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BrritSki's Build in Italy - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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BrritSki's Build in Italy

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  • BrritSki's Build in Italy

    Well despite everything I decided to get started this year in the probably vain hope that I'll be able to produce some pizza at my son's wedding which will finish up here in early September.

    I definitely won't be completely finished by then (if my Gaudi-style finish comes to pass!), but possibly will have a cured oven that I can cook in if there are not too many other distractions like Wimbledon, heat, pool, visitors, brush-cutting and other gardening tasks, wine, beer.... It's tough being retired

    Anyway, my builder friend (mention in my introduction in March, and who now has a new pre-fabricated oven in his new house which works well), delivered some sand, cement, blocks & fire-bricks a couple of weeks ago and I got started.

    First task was to build the base of a wall for a shed in another part of the garden which will partly be in gabion form so I can dump all the cement bits, ugly stones, bricks, tiles etc that I want to get rid of.

    Once the cage was done I mocked up what the oven base will look like - concrete blocks are 50x50x20cms, not the easier-to-use 40x40x20, but I came up with a layout that is not too difficult.

    I'm going to include my ancient barbecue grill on one side of the oven with a small counter at the side of it, and then a full-length counter on the other side of the oven, but I need the slab to go off and position things to see how they look within the other constraints of flower beds etc before the final plan is decided.

    Now to figure out how to post pics/thumbnbails in here...

    Meanwhile apart from the pics of our rustico on the pbase site mentioned in my intro, there are some other pics here, although some of the albums are password-protected at the request of those pictured:
    PictureTrail

    Pictures have been uploaded to the Hearth and Stand category and included in an album entitled "BrritSki's Pix".

    Ciao Rog
    Last edited by BrritSki; 07-02-2008, 08:03 AM. Reason: Correct smiley

  • #2
    Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

    Wow Rog, I love your location. I was looking at the pics and thinking, hey nice wall in the background, reminds me of our trip to Italy last year...

    So whereabouts in Liguria are you building this oven? We stayed in a tiny place on top of a hill called Poggi (near Imperia), and I kept fantasizing about dismantling one of the walls and carting the stones back home. My husband wouldn't let me though...
    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

      Originally posted by Frances View Post
      So whereabouts in Liguria are you building this oven? We stayed in a tiny place on top of a hill called Poggi (near Imperia), and I kept fantasizing about dismantling one of the walls and carting the stones back home. My husband wouldn't let me though...
      We are in Ceriana, which is in the hills behind Sanremo, not far from Imperia. In fact one way that we can go to Sanremo passes through a village called Poggio which is at the top of a slope looking out over the sea - are you sure it wasn't that one ?

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      • #4
        Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

        Ah no, waife informs that I should know Poggi as we have driven through it

        Ciao Roger

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

          Lovely part of the world anyway!

          The Gaudi style finish intriuges me, too. I'll be watching this thread closely...
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

            Slab has now gone off (surface is a bit powdery but my pro. builder friend says it's OK) and visitors gone, so the blocks are all in place (see pic in "BrritSki's Pix" album).

            Design changed slightly to allow for a change in position of the barbecue by moving the front columns to line up with the sidewalls rather than stick out by a couple of inches.

            These front columns are still free-standing though as a) it's difficult to tie in 50x20 blocks and b) I didn't want the stand to come out any further. At the moment it's 1500mm wide and 1400mm deep, but if required I can gain another 100-150mm at the back because of the sloping terrace wall.

            To anchor the front columns to the rest of the structure I cut a notch and laid a thick galvanised-steel wire butterfly-tie (home-made) on each side at the top of each course. Both these holes will be filled, so that should make it nice and solid.

            The other slight change to the FB plan is that I will use a pre-fab reinforced concrete joist to bridge the gap between the columns rather than angle iron and a single course concrete block. This will make it easier to access the wood store amongst other things.

            Rebar is all in place too and I've left it standing proud so the reinforcing mesh for the hearth slab can be attached to it.

            Slab was nice and level, but blocks aren't precisely the same so there's a couple that rock and there's a couple of mm height difference left to right, but that can be corrected when I lay the hearth slab and shouldn't be noticeable. Neither will the gaps in the blocks once the outside is stuccoed.

            Great fun, but my it's hot ! Roger
            Last edited by BrritSki; 07-10-2008, 09:54 AM. Reason: Lat para added

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            • #7
              Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

              Very cool, you are going to have sooooo much fun on this build
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                I have now completed the concrete part of the base and hearth (photos to follow soon) and will be ready to mix and pour the Vermicucrete insulation layer on Monday.

                A few questions though:

                1. The instructions say Portland cement, the bag of Italian vermiculite says use refractory cement - I'd prefer Portland, will this be OK ?

                2. Is the vermicucrete strong when it's set - it will have the full weight of the oven on it ?

                3. Is the ratio of vermiculite:cement 5:1 by volume or weight

                4. How would you define "oatmeal consistency" to a limey ?

                TIA for advice...

                Ciao Roger

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                  Sorry, another ?

                  Is an infra-red thermometer reading to 365C (690F) high enough ?

                  If not, what max. temp should I be looking for ?

                  Thanks again Roger

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                    I think most of us have had their ovens at 900 F plus. 900 degrees you have to be pretty skilled not to burn your crusts.

                    I think something in the 1100 F range should be plenty. It would be a crematorium at that temperature...

                    Christo
                    My oven progress -
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                      Originally posted by BrritSki View Post

                      1. The instructions say Portland cement, the bag of Italian vermiculite says use refractory cement - I'd prefer Portland, will this be OK ?

                      2. Is the vermicucrete strong when it's set - it will have the full weight of the oven on it ?

                      3. Is the ratio of vermiculite:cement 5:1 by volume or weight

                      4. How would you define "oatmeal consistency" to a limey ?
                      Any answers on any of the above or do I just go for it when it has stopped raining ?

                      Christo: thanks for the answer on thermometers...

                      Ciao Roger

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                        1) I believe everyone here used portland cement or regular mortar.

                        2) Yes

                        3) I believe its by volume.

                        4) Thick, not runny at all. More or less holds its shape when not disturbed.
                        Oven Progress
                        Bread Photos
                        Oven Stand Thread

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                          Roger
                          Portland cement should be find. 5-1 is the generally accepted ratio. It looks like it would not hold up but in fact it has a high compressive strength...like 100psi. The oven is probably 1 to 2 psi.
                          berryst
                          by the way your photos are beautiful how about pics of the build?l
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                            Thanks to rlf5 and berryst for their replies - I bit the bullet and did the job yesterday evening !

                            Photos of recent stages of the build have been added to the Album: "BrritSki's Pix".

                            Progress has been slower than expected with various diversions with visitors and other vital jobs like extracting and cutting a pile of wood for the winter, car at garage for new exhaust pipe, tile/brick cutter being broken when I unpacked it and needing replacing, thunderstorms etc etc etc.

                            Roger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: BrritSki's Build in Italy

                              Well, our last visitors have now gone and no more for a while and we had a nice holiday last week in Denmark for my svigrmor's (mother-in-law) 90th birthday, so it was back to work today.

                              I laid out the brick floor and marked what cuts were needed and then assembled my brand-new brick cutter and set to work. Everything was fine except that I couldn't believe how much water it needed - I had to setup a drip-feed to keep it topped up. It was only when I removed the tray to empty the mud that I realised that the tray was cracked. Taped up now and it's fine.

                              So, all the floor bricks are cut and also about 40 bricks cut in half, so I will have more have enough for the first 2 courses of the dome. Attached photo shows the dry layout - I will lay the first dome course (not soldier course) on top of the floor, so I'm not worried about the rough finish - that will be hidden under the insulation.

                              Mud was all saved of course and I've pounded some of the brick offcuts and added that and some sand to make a nice paste tomorrow for laying the floor and the first course.

                              Ciao Rog
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by BrritSki; 08-12-2008, 09:37 AM. Reason: correct typos

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