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rjdealhome 05-02-2012 03:39 PM

Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
Finally, after lurking on this site for over a year, the build has begun out back next to the pool. Checked it out with the County: no problems with building codes or setbacks (as long as I stay under 200 square feet and 8 and 1/2 feet at the highest point)---and got the sign-off from the HOA (which may have cost me a number of pizzas in the future.) But we begin! Basically, I'm following the FB plans for a 42" Pompeii Oven---never done anything like this before, but hoping for good results. (Many thanks, above all, to everyone here who has provided endless inspiration and ideas: awesome website! Would never have undertaken this effort without all the input found here.)

Really got started the second week of April. The selected site falls aways from the pool deck, so we decided on a supporting wall to build up and retain a level area. This may have been overkill, but I dug out to 24" depth to prevent any frost heave, and laid down a compacted base of 1/2 ton of 21-A gravel before dry stacking 4 courses of 8x8x16 cinderblock. Dropped a 30" piece of rebar in each core and filled every core (16 80-lb bags of Sakrete), then backfilled the trench with 3/4 ton of #57 bluestone. My guess is that I may have overdone it a little, but this sucker is NOT going to move.

Dug out and compacted the sub-base, and laid down a 5" layer of compacted 21-A (another two tons). Form preparation, rebar, and wire mesh as per FB Pompeii Oven plans, and the pour is scheduled for tomorrow morning. It finally feels like I am actually making progress.

For those who may be interested, I'll try to put up some photos in a second posting, once I figure out how to do that.

Coloradoredusa 05-02-2012 03:53 PM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
Hi ,sounds like we got started at the same time. I just figured out how to post pics too. click on the paper clip .. (attachment) right next to the smiley face ..when u are posting or replying on a thread.. then another box will pop up to locate and upload the pic.. (I take pics on my camera phone , send it to myself then download it on the computer) then find it and upload it.. sounds harder than it really is.. Welcome.. and good luck..!

rjdealhome 05-02-2012 05:19 PM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
5 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the advice on the photo posting process. I'm giving it a try with this first batch of pictures covering the grunt work that took up the last three weeks.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends!

Coloradoredusa 05-02-2012 06:10 PM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
No prob.. looks like you worked hard!

rjdealhome 05-03-2012 08:40 PM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
Poured the foundation pad today. Whoever said concrete work was easy is a lying hack who deserves to be beaten severely. Fortunately, I had chosen to go with Handyman Concrete, a local small batch delivery operation, as opposed to dealing with mixing up a yard and a half myself. Cost was $350 compared to about $250 for the equivalent amount of Sakrete material, without considering the rental of a mixer. Even so, it was a chore to run 20 wheelbarrow loads from truck to site in the allotted one hour of time included in the price, with my cousin John shoveling the mix around the form as I dumped it. The day turned warm and sunny on us, and we really had to hurry to screed and float the pad before the mix set up too hard. It was a tough go with just two guys---one or two more would have been a great help, if only to allow for screeding as we were pouring/dumping/shoveling the mix around the form (For what it may be worth, that is my contribution in the advice column: more than two people to work cement.) We seem to have survived, however, and the pad now sits under plastic to wet cure for a few days.

Which brings up the question: how long to cure the foundation pad before proceeding? The FB Pompeii plans say "Allow the slab to cure for a day or two" but I'm being told by others , "One to two weeks, at least." Does anyone have some experience to share on this?

In the meantime, I'll entertain myself with purchasing and transporting the additional cinderblock I'll need, as well as the firebrick.


Faith In Virginia 05-04-2012 04:26 AM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
True a day or two on the concrete. It is still real green at that point and so don't put any major load on the pad. By the time it will take you to do the next processes like building your walls the required time to load the concrete will pass usually 10 to 14 days. then you can pour your upper base.

rjdealhome 05-04-2012 05:33 AM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.

Thanks for the feedback on the concrete; it coincides with what I'd been told. Since I have some time available, I had anticipated getting the block walls done in just a few days and then moving on to the upper pad, but I'll back down on that schedule a bit.


rjdealhome 05-04-2012 06:00 AM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.

Originally Posted by Coloradoredusa (Post 130895)
Hi ,sounds like we got started at the same time.


We may have started about the same time, but you are really making progress! You make me feel as if I'm crawling along here. I don't see myself getting to the dome build itself until the back half of May, and you're there already.

By the way, I like the idea of an ash drop. I recall seeing that done in only a few ovens: are there any particular pros and cons that you considered for that?


Coloradoredusa 05-05-2012 08:02 AM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
Hi RJ... I am no pro.. believe me.. I just studied all the pics when researching, and most had ash drops .. I just incorporated it into the build..On the quick part, I just want to be done around July, so we can have a Pizza Party in the summertime! I guess a deadline of sorts ,self imposed. I hope your build goes well and if I can help on anything ,maybe this novice will get it right! LOL.

Faith In Virginia 05-05-2012 09:55 AM

Re: Viennese Pizza...OK, so it's in Vienna, VA.
If I had a do-over on my oven I would incorporate an ash drop. When I rake my coals out the front on windy days I get burning embers flying about as it hits the front of the oven. I think an ash drop would reduce that and have embers going up the flue or back in the oven.

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