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Using Split Face CMU's for the base - 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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Using Split Face CMU's for the base

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  • Using Split Face CMU's for the base

    I am looking at using Split Faced Concrete Masonry Units to build my base. These are cinder block style blocks that have a simulated stone fase and come in several colors with contrasting mortars.

    However I was planning on going the dry stack route then filling the cores with regular mortar. My question is, how much bleed do you get of the wet concrete between the courses? It appears the concrete mix to pour in the cells is a bit dryer than say the mix to do the foundation or the hearth. What I don't want is the concrete leeching out between the courses and spoiling the finished face of he CMU's.

    I assume I could stand by with a hose and brush to wash off the face.



  • #2
    Re: Using Split Face CMU's for the base

    I don't think you would have a problem with concrete leaching...I would recommend that you use regular concrete or..."core fill" that is sometimes found at brickyards(basically concrete mix)...you could mix it a bit on the drier side but you would have to use a bit more elbow grease or a concrete vibrator to really get a good fill
    All the best!
    "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
    "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


    • #3
      Re: Using Split Face CMU's for the base

      Hi Gavin,

      I used a split face, dry stack, filled most every cell with concrete - technique for my oven. There was very little bleed through on the block, and most of what there is will hose off (if you are standing by with the hose at the correct time shortly after your pour) or with elbow grease and acid at the end of the project when you are giving the oven the final clean.

      I ended up with more to clean from installing the hearth and from the spillage from the stucco finish on the dome than from filling the cells on the block.

      In the photo gallery on this site, look up my name and you can pull all of the photos from my build on to a page (or two or three). You can see how the split face worked in my situation.