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  • ovens and earth bag construction

    Greetings,
    I am building an igloo style oven on an earth bag constructed base. The back of the oven will butt up against a curved earth bag wall. (Earth bags are adobe filled sand bags, 12”thick and are covered with 2” of adobe and 3 coats of lime plaster). I want to construct the dome as close to the wall as possible to give more space in front. I was hoping the final oven would appear to extent out from the wall behind it.

    My question is: how close can I set my first course of fire brick to the earth bag wall and how much insulation would be necessary in that area? Could I leave room for the 1” of the mortar and 1” of Insulfrax and then allow the wall to take the place of the 4” of vermiculite?
    any input on this would be very helpful!

  • #2
    Re: ovens and earth bag construction

    If you should ditch anything, I would say it's the one inch of mortar. What's that for? Extra thermal mass? You don't need it. The adobe will have no insulation value, I'd make the wall a little thinner in that area so you can get more insulation blanket in the space. One inch of the blanket just isn't enough to prevent heat loss (and bag burning).
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ovens and earth bag construction

      Thanks,
      I know that adobe is used for ovens here in the west, but have been unclear as to it's insulation ability. (Plenty of thermal mass) So....if I put more layers of blanket would it reduce the over all thinkness of the final oven?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ovens and earth bag construction

        Let's back up a bit. What is the material of your dome? Is there any insulation underneath the cooking floor?

        To answer your question, No, adobe has next to no insulation properties. When it finally dries out (12 inches? really?) it will have the same thermal characteristics as concrete.

        Remember the FB forum mantra:

        Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: ovens and earth bag construction

          Let me restate the question,
          I am building a igloo style oven per the forno bravo plans. I am working in limited space and the back of the oven will butt up to a curved mission style earthbag wall. (adobe in sand bags)Unfortunately I built the base and the wall before I knew what the heck I was doing with the oven. I have discovered that inorder to build a 36" oven per the plans, I will have to extend the base with a "landing" in front of the oven door. I'm afraid the look will be funky and unattractive I want the exterior of the oven to blend into the wall behind it and get the oven as far back into the curve as possible. I understand that insulation is very important but is there a way to reduce the exterior diameter without sacrificing insulation???

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ovens and earth bag construction

            You could reduce the thickness of the back wall of the dome by half without sacrificing anything structural: there are only a few bricks that you would have to cut, and they would be on the lower rings, that heat up last. My whole dome is only 2 1/4 inches thick and it works fine, although I now think a thicker dome is more structurally sound. With two inches of insulating blanket between the thin back wall and the rear wall you should be fine.

            Any drawback? When you are throwing logs in your oven with wild abandon, remember you're aiming at the thinnest part of the oven.

            Sorry if I misunderstood your question originally.
            Attached Files
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: ovens and earth bag construction

              This is just a thought, but maybe you could also reduce the length of the entry archway and curve the chimney back a bit after the vent - that could give you more room on front of the oven, too.


              As for the landing in front of the oven... if you build the oven so it looks as if its coming out of the wall (which sounds like a cool idea btw) I would imagine that it would look good if you had a free standing shelf poking out from the wall just underneath the oven door. It doesn't have to be out of cement, could be marble, granite, slate - or whatever goes best with the adobe surroundings.
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                I also think that reducing the wall thickness in the back will work fine, particularly if you fill the space with board or insulating perlcrete. If that back area is solid, (between the adobe and the oven) it will help to also support the dome in that area and insulate where you need it.

                The thin FB board would be best but you can suppliment with the perlite mixture.

                Pictures might help!
                Sharing life's positives and loving the slow food lane

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                  Awesome!
                  So ....I reduce the size of the brick at the back for a couple of courses, then add 2 inches of blanket and fill in any additional space between the wall and the oven with vermiculite. Sounds good!

                  Now by using an extra inch of the blanket all around, that reduces the vermiculte by 2 inches... correct? 1 inch blanket = 2 vermiculite?

                  Someone say pictures? Be advised.... this project is my baby!
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                    wow that is going to be one sweet sitting/standing/cooking/eating area.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                      I know little to nothing about adobe.
                      So I am curious.. Can the adobe filled bags hold the weight of an oven.
                      I would be afraid they would get wet and shift or settle... or shrink.. or something.

                      Just wondering.

                      I agree with BaconGrease.
                      It is going to be a beautiful place to hide from the world!

                      Dave
                      My thread:
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
                      My costs:
                      http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
                      My pics:
                      http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                        I LIKE IT!!!

                        This gives new meaning to the term "dirt bag".

                        RT

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                          Originally posted by RTflorida View Post

                          This gives new meaning to the term "dirt bag".

                          RT
                          Haha Now that's funny!
                          My thread:
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
                          My costs:
                          http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
                          My pics:
                          http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                            I have been fondly called Dirt Bag Annie, and yes the bags are awesome building material. The mixture inside dries and becomes a 12”W by 5”H by 14”L solid brick. Feed sacks make even bigger, better, thicker walls…..Cheep too, in this case the soil, sand and water came from the site so I only bought the bags at 25 cents a piece. (and of course a minimal amount of other building material.) After constuction the bags are covered with in this case adobe plaster and the a few coats of lime plaster to keep them from breaking down over time.... unprotected 10years, protected.. who knows, the missions are built with adobe.
                            The oven base is back filled with “farm debris” (Terry is standing on some in the pic, he isn’t really that tall) and will be topped with a slab, then insulation.
                            Even by reducing the back width of the oven dome brick I may still have to extend the slab out in front about 6 inches. We will give it the same curve as the base. That will hopefully blend in with all the curves around it.
                            The whole project is a giant canvas, constantly providing me with new areas to be creative in and on.
                            Thanks for all the ideas and feedback!
                            Last edited by Annie; 06-27-2008, 08:10 AM. Reason: a little more info

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: ovens and earth bag construction

                              Wow, that's going to be one awesome space - I'm looking forward to watching your progress! Do you need a special type of soil to use those bags or will any soil do?

                              Comment

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