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Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

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  • Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

    Having spent months drooling over all of the beautiful pizza oven creations on this site, I decided that it was well and truly time to get my own project started. I am building a 36" Pompei in my minuscule backyard, and I could not possibly be any happier about it!

    The background: My wife and I moved into our newly built house back in October 2010. The back yard is tiny, precisely 6m deep by 8m wide, not exactly the 1.5 acres I was wishing for... The builders had decided in their wisdom (and cheapness) to simply fill the back yard with sharp, angular 'landscaping gravel' which my dogs were most displeased about. So, that had to go, and we really wanted to have a decked area for entertaining and giving our pups (Beau & Bella) somewhere to chillax in the colder months. Therefore, we had a 3m deep x 7m wide decking built just before Christmas of 2010 which effectively took up half of the back yard, but the dogs were once again happy and had stopped giving me the stink-eye so it was worth it.

    It was at THAT point that I decided to build a pizza oven. Darn. As you can imagine I really didn't have a whole lot of space to put it, so I decided to build it into the decking. Photos show the decking (as yet unspoilt) and the beginnings of the foundation prep.
    Attached Files
    The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

  • #2
    Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

    Ben,
    Be careful, most councils won't allow anything built up to an adjoining fence. If that is your neighbours fence and they found your oven troublesome, they could dob you in and you'd have to pull it down. Check with the Berwick Council. Up here we have to be 1.5 m inside the fence. My sister lives in Upper Beac. and has a WFO, if you PM me I'll give you her number.
    Last edited by david s; 05-29-2011, 12:31 AM.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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    • #3
      Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

      Well, thankfully I have the best neighbour out there. In fact, we're building pizza ovens together! He's building a barrel vault, but I don't hold that against him.

      In fact, we've had to pull his fence down on a number of occasions to get a wheelbarrow into my backyard, because there is simply no other way to access it, other than trying to wheel one through my house...
      The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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      • #4
        Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

        Sweet! This is going to be some collaborative, competitive neighbour thing. Can just see you passing loaves of bread over the fence try ing to outdo one another.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

          You're darn right it is. And in terms of handing stuff over the fence, that has been a constant and ongoing process! Timber, tools, tie-wire, tomatoes... what else starts with T... Yup, he's the man alright. And he is whipping me in terms of his progress!
          The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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          • #6
            Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

            hey ben good luck with the oven building. i'm no expert but if you got any questions for a guy who's a bit further along put them out there. i think someone will give you an answer these guys all seem really helpfull.

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            • #7
              Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

              They are really helpful aren't they?! I have been telling my friends (in fact anyone who will listen) about this forum, and how I explain it is;

              "It's a forum for people building their own pizza ovens - everyone is either building an oven, or already has built an oven, and it may well be the happiest place on the whole internet."
              The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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              • #8
                Time to slice and dice my new decking...

                So the next stage was to bust out the ol' circular saw and go to work on my brand new decking.. I ripped up the nice, new merbau (this is only a few days after I've finished oiling it mind you) and stabilised the bearers (or are they joists?) with solid timbers driven into the ground, so the decking wouldn't collapse after I chopped a big section out of it.

                Then it was time to chop up what I just paid a professional a considerable sum of money to build for me! A tad on the daunting side, as I've never dealt with structural timber before...
                Attached Files
                The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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                • #9
                  Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                  So whats going to hold your deck up?
                  The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                  My Build.

                  Books.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                    Hi Brickie in Oz, I have been following your exploits for some time. I am glad you ask what is going to hold my deck up, a nice segway into the next phase of the project.

                    When I form up the 'decking side' of the foundation slab, I'll use the same size treated pine as used for the main bearers/joists, and put long galvanised bolts through this timber, protruding into the foundation slab. Then, when the concrete is poured, it will set around the bolts, providing an anchor to support the formwork timber which will be left in place as the new decking substructure. Confused? Basically I'll be bolting the decking substructure to the pizza oven foundation! Darn it, I should have just said that in the first place.

                    I am hoping this will work well, the foundation is going to be about 200mm thick, on a bed of 100mm compacted Class 2 crushed rock. A layer of 8mm reo mesh at 40mm cover from the base, N12 rebar in the positions shown in the Pompeii oven plans, plus another layer of mesh 40mm from the top for crack control. If I get even the tiniest crack in that slab, I will be equally surprised and dismayed! What do you think? I am by no means a builder but a big slab of concrete seems like a good support for my freshly mutilated decking.

                    Interested to hear what others think!
                    Last edited by benguilford; 05-30-2011, 05:26 AM.
                    The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                      Hi Ben

                      It sounds like you are going to make your deck and slab part of the same structure. I would recommend against this. For a start it is not a good idea to have concrete right up against your deck structure. Plus if ever you need to replace a part of your deck (due to termites, rot, change of plans etc) it will be very difficult.

                      I would finish the deck structure off now by putting a bearer across the 3 cut-off joists and then concrete in a metal stand under each inside corner – where the new bearer meets the 2 existing joists that you haven’t cut. Just dig a bit of a hole for a footing under each, attach the stand to the bearer so the post sits in the hole and then fill with concrete around the post. Then the deck would be self supporting.

                      Then I would form up the concrete and leave a gap between the slab and the deck. You will need a gap to get the form work out. I would make sure those three joists are cut to the right length so that when you put your deck back it just overhangs the new bearer – so you won’t really see the gap. The same goes for the deck at the sides of the slab – just overhang it a little to cover the gap a bit.

                      Please note, I am not a builder but I have had a bit of experience building decks in the past.
                      Sharkey.

                      I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

                      My Build - Between a rock and a hard place

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                        Thanks Doug. I like things to be over-engineered (I am an engineer after all!) It's the way things should be!

                        Oooh, good point Sharkey. A gap between the decking substructure and the foundation slab probably would be good, particularly if I wanted to change something going forward. The difficult I have though is the ground directly underneath the three cut-off joists is slightly soft, in fact I've spent a fair bit of time and effort trying to dry out and compact the dirt in that area, with moderate success. The ground slightly closer to the fenceline is pretty solid, so I figure if I use treated pine as sacrificial formwork that remains bolted to the slab (in much the same way my carpenter dyna-bolted the treated pine substructure to the brick wall of my house) and I used the bulk footing of the slab as the support for the substructure, the slab should be able to take the load and I should be ok. I think you're spot on though, when the timber eventually rots I am going to have a rad old time replacing it... Ah well, hopefully I'll have sold my house to someone willing to pay top dollar for a unit with a WFO by that time!
                        The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                          Originally posted by Karangi Dude

                          See my build.

                          Cheers Doug
                          By the way Doug, I think I spent about half an hour going through your oven photo albums last night. Awesome. I'm planning a slightly different enclosure, but I want my vent to look just like yours. I think I may be suffering from 'vent envy' if indeed there is such a thing
                          The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                            Thanks Doug,

                            I will definitely hit you up for some advice, particularly when it comes time to tie the dome into the vent arch. I saw your work there and I'll be chasing you up when the time comes, don't you worry!

                            Cheers, Ben
                            The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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                            • #15
                              Re: Ben's Brick Oven in Berwick

                              OK, so I formed up the foundation slab and threw in some crushed Class 2 rock (donated by my friendly neighbor Dave) and gave it a good compacting with the whacker plate from Bunnings. Dave and I have been splitting the costs on all of the materials and equipment, as we're building our ovens in-sync. Brilliant. And economical!

                              To hire the whacker plate for myself would have been way too expensive - I'm only compacting 2 square meters for crying out loud! But when we split the cost it was affordable. I highly recommend getting your neighbour on board - it's great fun, saves money, and you get to know them over a beer and a concrete pour. Good to have some extra labour too!

                              Anyway, I decided to use the WFO foundation as the new support for the decking, with sacrificial treated pine formwork on the deck side of the slab (see photos). I put in some reo mesh donated by a friendly concreter up the road, along with some N12 rebar leftover from the construction site I work at, and I was ready for some concrete. As previously mentioned, the galvanised bolts are there to bolt the treated pine formwork to the cured concrete foundation.
                              Attached Files
                              The Melbourne Fire Brick Company

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