Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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mfiore 02-29-2008 05:54 PM

Hello, all. I've been lurking in the dark for several weeks, absorbing a tremendous amount of information while developing ideas. This is an impressive forum. Hats off to everyone.

I live in middle of Michigan, where we are still 15 inches under snow (just 2 more today). When/if Spring arrives, I plan to start my own WFO.

I have no construction experience, so this should be interesting. I am motivated by the complete absence of a decent pizza within 50 miles!

There is so much info within these postings, that it can be a little over whelming. It is almost too much to sift through.

I look forward to many future discussions.

thebadger 02-29-2008 05:59 PM

Re: Hello

Welcome. I"m south of you in Cincinnati. I started my foundation last fall and hope to start/finishe the oven this spring.

Be sure to check/search the foundation sections given your location/soil conditions. A lot of guys are building in warmer climates and don't have to worry about the frost line.

You'll love this site - very supportative for our "obsession."


dusty 02-29-2008 08:30 PM

Re: Hello
Welcome Mfoire. Sounds like you found the right place. And don't worry about the lack of constuction experiece. Download the plans, and ask plenty of questions here. I have recieved great advice every time I have needed it. Now that my oven is done, I may even be able to give some for a change.


gjbingham 02-29-2008 09:35 PM

Re: Hello
Easy building. Just takes time and motivation. Nothing hard about it, except for the occasional picking up 80 LB bags of concrete, mixing it, and pouring it. One day at a time. Baby steps, little by little.....suddenly, you have an oven.


mfiore 03-01-2008 05:33 PM

Re: Hello
Thanks, everyone. This is clearly the best resource available on the subject. I've already learned a ton. I wish I had something like this when I built my wine cellar a few years ago! :)

Badger, thanks for the info about the foundation. I've read most of the threads, including your older ones. Do you have any photos of your foundation? This still seems to be an area of great controversy.

Any other considerations I need to make for a harsh climate WFO?

thebadger 03-01-2008 08:30 PM

Re: Hello
1 Attachment(s)

I am not expert my any means. I think the founation issue has to do a lot with your local soil conditions. Mine is clay which I think is the worst. Anyway, I went below my frost line and put in a footer. I then stacked my blocks on that (4 courses below ground and 4 courses above ground). I then poured every core with concrete which I know is overkill. I would check around for your area and see what the professionals recommend. My guess is you'll want to dig down past your frost line or account for it somehow.

Good luck.

The picture shows the blocks in place while were backfilling/drystacking.

gjbingham 03-01-2008 08:38 PM

Re: Hello
Wine cellar?? I'd love to see pics. Built into your existing house or dug into the ground?

mfiore 03-02-2008 05:42 PM

Re: Hello

Thanks for the photo. Did you pour a concrete floor for the wood storage area below? If so, is there an advantage of a blocked footing over a poured footing?

mfiore 03-02-2008 05:51 PM

Re: Hello

Originally Posted by gjbingham (Post 25445)
Wine cellar?? I'd love to see pics. Built into your existing house or dug into the ground?

George, nothing as cool as that. In this area of Michigan, almost all homes have a full basement. I built a wine cellar in a corner of the basement. It really just consisted of basic framing, super insulation, drywall, tile, wine racks. I'll send photos as soon as I can figure out how. :)

I see you grow grapes in WA. What varietals?

thebadger 03-02-2008 06:09 PM

Re: Hello

Funny you should ask. I just finished the interior wood storage floor today. I thought about pouring a concrete slab but since it was inside and would be filled with wood I just decided to level it off and installed 12x12 concrete paver stones. I'm planning on putting a door on the wood storage opening anyway.

I think the pavers only costed about 20 bucks.


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