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Really need some help getting started - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Really need some help getting started

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  • Really need some help getting started

    I hope I have come to the right forum, but I'm trying to build my own wood-fired oven from scratch. I have no background in building anything like this, so i'm trying to get all the details correct so my oven turns out properly. The question that I have is how large should I build my foundation slab so that my oven is big enough on the inside, and so that there is enough room to add insulation layers? I was planning on digging the hole for the foundation 6 feet wide by 6 feet deep. Is that big enough?

  • #2
    Re: Really need some help getting started

    Hi Matt and welcome.
    My advice is to download the ebook of instructions from this site and just keep reading this forum until you learn what it is you don't know. The people on here seem happy to help and there is heaps of info in the archives.
    Just be aware that it can become addictive
    Cheers
    Ian

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Really need some help getting started

      Ian is exactly right. Don't start digging until you've read thru the instructions. They tell you exactly how to determine the foundation slab size based on the size of oven you want. A 6x6' slab is about right, but again it depends on the oven size.
      Picasa web album
      Oven-building thread

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      • #4
        Re: Really need some help getting started

        Hi Matt,

        I would love to help a fellow Sacramentan get started. I started by downloading the oven plans from this sight, joining the forum, and went from there. This is a great place for questions before and during your build.

        A 40" oven is 49" wide on the outside. If your slab is 60", that would leave you 11" for insulation and enclosure walls - should you, like most do, decide to go the enclosure route. If your walls are 4" thick, that would only leave you 3" for insulation, 1 1/2" on each side - probably not enough.

        But a 40" oven is plenty big. By making yours smaller, like most do, you would create more room for insulation.

        Hope this helps.

        dusty

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Really need some help getting started

          Thanks for all the advice. i just got back from a trip and i am planning on starting this week. Thanks to all your advice I think I have a solid plan now! One question that i have though, is 12 inches of insulation too much or too little to have aroundthe oven. I've been reading plans all day and havent definitively come up with an answer, so i figured that i would ask just to make 100% sure.

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          • #6
            Re: Really need some help getting started

            Hi Matt!

            12 inches is a lot of insulation but there is no such thing as too much insulation IMO.

            So...
            Jay

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            • #7
              Re: Really need some help getting started

              Well, I'm happy to say I've finished digging (i'll post some pictures of what i have done so far later today)!! Yesterday I put my forms together (hopefully correctly) and if all goes according to plan, My slab should be poured and curing by Sunday. I decided to make it 6 1/2 ft. X 6 1/2 ft., and it's going to be set square against a concrete wall. It will be my first concrete slab, so wish me luck. Can anyone think of any final advice before I get started?

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              • #8
                Re: Really need some help getting started

                Usually 4 to 5 inches of insulation will do the job.

                Dig in Matt.

                You are going to learn a lot about a wide variety of subjects by the time you are finished.

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                • #9
                  Re: Really need some help getting started

                  Fantastic!

                  Looking forward to watching your build. Keep us posted!

                  And let me know if I can help.

                  dusty (916)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Really need some help getting started

                    definitely...its actually nice to know that someone else in Sacramento is knowledgable about wood-fired ovens. I've been out looking for materials like firebrick, etc, and people look at me like I'm speaking another language. So i may have to ask for some advice as where to get all the materials I'm gonna need. I'm gonna start building my base for wood storage by next monday or tuesday, so hopefully by the time that's finished i'll have a good idea of how to proceed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Really need some help getting started

                      Hi Matt, It was just a couple of weeks ago I was in your position and now I have a finished dome, fabricated chimney and an insulated door. What I am saying is do your homework and have a plan because once you start it is all over before you know.
                      Here is the result of a couple of weeks work on my days off. http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...zed-bricks.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Really need some help getting started

                        Hi Matt,

                        I found the ultimate hook-up for fire bricks. H. C. Muddox on Bradshaw manufactures them and will sell "seconds" to the public for 30 cents. Some have small defects - cracks or dents or color imperfections - but most look fine and all of them are well suited for what we are useing them for.

                        I couldn't find the refractory mortar anywhere in Sac. I ordered mine from the Forno Bravo store. I built my oven with tight mortar joints so I didn't need to use that much.

                        Got a saw yet? I could help you out there too.

                        Let me know what else.

                        The first photo is of the three bricks out of 280 that I didn't use.
                        The second is of typical bricks.

                        dusty
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Really need some help getting started

                          to Boily: I know what you mean...i still have most of the work left to do, but it already feels like i'm over the hump of deciding to go through with it, so its all down hill from here. I've been reading these forums and other places on the web and in books for months to try and map-out in my head what needs to be done...i just hope everything i understand so far is correct. So far all I have to brag about is a foundation slab which I poured yesterday. Are you finished? and how long did it take you?


                          to Dusty: Thanks for the tip on firebricks...i'll be going there sometime this week, i just need to figure out how many i need. how did you know how many to buy? is there an equation based on how big the oven is going to be, or did you just buy more as you needed them? Like i said, all i have is the slab so far, so i'm not sure of the dimensions or shape I want to build my oven. I'm probably going to buy the refractory mortar from the website along with the FB Board and Blanket. What did you use your saw for...Was it to cut the bricks, or is there another use for it?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Really need some help getting started

                            Hi Matt, no the build is not finished as I am now waiting on the brickie to come and lay the main building around the oven and kitchen and daybed area. I don't mind laying the bricks that are not seen but when it comes to my home and surrounding buildings it has to be a professional job. This is due to happen at the end of July or early August as he is away shooting feral pigs and goats. At this stage I am trying to cure the oven but I am not having much luck with the weather, (rain and showers).
                            If you want to see my progress you can find the link to my pics in the pompei build section. The actual build of the dome progressed at about 2 coarses per day. I think I have maybe 1 or 2 less coarses than you blokes in the USA because our fire bricks are 3" thick compared to your 2.5" units. But I could be wrong.
                            Just hook in and have fun while it lasts.
                            Cheers Ian.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Really need some help getting started

                              Matt,

                              The oven plans had a recommended number. I think it was around 250. I bought 280 just to be safe, and I was. The guy's name at Muddox is Jeff and he is really cool. Be sure to tell him what you are building.

                              The saw is for cutting the bricks. I did alot of cutting while building my oven as I tapered every brick to fit. I have a brand new Harbor Freight wet saw still in the box. Long story but I no longer need it and would be willing to sell it.

                              I attached a couple of pics to show you what the saw and the tapered bricks look like.

                              dusty
                              Attached Files

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