Dome foam removal

Matt, do you have any suggestions on removing the foam from the oven’s interior? Wow! It’s a ton of work. It’ll take a week at least, more likely longer. The foam is so dense. I’m using a reciprocating saw, large auger bit on a big drill motor, a stiff painter’s scraper, a tree limb saw and a large flat blade screwdriver. The 36” is also a long way in there chock FOF, full of foam.

That foam is one tough mother. It has to be to hold up to your pour.

You are definitely on the right track. In my Mattone Barile I found a combination of the Sawzall, the flat blade, and my 6 foot iron breaker bar were the ticket.

Here is BrickWood’s post on the topic.

What I found most effective in the end was using the Sawzall to make a number of cuts at the thickest points and slowly breaking down the strength of the form. You have a tremendous amount of “stiction” between the surfaces, and the key is to destroy the structure of the foam without damaging your poured shell.

I know, it’s frustrating and challenging, but it can be done. As BrickWood always says, do not use flames or torches to burn the foam, as it’s a recipe for disaster and will ruin your oven for cooking before you ever see the cast form.

Thanks for the gentle nudge Matt!!!

And a BIG THANKS for your continued support on the forum!

The foam is a bit of a booger to remove, but when you’re dealing with $1000+ in Castable Refractory… and an $800 form, we need to make sure that foam will NOT break. So we use super dense foam (3000PSI).

Once you remove the entire front end of the foam form, you will see the foam (dome) is actually made in 2 pieces. Remove the BOTTOM piece first as it is NOT glued in. It is actually loose - and is designed to pull out (with a little elbow grease and maybe a rubber mallet).

The foam is designed / cut so the bottom keyway will slide out of the front. These pictures will better explain the design.

BUT - I made this design change about a year ago, so hopefully you got your dome w/in the past year. Otherwise, the Sawzall (and a hired hand off Craigslist) will make short work of that foam.

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Makes a total mess but a side grinder with a wire wheel has allowed me to hope that I will get all the styrofoam out. Week two of trying so far with all the recommended utensils…

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There is a tool I had not considered. It would definitely work, as you’re proving.

Additional hopeful fact is that I’ve never seen anyone declare that the foam was permanently in place and they were going to consider it a sculpture rather than an oven. :slight_smile:

Offered in the spirit of encouragement, Tim!

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Mine’s still not completely removed. I have yet to crawl in to the oven completely to reach the back wall of the 36" oven. This late in the year the sauna project take precedent… It’s obviously a slow process for me




Mine was slow, too. You’ll get there.

The core was really jammed in there. When I finally figured out what I needed to do, it suddenly dropped down and popped out all at once.