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100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try... - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

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  • 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

    Hello. I hail from Durham NC, a city that embraces local food and reuse. So in that spirit I want to make a brick oven from primarily found or reclaimed materials. The reasons are threefold:

    1) The challenge of it. Shopping at Home Depot is cool. I do it often. But I much prefer reuse warehouses, junkyards, etc. It then seems like a creative exercise rather than buying groceries from a list.

    2) To save money. Invariably there will be false starts and I'll buy stuff that won't be right. DIY can wind up more expensive if you aren't careful. But I'm confident I can save some coin and have fun in the process.

    3) Environmental benefit: keeping a ton of stuff out of the landfill seems alright to me.

    So to that end I've gathered some things:

    1) a stack of cedar 1x6 boards about 6 feet long from my dad's land

    2) 400+ pounds of assorted floor tiles, mostly showroom samples of high-end stuff. These range from 36" x 36" down to 1"x1".

    3) 100 pounds of marble, slate, and granite tiles

    4) 60 firebricks (Empire D.P)

    5) 80 bricks that I cannot identify. They came from a hospital and have an antimicrobial ceramic glazed surface. Otherwise they look like firebricks with long holes throughout. They are 11.5" x 5" x 2" and 6.5 pounds apiece. Help?

    6) a double-wall stainless steel fire-suppressing wastebin that I may use as the chimney. It is about 20" in diameter and three feet high.

    7) lots of pool filter sand for the foundation.

    I have roughly $160 sunk into materials right now. Well, thanks for reading and I hope to share lots of stories/pics with you soon.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

    Yep, I'm just grabbing raw materials at the moment. What is the issue with using glazed tiles? I think these are coated with Titanium Dioxide and made for food surfaces. Granted, I am not sure they are meant to be fired, but they appear to be firebricks.


    • #3
      Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

      I made mine from about 90% reclaimed stuff. It took about 5 years to accumulate, and I am in the industry, so I can appreciate you wanting to use free/reclaimed stuff.

      The fact remains, however, that you need the correct reclaimed materials for their purpose. Glazed tile will not work, you need a material for the oven surface that is refractory, either on purpose or as coincidence of their make up.


      • #4
        Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

        For a little inspiration, check out the links. When I first joined the forum this was the most interesting build going on at the time.
        I have not seen Nick on here much since he completed the build, good guy who could be a good resource for someone undertaking a build like yours.



        Last edited by RTflorida; 04-11-2012, 08:57 PM.


        • #5
          Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

          This is great! Thanks to you all for keeping me out of trouble. The guy I got the firebricks from says he'll have more soon so I'll use those for the dome. The antimicrobial bricks I can use for the food prep surface. A side benefit is that they are photoreactive and release oxygen just like plants do.


          • #6
            Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

            Tscarborough, I love the proportions on your oven. I like how the chimney, wood bin, and oven door form a column. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the brickwork though, which looks.... curved? swooped?

            Excellent threads, RTflorida.


            • #7
              Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

              A few years ago I worked the summer with a mason (brick, block & stone) and despite the somewhat painful "break-in" period, I ended up in pretty good shape and gave him a day's work for a day's pay. He recently told me he has a job building a commercial fireplace & chimney of brick, which requires removing all of the old bricks, including a few hundred firebricks. When he asked me if I wanted them I almost choked. I'm cleaning out part of the wood shed to store them out of the weather until I can get the rest of the materials. One question. I have a lot of cut field stone from the foundation of an old barn, all cleaned and ready to lay. I know these would be great for the outside of the oven, but are field stones safe to use on the heated parts? These are not "river rock" but stones taken from the farm fields to build the barn. Just curious about their usefulness as part of the heated mass.


              • #8
                Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

                I do not know definitively, but my guess is they are an explosion hazard because of embedded water.


                • #9
                  Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

                  I wondered about that, but didn't know if their being embedded in concrete and protected on the inside of the barn walls for 100 years would have kept them dry enough to be useful. Might use them for the stand instead of buying/reclaiming blocks. Unless I follow my wife's inclination toward a mobile oven on a trailer. Thanks for your thoughts.


                  • #10
                    Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

                    I wouldn't be too concerned about using reclaimed stone for the facing of your stove. If you insulate properly there shouldn't be anywhere near the heat to make the stone explode which "may" happen near 1200F. Even then it's more likely to just spall or crack. Any stone that anyone uses for a facing will have been stored outside and have an appreciable amount of water, unless your in an arid area. Stone was used in fireplaces for centuries before firebrick was invented. Don't worry about it unless it's in direct contact with the fire and even then it won't be an exploding problem.
                    In my opinion barn foundations are an extremely cost effective way of getting stone.
                    An example I just thought of was the stones in a sauna.


                    • #11
                      Re: 100% reclaimed oven? I'm gonna try...

                      Sorry, just reread your post. i don't think stone should be part of the heated mass, unless it will be under 800F. I think firebrick or another refractory are the only real candidates for exposure to direct heat. After 800F stone has the potential to spall and break down at 1200 it's almoist a guarantee. from my understanding 800F is a temp that will be seen often in these ovens.