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Moving an oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Moving an oven

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  • Moving an oven

    It's been almost three years since I built our Casa 90 and it has been an excellent oven. We use it just about every week for parties or simply our own enjoyment. Did you know you can make great farinata in the oven as well?

    Anyway, now we're getting ready to move and the oven is a rather permanent fixture in the backyard (see construction photos here). Does anyone have experience attempting to relocate one of these?

    1. Tear it down and rebuild it using the original Casa 90 parts. Is this feasible?
    2. Attempt to relocate the entire oven and foundation using forklifts, cranes, etc.
    3. Leave it and build a new one at the new home.

    Any recommendations?

  • #2
    Re: Moving an oven

    It would probably depend a bit on how you built your foundation and slab. I built my Casa 100 the way Alan Scott does -with lots of rebar and it can supposedly be lifted off the cinder blocks with a forklift and moved though I know no one personally who has done so.

    Moving the entire oven including the foundation seems unlikely to be practical.

    I would think that breaking it down would not be too difficult - though probably really messy. Shouldn't be too hard to get down to the shell from the outside. And I will bet the pieces are not solidly cemented together - probably a lot of cracks in the mortar so the pieces ought to come apart pretty easy.

    Seems like the question is ultimately how much it adds to the value of the house and how much effort/cost it would take to try to take it down or move it. If it isn't worth much then trying to move it is probably worth trying. Even if it fails you probably just end up with pieces to put back together and if it is destroyed, you lose only the cost of trying to move it for you would have been starting from scratch anyway.

    So I guess the answer is "Go for it!"


    • #3
      Re: Moving an oven

      I took a few moments and reviewed your construction photos. Nice job and it's fairly obvious you have a considerable investment in time and materials constructing your WFO etc.

      To me, unless I was very long on time and labor and short on cash. I think building another WFO and leaving the old one with a notebook of recipes and perhaps some photos for the new owner would be my answer. I started out with a longer post with dual lists of costs and benefits but the answer soon became clear. Simply put your WFO was not built with the idea of being moved. Had that been the idea you would have built it differently. Aside from the emotional issue of leaving your beloved WFO I cannot see how moving it would be a economically viable answer.

      Sorry if that is not the answer you were hoping for.



      • #4
        Re: Moving an oven

        I think the extra thermal mass layer makes moving a no-go. Taking it apart is likely to break it up. Now, if you can get a super duty, wide tire forklift into your back yard, you could perhaps put cheap HF hydraulic jacks inside the wood storage area, crank up under the support slab, and demolish the block layer underneath. This would leave you free to forklift out the slab and oven and move it on a flatbed truck. Again, an expensive proposition.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


        • #5
          Re: Moving an oven

          Have the (new) owner over for pizza, then sell him the oven.


          • #6
            Re: Moving an oven

            I did actually think about this situation when designing my oven. I calculated that the oven and concrete slab will weight max approx 1000KG-1200Kg. firebricks alone were 500 KG. One reason for keeping the concrete slab as thin as practical.

            At this weight, some mounty Moffett (HGV rear mounted forklift) could lift it off the supporting walls. So, when pouring the slab, I put a a plastic membrane down, thus the slab didn't bound the walls, hopefully making it easier to lift.

            Another option I thought about, is to build a frame to lift it slighty, whilst demolishing the walls underneath, put a trailer under it, and lower it on! Simple!

            I personally invested alot of time and money so far, and I don't want to do that again if I can spend a day and a little more money to take it with me!
            Also, it would make a real good challange!


            • #7
              Re: Moving an oven

              I just went through this entire ordeal, and my advice to you since you are selling your house is to include it with the house.

              If you really want to move it, here is the least expensive and simplest way IMHO-

              Buy a 4 wheel trailer, then demolish the 2 tables on the sides of the oven.

              Break out 2 holes that go left to right, and put some 4X6's through them.

              Raise the oven up on the 4X6's with some hydraulic jacks. I used (2)1.5 ton, a 6 ton, and a 12 ton for my oven which is a lot bigger than yours and they all worked OK.

              Remove all the cement blocks and roll the trailer underneath, then lower it on the trailer. You can make a bed of cinderblocks to support the oven, and then remove the 4X6's. Do not leave it on the 4X6's as it slides on them much too easily.

              Pull the trailer to your new house, park it over your newly poured slab and lift it up on the timbers again, then remove the trailer and replace the cinderblock foundation.

              Sadly, I was not able to do this last step with mine as my oven crushed the trailer I had put it on.......


              • #8
                Re: Moving an oven

                Oz, surely there are photos to go with a story like that. Please continue... What did you do then? When did the trailer decide it wasn't up to the task, (hopefully not on a highway)? Is there a happy ending?



                • #9
                  Re: Moving an oven

                  OK, here are some pics...

                  First, here is the oven in happier times:

                  Now, I had to move it a little over a mile. This is just on a country road so as long as the trailer could get from point A to point B that was all I wanted. Unfortunately, this was the only trailer I could get:


                  Here is where I have placed the timbers and positioned the trailer:

                  OK, now you can see how everything was supposed to work out- Take the weight off the blocks and remove them, then jack up the oven so the 4X6's clear the trailer.....
                  (Thats my son and a friend helping me)

                  Up to this next pic, everything was going perfectly to plan. Raised the oven to clear the blocks, backed the trailer underneath, then lowered the jacks.....

                  And sadly, at this point things progressively went from bad to worse. I got a 6000 lb forklift and the rear wheels lifted off the ground so I removed as many bricks from the interior as I could, as well as a 6" cap of concrete you may or may not be able to see the seam of. Then I came back 3 days later to try again with the forklift and the new owner of the property had pulled the trailer up the hill and the oven had slid partially off the trailer, so he tried to push the oven back on the trailer and of course pushed the cast top off the vermiculite base, so everything was a muck up......

                  I have some more pics of how things have progressed from there and what I have done to make the best of it so far, they are still on the camera but I'll put them up in a day or so as it might help someone in a similar situation on the future.


                  • #10
                    Re: Moving an oven

                    A couple of gratuitous bread shots that made too many pics in the post above:


                    • #11
                      Re: Moving an oven

                      Anyway, if you have a trailer stronger than this one it would work out to be a pretty simple and economical way of transporting an oven. I was planning to just leave it on the trailer for the time being while I poured a new foundation, the position it over the new slab, jack it up, and build a new base underneath.


                      • #12
                        Re: Moving an oven

                        I haven't been on the forum for a while, but someone just pm'd me a question about the oven build so I started browsing for what's new and this thread caught my eye.

                        I also have moved an oven. Our real estate agent told us we either needed to move it or demolish it (two years ago we bought our new house right as the market started it's nose dive, we were watching our old home value drop so we had to try to move it fast).

                        I had a pompeii with a house enclosure and loose perlite for the insulation. We moved two years ago using a rough terrain forklift. I asked plenty of questions for advice on the forum here before we moved it. I used a car jack to lift the concrete slab off the cinder block base just enough to slide two 2x4 under the hearth slab. I had a new cinder block base constructed at the new house. We with the spacing of the 2x4 we were able to lift the oven with the forklift. We used a strap to support the oven from sliding. In the move, we lost a good amount of perlite. We had to crawl the oven slowly between my old house and my old neighbor's house with inches of clearance on either side up a moderately uneven slope (see my avatar). The trailer for the rough terrain forklift had plenty of room for the oven once we had it out to the street. Unfortunately, the day before the move we had the heaviest rain we had had in months, so at the new house the forklift became mired in wet lawn (ripped through the in ground sprinkler). It was all we could do to get the oven on the cinder block base at the new house, but the enclosure was destroyed and the firebrick dome developed a crack. The oven was facing 180 degrees from the direction my wife wanted (but it is in the lee of the wind).

                        I patched the crack with refractory cement and removed the entire enclosure. Now I have a rebuilt oven with ceramic blanket insulation and stucco dome.

                        So, I saved myself rebuilding the dome and having to demolish the entire oven. I think I developed an ulcer on the day of the move though. It was pretty much the most stressful day I can remember. Good luck.