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a developing-world oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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a developing-world oven

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  • a developing-world oven

    Gudday all,
    I'm a complete fresher to all of this, so excuse my ignorance on the topic and to put it bluntly I need advice

    A basic background of what i'm doing:

    I'm going to Papua New Guinea in late March (2008) as part of a mission team to increase the standards of living in the community.
    As part of this I'm aiming to introduce brick-ovens that will ultimately enable the community to use less firewood as fuel.
    These ovens have many benefits including a reduced impact on their environment (slow combustion-->less firewood), reduced workload (to focus efforts on more important tasks other than collecting firewood) and ofcourse safety for younger people.

    I'll be building the ovens from scratch... and as you can imagine I'll be using unconventional methods to complete the project.

    Here's a couple of problems tasks that i need to solve right away...

    *All of the designs I have seen on numerous websites are very intricate and look amazing (compliments all round), however these are beyond my needs.
    The ovens I have in mind will be simple and easy to build. (That is it will require little training to build because when I leave, the people will continue to build ovens in their village and surrounding community).

    *The resources at hand are minimal. Their current living standards are more closely described at near stone-age so access to bricks and mortar are a little out of the question (for now at least).
    So I aim to make the bricks from clay from the earth and the mortar will have to come from the same place.
    Does anyone have any experience in this?

    I'm searching for advice here, so if anyone in this community can help I would greatly appreciate it.
    If you have any other comments, queries, notes, etc I would love to hear from you.

    I don't expect this to be easy, but I know this isn't impossible.

    Cheers guys, thanks for your time

  • #2
    Re: a developing-world oven

    Hi phild, welcome to the FB forum. I wish you well on a very charitable mission.

    The member that you need to contact is called Pat Manley. He founded Masons on a Mission and builds ovens in Guatemala. I'm certain that he would be willing to give you the pointers you need. Check this post and follow the links.



    • #3
      Re: a developing-world oven

      It sounds like you could use some information on how to build an earth or cob oven.

      Here is a site with good pics of a mud build, step by step: Greg's Earth Oven

      Here's another with a very good description of the process, especially in regard to desired earth & clay qualities:
      Build Your own Wood-fired Earth Oven

      Finally, Kiko Denzer's book, 'Build your own Earth Oven' might be a good resource - if you Google it, you'll find it easily.

      I think you could combine the FB pompeii oven dimensions (for either oven) for interior height, width and vent opening with the mud construction and end up with something great!

      Good luck on a very worthwhile project that sounds like lots of fun too.
      Post some pics once you're under way!


      • #4
        Re: a developing-world oven

        A little jewel found on the web in a search of google....

        Aureka, Multi-mould manual Earth brick press. Brick sizes and shapes

        At least get the plans for the oven here and modify as needed.

        The real art of conversation is not only to say the correct thing at the right time, but also to leave
        unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.


        • #5
          Re: a developing-world oven

          Hello there!

          Have a look on the ABC ('our' ABC) website - I've seen a simple clay oven there that they built a few years back - search on the website with suitable keywords...

          I'm sure their oven was simple enough to be built anywhere!

          Good luck with your mission,

          "I started out with nothing, and I've still got most of it"


          • #6
            Re: a developing-world oven

            Hi phild
            sounds an interesting project. I went for a mission trip to PNG in my late teens quite some time ago(think it was 1988). It was a fair way up the Sepik River (above Wewak) and we were building cement bricks for a health centre. Sure it has probably changed in some ways yet I guess not in others.

            I guess something like cob (as mentioned) would be fairly simple. What have you found out about what they have as far as local/natural resources. Being that they are not the hay farming sort there might be a shortage of hay, however seeing that its tropical and vegetation grows fast - I guess they would have something as an alternative.

            Be keen to hear more from you.

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