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cowiepeters 11-02-2009 10:19 PM

An Australian Oven, Pizza in 9 working days thanks to the forum
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Thanks to all of the enthusiastic advice on this forum (and the plans!!!) I finally bit the bullet and built an oven recently.

It's at a holiday house on the North Coast of NSW about 7 hours drive from Sydney, a bit more than half way to Brisbane. It's isolation in a unique coastal village brought it's own problems... Solar 12V power only and an hour to the nearest town (Grafton) for supplies. So...think and supply everything well ahead, no ducking down to the local store for something forgotten, no fancy brick cutting and concrete mixed by hand.

I drew up a spreadsheet that calculated the amount of concrete for the various stages and gave a cost estimate. It might be useful to someone for estimating as you can vary most of the inputs like slab size, depth etc. I wasn't able to upload it so if someone wants a copy they could let me know.

I cut formwork for the two arches in advance and made a circular template 900mm in diameter for the base of the oven. It's circle was cut from 9 x 300mm squares of melamine faced particle board and the centre piece was drilled to attach a brick locating tool (Great design tips on the site). Also done in advance was the formwork for the slab and hearth. It was much easier to do it at home with power tools than up there with a handsaw!

All of the bricks were cut by hand with a hammer and bolster and the concrete was mixed in a wheelbarrow with the generous assistance of my 15 year old son. Brick laying is not in my repertoire so don't let a lack of building skills put you off building yours.

It went together remarkably well and the following timetable gives you an idea of the time involved:

Thursday: Form up the slab and pour it... 3 hours.
Friday: Lay the blocks and fill the cores... 3 hours.
Saturday: Form up the hearth slab with insulating recess and pour it...5 hours.
Sunday: Pour the concrete perlite insulating layer...1 hour
Monday: Waiting for the bricks to arrive
Tuesday: Ditto so poured an apron to stand on using the excess concrete (10 bags)... 2 hours
Wednesday: Still waiting so finished the apron with a layer of small local beach stones with the year highlighted
Thursday: Bricks arrive 3pm!!! Lay the first 2 courses and the arch pedestals... 4 hours
Friday: lay the next 3 courses and the arch for the chimney...4 hours
Saturday: Lay another 2 courses...3 hours
Sunday: Lay the final course and the keystone... 4 hours
Monday: Tidied up and lit the fire...Pizza for Dinner
Tuesday: Bagged the blocks and hearth slab with a mortar slurry. Roast Lamb and Potatoes
Wednesday: Total Fire Ban!

The oven has yet to be insulated and have a chimney installed... A terracotta chimney is planned.

Once again thanks for the advice on this forum, especially the photos and the brick locating tool.

Without your help I wouldn't have considered starting!

I have attached some photos that trace the progress, the others will follow in subsequent messages

Peter Cowie

cowiepeters 11-04-2009 11:57 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
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Here are some more photos of the progress

Peter Cowie

cowiepeters 11-12-2009 03:26 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
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More photos of progress

cowiepeters 11-12-2009 03:28 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
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And some more

cowiepeters 11-12-2009 03:30 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
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And another five

cowiepeters 11-12-2009 03:31 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
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And the final two!

cannyfradock 11-12-2009 03:37 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
Brilliant photo diary. Am following with great interest.

Terry (C.F)

KINGRIUS 11-12-2009 05:49 PM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
Wow. Looking awesome. My next oven build will be as clean as yours!


Mitchamus 11-12-2009 07:34 PM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
great job!

nissanneill 11-13-2009 01:25 AM

Re: Yet another Australian oven
Good one Peter and welcome aboard.
You have obviously searched through the forum, made your decisions and really got stuck right into it.
It can be done as you have shown in a relatively short time and well done.
Get it insulated, rendered and enjoy.


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