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How level is level? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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How level is level?

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  • How level is level?

    WARNING: Potentially silly question thread here:

    My slab is fairly level, less than 1/8 inch drop from back to front or side to side across the proposed dimensions of the stand. Is this significant enough to require leveling with mortar or will the hearth base concrete pour level things out in any case?


  • #2
    Re: How level is level?

    I think you'll be able to level it out with the hearth base. Or you could mortar the blocks on your stand to level it out. But it sounds like you're pretty close to perfect, IMO.


    • #3
      Re: How level is level?

      Thanks for your fast answer



      • #4
        Re: How level is level?

        Your'e fine. After you set your blocks you will level your form boards for the hearth. No worries!



        • #5
          Re: How level is level?

          Thank you for this information


          • #6
            Re: How level is level?

            I don't think it is a silly question at all. Even when using a level, you can be within the beads lines and not EXACTLY level.

            One thing I have not seen discussed, and I think might be a good thing to keep in mind. Wouldn't you want to have the oven, in general, be naturally draining to the opening, say, at least 1/16" per foot, which would be at least a 1/4" over most ovens?

            If I had a driving rain, and my oven was open, and took on a gallon of water, I would really prefer that it drain out the front vs. puddling, soaking in, etc. Also, many, like myself, may be building on freshly excavated dirt. The slab goes down, then the weight goes on. I purposefully left a 'drain to the front' persuasion in my slab. I haven't checked it lately, but if the oven drains 'out', I doubt it would interfere with fire making and pizza baking, or any other type of general oven use.

            What do the rest of you think?

            Last edited by Lars; 07-08-2009, 02:25 PM. Reason: typo
            This may not be my last wood oven...


            • #7
              Re: How level is level?

              What do the rest of you think?
              Your cooking floor should be level enough to bake a pumpkin pie. Everything else is conversation. If your wood bin floor slopes to the back, you can always leave a weep hole to drain it. I did slant my landing shelf downward, to avoid channeling rain into my oven, but took no further precautions.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


              • #8
                Re: How level is level?

                In rain county ( pacific northwest) I always tilt for water. No matter how exacting I am, nothing is every exactly level or square. (or maybe that's just me ). I figure that if I deliberately add a slight slope, the worst that could happen is that I end up being level.

                Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog


                • #9
                  Re: How level is level?

                  I wish I had put a tilt in the front for water. When not if I get a lot of rain here I think that I will have some real issues.


                  • #10
                    Re: How level is level?

                    I'm north of the "pacific north west" so I put a slope of 0.5% in from back to front just to make sure I would not get any pooling of water. On my 40 incher, the front is 1/4 inch lower than the back. No one can tell that its not level.


                    • #11
                      Re: How level is level?

                      I have seen a few examples where a small mistake in the beginning can amplify as you go along into a much bigger problem.
                      (such as windows not fitting...doors not closing etc)

                      The best part about this is - you know about it!

                      It would be terrible to build a beautiful oven.... and then a nice square oven door.... that won't close because the opening isn't square!!!

                      If you're anything like me... just knowing it's not level will really p*** you off!!

                      But you can easily bring it back in either the bricks in the stand, or the hearth slab.

                      Like others have said - the next oven I build will included a run-out in the wood storage.. the bottom row of my wood gets a little wet when it rains...
                      My 2nd Build:
                      Is here


                      • #12
                        Re: How level is level?

                        Hey guys, this is my very first post and I have been soaking in as much information as possible over the last couple months. I have very minimal construction experience, but I got laid off from my job and to keep busy, this oven is becoming my life until I find another job. I am looking for advice.

                        I just poured my foundation and mine is very slightly sloping as well. It looks like you guys said it is ok if the stand blocks aren't perfect as long as you ensure that the hearth slab is level - is that right? If not, is there a minimum or maximum thickness of mortar I should use to bond the bottom of the stand blocks to the slab? If I can get away with not having the stand blocks perfectly level, then I will start stacking today and move on to the hearth very soon.

                        Also, I have Sakrete concrete mix in my garage from a prior project. Will this work for what I'm talking about or I am supposed to be using something else? Thank you.