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Basic concrete tips - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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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Basic concrete tips

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  • Basic concrete tips

    OK, I need some real basic tips on working with concrete, as I've never done it before.

    Something that may seem obvious to those that do this frequently:

    How do you clean this stuff up? By this, I don't necessarily mean the stuff on the bricks, but everything else. For instance, how do I keep my wheel barrel from become coated in a crust of rock? What do I do with any left over concrete (aside from throw it over the fence). If I have half of a barrel left over, what do I do with it? Has anyone dumped a load onto their lawn when trying to wheel it from the truck parked at the curb? This is my nightmare. Am I stuck with a new sculpture in my yard?

    Mike - Saginaw, MI

    Picasa Web Album
    My oven build thread

  • #2
    Re: Basic concrete tips

    Mfiore, although I am by no means an expert, here are some things I have learned since starting my oven project. Once you start pouring the cement, it will be best to clean each tool you use as soon as you are done with it. Don't let the cement dry on the tool. (I learned this the hard way.)

    Same goes for the wheel-barrel. As soon as I was done with my pour, I hosed it off quickly. The extra cement that was left in the wheel barrel I just dumped it next to the slab, and let it serve as a fill. I think if a little cement gets dry in your wheel-barrel you can get it out by hitting it with the edge of the shovel, it will just crack out.

    I washed all the tools over the mound of dirt I removed, since this is all going to be taken to the dump as soon as I am done with my project and can borrow a buddies truck to carry it all away.
    "Pizza, the world's most perfect food."


    • #3
      Re: Basic concrete tips

      Sounds like good advice. With excess material, just dump it in the least consipicuous spot you have. You can pick it up like a big rock later and dispose of it with all the other wood cuttings, brick cuttings, etc.
      Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.



      • #4
        Re: Basic concrete tips

        Save the bag the cement comes in. Pour your leftovers into it at the end of the day. Then you can just put it in your trash. I have a concrete form I bought that makes walkways called a pathmaker. You can get them for under $20. I take my leftovers and pour them into one of the cells in the form and make pathway stones for the rest of the yard.
        The final rinse of the tools etc I do into a small hole dug out back. With enough water, the sand and rock drop out and the small amount of cement is so dispersed that is never sets up. My hole is about 30 inches accross and 24 inches deep. I rinse all the tools into it and then let water trickle into it for about 20 minutes.

        Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog


        • #5
          Re: Basic concrete tips

          All great tips. Thanks tons.
          Mike - Saginaw, MI

          Picasa Web Album
          My oven build thread


          • #6
            Re: Basic concrete tips

            My book on cement says that its a bad idea to clean tools under running water, because the cement can then harden inside the plumbing and over time it can get blocked up. I find that rubbing everthing clean with scrunched up newspaper works really well - it'll even get off cement thats nearly dry.

            If any drops on you lawn it'll be easy to pick up as George said - but if you drop any on paving or garden path, it can leave marks. If you have any areas like that it'd probably be best to cover them with a large sheet of plasic or something.
            "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)