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


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Hello, Forno Bravo Community Forum members.

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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.