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Jim's Build for the Common Man - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Jim's Build for the Common Man

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  • Jim's Build for the Common Man

    Construction has restarted for 2011 on my oven. The base slab was poured at the wrong dimensions, and wasn't level. The oven stand is just sloppy and ugly. But I've decided to keep pushing forward despite my complete lack of how to do any of this stuff. I'm about 1/3 done with the form for the hearth slab. I suppose I could finish this by the end of the summer, but as I've got 2 little kids, I'll be satisfied with finishing by 10/12. It takes me about 3 times longer to do anything than it seems like I should, but hopefully I'll start working more efficiently.
    Here's mine:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/j...man-15992.html

  • #2
    Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

    Keep plugging at it Jim. You'll be surprised at how it gets easier and you get faster at doing even the toughest jobs. Expect a little more of your results at each stage and it will come.
    John

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

      Jim,

      90% of the poeple on this forum have zero skills at the beginning of our projects, myself included.. i've never cut a brick/poured concrete/ or planned anythin of value, yet this saturday im planning to begin construction.

      One of the benefits of the pizza oven is in the end its all covered in blankets/render so your finish can be the part you spend time/effort on.

      The stand presumably can be covered aswell!

      Keep at it! post pics so perhaps we can give ideas!

      and take your time... no need to rush! enjoy your kids!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

        Originally posted by jimkramer View Post
        Construction has restarted for 2011 on my oven. The base slab was poured at the wrong dimensions, and wasn't level. The oven stand is just sloppy and ugly. But I've decided to keep pushing forward despite my complete lack of how to do any of this stuff. I'm about 1/3 done with the form for the hearth slab. I suppose I could finish this by the end of the summer, but as I've got 2 little kids, I'll be satisfied with finishing by 10/12. It takes me about 3 times longer to do anything than it seems like I should, but hopefully I'll start working more efficiently.
        I looked at all these nice threads with nice ovens and thought, "how tough can this be?". Hey, I should be able to knock this off in a couple of weeks!

        I had the base slab poured last year. Well, my base (slab and CMU) isn't level, and some of the blocks shifted during the pour... the vermiculite/cement is uneven, my arch looks really nice until you see the inside and buttering a brick is a heck of a lot more difficult than I thought it was! I've spent as much time trying to figure out why my ancient table saw isn't working as time cutting bricks.

        BUT, I'm optimistic. We're our own worst critics. She Who Must Be Obeyed (who's threatened to hire someone to knock this contraption down and haul it away if it's an eyesore - she's seen some of my prior projects) is enthused by what I think is pathetically slow progress. And she doesn't see all the problems that I do.

        So - keep plugging. There's a lot of work involved in this project. But it's a lot of fun. I'm not sure what I'll do when I'm done. Except pizza, bread and chicken, of course.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

          Glad to see I'm not the only guy who's build spans years. I just started soaking firebricks the other day. I broke ground in the fall of 09. good luck and Ever Forward

          John

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

            Proceeding at a sub-glacial pace. Not done with the hearth slab form yet. By the time I change into work clothes, set up, do a tiny bit of work (which goes slow, since I don't know what I'm doing), it's time to clean up. Upside is my young kids know who their daddy is. If it weren't for them, this would have been finished in '09 when I had the bottom slab poured for me. My goal is to get the hearth slab and oven floor down by September. I don't think I can build the oven before the winter, but my goal is to have it done by next summer. This pizza better taste damn good. If I eat it and say, "It's pretty good," I'm going to cry.
            Here's mine:
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/j...man-15992.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

              Jim,

              Great job in keeping a sense of humor through out!!! just sprayed beer out my nose (and over my laptop) at the "its pretty good comment"
              my build was around 2 months, its at a rental property and in my mind was my first build before i build one at a property of my own, safe to say i cut corners and rushed bits and pieces. showen by the lack of photos of my key stone, in my haste to be finished it ended up one shaved brick with around an inch or more of mortar.... take you time and do it right. counting on doing a finish of stucco and getting it to look pretty, as long as no one looks in the dome....

              had around 3 or 4 pizza nights with friends, hands down the best part has been there faces and reactions to the amazing taste..... made all the hard/dirty/dusty/not knowing what im doing work worth it.

              keep slogging away and keep up the spirits, from one who didnt have much of a father figure i feel you deffinately have your priorities straight!!

              cheers,
              matt
              Here's my build


              http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...3&l=881d0d101b

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                You can buy anything you want in this day and age.. except time.. enjoy your children, because before you know it, they grow up and move out
                Last edited by chidding; 08-24-2011, 12:47 AM. Reason: spelling fail

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                  Originally posted by chidding View Post
                  You can by anything you want in this day and age.. except time.. enjoy your children, because before you know it, they grow up and move out

                  Wheres the Like button?
                  The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                  My Build.

                  Books.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                    Originally posted by chidding View Post
                    You can buy anything you want in this day and age.. except time.. enjoy your children, because before you know it, they grow up and move out
                    Enjoy your family and amen to the kids eventually moving out! Oh oh did I say that!
                    Don't worry they will always come back for food and laundry services! Take your time and you will be sharing pizza with your whole family and neighborhood!
                    Build Thread:http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/i...ome-15521.html
                    Photos: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brick-...67884/pic/list
                    Oven Blog: http://johns-brickoven.blogspot.com/...ven-folly.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                      Hi jimkramer,

                      I'm in the same position as you: 2 little ones, endless renovation projects, and a WFO build going on 3 years! But I never lost sight of the end result and I kept doing little things to the build when I had the time.

                      Finally, I'm 3/4 done with my dome and I'll be closing it in this weekend and perhaps completing my entry arch. If things work out, we'll be cooking our Thanksgiving turkey in the oven!

                      Don't give up and keep working on the WFO! Now that you've started your build, you have to see it through!

                      Good luck, ask away and post progress pics!

                      aceves

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                        Almost the end of the building season here just north of NYC, and I'm probably just gonna get the hearth slab poured. Took the whole summer to build the form. Poor planning, rain, and generally not knowing what I'm doing, having to redo things seems to be the problem. That, and only being able to get a few hours in to do anything. Again, I blame it on my kids. The real problem is, since the bottom slab wasn't poured right (square or level - I blame that on the guy who I paid to do it when he built our front steps) everything else continued to get off kilter. Now I've got no real reference points to measure off. However, the form for the slab is level on top. I figure that'll allow me to make the top of the slab level, which is the most important thing so I can start the oven off right. Build's still moving slower than a snail, but it's moving. Next spring I'll hit the ground running, and there's a small chance I could fire it up by 11/12.
                        Here's mine:
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/j...man-15992.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                          With the top to the slab level add your re-bar and pour your slab. I suggest you rent a pull behind pre-mixed concrete, you could be done with the slab in an hour.

                          Being out of square is no big deal. Just pick a spot for center that looks good from where you will be viewing your oven or measure from one side only and the front for your center line. The out of square parts of the stand can be covered with brick, stone, or stucco ... and made to look square when you do the finish work.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Jim's Build for the Common Man

                            I am attempting to set a record for the longest oven build (started fall of '09) and believe I am on a pace to do it.

                            I finally poured the hearth slab. I was dragging my feet about how to get it done, and finally decided to have a truck come and pour it. Since I would have had to hire a guy to help me mix and pour the concrete, and would have had to pay to deliver bags of ready mix, I think it worked out to about the same cost. The delivery guy was very helpful in telling me and my friend when and how to screed, and even helped us rake the concrete into the form. I had nightmares before the pour about him dumping it and leaving in five minutes to get to the next customer, then the form collapsing, and me having to start again from square 1. But he took plenty of time (and the form didn't collapse) . So if it cost a few extra bucks to have a truck, it was well worth it. I was so relieved it went easily that I tipped him $20. The slab isn't perfectly level, but the bubble is at least barely between the lines throughout, so I think it's good enough for pizza.

                            A couple questions:

                            I wet the slab down the night it was poured, but I guess that was too late, because there's a couple long hairline cracks. The slab was in the shade for most of the day, but it got up to the high 80's, with a couple hours of direct sunlight in the late afternoon. At least it's very humid here the last couple days. Should I seal the cracks off before I put down the oven floor? How long should I keep it wet? The concrete guy said 28 days, but I think he deals with much bigger jobs. He said this was the first slab for an oven he's poured. I think he mixed it a little wetter than it would be if you do it yourself.

                            I really appreciate everyone in the forum's help and encouragement. Would have given up long ago without it.
                            Here's mine:
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/j...man-15992.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Finally cut a brick!

                              Literally, one brick. I laid them all out and had to get at least one cut before dinner. And must give props to my friend Brian (pic with the form) who helped me with the slab pour a few weeks ago. Feels great to finally begin the oven proper! I decided to go for the gold (closing night of olympics) and put the floor inside the dome. The edges and corners of my bricks seem very fragile, so I can imagine they'll get chipped quick with a peel and several will need replacing. I'm just starting to get used to my brand new HF saw, as you can see by the big ol' blade mark in my (only) cut brick. Also, a bit cracked off the bottom edge when I cut too quick. I guess the motion is to do a long, straight cut, then shave the rest with several shorter cuts, right? Don't know how else you'd get a curved cut. I got a segmented blade, since other posters said the continuous rims wear down faster. I guess the segmented is a "rough cut" blade, but it seems fine for our purposes. My only concern is if it's too rough due to my lame skills, the gap will be too big between the hearth and first course around it. But I think it's close enough for pizza.

                              Finally, perhaps the world will see that a Jewish social worker can be handy with power tools.
                              Attached Files
                              Here's mine:
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/j...man-15992.html

                              Comment

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