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Simon's 36" LA brick oven

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  • Simon's 36" LA brick oven

    So it has begun. After a year and a half of learning, digesting, ruminating, obsessing, and bothering my wife to all hell over the subject- I've started on my oven.

    First I'd like to give thanks. Dmun, Dino, Les, James, and all the rest, your shared experience has given myself and others excitement, inspiration, and knowledge -igniting a skill and passion around the world. Your posts have been invaluable, and I, along with the many others here, really appreciate the hard work you've put in for the site cataloging the build -the frustrations, and the joys.

    After much thought, and some fantastical concessions on my part, I chose to proceed with a 36" diameter oven. Originally I was thinking of purchasing the 42" kit from Forno Bravo, and getting all the materials I needed in one purchase. The cost of shipping turned out to be prohibitive though, at $500 to deliver to Los Angeles, that puts the cost at around two grand, when considering the investment of additional materials for the foundation. Also there is the fact that a smaller oven will heat up faster and require less wood to fire, so 36" it is, sourcing most components locally to save on shipping. A decision I'm glad I made, when today I purchased the wet saw.

    Saw- Harbor Freight 2.5hp wet brick saw. Purchased with a 20% off coupon put it at a little over two hundred.

    For bricks I went with another local supplier, Sand Building Materials in San Fernando for $1.22 a brick for fulls, .99 for splits . I'm having 160 full bricks, and 50 splits delivered on Monday.

    Regarding the photos below, there is an additional foundation outcropping on the right side of what will be the ovens opening, that I intend on making into a brick grill and rotisserie oven for special events. Also, I plan on adding a central support column for additional weight distribution and structural support.

    Next investment I'm looking at is 25 bars of rebar - wondering what thickness to get.
    Also can anyone give guidance as to the thickness needed for the hearth slab? You'd think after pouring over the facts on this site i'd be better at recalling the specs :\

    Onward and Upward!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

    Regarding the Rebar - 1/2 inch..

    Have fun and enjoy the build..

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

      Slab in plans is 3.5" but I'm making mine 4".

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

        Thanks Chris and NYC for the replies - 1/2" rebar and 4" thick hearth slab it is.
        As for the insulation I was planning on using the FB board underneath and blanket around, but have been looking at a couple using Foamglass on the threads. Anyone care to comment, FB vs. Foamglass?

        Also, I'm considering pouring the form for the rotisserie grill/oven at the same time, and adding an ash dump for both the oven and the grill

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

          Congrats on pulling the trigger on your oven project. The satisfaction of building an oven brick-by-brick far outweighs the convenience of buying one, IMO. 36" is an excellent size for a home oven. Not too many builders keen on incorporating an ash dump for a Pomeii home-based oven.
          John

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

            Originally posted by calipizzanapoletana View Post
            Thanks Chris and NYC for the replies - 1/2" rebar and 4" thick hearth slab it is.
            As for the insulation I was planning on using the FB board underneath and blanket around, but have been looking at a couple using Foamglass on the threads. Anyone care to comment, FB vs. Foamglass?

            Also, I'm considering pouring the form for the rotisserie grill/oven at the same time, and adding an ash dump for both the oven and the grill
            Welcome to the club of obsessed people! Friendliest, most helpful people on the net with tons of great advice.
            I cannot compare FB to foamglas since I have no experience with FB board. On the other hand I am in the process of my curing fires and the hearth has gotten up to 500 degrees F while the thermocouple under the foamglas still read 77 degrees F I will keep you updated as the fire and temps increase.
            Good Luck with your build!
            John
            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


            • #7
              Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

              John! I've followed your build with great appreciation, please do keep me posted (pun intended) with the foamglas's performance.

              You're right that the people on this forum are the friendliest on the net. Good food breeds good people.

              I'm considering spending tomorrow driving out to pick up some old reclaimed "fireclay" bricks that have been removed from around a pool. The bricks were supposedly long ago made by firing in a kiln, as opposed to cast concrete. I was thinking of using them for the rotisserie oven part of my grill and some of the exterior brick/vent work.

              Does the fact that the bricks have spent a good deal of their life pool-side affect their use in food applications? Will the bricks have absorbed a significant amount of chlorine to then off-gas when heated to 500 degrees?
              I know their isn't a significant amount of chlorine in the surrounding air of a pool, but people do drip when they get out.

              This is the serious mental dilemma I'm having with picking up these bricks. Add to that the fact that, A) I'll have to load all 250 myself, and B) I have to work tomorrow night on the line as well, I'm between a rock and a hard place.

              If you guys here on the forum say the bricks are ok, I'm going.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                I wouldn't worry about chlorine in the firebricks as much as I would worry about the composition of the firebricks. I don't understand why someone would use firebricks with high alumina content, silica etc. for paving a poolside area. that doesn't make sense and I would question the temperature rating of those bricks. This is my worry wort thoughts on this, obviously no experience or scientific evidence to back up my worries.
                John
                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


                • #9
                  Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                  Originally posted by calipizzanapoletana View Post

                  Does the fact that the bricks have spent a good deal of their life pool-side affect their use in food applications? Will the bricks have absorbed a significant amount of chlorine to then off-gas when heated to 500 degrees?
                  I know their isn't a significant amount of chlorine in the surrounding air of a pool, but people do drip when they get out.
                  The amount of chlorine that could remain in the bricks is insignificant and not worth worrying about. chlorine is a gas when not combined with other chemicals and the amount that would get splashed out of a pool and be retained by the brick is so miniscule it would be nearly impossible to calculate.

                  Chip
                  Chip

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                    Congratulations on the beginning of your new oven!
                    George

                    My 34" WFO build

                    Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                      Having been around competition swimming pools for over 40 years, it's understood that chlorine needs to be regularly replenished since it degrades in direct sunlight. If your chlorine-laced bricks have been outside in the sun for any length of time the tiny amount of chlorine Chip refers to is just that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                        Thanks again John and George!
                        I made the trek this morning and hauled 200 bricks by hand to my car from a very nice couples back yard 170 feet down brick steps using two contractor plastic buckets. It took about 15 trips, taking about 7 or 8 bricks in each bucket, two buckets at a time. My back hurts -but worth it.
                        The bricks are indeed old kiln fired clay brick - owner said they were made over forty years ago by being fired to 3000 degrees. This sounds like they will serve the purpose of my rotisserie oven fine.

                        Below you can see a shots of a quick mock brick floor for the rotisserie oven, and the stack of bricks.
                        Oh and the saw arrived! still need to purchase a blade, speaking of which: on the saw it says to use only continuous rim, non perforated or non jagged blades. Basically its going to look like a wicked pizza wheel blade right? I've seen brick blades before, but wanted to know if everyone out there is also using a continuous rim saw blade?

                        Now that I have the bricks (more fresh new firebrick coming in T-minus: 48 hours) and the saw, I'm starting to hyperventilate a little. hooo.... haaa.... calm down, take it step by step. First I need to get the cores filled and rebar gridded up.

                        Off to work for now. I'll be making food all night, dreaming of cutting bricks instead.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                          I cut the oven floor today - a little off in terms of diameter (37" around, instead of 36") will this pose a problem when constructing the oven opening to size for a 36" oven? should I trim the floor to be a true 36 inches?

                          Also please set my mind at ease that the firebricks I've just been cutting and had delivered look right -they have a darker inner core as seen in the photo below. I don't recall seeing anyone else's brick having this difference, and want to make sure that I do indeed have firebricks.

                          Another point that I need input on is the rebar formation. I've seen lots of people doing grids of rebar, placed onto the bent rebar in cemented cores.
                          Is this preferable to bending whole segments to go into the various cores, and having them overlap, as seen in my photo. I want to proceed with filling the cores for my stand with the rebar "grid (more of a fractal in my case)" in place. Will having the rebar touch make the slab weaker? What benefit is there in making the vertical rebar in the cinderblock cores separate from the horizontal grid for the slab? I planned on putting a rebar form in every other core, and two forms in each of the center cores, fanning out accross the foundation (i.e. there will be alot more rebar overlapping than what is seen in the photo). The idea for this overkill of rebar is to help with structural integrity (i.e. earthquakes).

                          In one of the photos you can see a rebar bender & cutter that I picked up for 80 bucks. Also seen is the larger than expected mess generated by the wet saw. Will the brick dust permanently stain my lawn?
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by calipizzanapoletana; 08-24-2011, 07:03 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                            I need some input, please as to the rebar form I've laid out, will the form seen in the photos above be ok with lots of overlapping rebar spans? Or should I be doing the rebar differently? I want to move ahead with filling the cores with the rebar in place, but am worried that I'm making a fatal error.

                            Thanks in advance

                            -simon

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Simon's 36" LA brick oven

                              Simon - I'm no expert, so I hope someone will chime in, but I"m concerned about the amount of rebar you are using. It's more or less a free standing slab, so I would think alot more rebar would be appropriate.
                              Leigh

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