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Lars 06-10-2009 07:18 PM

Smoothing the chiseled stone.
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My son took a couple pictures today of me smoothing a cut face on the concrete blocks of the stand.

Cutting and fitting are very important to most people making ovens, and I found that cutting firebricks with a chisel yields a fairly smooth surface.

To get the brick to fit more as planned, one needs to take off the high spots.

I used a couple techniques that were pretty 'caveman' ( as my children say) but got the job done with no electricity on site. Either rub the cut edge against the block of the base, or if there is alot to remove, just use a 16 penny nail as a 'point' chisel, and remove material that way first.

Cutting at an angle ( even a compound angle) is not that difficult. Smoothing out the cut sides, goes pretty fast just rubbing against the blocks...The difficult part is transferring the dimensions from the oven to the stone.

Anyway, this may not be a full fledged 'Technique', but I think it is a handy complement to the notion of making the entire oven with no power tools.


dougrappe 06-11-2009 08:02 PM

Re: Smoothing the chiseled stone.
hey Lars, that's a nice looking oven! I am impressed by the power-tool-free build. Glad you are sharing your techniques. Looks like the kids are having fun too.


Lars 06-11-2009 08:28 PM

Re: Smoothing the chiseled stone.
I have to say, I have been watching your build as well. I like your base, too!

It can be confusing with so many nice looking ovens on this forum, but yours always stands out and looks particularly pristine.

I am thinking of stone facing my stand, and then putting a brick arch across the opening. After seeing yours, I think I might just plan on that.

I am using bricks mostly to protect the firebrick, house the corners of the dome insulation, give the stucco dome a nice base to attach into, and then also to buttress my front most arch ( which, you have made circular and thereby reduced the lateral forces to a non-issue)

This forum is so great because you don't feel so alone knowing that people all over the world are experiencing a similar level of joy and frustration while building this, in a way, arcane and antiquated structure.

Frankly, though, I am surprised that chisel powered building is not more predominant, and for the same reason very grateful that I can, hopefully contribute something meaningful to the discussion. ( lowly peasant that I am)


ThisOldGarageNJ 06-12-2009 03:23 AM

Re: Smoothing the chiseled stone.
i started cutting a lot of my firebrick with a chop saw with a masonry blade, soaking the bricks in water to keep the dust down, but still the noise and dust were unaceptable. I went to the garage, got a brick chisel, hand filed a good edge on it and cut the rest of my bricks that way, faster easier and quieter, Most cut in one shot, I learned a lot building my oven and im hoping to talk a friend into building one so i can share what i know, But thats also whats good about this forum... good luck

Lars 06-12-2009 06:59 AM

Re: Smoothing the chiseled stone.
Hi Mark,
Your oven looks great, and so does the pizza.

You know, I never even thought about using the saw, but it is interesting that you tried both methods and abandoned the tile saw. I think it would be great to have those tapered bricks, but I cut my bricks at a taper and used cut side in the mortar joint.

How did you support all your chimney weight on that arch? was there ever an issue of lateral forces pushing your supports out?

Also, did you make you hearth bricks 4.5" thick?


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