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david s 05-13-2008 03:47 AM

mud ovens
Has anyone had any experience building a mud oven ?
I would love to have a go at it as I once built a mud brick kiln as an experiment. It worked extremely well. Gas fired with forced air induction (vacuum cleaner on blow) 1/4" steel rod poked in a hole through the side for temp indication. It got hot enough to melt the interior surface of the inside in fired,melted sheets. Fired the pottery ok to an estimated 1100C The mud stood up really well. I was thinking of building a mud mix reinforced with straw over a sand form. Remove sand soon after the oven is completed to allow it to shrink. Mud is a wonderful insulator as well as providing plenty of mass.

Frances 05-13-2008 04:40 AM

Re: mud ovens
There are a couple of threads of mud ovens... I like this one very much:

But as for advice or personal experience, no. Sorry.

If you build one, please remember to post progress pics - mud ovens are really cool!

Ed_ 05-14-2008 05:50 AM

Re: mud ovens
I haven't read Kiko Denzer's book, but I gather it's a major inspiration for a lot of people who end up building earthen ovens. Build Your Own Earth Oven, 3rd Edition: A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven; Simple Sourdough Bread; Perfect Loaves: Kiko Denzer, Hannah Field: Books


Papa Laz 05-17-2008 12:04 PM

Re: Muds ovens
Hi there,

I am in the UK and currently building a wood fired clay oven. I have pics of my progress so far and will post them on here if any one is interested. Just finished my brick archway today and am very proud :)


SpringJim 05-18-2008 05:41 AM

Re: Muds ovens

Originally Posted by Papa Laz (Post 32696)
Hi there,

I am in the UK and currently building a wood fired clay oven. I have pics of my progress so far and will post them on here if any one is interested. Just finished my brick archway today and am very proud :)


Papa, please do post the pics!

Papa Laz 05-20-2008 05:25 AM

Re: Muds ovens
Hi there

Some pics are posted are this thread


Archena 06-14-2008 06:48 PM

Re: Muds ovens
I've got Denzer's book on order. :)

My move is still sorta up in the air but I'm planning on moving by the end of the summer. Once I have my own place I'm planning on building a cob oven. I found a site showing a portable cob oven - it was on a wooden, wheeled platform a lot like a cheap BBQ might be. Unfortunately, my French is non-existent so I couldn't read it but I now think I have the stand problem solved - a post platform filled in with cob. The posts will supply the strength to support it (cob walls would need to be too thick to have any useful space under it) and the cob will enclose the storage area.

Which brings another question to mind - any one ever use wood ash as insulation? It's used in rocket ovens (which are really weird but cool) as insulation and is supposedly pretty good.

Archena 06-21-2008 12:19 PM

Re: Muds ovens
1 Attachment(s)
Okay, the book got here today and I'm busily drooling all over it!

There's one trick I've found thus far that I'm definitely gonna try - building a small scale test oven. Unlike brick, you can build a working model at ridiculously small scales - muffin oven, anyone? (Okay, it was a kid's oven built on a single brick - but hey, it works!) I'm gonna try it at the personal pan size just so I can go ahead and try it out!

Not this week, though.... Attachment 7635

dmun 06-21-2008 01:40 PM

Re: Muds ovens
Wood ash as insulation? That's a new one. It's light, it's non-combustible, might even work. It would have to be kept scrupulously dry, but of course so does your mud.

We've all seen wet wood ash: it compresses into a sodden mass.

Mind you, we've seen the failure of lots of "traditional" insulations like sand, gravel, and broken glass, but this one sounds like a possibility, especially above the dome. I think it would compact to uselessness below.

Groves 06-21-2008 02:09 PM

Re: Muds ovens
wood ash is a great insulator, as has been noted.

Also, if you run water through a pile or container of wood ash, the substance that you get at the bottom is caustic lye. watch your eyes.

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