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Kansas oven progress - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Kansas oven progress

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  • Kansas oven progress

    I hope these pictures are posting.
    This is where we are in our oven progress. We put wedge shaped bricks inbetween the soldier and first ring. so the backs of them are sticking out on the back side of the oven. Overall I think ours looks kinda sloppy - I think our bricks need to to be closer together....
    That's where we are. The opening is my hurdle I must get over now. At first we started the walls of the opening, but didn't have something to put the door up against when - so we took down the walls of the opening, and added a tiny bit so we could shove the door against something. Does that make sense?
    Anyway, I keep looking at photos and that's where I get my ideas. If anyone has advice - I'm open to it.
    I wonder if sawsalls have diamond blades. I'd shave off the back of the dome...heh heh heh.


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    Last edited by cecilB; 09-27-2009, 02:05 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Kansas oven progress

    Looking good so far! Your brickwork reminds me of mine. So I don't think it looks sloppy.
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    If you are going to use a form or a hinged tool like http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f28/...heme-2985.html, it will help you keep your bricks pointed more towards the center of the oven and minimize some of the gaps between the inside corners of the bricks.
    Looking good so far!



    • #3
      Re: Kansas oven progress

      Thanks, Darius, for the boost of confidence! Maybe I'll see about getting that tool. I would like to order the blanket insulation and get my dome done in the next few weeks...
      I can't see the inside of your oven, but the outside is quite better than mine - I am not happy with my opening!
      I know I'm supposed to keep all bricks touching as much as possible - no gaps on the inside - but I never thought about having to keep the bricks pointing towards the center.
      I was looking through the thread about the indispensible tool - can one order that somewhere?



      • #4
        Re: Kansas oven progress

        Hey Cecelia, the oven of the month award goes to a lady in Uganda, Africa that built an oven out of mud bricks and used a mound of sand as her 'form', or guide to set the bricks. Then she scooped out all the sand when the bricks were all mortared in place. The oven does not have to be a mathematical work of art, It just has to contain the heat and cook your food.

        I remember seeing in a thread or two that someone was selling those hinge tools, but I didn't see it in the thread I linked in my last message. There are some diagrams attached in images in that thread though, if you have a handy friend or relative maybe they could study how it's made in that thread and help you build one. I have not used the tool, I have been using forms, myself. But in the last couple of chains I have removed the forms and done without. I will get a picture of the inside of my oven tomorrow(I am within about 4 chains from closing it) and you will see the imperfections.

        If you end up with some gaps between the insides of your bricks, you will have to fill those with mortar at some point.



        • #5
          Re: Kansas oven progress

          Like I said before, thanks for your vote of confidence. I read through the Uganda lady's thread - shared it with the family - I found it amazing! Termite mound soil! Wow.

          Anyway, my son offered to make an indispensible tool, but I didn't want to wait. Maybe I'll let him if he thinks he can.
          so...do I bake bread this week or do I work on the oven??? That's the question! Only two more weeks of the farmers' market here.....

          I'm looking forward to seeing the inside of your oven, too!

          Thanks again.


          • #6
            Re: Kansas oven progress

            Here's a couple shots of the inside of my oven-Name:  c50b47f9699b742128be6dc38cf90a70.jpg
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            If I would've used the indispensable tool, I'm sure I wouldn't have had these gaps and irregularities. But I had the same problem you did- I was ready to build my oven, not a tool. I'm trying to get this project done before it gets cold, and I'm sick of my electric oven.

            The outside of my oven isn't perfect either, I just smooth it all over with mortar. I've been using these old bricks that came out of a boilerName:  ee4d9cf88df303514b77fe5674e0c65f.jpg
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            Besides the forms, I have a profile drawing of the oven as a guide to help me stay within my designed dimensions-Name:  0c536d82b0119103d87f633909cb8c78.jpg
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            I think I will put the forms back in today though, I'm getting pretty close to vertical with the chains and I would hate to set a few rows of bricks only to have them cave in!

            Yes, this project's been a hard road and I've had to defend myself against ravenous wolves along the way.Name:  447b08852ad4feee5f642f255cf260ba.jpg
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            Keep us up to date with your progress. I'm not very experienced, but I'm learning more each day I continue the build and I can answer questions on matters I've had to deal with.

            Last edited by KINGRIUS; 09-29-2009, 07:07 AM.


            • #7
              Re: Kansas oven progress

              Wow! Thanks Darius. I am consoled.
              I wish I could go out there and forget everything else and focus on the oven! I'd like to be able to do pizzas by the middle of the month. Ha ha!

              My son Tim, 17, has been doing a lot of the work - he's into drafting and inventing...and really anything he could do on the computer to get out of doing actual work! Although I think he is enjoying the building of the oven. Anyway, he acted dissappointed when I said not to build the tool, that we'll just use forms...and he drew out the form for the dome and the opening, using a formula of some sort from drafting or geometry or physics or something.
              In short I am NO mathemetician, nor have I hever had any experience in brick work or really any construction - well, except demolition of a few rooms and doing a little drywall stuff. But anyway....

              what you said about sick of your electric oven!!! Hey, me too! In fact, someone is coming today to see what needs to be done to get it back up to par - the last time they came (2 years ago) I closed out the work order and SWORE I wasn't going to put another dime into this range - well, I am resigned to the fact that whatever we get will be temporary, so, since I LOVE the stove top of this range, and I know I'll not get one for under 500 bucks...so, I'll just get the @#$! thing repaired one more time. (among other things, I broke the glass on the door, pouring water into the oven for steam!)

              Yeah, so I'm hoping that I can really get into a routine of baking in the WFO and not need the electric one too much! we shall see....

              Thanks again!
              Last edited by cecilB; 09-29-2009, 08:09 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Kansas oven progress

                Your "ravenous wolves" are beautiful!


                • #9
                  Re: Kansas oven progress

                  Not that it's absolutly necessary, but those gaps could be avoided by cutting your bricks with a mild taper. Each course will taper a little more (its actually a compound taper) as you go up. It's not tough to do, but it does take more time. Here's a pic of what it looks like...
                  Attached Files
                  Check out my oven progress here: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/phot...dex.php?u=4147

                  See ALL of my pictures here:


                  • #10
                    Re: Kansas oven progress

                    your oven looks fine,,,, You might want to get a mortar bag and point the inside bricks some more to fill the gaps, almost like grouting floor tile if your familiar with that,, a mortar bag is like a cake decorating bag, you fill with mortar and squeeze it into the crack and spaces.. then you can smooth it out with a dowel,,, or just use your finger, that will tighten up the inside of your oven a lot,, and if you have leftover mortar at the end of the day just apply it to the outside of the bricks,, I did that,, then used a sponge to smooth it out,, Keep up the good work, your son is doing fine
                    Last edited by ThisOldGarageNJ; 08-16-2010, 05:47 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Kansas oven progress

                      It's been a long time since I've put any updates on here...I have no pictures at the moment - I have to find out which of my kids knows where the pictures are of our graduation party we had here.

                      We finished the oven in a rather quick way - the outside arch needs some work up near the chimney, but it works. We stuccoed the outside of the whole dome, but when we have time we may enclose it all and give it pretend windows and clay tile roof. We'll see. The main thing is is that we got it going in time for a few practice runs and then the big party.

                      We did about 60 pizzas! I started out but then a couple of my girls took over. And then later in the evening we did more.
                      The challenging thing was and still is, is the fire. Getting the fire going.
                      We seem to be taking too much time to get it up to heat, so it becomes kind of overwhelming, when the dinner hour gets delayed.

                      So a friend of ours and my son, Tim, who graduated from highschool, tended the fire the whole time. It was a lot of work! And Tim did the moving around of the pizzas and coals. Periodically we had to move the coals over the surface to get it back up to heat. And we really couldn't get more than two pizzas in at a time - but considering the speed at which they cook, it's still so fast!

                      It was a huge success and the next day I put 4 pork butts and shoulders which I had prepared the day before, in the oven, closed it up (no door yet, just bricks) and later in the day had THEE BESTcuban style pork ever! So easy! No mess....wow!
                      So the next weekend we did pizza on a much smaller scale....about 16. Mainly so I could do the pork again the next day. But the pizza was even better - probably because I wasn't under the stress of the party!

                      Now we are concentrating on firewood supply and storage, and learning how to start the fires and keep them going in an efficient way.
                      I did invest in a laser thermometer. It's fun!

                      And I should add, that since then, our 11th child was born- on the birthday of our first child! She is now almost 2 weeks old and I'm just waiting for a bit of recovery before I get into the oven stuff full swing! But my first 3 girls and my oldest son, Tim, can do it all without me! And, yes, my husband does help, but usually he's at work by the time the fire is started!

                      But let me say this about the pizza: there is NOTHING like it around here. I might even be so bold to say that it's better than this restaurant in Wichita - a wood fired oven pizza place.
                      I'm so excited and I am very grateful to all of everyone's advice and to the guys who started this website and supply any info anyone would ever need to carry through a project like this! I have recommended it to all I have talked to about the WFO!

                      Thanks again...and as soon as I locate the right picts, I'll post 'em....



                      • #12
                        Re: Kansas oven progress

                        Congratulations on your successful party and to your new baby! That's a big family and many mouths to feed. Your new oven will be working overtime, I'm sure.


                        My 34" WFO build

                        Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO