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  #11  
Old 04-29-2011, 01:39 PM
stoveup's Avatar
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Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

I suggest that you also apply a surface bonding product on your dry stacked block foundation. It adds a lot of strength and will keep the blocks from moving around as you build the oven.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2011, 06:19 PM
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Location: Grand Rapids MI
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Be very very nice to your neighbors. Peace offering are definitely the way to go. I always make more dough than I need so that I can make extra pies for the neighbors. While I read that you can control the amount of smoke by using very dry wood that is finely split, I still create a lot of smoke when first starting the fire. After about 15 minutes, it calms way down. However, everyone in the neighborhood knows when I fire up the oven.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2011, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

IMO the re-bar in the vertical walls is over-kill. It's all in compression and dependent on the compressive strength of the concrete. It's only 4' tall & reinforced on all four sides. Your not even in earth-quake country. How was the skiing this year, lived in SLC for 10 years. Beautiful country. Lots of snow this year, I bet.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2011, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

--PROGRESS UPDATE--

This weekend I framed and poured the hearth. Despite a weather forecast predicting otherwise, as soon as I finished floating the concrete, it started pouring rain! Ugh! I spent the next hour hanging tarp canopies over the oven stand and re-floating the hearth to get the pit marks off. I think it turned out okay, but was a bit frustrating.

I ended up bending the exposed rebar from the cement cores at 90 degrees using a steel pipe, and then rested the horizontal rebar grid on top. It turned out to be roughly centered vertically in the 3.5" hearth. I agree with the comments above that this was probably over-kill, but I already had the rebar in the cores so may as well put them to extra use.

I also arc'ed the front of the hearth about 5" front to back. I used a cement expansion joint as my form, and lined it with 6mm plastic to prevent the concrete from adhering into it. Looking back, I'm wishing I would have brought it out another 5".

I also decided to go the modular route and I ordered the Casa 100 last week. This way, I can be eating pizza within the next few weeks. I'm impatient, I know. . . My next build I'll go the pompeii route.

Over the next couple weeks (depending on when the oven arrives), I'm going to excavate an area beside the oven and lay a patio. I'll also put in a preparation island to the left of the oven. I saw one guy that upgraded his existing patio by mixing epoxy with colored pebbles and spreading it with a trowel - however he did it over an existing concrete slab. Anyone know whether I could do this over a layer of pea gravel? Should I put a sheet of plastic over it, like I did the slab underneath the oven stand?

Finally, there have been a few tools I've used that have made this job MUCH easier up to this point, aside from the standard tools suggested by FB. Thought I'd share my favorites:

1- Cement mixer. Okay, this was on the FB list, but I can't overestimate how much I've appreciated this. I bought a fairly cheap one ($300) and figured I'd sell it after this project is over. I can't imagine mixing all this cement by hand, and I'm sure I'll be able to resell it for a price that will make the overall cost MUCH cheaper than renting one ($50 per day in my area).

2- Grinder with a masonry grinding wheel and masonry and metal cutting wheels. When I was building the rebar grid for the hearth, I discovered a metal cutting wheel went through the 1/2" rebar in about 10 seconds. Plus, it gives off a good fireworks show. I was using a hack saw before, which took about 3-4 mins per cut and without the entertainment. Wish I would have put this to use sooner!

3- 2" Brad nailer. This has made assembling the cement forms very easy and fast. And who doesn't love using a pneumatic tool?

4- Mitre saw, for cutting the cement forms. I also made my own stakes from scrap wood and the mitre saw made it easy.

5- Gloves.

6- Tarps. Lots of them. And not just for the rain.

Thanks in advance for any insights on my patio material idea.
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Broke Ground!  And Questions. . .-poured-hearth-2.jpg   Broke Ground!  And Questions. . .-hearth-frame-w-arc.jpg  
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2011, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

I received the Casa 100 from FB a couple weeks ago and assembled and mortared it last weekend. After waiting three or four days for the mortar to cure, I installed the insulating blankets and chimney. It's looking good! A couple more weeks and I'll be throwing pies into it.

I decided the patio and workstation will be phase II, so I haven't broke ground on that - yet. I figured I'd save my energy to complete the finish work on the oven.

I need some advice on how to cure the oven. The instructions say to keep the oven at 300 degrees for as long as possible for the first day, and then increase the temp by 50 degree increments each day for five days. Now, if I were a trust fund baby, retired or unemployed, I can see how this would be possible. But since I'm none of these, it's going to be tough to keep a fire going for more than 3-4 hours at a time. Any advice on how a time-crunched fully-employed family man can cure an oven without taking a week off?

Thanks for any insights. . .
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:29 PM
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Location: Pasco Wa
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

I think bending the rebar is a good idea. That way it ties the hearth into the block stand. My question is how do you bend it. Can you bend it easily with a cheater pipe?
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  #17  
Old 05-27-2011, 07:32 AM
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Location: Plano Texas
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

No way the building code in my town would allow the oven that close to the house. I'm jealous. I had to move my oven out 10 feet or make the chimney 18 feet tall.

Phil
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  #18  
Old 05-27-2011, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Quote:
Any advice on how a time-crunched fully-employed family man can cure an oven without taking a week off?
You can start by putting an electric heater in it for a week. That will drive most of the moisture out by itself: they have a thermal overload switch in case it overheats.
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

If you use 3/8 inch rebar instead of 1/2 inch it is much easier to bend. Definitely bend it into the slab, otherwise you don't have a really good structural tie to the walls.

Rebar needs a certain length of embedding to transfer tension to the concrete. "Dead end" rebar is pretty much useless for the first foot or so.
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  #20  
Old 06-07-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Broke Ground! And Questions. . .

Thanks for all the advice and comments. In regards to my oven's proximity to my house and my neighbor's house, I do need to add an extra 3' section of chimney, which will put it two feet above my deck railing. Your comments made me a little nervous about being so close, but I checked the building codes and I am +10' away from both houses and after I add the chimney section and cut down the tree behind it, the chimney will extend 2' above any combustible materials, so hopefully I'll be okay.

I'm going to start building the enclosure walls this week and picked up the metal studs last night. I've never used metal studs before and was suprised that they're flimsier than I expected them to be. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to best frame the walls? I bought 1 1/4" tapcon screws to anchor the base plates into the concrete hearth and #8 1/2" flat self-drilling screws to attach the studs. I'm most concerned with getting the walls square, plumb and level. Any tricks out there you can share with me?

Thanks!
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