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Newbie needs knowledge - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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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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Newbie needs knowledge

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  • Newbie needs knowledge

    Hi all. This is my 1st post on this forum. I would like to build a simple wood oven using some left over adobe bricks and cinder blocks. What I have are "unstabilized" adobes (14" x 10" x 3.5"). Unstabilized means they don't contain asphalt or any other water proofing material. They are just dried mud.

    I have looked around on the web and seen lots of lovely, fancy ovens. But what I would like to try is this:

    Lay cinderblocks right on the ground in a rectangular pattern. Stack them several layers deep. No mortar, just dry stacking. Then lay a hearth, or floor, of adobe bricks on the cinderblocks. This would be smaller than the cinderblock outline. Then, to make the walls, stand adobe bricks up all around the adobe floor, resting on the cinder blocks. Maybe two bricks high (20"). Then lay some angle steel across the walls, like roof joists, to support the roof. Then lay adobe bricks flat onto the steel. I would have to space the steel properly so the roof bricks would be supported in 3 places (both ends and the middle). The reason for the steel supported roof is that I'm too lazy to make an arched roof. Once it's all together I could smear a thick layer of adobe mud onto the outside of everything, or maybe stucco it. The result would be an adobe box sitting on a cinderblock foundation. The thickness of the floor, roof, and walls would be 3 1/2".

    Is this a totally dumb way to do it? Would the expansion and contraction of the steel with heat be a problem? Are 3 1/2" walls thick enough? Will the floor of adobes be tough enough, or will it get all chipped and broken in normal use? I've read that when "fired" they will sorta melt and make a very tough surface.

    I know it won't be pretty, but if it works and is structurally sound, and makes good pizzas, then I'll be happy. Any ideas or knowledge would be appreciated.
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