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32" Oven in Sherman Oaks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

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  • 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

    Hello,


    First, I want to say that out of the all the forum groups I belong to, this one is by far the best. All of you have great information and it really seems like a little community.

    I got it in my head about 4+ years ago that I wanted a pizza oven. I was initially looking at the barrel design and actually bought plans from someone online. I then found FB. After researching a bit I started leaning toward the Pompeii oven design… it didn’t hurt that Pompeii is one of my wife’s and my favorite places.

    So I started to lay it out in my yard and in SketchUp. We determined the right spot for the location and about 3 years ago had a pad poured to house a BBQ station and our pizza oven… then we had our 1st Daughter so things got put on hold. About 16 Months later we had our second Daughter, so things got further put on hold: All the while though I was looking at the plans and reading through the forums.

    I even decided to try to fashion a Pizza oven out of our charcoal grill. I bought 12in unglazed tiles from Home Depot and lined my grill with them. Seemed like a decent alternative… boy was I wrong. In case anyone is thinking of trying it let me tell you what you will get. You start the charcoal and get the grill and tiles up to 600deg, this takes about 45 min. Then you are ready for your pizza… you open the grill cover and in comes the cold air: so now you have a tile floor that is 600deg and a dome that is around 200deg. You will wind up with a black crust and uncooked toppings… NOT good pizza.

    So, after our last bbq pizza debacle, we decided it was time for a real pizza oven. I broke ground a few weeks ago. Because of the limits in our yard, it will be a 32in i.d. oven with a 16 in dome. I figured the door should be about 15 in wide and 10 in tall, so I can't make any jumbo pizzas, but that is no big deal. I won't be the "ultimate" dream oven, but it will be 100% better than the pizza oven we have now. I went with the higher dome because I do like to bake bread too.

    Anyway, I welcome any comments and critique; I know anything said here will be said in the best interest of my oven and the FB community in general.

    Best,

    Chris
    Sherman Oaks, Ca

    P.s. The oven will be named "cave canem"... 10 points if you get the reference, no fair Googleing it.



    Sent from my iPad
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

    I made some progress last weekend. I laid out my floor and cut the bricks, and even got them set using the mortar/sand mixture (1:1).

    Unfortunately, I came across a couple of flaws in my hearth design. Both are things I literally added or changed at the last minute. First, I decided to add a small counter area in front of the oven opening. When I was building the forms I thought "it doesn't need to be the full 7in thick, I will only make it the thickness of the top." Well, now I have a 12in counter that is supported by a flakey mixture of cement and vermiculite; granted I have re-bar, but I still don't like it. I will wind up building a metal support and I think that will solve the problem.

    The other issue is that I mis-measured when I set the floor so it is too far to the right. I will have to figure out how to build my enclosure in a much smaller area than anticipated. Still a fixable problem.

    My advice is if you are going to make changes to a plan, make sure you thing it through, don't just pull the trigger.

    I am using Pacific Clay bricks that I ordered through Home Depot at $1.16.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

      Well I made some great progress and am hoping to have a full day today. I made my own version of "the indispensible tool". Jim made some nice plans found at http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f28/...heme-2985.html. His are a bit more elaborate and ultimately a better tool, but if you want something pretty simple mine works pretty well.

      After getting into the project I am happy I decided to taper the bricks, it really reduces the mortar and seems like it will be more sound construction.

      I am very impressed with so much of the workmanship I see posted in this forum, and even more impressed after starting this project.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

        I am getting there... Right now the biggest challenge is that here in the San Fernando Valley is has been about 100deg. I have had a moving blanket covering the dome and I got a cheap mister from Orchard Supply Hardware to keep it moist.

        I have about 4 more chains to go.

        I used a different technique for the opening, you can see it at:

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...tml#post116534

        Best,

        Chris
        Sherman Oaks, CA
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

          Try staggering the brick joints from one row to the next. See how the last photo you have many mortar joints lining up. It will be stronger and less prone to cracks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

            Yes... strangely I actually tried to stagger them. For some reason the way I cut the bricks made them align almost perfectly at the back side. The next few courses were ok though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

              Excellent work so far, really making some fast progress,
              And as far as weather goes, i will trade you any day. Has been too cold/wet here to do anything!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                Finally, I finished the dome. It wasn't easy, but I have to say it was totally rewarding and not quite as difficult as I thought it would be. I last few chains were challenging to get the correct angles for the bricks. I used the "indespensible tool" for the first 6 chains, but then they got too vertical. I wound up using a styrofoam form for the last ones. The problem with using the forms is you can't clean the inside of the dome as easily.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                  Clean a little more of my dome. I used a stiff wire brush to get some of the mortar film off. I will probably leave well enough alone at this point. I don't want to get into the muratic acid stuff. I am pretty please with the outcome.

                  Can't wait til I can fire her up.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                    Nice oven.

                    Your yard must be kind of tight for space I take it from the positioning of the oven?
                    The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                    My Build.

                    Books.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                      Al,

                      Thanks for your kind remark.

                      It's not so much that I don't have the room, but this was the only place it made sense. Anywhere else and it would have felt like it didn't belong. It certainly isn't the absolute, ultimate oven, but it is better than nothing at all.

                      Perhaps after a few years, we will re-model the yard and plan a larger oven.

                      Your build looks amazing!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                        Originally posted by cholme View Post
                        it is better than nothing at all.
                        Thanks for the kind remark.
                        Having an oven like you say is better than not having one, once youve been there, there is no turning back.
                        The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                        My Build.

                        Books.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                          FINALLY!!! I have gotten my oven 99% finished. I got super busy and couldn't work on it, but I was able to find a few night here and there to get it finished. I still want to add a light, but that is about it.

                          My stucco work is not the best, there are a million little cracks but it could be worse.

                          My wife and I made a pact not to use it until it was totally finished. We are planning on having some pizza tonight.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by cholme; 10-29-2011, 10:27 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                            How come you tucked it away in a corner like that?
                            The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                            My Build.

                            Books.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 32" Oven in Sherman Oaks

                              Yes, it is a bit unfortunate. That was the only place in our yard that made sense. I live in the San Fernando Valley on about 7000 sq ft of land, so space is a huge issue. It isn't the perfect or ideal design but it 100% better than the pizza oven I had before... which was none.

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