward to working with our first customers and to providing special deals and a huge amount of support. You can buy the Duomo24, Duomo28, Duomo32, Duomo36 and Duomo40, and you can use our molds with our castable, any refractory castable you choose to buy locally, or with your own homemade 3:1:1:1 mason’s sand, hydrated lime, fireclay and Portland cement mix.

We’ll be back to show you the fully taped mold ready for casting.