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WoodchuckDad 04-25-2010 08:54 PM

Oasis Rising
It is time to start my build thread. I asked a lot of question in Introductions and In Pompei oven build forums but my build is truly on it's way and I want to make sure I keep track of it.....not just to brag and share my happiness but to also share what I learn with others so they can take it and move forward with their oven dreams.
about 5-6 years ago I started looking at the idea of a big combination smoker/outdoor fireplace. I started gathering bricks (craigslist) and making sketches of what I wanted. In my internet travels I came across a few websites that featured Italian Pizza ovens....( I don't remember if this was one of the ones I first found). I had made a plan to break ground in the middle of summer but had to put those plans on hold. Job changes and a serious family illness took precident. My stack of bricks (about 700) sat in the side yard gather moss for several years.....and this year...I decided that I was doing it, so one weekend, one month ago (March 28), I grabbed a shovel, went outside and started digging. We had 3 enormous hedges that I dug up and replanted to the front yard. Then I tore up the apple tree that sat in this area taunting me for the last 8 years (the squirrels have always beat me to the apples). I dug up the peonies and planted them on the other side of the pool.

Next I put up a temporary fence and tore down the old fence next to the pool.
and I started staking out the area for the oven and the fireplace.
I couldn't believe that took up most of a weekend. A few days later my wife asked me to finish a project inside the house ( we redid our kitchen and I was supposed to trim out the bakers window to match the new cabinets.....So the next weekend was devoted to that window. I ripped out the pine casing and window sill and put a proper Sapelle window sill and casing all around. I also trimmed it out properly....she was thrilled and now is 100% on board with the Forno project.

WoodchuckDad 04-25-2010 09:06 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
I think it only fair to mention that I am a world class procrastinator. We redid our kitchen about 4 years ago....and there hasn't been any trim on it all that time. My wife is extraordinarily patient with me. Week 3 was a lot of work with not much to show for it. At one time, our pool had a light inside of the pool. The line for power and the GFCI were run to a small stand just off the concrete then the light was delivered via fiber optic cable(Smart). I spent the better part of a day digging and trying to trace out the line and find out which fuse box it was wired to because if it was still a viable power source I could have it reconnected, save some cash, and have lights in the outdoor kitchen area. Eventually I gave up.....whatever there was before is long gone and long destroyed. So I jumped back in to the job at hand.....and hit another snag.
Planning. The wife, wants to know what is going where.....and quite honestly I had a concept in my head but no real we killed the rest of that day smashing stakes in the ground, putting string on the stakes, moving boxes around to simulate the fireplace and oven and deciding where to put things. Finally I had complete approval from the wife. Next day, I dug the holes for he Pergola posts, picked them up at the hardware store and put them in.

I dropped 15 80lb bags of concrete down those holes And just to toot my own horn, I also changed the radiator in her Jeep.
the holes averaged 50 inches depth.

WoodchuckDad 04-25-2010 09:12 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
Eventually This will be the extention of the pool will be the site for fine dining and happiness.....but now it looks like a modern art masterpiece.

Just to give the best perspective I can..... a view from the treehouse. My wife must be thrilled to see me doing something that will get rid of these ramshackle fence sections I threw up one day a few years ago to cover up all my sloppy firewood stacks and broken down yard equipment.( I have actually started to throw away some of the old busted stuff that will never get fixed.)

WoodchuckDad 04-25-2010 09:20 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
I loaded those beasts (6x6x16) onto the truck by myself, unloaded them, dug the holes, and put them up and set them myself. My wife and youngest son were busy removing the sod from the area of the oven.
The next weekend my boys helped me dig out the forms and my youngest helped me make the wooden forms for both slabs.

Tscarborough 04-25-2010 09:20 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
90 percent of a job is getting started, the final 10 percent is finishing it.

WoodchuckDad 04-25-2010 09:28 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
At first I bought a cement mixer at one of the big box stores and started bringing home bags of cement.....but then I calculated how much cement I would need for the two slabs. over 90 80lb bags......almost 2 yards. So I contacted a couple local concrete places and found out I could have both slabs poured for about 40 bucks more than the cost of the concrete if I did it all my self. SOLD. I took the mixer back and had the slabs poured Friday......And they even cut the rebar and made the grid/mat for me, then poured it, etc.....all while I was VPN'd in to work in the house. Much easier....and it just plain made sense.
I was much less tired after watching these guys that I would have been after lifting 90 bags of cement.
And the results were pretty darned impressive too. This is the slab for the Oven.

And this will be the fireplace. I'll be stopping at the big box store on the way from work the next couple nights, bringing home 20-30 blocks at a time.

WoodchuckDad 04-28-2010 04:44 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
Started the dry stacking today. I am going to have to do a little mortaring of the first course to get it to start out even. The downloadable book said 78x65. I came out with 78x63. It is for a 42 inch oven. Seeing it take shape is pretty cool

And my dog likes it too.

Raffy 04-28-2010 06:29 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
Great work, wcd. Keep it going. I'm a procrastinator myself but I noticed that I never stopped or at least slowed down til my oven was functional. When I started to cook that's when my focus was divided. I think you'll finish this project with no time at all or at least before summer ends. Besides, you have a lot forum members who will always check in to find out how the progress is going. That in itself is a good motivator. :)

dmun 04-28-2010 07:39 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
It looks great. I'm increasingly convinced that pouring concrete slabs is one of those jobs, like plasterboard work, that it makes no sense to do oneself.

Mitchamus 04-28-2010 09:21 PM

Re: Oasis Rising
subscribing - nice work so far.

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