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Jamie's build

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  • Jamie's build

    And were off... Like herd of turtles!

    ...of our rockers, maybe?

    Whatever, it's an agonizingly slow start. I'm a full-time, stay-at-home dad of an 18-month-old, so there's precious little time to devote to the oven and yard. Nonetheless, it's coming along, bit by bit.

    I've got the stand almost built, and am working toward the time when I can pour the support slab. Closer day by day.

    I decided to do a corner installation to make the most of our small yard, and to try to incorporate a small outdoor kitchen. There will be a barbecue built in on the left wing of the kitchen, and a countertop and sink on the right. The oven has taken priority, though, and as I can only work in fits and starts I'm doing it in stages where possible.

    I'm going for an overall rustic brick look with both the oven and garden to match the weathered brick of the house.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by cynon767; 07-16-2009, 10:31 AM.
    -jamie

    My oven build is finally complete!

  • #2
    Re: Jamie's build

    Here's my previous thread about laying out the garden and building our raised beds, and pouring the foundation slab. When I look back at that I see how far I've come; but it still feels agonizingly slow to me.

    I decided, after lengthy discussions with my better half, that due at least in part to our overly thick foundation slab, there would be concerns about her ability to reach the oven opening comfortably if we went a full four blocks high on the stand. So, we're going with 3 blocks high, and planning on an extra-thick vermicrete layer to get the floor height up to a good level. Does anyone have a good recommendation for the oven door height? I am 6'1" and she is 5'3", so whatever we do will be a compromise.
    Attached Files
    -jamie

    My oven build is finally complete!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jamie's build

      here's the front door of our house, serving as inspiration for the arch to the wood storage area.
      Attached Files
      -jamie

      My oven build is finally complete!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jamie's build

        Since I'm only going 3 courses high with the block, I had a bunch of extra left over. Since the space is too small to crawl into anyway, I built up the center of the stand to box to create a smaller storage area, which will fit the corner installation and also provide more support for the concrete span.
        -jamie

        My oven build is finally complete!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jamie's build

          Haven't updated in a while. Things have been moving slowly... especially me, in the Sacramento summer heat. Progress is happening, though.

          A couple weeks ago my neighbor Diego came over and helped me pour the hearth slab. His help was indispensable. We were done before noon, which was good on a hot day. I kept the slab well-watered in the afternoon, and for a week after. I tried to go and wet it down every few hours for several days.

          While the slab cured, I did more brickwork on the garden beds and bench area.

          I mixed the perlicrete dry at a little over 6-1 by volume in the wheelbarrow. Unfortunately, I overestimated the capacity of the barrow and had to turn it very carefully to mix it without spilling too much. I used 12 cu. ft. of perlite, which I found for $16.50 a bag locally. As I mentioned before, I wanted to make a thicker insulation slab, so went with 6 inches.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by cynon767; 09-28-2009, 09:09 AM.
          -jamie

          My oven build is finally complete!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jamie's build

            Now, at last, I've finally gotten the hearth floor laid and the first course dry-fit.

            A couple of days ago I set the cooking floor. The Muddox red firebricks (well, orangey-pink, anyway) have a wonderfully smooth surface, and will probably make an excellent hearth.

            Today I spent all morning adjusting the positions of the soldier course of half-bricks and debating over how best to lay out the arch for the doorway, but in the end I went with as simple an arrangement as I could. I plan to follow Lars' recent example and cut all the bricks by hand, including a fair amount of tapering. Foolhardy? Maybe. I just know that I can't really spare the money for a fancy saw, and I have already gotten relatively good with the chisel and brickset. Besides, as Lars said, this way I don't have to worry about so much noise and brick dust.

            I feel like I've turned a real corner now. I'm actually working on the dome at last!

            Attached Files
            Last edited by cynon767; 08-29-2009, 02:22 PM.
            -jamie

            My oven build is finally complete!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jamie's build

              She doesn't even know it yet, but she's gonna have the best pizza parties of any kid in her class!
              Attached Files
              -jamie

              My oven build is finally complete!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Jamie's build

                The other day I mortared the soldier course together. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm, I neglected to wet the bricks sufficiently. They stuck together, and at first it seemed fine, but I'm now afraid that I may have created an insufficient base for the rest of the oven.

                Today, I pressed ahead and moved on to the next ring. Cutting a simple single-diagonal taper with a chisel, I managed to get the next ring of bricks in place. In the process, I managed to knock loose a couple of the soldiers. I pulled them out, dampened them, and mortared them back in place, but I'm afraid that I haven't seen the last of my problems with the too-dry soldier course.

                I am going to wait and see how it looks tomorrow.
                -jamie

                My oven build is finally complete!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Jamie's build

                  Originally posted by cynon767 View Post
                  In the process, I managed to knock loose a couple of the soldiers. I pulled them out, dampened them, and mortared them back in place, but I'm afraid that I haven't seen the last of my problems with the too-dry soldier course.
                  I knocked a few bricks before they had properly set throughout my oven build, though I don't think it is important. I made sure I filled as much space between the bricks as possible with mortar (often the day or so after the chain had been completed). In theory the mortar will eventually set hard to fill the space between the bricks - if it isn't 'glued' to the bricks it will act like a perfectly shaped firebrick anyway. In a perfect world the whole oven could be built using perfectly shaped bricks with no mortar... that's my theory.

                  I learned not to worry too much during my oven build, just do the best you can using the information gathered from the forum. It will all work out!
                  My rustic oven;
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Jamie's build

                    The second course looks pretty solid... I think I'm going to continue and keep my fingers crossed.
                    Attached Files
                    -jamie

                    My oven build is finally complete!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Jamie's build

                      Things are inching along. I have the first few courses set, and have gotten the inner arch put in. I'm glad I decided to do the stripey brick thing, even if nobody but me ever sees it. It makes me feel like it's more of a personal artistic endeavor this way.

                      Here's the dry fit of the arch-
                      Attached Files
                      -jamie

                      My oven build is finally complete!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Jamie's build

                        It was at about that time that a friend of mine offered to lend me his tile saw, in return for the thickness planer I had been lending him during his house remodel. I had originally intended to cut all the bricks by chisel, and had actually gotten as far as doing the floor and the first two courses this way.

                        Because of the striped pattern I was doing, the floor and soldier course were of a different brick than the second course. I had gotten my bricks at a clearance sale at the local yard, and they were a few short of the full bill to do it all in the red; so, I decided to get enough of the yellow to do two accent stripes. This led to a couple of interesting discoveries: the yellow bricks are rougher in texture, which was why I didn't just use them for floor... the smooth surface of the red is much, much better; but along with that, the red are a fair bit harder than the yellow. This meant that I would be looking at a whole lot of hand cutting that would only be getting harder after my easy yellow stripes were done. So, naturally, I jumped at the chance to use the saw.

                        It's only a generic 7" tile saw, so I'm pretty limited in fancy cuts. I had to add an extender to raise the guard up enough to even fit a brick under it. The amount of time it is saving, though, is immense. Since I'm a stay-at-home dad and limited to working mostly in the odd hour here and there when my daughter is napping, the difference is huge.

                        Since I'm limited in my ability to carve bricks mechanically, I'll probably still be doing a lot of chiseling for the area where the dome meets the arch; but that's a small price to pay. Besides, at this point I'm getting pretty good with the chisel- this is one of my attempts at making a piece to fit the arch transition:
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by cynon767; 09-16-2009, 10:37 PM.
                        -jamie

                        My oven build is finally complete!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Jamie's build

                          So here's the current state of affairs- five courses up, inner arch set. I've been cutting the bricks on a single diagonal, following a pattern similar to the one Lars used. This was initially because of the labor savings for hand cutting, and I've just kept with it even after I got hold of the saw.

                          I am considering switching things up as I move into the higher courses, and following the advice given by many to go to using 1/3 bricks. If I do so, I will have to give some thought to how to arrange the cuts. Not sure about that yet.

                          The curve of the dome looks like it will be a little steeper than I initially intended; I have been building without a form and went a little more vertical in the first two courses than I had intended. I steepened the next two slightly to compensate, and am hoping that I don't weaken the dome too much that way.

                          I started off using the wedge-and-fill grout bag method, but found it was less precise than I had hoped. Since I had gotten a good deal of practice with the trowel this summer, I decided to go freehand, and found it much easier, more thorough, and surprisingly more accurate. I was able to get a good solid bed of relatively evenly-spaced mortar down beneath the bricks, and thus far have had good luck with it. There are a few inconsistencies, but I'm still hoping for the best.

                          The contrasting stripes in the entryway were a stylistic decision; since the yellow bricks I was making the stripes in the dome with were slightly different dimension than the reds, I was basically committed to stripes. When I found some white firebrick that matched the reds in size and texture, I decided to continue the theme to the front and integrate them into the archway.

                          This last course was probably the last I'll be able to set totally freehand... a few of the bricks started to sag as I was setting them, leading to a few misalignments. I'll probably be using the stick method to prop them up for future courses; I'm probably too hopelessly out of round to start using an "indispensable tool" now, as none of the evenly-spaced bricks it laid would fit with the old ones.
                          Attached Files
                          -jamie

                          My oven build is finally complete!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Jamie's build

                            Jamie,

                            Beautiful work! I love the brick base. Keep us up to date!
                            Ken H. - Kentucky
                            42" Pompeii

                            Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

                            Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
                            Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Jamie's build

                              You are coming along now...just don't strain your wrists with too much chisel work...physical therapy is more expensive than an angle grinder...

                              Drake
                              My Oven Thread:
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

                              Comment

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