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  #11  
Old 06-01-2014, 04:30 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Missouri
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri



A fair number now on the trailer, but there's still a bit more to load.



With the south side now loaded, it was time to dig out the foundation rock for the fallen chimney. No easy digging here, pry bar and pick lay to the side its time for the gentle touch of the backhoe...



This was part of the chimney foundation, but what is odd is how well these two stuck together during the digging and prying. Definitely underground well in excess of a hundred years, supporting literally tons of the weight of the monstrous chimney....and the joint refused to break loose.



These hand made bricks were dug up sporadically throughout the dig area. However, note that every one was seemingly used as backfill on the outside of the oven as though not perfect in some way, possibly tossed aside. No, unfortunately we didn't find any bisquits, scones, rolls or bread buried alongside them.... they'd probably have been stale anyway.....

More to come... its early in the project yet..
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2014, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

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Originally Posted by wotavidone View Post
Too right. I often ask myself what was the point of coming from good Prussian (Silesia - Polish since WW11) free settler stock, then letting most of the family smallgoods knowledge go to the grave with my Dad and my grand parents.
Uh...it's such a bummer to think of all the personal experience and information the older generation had and I never got the chance to learn of it. Maybe that's a part of why I read so much now..I don't know. Btw, thanks for posting that link on the uk forum...I just joined up.


Tractorman, I can see this becoming my favorite thread on the forum.
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2014, 08:38 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Missouri
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri



Entwined within the roots of some of the underbrush was some discarded horse shoes and other odd pieces of metal. I think there was one mule shoe, the tip off being longer and a bit narrower. Tossed against the outside of the oven and settling over the years, they were 12" to 16" below grade. At least one of them will be incorporated in the first rebuild in honor of the old family patriarch.

Question here is, do we install it on the side of the rebuild toe up or toe down... I'd always heard with the toe down, the open end in the up position with be ready to "catch" good luck thrown your way....

As a sidenote, the sinewy (sp?) roots of some of the surrounding underbrush infiltrated a lot of the subterranean joints and contributed immensely to the loss of mortar. However not all joints were penetrated.



Digging below what we thought to be the foundation layer exposed the aforementioned brick, shoes and metal. Clearly you can see at the back of the bucket the last course before the foundation. No settling of the oven, but a deep concentration of dirt washed down the gentle slope over the years makes it appear as though it had become sunken.



A little more now loaded, it is almost time to begin layering on top. No idea of the weight of the load, but the axles and springs are good for 7,000 lbs each and I'm running 24,000 lb plates on the old Dodge, so we are calling it good to go for more !!! Just needed to use a little creative stacking is all.

Don't worry, we manage to do a little logging in our spare time and we've had lots more weight than this behind the trucks. Safety in hauling is our #1 priority...notice the 4x4's lining the edges of the deck to minimize slippage of the stone off the sides in case of an accident.

We only have to go 3 1/2 miles though....and we are far from ready to head out !!! After completion of the loading, there is some prep work before the short trip home.



Nearing the end of digging, one of the last stones to come from underground is laying at the teeth of the bucket. We've decided a good and thorough power washing to remove dirt and debris will be in order prior to using them on the first oven rebuild project. The new mortar mix will stand a much better chance of adhering to the surface if clean.

Thanks for looking, and especially thank you for the comments !!! There is still at least one unusual surprise for us coming up.....
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2014, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

G'day
On the horse shoes its ends up from what I remember, so the luck can't run out
Regards dave
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2014, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

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G'day
On the horse shoes its ends up from what I remember, so the luck can't run out
Regards dave
That's the way we always said it had to be, can't have the luck falling out.
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2014, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

And your granddaddy didn't have a backhoe to lift those slabs with. Man, they busted their backs in the good ol' days.
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2014, 12:39 PM
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Question Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

G'day
Just a thought..... Could those bricks have been part of the hearth floor?
Rough cut limestone doesn't make for the smoothest surface. They would have been repurposed in the past and the broken discarded?
Regards dave
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2014, 04:36 AM
Peasant
 
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Location: Missouri
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

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Originally Posted by cobblerdave View Post
G'day
Just a thought..... Could those bricks have been part of the hearth floor?
They would have been repurposed in the past and the broken discarded?
Regards dave
We're not thinking so because of all the rabble accumulating inside the oven over the years had not one brick or part of brick.

...and thanks for clarifying the positioning of the horseshoe. One for sure will be incorporated in the rebuild.

wotavidone, we have marveled many times over how difficult this would've been 135 years ago, moving such a number of huge stone with only simple mechanical advantage.

I also have the remnants of his old limestone cistern cover, a good 4 feet square with a perfectly round hole cut in the center. Though it is broken in three pieces, and one (IIRC) is missing.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2014, 04:52 AM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri



By this point, there is starting to be some tonnage on the trailer for sure.



Literally on the last swipe of the bucket turning up the last of the buried stone and about 16" to 18" below the surface we found this just as it lays. We figure it was found while the old codger was plowing and tossed against the side of the oven just to get another "rock" out of the field.




According to an anthropological archaeologist dating my daughter at the time, he said this was a "hafted hand axe made of bassalt", and placed the age at between 1,000 and 4,000 years old. He determined the age by the half round oval completely encircling the axe head. The newer ones, less than 1,000 years old did not have the half round go all the way around.

What a surprise this was !!!
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2014, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: 1880's Limestone Oven Dismantling and Rebuild in Missouri

This is very interesting to watch. You never know what will turn up on the next shovel full.
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