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Hearth construction - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Hearth construction

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  • Hearth construction

    I know this has probably been answered a thousand times, but I can't seem to find a simple answer.
    I'm in the process of building my WFO and am up to filling the hearth and have become quite confused after reading all the advice on the various forums.
    My initial plan was to lay roughly 80mm concrete and sit hebel blocks on top of that slab and the fire bricks for the oven floor on top of the Hebel blocks. Will it work if I just sit the firebrick on the hebel blocks? Do I even need the concrete slab underneath the hebel blocks?

    Apologies again, but I appreciate any help!!!

  • #2
    Re: Hearth construction

    You don't say how big an oven you are planning. The weight the foundation slab has to support will determine its thickness, but usually you'd need 100mm reinforced concrete slab. For the supporting slab, Hebel is not too strong (it is ok under compression) and the span you are covering also determines the strength required. You can get reinforced Hebel, they call it Power Panel and it has 4mm steel rods in it. If you want to do Hebel then support it in the middle with another pier. Done this way if it is well supported you may be able to get away with having the Hebel both as a base and the insulating layer.
    Last edited by david s; 04-04-2013, 09:26 PM.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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    • #3
      Re: Hearth construction

      Sorry, I should have explained it better.
      To support the base I have seven lengths 50 x 50 3mm steel angle set into the core-filled concrete blocks. I was going have the slab sit on these and the hebel blocks on top.
      But I'm starting to think I could rest the hebel on the steel angle without the slab and then the firebricks directly on top of the hebel.

      If anyone can make any sense of that.... would it work?... it just seems a little too easy.

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      • #4
        Re: Hearth construction

        Yes, I think that would work, but it still depends on the span and the weight of the oven. 3mm angle is not exactly heavy. With Hebel panels you may be able to reduce the span and cantilever the Hebel supporting slab, so the mass of the oven is over the piers, as I do with my oven.

        As a guide I'd say that the centre of the piers need to be approximately the same distance apart as the interior diameter of the oven. Do some scale drawings to see how it looks.
        Last edited by david s; 04-05-2013, 04:29 AM.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: Hearth construction

          Originally posted by scottymac View Post
          Sorry, I should have explained it better.
          To support the base I have seven lengths 50 x 50 3mm steel angle set into the core-filled concrete blocks. I was going have the slab sit on these and the hebel blocks on top.
          But I'm starting to think I could rest the hebel on the steel angle without the slab and then the firebricks directly on top of the hebel.

          If anyone can make any sense of that.... would it work?... it just seems a little too easy.
          Post a pic.....
          The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

          My Build.

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          • #6
            Re: Hearth construction

            Originally posted by scottymac View Post
            Do I even need the concrete slab underneath the hebel blocks?

            Apologies again, but I appreciate any help!!!
            You can use waterproof exterior grade plywood instead of the concrete slab, it will need some support underneath though.

            Dont use the Chinese rubbish as it delaminates when wet, meaning it isnt waterproof even though it costs as just much as Australian made stuff.

            Yellow tongue chipboard flooring is also waterproof and works just as well, dont use Orange tongue as its not waterproof.
            The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

            My Build.

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