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stand questions - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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stand questions

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  • stand questions

    Last weekend we poured our slab (71 x 80 inches) and are pondering the stand. With the stand set back 6 inches from the front of the slab, and 4 inches on the sides how does a person face the block with stone or brick? It doesn't seem like there is much room. And any pictures I have been able to see, show the brick actually set away from the stand with a big space in between. I have talked to the local brick and block store in town, and I feel like their employees offer very little help with any questions I have. Sometimes, I wonder if they don't take me seriously because I am a woman.

    Our stand will not have an opening in the front for wood, as we are using the front part of an existing retaining wall. Any suggestions on supporting the platform when we get to that part?

  • #2
    Re: stand questions

    I have talked to the local brick and block store in town, and I feel like their employees offer very little help with any questions I have. Sometimes, I wonder if they don't take me seriously because I am a woman.
    (or anyone but a professional construction worker) Doesn't that just piss you off? There was a time when every local lumberyard made a sport of humiliating homeowners who didn't know the name for every little thing, or had legitimate questions about how to use their products. You wouldn't know it now, but the first big success of Home Depot was to put professional construction people in every department to give intelligent advice, even seminars, not to mention putting the prices plainly on the shelf. [/rant]

    As to your particular questions, I need some more information. Your oven is going to face on an existing retaining wall. That implies that what's behind it, where you've poured your slab, is below grade. If that's the case, if you're going to infill it, there is no need for brick facing there.

    Most builders who face block with brick use face brick products, which are thinner than four inches. If you want to use real, three and a half inch thick brick, which is what I did, I would suggest building your outer brick structure up to above your support slab level, then lay up maybe five stacks of blocks, in the corners and center, place cement board on top of this, then pour your upper slab, using your brick enclosure as your form. The main point is that if your underneath section is sealed, everything in there should be non-combustible, no plywood slab form, or two-by-four supports. You may also want to consider putting a brick vent in there somewhere to prevent condensation. I've attached a sketch of what I mean.

    If your section behind the wall is below grade, and will be filled in, you can build up your wall with extra thick concrete blocks to below support slab level, then you can build your brick up from there on the outside, and have a protruding shelf to support your concrete board. I'd still use a support in the center, mostly because cement board pieces won't span the whole space.

    Don't hesitate to show some pictures. I may be making some wrong assumptions, based on your description.
    Attached Files
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: stand questions

      Hi Briot,
      Brick, or stone, facing is something I have done a bit of over the last few years.

      Generally, you need at least 5" in front of the wall you want to face. ( or if using a narrower facing brick you can make due with 4" as Dmun said.) With concrete blocks, for example. I have a picture of my first stone facing project with local stone that really was not made for facing at the below link:

      A Stone Post

      Brick is MUCH easier than that. Just leave a slight gap between the brick (facing) and the concrete blocks behind. Lay each brick level plumb, and oriented correctly with the rest of your wall, and the 'whole' will look great.

      If using brick, buy a 'joint' tool. ( Like a metal finger for making nice mortar joints) and get the right kind of trowel.

      I looks like ( from your pictures) the wall below your oven will be the retaining wall. In that case, you can also just smear on some mortar on the blocks behind there... just a few inches below 'grade' ( the level where the dirt/sod will come to on the wall) and that way make the blocks look alittle nicer in back, and basically smooth a surface on to the blocks that show, and up to the hearth level.

      Without putting on a 'brick ledge' ( a concrete support below grade for your brick facing) you could still use some sort of fake rock facing.

      I hope this clears up a little confusion. I often feel bewildered by the simplest building concepts. These guys may not be so much condescending, as much as just unaware of how much you know, or don't know.

      Good luck.

      Last edited by Lars; 06-20-2009, 07:36 AM.
      This may not be my last wood oven...


      • #4
        Re: stand questions

        Here is a picture of what I'm working with. Maybe it will make better sense now.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: stand questions

          Digging through old posts to see if I can get some ideas (while I wait for my first to clear moderation...) I discovered this one.

          I am trying to do something similar to this, except that
          a) the slab will be above grade (sitting on the surface) and
          b) I have an engineered concrete retaining wall that can easily support the stove
          c) I am going to have about 2' of the slab come out to counter depth beyond the retaining wall

          I'll try to attach a picture in a separate post - cuz I think that's what's sending my posts to moderation

          My build progress
          My WFO Journal on Facebook
          My dome spreadsheet calculator