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ttriche 11-10-2008 12:32 PM

n00b question about self-leveling cement
Hi All,

I posted a long-winded treatise on a proposed design earlier, and like most such things, it seems to have put any readers to sleep. I'll not repeat that error.

An existing cement slab and a few sacks of self-leveling cement from a previous engagement motivate this line of thought. The slab is actually the ''patio'' around the side of our house. It appears to be about 2" thick and a few degrees (max) off level, to allow water to drain. (In 60 inches, there appears to be about a half inch of rise.)

I have some 2'x8' pieces of lath, some liquid latex, and old 2x6s to make a form where I could bring a 'landing' to level. I have a wire brush and a crowbar, and I've done this sort of thing with tile underlayments before, but what I am curious about is, can I plop an oven on top of this if I drill holes for rebar down into the slab?

Supposing that it's at all possible to avoid putting a thicker slab 'through' the existing cement, I would really, really like to avoid that. Of course, I'd also like to avoid a 2000+ pound structure wandering around my side 'yard'. Any thoughts?

Much obliged!


ttriche 11-10-2008 12:48 PM

Re: n00b question about self-leveling cement
Eh, on second thought, it looks like a slab is what's needed. Reading some posts about the possibility of listing or shifting with anything less than a full-thickness slab has me a little spooked. I think it's time to call in a favor to a professional friend and plop in an 8' x 6' x 1' rebar-meshed slab and be done with it. Then I'll not have to worry about wandering ovens in the future.

I'm really not looking forward to cutting the existing cement, but again, my contractor friend knows what to do about this and about how much it ought to cost, so... I guess that's that. A mud oven looks better and better each time I commit to doing things 'right'...

Breven 11-10-2008 02:26 PM

Re: n00b question about self-leveling cement

If you need to cut out some concrete...don't worry. It's not as tough as you would think. A $12 masonry blade from Home Depot, a skill saw and a hose will do the trick. I cut out a pretty big piece of existing concrete- in order to have a solid 6" thick reinforced slab (with footings) for my oven. Not sure it was totally necessary- but given the excessive wieght- better safe than sorry. Any movement at all could cause cracks in your dome. I just beat the concrete into peices and threw them in the regular trash a few at a time. A couple of months later- the cement was gone. With all the time and effort it takes to put together a nice sense in cutting any corners.

RTflorida 11-10-2008 03:04 PM

Re: n00b question about self-leveling cement
A 2" slab just won't cut it, there most certainly isn't any rebar and probably no wire mesh...your looking for trouble down the road. That said, I calculated the weight for my entire oven - at least 4800 lbs, which includes 5 1/2" foundation slab, stand, support/insulating slab, dome, and finish materials.....thats a lot of freaking weight contained within a 5 1/2' x 6' area.

Go to the extra trouble now and avoid a disaster down the opinion


RTflorida 11-10-2008 03:13 PM

Re: n00b question about self-leveling cement
Breven, I love your disposal technique. I have hidden virtually every type of building material in the "contractor size", 3 mil thick trash bags.....the dump is 45 minutes away and charges a minimum of $25 (that was 4 or 5 yrs ago) for a pickup bed of debris (the price goes up based on weight or material type). My trash collector uses the same dump and as of my last visit, they still didn't do any separation of materials (other than metals).....I'll be damned if I am going to spend an extra $25+ and waste 1/2 a day going to the dump every time I clean out the garage when my trash collector comes twice a week.


Breven 11-10-2008 03:21 PM

Re: n00b question about self-leveling cement
Man...we park our cars in the same garage. No way I'm wasting time with a trip to the dump. Everything, I mean everything, will fit in the regular old trash can. Might have to cut a few things up now and again...but who doesn't like a littel demolition?

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