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madmax224 07-28-2009 08:29 PM

Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
3 Attachment(s)
We got our introduction to wood ovens from the one in the house we bought. The previous owner included a Mugnaini oven in the remodel they did to our home in Omaha Nebraska. It is cast rather than brick. I have seen them in backyards before but never inside. After several years of experimenting and learning we decided to build one at our cabin near Castana Iowa. We spent the winter studying the plans and posts on this site deciding what would work best for our build. Through discussions at the office we heard of someone else in Omaha who was in the process of building an oven and contacted him to get more info. Lars has many posts here and was a good resource. We decided to use 4x6 posts for support and 2x6's joists to support the 1st 4" concrete pad with rebar reinforcement. Next a layer of vermiculite concrete to rest the firebrick floor on. We used fireclay to level the bricks which may not have been necessary but if nothing else gave them a consistent base.

milliondollerbaby 07-29-2009 09:45 AM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
Looking nice. Your backyard looks perfect for outdoor brick oven cooking.

madmax224 07-29-2009 06:30 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
5 Attachment(s)
Now out of the familiar into the unknown. None of us had any experience with brick arches and domes. The winter months of visualizing and reading everything we could find in the posts here have made all the difference. I didn't expect the first weekend of brick work to go as well as it did but thanks to all the great ideas in the posts here I think it turned out much better than expected. I started with the inside arch while my Father and Brother started the soldier course. I cut the inside arch bricks 1/2 inch longer to create the reveal then moved onto the outside arch. There are so many options here but opted to start with a full brick then switch to 1/2 bricks to create the oven opening.

madmax224 07-29-2009 06:37 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
5 Attachment(s)
In the mean time we connected a long clamp hinged at a small caster with the wheel removed to hold the bricks at the proper angle and distance for the dome which worked perfectly. Rather than cutting every brick to minimize the mortar joint that will never be seen again we decided to trim them to remove any gaps on the inside of the dome which didn't turn out to be as much work as it sounded like with the HF saw that was suggested here (which by the way is indispensible). After 12 hours of work we got the entry and 3 courses done. Before we headed for home Sunday we got one more course done. Next weekend we're taking up some more bricks and gonna see how many more courses we can get done with the three of us focusing on the dome.

Mitchamus 07-29-2009 06:44 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
looks great!
nice use of an old castor wheel as well!

Dino_Pizza 07-29-2009 11:15 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
Madmax: your dome work is great. Good idea to just trim the bricks just what you need on the inside to make the joints smaller. Also, your arch looks fantastic! I'm a real fan of the "just over 3" brick high" vent walls and the arch starting from that point. Nice arch curve, good tapers and mortar joints and I think you've got a really strong arch area going on.

Keep up the good work and picture posting. -Dino

madmax224 08-03-2009 06:03 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
2 Attachment(s)
I hadn't planned on working another 12 hour day but it's hard to stop. Couldn't have asked for a better day. Aside from the mosquitoes we had a perfect weekend and got a lot done.

madmax224 08-03-2009 06:28 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
5 Attachment(s)
We planned on just getting as much of the dome done as possible but then noticed that the courses would intersect the vent transition soon so I got to work on it instead. Took more time than expected but it turned out pretty good.

madmax224 08-03-2009 06:39 PM

Re: Castana Iowa Ridge Oven
2 Attachment(s)
With the vent transition ready for the base plate I helped finish the 5th course. For the 6th course we decided to start cutting the bricks into thirds to minimize gaps. We won't be able to work on it for a couple weeks but next time should be getting really close to closing it in at least.

madmax224 08-04-2009 07:46 AM

Question on mounting the base plate
I've been pretty certain on how I wanted to do everything up to now but I would like some opinions or comments regarding the base plate for the chimney. Our plan is to drill holes into the bricks at the top of vent transition and mortar bolts into it to hold the baseplate. We don't plan on tightening it down just give it some lateral support. Once the bolts are in and the mortar dries put down a thin layer of mortar, place the base plate into the mortar and over the bolts, then mortar over the flange plate and bolt it down lightly. I've seen others use notched bricks mortared over the flange and also using pieces of insulating blanket in between the base plate and bricks to give some cusion for expansion or movement but haven't found any info on how well they work afterwards.

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