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36" Pompeii in DC - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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36" Pompeii in DC

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  • 36" Pompeii in DC

    After months of looking at these forums and several weeks of waiting for the right time, I finally started excavating for my oven.

    A month ago, we moved from an apartment in California to a big old house that we bought in Washington DC. I had deluded myself into thinking that maybe I would start working on oven during the three weeks we had here before I started work at the new job, but the old house had old house problems, and there were walls to be painted and appliances to fix and all manner of other chores.

    But! Now things have settled a bit, and I get to start digging. I've never been quite so excited to dig a hole in the ground...

    I'm planning to do a 36" Pompeii, with an extra 48" of counter on the right side of the block stand. I posted some Sketchup drawings here in a previous thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/m...ans-17797.html. I decided to switch the counter and oven compared to those pictures.

    I've attached pictures of the spot before, and after my little bit of digging this afternoon. I'd have gotten farther, but realized an hour in that I was coming down with a cold and really ought to go lie down...



    Before:






    After(ish)

    My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

  • #2
    Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

    Good luck and come back to this forum a lot for ideas and what to do and what not to do. Will be watching your build.
    Russell

    Link to my Picasa Album
    https://plus.google.com/photos/10287...21083003687777

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    • #3
      Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

      I've nearly got the foundation dug out, and I've realized that the ground slopes down about 6 inches from the back of my foundation to the front. Any suggestions out there on how to put a level 5.5" concrete pad onto a 6" slope? I'm a total newbie at this sort of thing.
      My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

        Originally posted by rsandler View Post
        I've nearly got the foundation dug out, and I've realized that the ground slopes down about 6 inches from the back of my foundation to the front. Any suggestions out there on how to put a level 5.5" concrete pad onto a 6" slope? I'm a total newbie at this sort of thing.


        Hope this helps. There are a lot builds out there that have plenty of pics for this too.
        I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

        joe watson

        My Build
        My Picasa Web Album

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        • #5
          Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

          Thanks, that's helpful. Two questions though (asked because although I know I've seen pictures on the forum I couldn't turn any up in a quick search): (1) Wouldn't that make the front of my oven an additional 4+ inches above ground, making my work surfaces possibly too high? (2) The slope is actually greater than the height of the form, so how does that affect things?
          My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

            1. I wished that I had of placed a 4" row to make my oven higher. Many suggest that you do a mock up to help you decide what is the correct height for you. Will you be installing some type of pavers in front of your oven in the future? Most are a minimum of 2".

            2. If the slope where you are placing your oven is this steep, then chances are the slope behind and in front are too. You could dig down level behind your oven and install a short retainer wall. This dirt can be used to back fill the retainer wall and/or build up in front of your oven stand.
            My advice is to install the retainer wall a few feet behind your oven and train the water to run on either side and away from your oven base. Do not use your stand as a retainer wall. That opens up a whole can of worms .

            Once this area is level you can adjust the form to what you need. Many use a 4" form on top of the drainage gravel. I tend to over build .
            I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

            joe watson

            My Build
            My Picasa Web Album

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

              Thanks, that's helpful. A retaining wall is probably the way to go, although it will be a bloody pain since it will end up being underneath the deck as a result :P.
              My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                More progress:

                My "assistant" helping tamp down gravel in the excavation:



                Graveled, framed and plastic down:



                Wider view:



                I thought I was digging out enough to have room for a retaining wall on the back and left side, but it ended up being tighter than expected. I'll probably have to do some more digging after the foundation is poured and the form is out of the way.

                I've also gotten the rebar and remesh all cut to size (fun with angle grinders), and would have gotten it in the frame and tied up, but I got chased inside by the rain. A task for tomorrow night, or maybe later this evening.

                Then, time to figure out how I'm getting concrete

                -Ryan
                My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                  Yesterday my office was gave everyone the afternoon off, and conveniently we had ~3 tons of concrete mix delivered that morning. So in honor of Labor day, my wife and I labored heartily to pour the slab foundation! I should note that neither of us had any experience with pouring concrete save for filling a couple of post holes long ago. So it was an adventure. We took turns doing the mixing in the wheelbarrow, 3 bags each and then switch. We managed to get it done, but oy, that was a chore.

                  Just starting:


                  Me mixing concrete


                  My lovely wife taking her turn (I owe her big time for helping on this!)



                  All done!


                  Not the prettiest concrete slab ever. Indeed, a candidate for the ugliest! But, like the Pompeii plans say, no one will ever see it, so it just has to be level and structurally sound. Fairly sure I managed that...
                  My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                    Hey, rsandler. I am a bit south of you in Harrisonburg.

                    The rain has been slowing me down all summer. I would be finishing my dome this weekend but I am on call and it is raining.

                    The slab looks good and your work is just starting.

                    David
                    "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." - Peter Clemenza

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                      Your foundation looks great! They don't have to be "perfect" and trialed to a glass finish.

                      Also, I don't see any major drainage problems up hill of your oven base. As you said "just a little more digging" and maybe a very short retainer wall on the uphill sides. You could finnish the oven and wait until you have a better idea of how to finish the patio area in front of the oven before you worry about that.
                      I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

                      joe watson

                      My Build
                      My Picasa Web Album

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                        Dino: Yeah, the rain's been giving me grief already and I'm not very far along. I'm contemplating getting some kind of canopy to put over the oven so I can work in a light rain. It wouldn't keep things dry in one of these crazy thunderstorms, but it would keep me from having to cover everything up every time it starts to drizzle.

                        Gulf: Good to know! It seems like the edges of the hole have been holding together in the short term, so with any luck I'll avoid any mini landslides until I can get a retaining wall in there.

                        -Ryan
                        My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                          Laid out the blocks for the first course of my stand last night. I didn't do too horribly at getting the pad level, but I'm definitely going to need mortar to get the blocks nicely level.

                          In the meantime, I've been thinking ahead to my hearth and how to do the counter on the side of the oven. Originally I had envisioned pouring concrete, at the same time as the heath itself, but I'm realizing that might be somewhat complicated. Certainly more work than pouring the pad and just placing/pouring a countertop surface at a later date.

                          As I see it, the advantage of having the countertop be on top of concrete is that then it will be level with the oven landing. The downside is a more complicated and challenging concrete pour (something I've already shown I'm not that good at!)

                          I see four options:
                          (1) Make an L of blocks, place a slab of countertop on this later, resulting in a counter lower than the oven landing (picture 1).
                          (2) Make and L of blocks, pour 3.5" of concrete at the same time as the hearth. (picture 2)
                          (3) Make a C of blocks, and pour a 3.5" slab at a later date. (picture 3)
                          (4) Make a rectangle of blocks and pour a 3.5" slab at a later date. (picture 4)

                          Of course, these are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps I need to do a C or a rectangle and pour it with the hearth. But I figure it I'm just holding up a slab of counter, I don't necessarily need the kind of lintel needed to hold a much bigger hearth plus a ton of oven.

                          Suggestions appreciated!

                          -Ryan
                          Attached Files
                          My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                            You may want to lay the bottom row of block in a bed of mortar, if you feel that it needs the extra leveling. However, you can correct for a lot of differential with the form for the hearth.
                            Also, I would go with "C". You can adjust the level with brick, block etc. when you find out what the exact height of your landing is going to be.

                            Edit: I was referring to "dry stacking" the remaining courses of the the stand.
                            Last edited by Gulf; 09-05-2012, 06:34 PM.
                            I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

                            joe watson

                            My Build
                            My Picasa Web Album

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

                              So, if I'm following you correctly, it's worth putting mortar down to make sure the individual blocks lay flat, but I don't need to worry if the whole thing is sloped slightly, because the form will fix that. Makes sense.

                              I'm liking the C; for some reason it hadn't occurred to me that I could just add more bricks or blocks on the counter side to get the level up--since I'm thinking of putting something on the hearth landing to get it level with the oven entry, making the counter support taller could make things a lot easier.
                              My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

                              Comment

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