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Oasis Rising - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Oasis Rising

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  • Oasis Rising

    It is time to start my build thread. I asked a lot of question in Introductions and In Pompei oven build forums but my build is truly on it's way and I want to make sure I keep track of it.....not just to brag and share my happiness but to also share what I learn with others so they can take it and move forward with their oven dreams.
    about 5-6 years ago I started looking at the idea of a big combination smoker/outdoor fireplace. I started gathering bricks (craigslist) and making sketches of what I wanted. In my internet travels I came across a few websites that featured Italian Pizza ovens....( I don't remember if this was one of the ones I first found). I had made a plan to break ground in the middle of summer but had to put those plans on hold. Job changes and a serious family illness took precident. My stack of bricks (about 700) sat in the side yard gather moss for several years.....and this year...I decided that I was doing it, so one weekend, one month ago (March 28), I grabbed a shovel, went outside and started digging. We had 3 enormous hedges that I dug up and replanted to the front yard. Then I tore up the apple tree that sat in this area taunting me for the last 8 years (the squirrels have always beat me to the apples). I dug up the peonies and planted them on the other side of the pool.

    Next I put up a temporary fence and tore down the old fence next to the pool.
    and I started staking out the area for the oven and the fireplace.

    I couldn't believe that took up most of a weekend. A few days later my wife asked me to finish a project inside the house ( we redid our kitchen and I was supposed to trim out the bakers window to match the new cabinets.....So the next weekend was devoted to that window. I ripped out the pine casing and window sill and put a proper Sapelle window sill and casing all around. I also trimmed it out properly....she was thrilled and now is 100% on board with the Forno project.
    Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 04-25-2010, 08:55 PM. Reason: spelling
    WCD

    My slow journey to pizza.
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

  • #2
    Re: Oasis Rising

    I think it only fair to mention that I am a world class procrastinator. We redid our kitchen about 4 years ago....and there hasn't been any trim on it all that time. My wife is extraordinarily patient with me. Week 3 was a lot of work with not much to show for it. At one time, our pool had a light inside of the pool. The line for power and the GFCI were run to a small stand just off the concrete then the light was delivered via fiber optic cable(Smart). I spent the better part of a day digging and trying to trace out the line and find out which fuse box it was wired to because if it was still a viable power source I could have it reconnected, save some cash, and have lights in the outdoor kitchen area. Eventually I gave up.....whatever there was before is long gone and long destroyed. So I jumped back in to the job at hand.....and hit another snag.
    Planning. The wife, wants to know what is going where.....and quite honestly I had a concept in my head but no real plan.....so we killed the rest of that day smashing stakes in the ground, putting string on the stakes, moving boxes around to simulate the fireplace and oven and deciding where to put things. Finally I had complete approval from the wife. Next day, I dug the holes for he Pergola posts, picked them up at the hardware store and put them in.


    I dropped 15 80lb bags of concrete down those holes And just to toot my own horn, I also changed the radiator in her Jeep.

    the holes averaged 50 inches depth.
    Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 04-25-2010, 09:07 PM. Reason: clarity
    WCD

    My slow journey to pizza.
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Oasis Rising


      Eventually This will be the extention of the pool area...it will be the site for fine dining and happiness.....but now it looks like a modern art masterpiece.


      Just to give the best perspective I can..... a view from the treehouse. My wife must be thrilled to see me doing something that will get rid of these ramshackle fence sections I threw up one day a few years ago to cover up all my sloppy firewood stacks and broken down yard equipment.( I have actually started to throw away some of the old busted stuff that will never get fixed.)
      WCD

      My slow journey to pizza.
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Oasis Rising

        I loaded those beasts (6x6x16) onto the truck by myself, unloaded them, dug the holes, and put them up and set them .....by myself. My wife and youngest son were busy removing the sod from the area of the oven.
        The next weekend my boys helped me dig out the forms and my youngest helped me make the wooden forms for both slabs.
        WCD

        My slow journey to pizza.
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Oasis Rising

          90 percent of a job is getting started, the final 10 percent is finishing it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Oasis Rising

            At first I bought a cement mixer at one of the big box stores and started bringing home bags of cement.....but then I calculated how much cement I would need for the two slabs. over 90 80lb bags......almost 2 yards. So I contacted a couple local concrete places and found out I could have both slabs poured for about 40 bucks more than the cost of the concrete if I did it all my self. SOLD. I took the mixer back and had the slabs poured Friday......And they even cut the rebar and made the grid/mat for me, then poured it, etc.....all while I was VPN'd in to work in the house. Much easier....and it just plain made sense.
            I was much less tired after watching these guys that I would have been after lifting 90 bags of cement.
            And the results were pretty darned impressive too. This is the slab for the Oven.


            And this will be the fireplace. I'll be stopping at the big box store on the way from work the next couple nights, bringing home 20-30 blocks at a time.
            WCD

            My slow journey to pizza.
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Oasis Rising

              Started the dry stacking today. I am going to have to do a little mortaring of the first course to get it to start out even. The downloadable book said 78x65. I came out with 78x63. It is for a 42 inch oven. Seeing it take shape is pretty cool


              And my dog likes it too.
              WCD

              My slow journey to pizza.
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Oasis Rising

                Great work, wcd. Keep it going. I'm a procrastinator myself but I noticed that I never stopped or at least slowed down til my oven was functional. When I started to cook that's when my focus was divided. I think you'll finish this project with no time at all or at least before summer ends. Besides, you have a lot forum members who will always check in to find out how the progress is going. That in itself is a good motivator.
                sigpic

                Raffy's WFO Build Thread
                WFO Build Pics (Picasa)
                Add me on Facebook (write FornoBravo in the message)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Oasis Rising

                  It looks great. I'm increasingly convinced that pouring concrete slabs is one of those jobs, like plasterboard work, that it makes no sense to do oneself.
                  My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Oasis Rising

                    subscribing - nice work so far.
                    -------------------------------------------
                    My 2nd Build:
                    Is here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Oasis Rising

                      Thank you all for the encouragement. I have to say, it really gave the area a good feel to have that stack of cinder blocks I've ferried home over the last few days take a shape. I am going to get that mortar under them and start the first course as soon as I can this weekend. I am hoping to have the walls of the stand finished by Sunday afternoon. My work schedule is crazy these days and I'm glad to have a job when so many people are struggling so I have to squeeze it in when I can. Looks like I will be scrambling to insulation materials for my stand soon. And the firebrick as well. I think I pegged down a good source for the brick, so long as I don't mind white.....don't care one way or another.
                      WCD

                      My slow journey to pizza.
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Oasis Rising

                        Got some more work in yesterday. I had the slab poured with a bit of an angle to it. 1.5 inches from front to back. That was dumb since most of the slab is not exposed so drainage isn't really an issue. I spent a couple hours mortaring the first 3 courses so that it would get rid of the angle. My sons helped me mix and pour 10 80lb bags into the cores.
                        I intend to fill all the cores and still have more than a 3rd of them to do. I was hoping to be done with that this weekend. I also put up the first beams for the Pergola. 2 2x10x16's. I managed to pull that off without any assistance and got it dead flat at 9 feet. Since it was full on dark by the time I finished those beams, I gathered up my tools and went inside to get a shower. I remembered my Keys were in the truck so went back outside and on the way back in found this beauty at the back door. I must have stepped right over it, barefoot on my way out.
                        Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 05-03-2010, 05:15 AM. Reason: edit to add picture.
                        WCD

                        My slow journey to pizza.
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Oasis Rising

                          I have somehow lost a big post I put up Friday so I will incorporate that info with the update from yesterday's work.
                          Thursday I started working on the platform. I am constantly amazed at how long the prep work takes for this thing.
                          I discovered a mistake I made with the stand. BIG TIP FOR NEWBIES.
                          Check for square...then check again....and if you change anything, check again. I had it all laid out and square but because Iwanted to morter under the first course of bricks and try to level out from back to front, I removed the bricks. I had pencilled in around the bricks to put them back the same but somehow I messed it up and the two sides of the front are not even.
                          I didn't put the Angle Iron in between the 3rd and 4th course of bricks....I put it on the top and that is when I discovered that it was off.
                          To try to compensate for this I turned the angle iron over and poured on top of it.
                          The angle Iron was hard to find. I had to go to BMG metals in Richmond. Called in the morning to order it and they had it cut and waiting for me at 2. 3/8x2x2 x 5ft. ended up being only 41 bucks so not bad.
                          Friday morning I took this pic of the area that now has beams on both sides of the Pergola support. I think it is taking a nice shape.
                          WCD

                          My slow journey to pizza.
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Oasis Rising

                            Friday night I stopped at the rental place and got a yard of dry cement in a big portable tow behind mixer. Came home and covered it with a tarp in case it rained. Got up Saturday and started cutting rebar and putting the finishing touches on the stand. Again I am amazed at how slow I am with this.

                            By 2 pm we were ready to start pouring cement. My little assistant eagerly jumped up on the mxer to remove the tarp. My wife had been taking pictures thruout the process and was kind enough to offer to help once I got going . Initially the cement didn't mix. the rocks were tumbling around but much of the powder had clumped together in a giant lump on one side of the mixer so I added water and let it turn for about 15-20 minutes, stopping occacionally to stab at the mound with a shovel. Eventually it was completely mixed but then it was too wet, so I threw a couple 80LB bags of quickcrete into the mixer to dry it out a bit.

                            WCD

                            My slow journey to pizza.
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Oasis Rising

                              I had used 10 80lb bags of quickcrete to fill cores last week which left me with about half the stand being emptyand I also added another section of wall this week in the middle of the stand for added support. Since I had a yard of cement in this rented mixer I went ahead and filled every core in the stand .

                              The gravel in this mix is a lot larger than you would find in the quickcrete mix and was difficult to move around the form. I pushed a couple of my rebar supports out of alignment and tried to fix it but I'm sure it isn't exactly as I intended. My wife proved to be pretty good at leveling the concrete out. When we were about half way thru the slab pour, I had to pull the mixer forward and start putting it into the wheelbarrel.

                              As we agitated the concrete mix and smoothed it, a lot more water came to the surface than I expected which leads me to thing that I had the mix too wet. I ended up having a 5.5 inch slab....and this morning it is still damp and somewhat soft. I expected it to set up much firmer and faster. The stuff on the top is also much grittier and sandier than what was poured by the crew that did the foundation pieces. I am a bit concerned about that but I will let it continue to cure since I don't have much choice at this point. I will spritz some water on it later today as it begins to dry (we finished the pour late yesterday so the sun was going down and the air had cooled considerably.)
                              Before we started the pour I excavated a small area in our sideyard to make a sidewalk from the finished area around the pool to the pool pump and controlls. I thought we would have plenty of cement left over. I ended up only having half a wheelbarrel full and had to start tossing 80lb bags of cement into the mixer. Thankfully I had a large stack of it in the Garage.

                              Last edited by WoodchuckDad; 05-09-2010, 07:29 AM.
                              WCD

                              My slow journey to pizza.
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ing-12769.html

                              Comment

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