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Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

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  • Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

    I started the project thinking that I was building a 42" fireplace and dug the foundation and built block walls with that in mind, then my world changed when I came across this website. I thought that it would be awesome to have an oven as well but had not planned for it, so my space was very limited. After stalking the website for a while, it became clear that I could do it!! Instead of putting the the fireplace in the center, I adjusted it to be on the right and built a center wall that would hold up the oven.
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  • #2
    Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

    I put a piece of angle iron all the way across the front to hold up the throat on the fireplace side and added another shorter one behind the first block--per instructions on FB--for the oven side.

    I actually used 4x4 angle iron b/c I thought it would be stronger, but ended up having to cut it down on the fireplace side to get the curve in the throat that I wanted--this was not easy!!
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    • #3
      Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

      After adding supports for the oven base, I built a box to pour the cement/vemicrete base. I needed the extra space, so I built it larger in the front with a curve that would stick out from the structure a bit. The thought behind this was that since it wouldn't have as much weight on it (as it would only be supporting a floor) it would hopefully work. I just used really thin wood (leftovers) and screwed it in place and cut 2x4's to make sure that the curve wouldn't collapse.
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      • #4
        Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

        Brick cutting time! I set up a "table" for the tile saw and cut the bricks in half for the dome. Then used a circular saw with a diamond blade to cut the circular pattern for the floor--this was much more difficult. It took an entire day for me just shaving and shaving. I don't know if someone with more experience has a better way to do this; but based on my experience, I would just lay the first coarse on top of laid bricks if I ever do it again.
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        • #5
          Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

          Next, I built a form using thick styrofoam-like insulation. Note: when building a form, it would be more user-friendly if you put more "legs." In other words, not so much space between the walls. My dome definately sags in some areas where there wasn't a form b/c it is hard to see it from the outside. Bottom line--make a better form than this.

          After I laid the rebar, cement and vemicrete, I laid the floor of the oven. I didn't have a proper trowel (only had one with a flat edge), so getting the floor level was much harder than I expected. Would highly recommend springing the $10 for the one with 1/4" gaps as the instructions recommend.

          Then, up I go. I laid the first couple of coarses with mush more ease than I expected. I didn't want to spring the $125/bag for the Heat Stop refractory mortar and FB was out of theirs, so I ended up using FireRock which cost $25/25 lb bag of dry mix. It was really easy to use and hopefully it will hold up. . .
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          Last edited by czaunb2; 07-08-2010, 07:32 AM. Reason: more instruction

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          • #6
            Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

            Finally, I hired someone to help. He worked on laying bricks in the fireplace as I worked on the dome. I snapped a chalk line that allowed a 42" opening and only 16" from the front to the back wall. Rumford fireplaces are more shallow and taller than most, which allows for more radiant heat, allegedly. After he laid the floor, we drew a pencil mark that would tell us where to lay the walls of the fireplace. We built the back wall up to the height that we wanted (to figure out the measurements, I did research on the Buckley Rumford website and got a GREAT book from the library that was more of a paper written around 1790) then we cut the side wall bricks at an angle. In the book, it said to do an inclined throat, but Buckley Rumford is huge on the curved throat, which is what I finally ended up doing. Note: you will want to cut the bricks with the curve of your throat--I had to later shave them with a circular saw since I had began thinking that I would have an inclined throat and later changed to a curved one.
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            Last edited by czaunb2; 07-08-2010, 07:18 AM. Reason: more instruction round 3

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            • #7
              Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

              Up and over I go. Note: do NOT make the arch form as big as the opening that you want. Make it a few inches shorter and use shims or whatever to hold it up. I had a very hard time getting the form out, even causing damage to the dome that I had to later repair.

              I made the arch and vent, then added mortar to fill in all gaps. Then I cut the bottom of an 8x8 clay flue liner just a bit to sit on top of my vent and set it in place. Next, I used blanket insulation (FB was out of stock, so I purchased it from a place in Atlanta which only charged $90/roll) and wrapped with chicken wire.
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              Last edited by czaunb2; 07-08-2010, 07:57 AM. Reason: more instruction 2

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              • #8
                Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                I hired another helper (other one quit coming) to help with laying the stone. I live in a new neighborhood with many stone-accented houses. They usually dump the left-over stone in a side lot, so that is how I got most of the stone I used. It is really pretty, but very bulky and heavy (not the veneer stuff), so I was very grateful for the help.

                Since the angle iron that I picked up didn't have pre-drilled holes, I added them to attach another piece of 4x4 angle iron to help hold up the stones above the fireplace (this was actually 2 pieces of left-over angle iron since I am too cheap to purchase more). This was pretty time consuming as the drill bits that I used kept breaking--finally I got the most "heavy duty" Rigid brand 3/8 bit and it worked fine. But it did take 3 trips to Home Depot--ugh. I overlapped the angle iron to make it more strong, (thought about just welding it together and making another cut, but the welder told me that it would be stronger by overlapping) then attached them using galvanized hex bolts and nuts. I wanted to do this before I poured the throat.
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                Last edited by czaunb2; 07-08-2010, 07:44 AM. Reason: more pics

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                • #9
                  Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                  I didn't use traditional "fire bricks" for the fireplace. These are old solid bricks that I found on Craigslist for $0.25 each. The couple that I purchased them from said that came from an old fireplace and they did have a ton of soot on them, so hopefully they will work out. I really wanted a more rustic look in the firebox and am ok with them cracking, etc; but, I did start to get nervous since everyone warns against this, so I added another wall of bricks behind it with about an inch of space in between that I filled with perlite. I don't know if this will help or if it is totally useless, but it is done. I sealed off the top of the perlite with a bit of refractory mortar since this was going to serve as my smoke shelf.

                  Also, here are pics of the bricks that include the the curved slope that will hold the curved throat. I had to add a bit of mortar to help to smooth the curve.

                  I cut plywood forms to hold up metal lath (thanks, Tscarborugh) to get the curved throat that I wanted.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                    The hardest part about the throat was cutting the angle iron. I had already set a 4x4 angle iron in place and later realized that it would be better to start the I curve of the throat at around 2 inches, so I needed to cut 2 inches off of the inside. Yes, in hindsight, I would have just installed a 2x2 or a 2x4 angle. Anyhow, to cut it, I used a metal blade on a circular saw to start with then had to purchase a reciprocating saw with a metal blade that worked much better--the only downside is that I paid $60 for something that I may never use again--my stomach turns just thinking about it. . . I digress.

                    Anyhow, after setting the form, placing the lath and attaching the outward facing angle iron, it was time to build the throat.

                    I had some left over firebricks that I cut 3 times lenghtwise and laid them in with the refractory mortar underneath and around.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                      After laying the split firebricks and adding a little refractory mortar on top, I laid a grid of rebar and added cement with fireclay on top. To hopefully add a little strength, I drilled holes in the side cement blocks to put an extra rebar into before adding the cement.

                      Now, on to the decorative arch for the dome. I wanted to match the mortar color that was used underneath, so I just used regular mortar (not high-heat), hoping that it wouldn't get too hot there. This is not recommend because I do think that it will likely have to be replaced it as it is already cracking.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                        Next, was time for the smoke chamber. I bought a couple of 13"x18" flue liners that I intended on cutting similar to Dmun's to make it; but, I quickly realized that this was not going to work for mine as I needed a much larger base than that would allow. After brainstorming with my hubby for a while, we thought that it might work if we made 3 cuts--it would give us the width we needed on the bottom and still allow the height that we needed. It worked like a charm. I used a circular saw with a diamond blade to cut the first side, then took a newspaper and traced the cut to repeat on the opposite side. It actually looks very similar to the one that Superior Clay sells for $300-400ish and I made it for $60--yay!

                        After setting the smoke chamber, I needed to set the anchor of the rotisserie that I had my brother weld for me. *Remember, when I started the project, it was supposed to be a fireplace only and I knew that I wanted to use it for cooking as well. Even after I decided to add the oven, the rotisserie still seemed like a good idea as my oven is on the small side. This way I will still be able to cook whole hogs, etc for larger groups.

                        We leveled it off and added a mixture of cement and extra stone pieces to make sure that it would be able to take the weight of a pretty heavy piece of meat.

                        I cut the bricks with the wet saw 2 times, then just chipped out the middle to set the rack. We left plenty of room for extra mortar just to add strength.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by czaunb2; 07-09-2010, 07:30 AM. Reason: add pic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                          After setting the rotisserie anchor, we built up the bricks a bit at an angle. We tied string to help us stay uniform.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                            The hearth for the oven was hanging over quite a bit b/c I needed the extra space for the oven. After laying the block it seemed to be nearly flush with the block, but I didn't really want to cover it with stucco. My helper, Mario, had a WONDERFUL idea, and added a flat stone that would provide a place for a row of bricks to rest. Since the insulation went beyond the hearth, the stucco created a huge ugly bulge. He covered this by chipping off the tops of the bricks--fit like a glove. I think that he did a beautiful job!
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                            • #15
                              Re: Claire's 31" oven/ 42" Rumford fireplace build

                              Thank you so much for posting these pictures. My fireplace build is far off but I need to have some of these things in mind when I start the process.
                              WCD

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

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