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mickfitz 08-10-2008 03:16 AM

Hello ... from England

I've decided to make an 'oven' part of my overhaul of the garden. I'm a bit nerdy and like to research before I do things like this. I'm also a bit tight-fisted (UK speak for not spending money ;) ) so I'll be trying my best to do it as cheap as possible.

Looks like a great forum to learn


dmun 08-10-2008 03:56 AM

Re: Hello ... from England
Hello, Mick, Being tight fisted in the UK means looking for used materials, particularly firebricks which are way overpriced over there. Welcome!

mickfitz 08-10-2008 04:56 AM

Re: Hello ... from England
Thanks for the welcome. Yep ... fire bricks are crazy money so I think I'll be going for hard engineering bricks.


Carl 08-10-2008 06:26 AM

Re: Hello ... from England

Welcome to the forum! I was pretty hard up when I built my oven, so had to cut costs wherever I could. Total net cost was around 200 - you can see my posts on this forum for details, or have a look at my blog. Cheapest UK supply of firebricks (if you can't find them second hand) was YRPL. Use the search tool on the forum to find lots of useful advice from the other UK builders who can provide you with lots of advice on the best suppliers.


mickfitz 08-10-2008 02:34 PM

Re: Hello ... from England

Just followed your build ... in a word 'SUPERB' mate and very close to how I picture mine. The hut/shed/summer house is essential for us UK guys eh? :)

Where abouts do you live? I'd guess from the flint around Wiltshire?

How has the clay interior stood up mate?

How deep was the slab you built for the foundation?

As you can guess I will have a load of questions for you :-)


Carl 08-10-2008 03:20 PM

Re: Hello ... from England

Cheers - I'm really pleased with it, but I'm not getting to use it enough cos I'm still working on redecorating the house (another big project...). The more I use it, the more I want to use it!

Your geography's spot on - Salisbury. More flint than soil round here... I'd definitely do the shed again - haven't exactly had much of a summer have we...

Clay interior's doing fine so far after a dozen firings or so, no spalling or anything worrying yet. The mix I used should be pretty similar to firebrick. It's pretty hard now, but not really fired solid as it would in a kiln. I keep thinking of rigging up an air blower and taking the thing up to 1000 degrees... Couple of small cracks - hairline sort - but nothing I can't live with. I can't see anything this size that's heated to 500 degrees plus not cracking somewhere, unless it's in many small pieces. I can really see the wisdom in some of the unmortared dome designs that allow movement - but that's cleverer than my level of skill right now... :)

I wanted a brick oven, but didn't have the money or time to build the dome from firebrick. The bricks were pricey, but the added cost of the refractory mortar made the decision for me in the end. I will build one one day, but wanted to start with a cheaper option to see how much I liked it. I like it a lot, as it turns out :D

Slab was 6" deep, over about another 6" of rubble - mind you this was pretty much on the underlying chalk since we only have about a foot of topsoil round here. No movement yet, fingers crossed.

There's a lot of builders far more skilled than me on this forum, but any questions I can help with, just ask away.


mickfitz 08-10-2008 04:09 PM

Re: Hello ... from England
Hello Carl

I lived near Salisbury for several years so I got used to seeing the flint buildings etc ;)

I quite like the way you built the dome and if it's doing the biz then I can see me using it. There is a load of kiln bricks on ebay at the moment for 600 that could be used to build the dome, but I'm hoping to come in well under 600 for the whole build!

I think I will build the hut/shed before I start on the oven. I live in Cheshire now and the rain is mental up here :)

Do you mind if I contact you direct to ask any questions?


Faz 08-11-2008 06:34 AM

Re: Hello ... from England
Hiya and welcome,

I am a fellow Brit, but unfortunately not yet had the chance to build my oven. I've got a lot of materials up the side of the house - concrete blocks for the stand, perlite for the insulation (both free from Freecycle), high density refractory brick/block from night storage heaters (a combination of EBay and Freecycle) now I just need some rebar and some time!

My wife thinks it will never happen but hopefully I can make a start this year.

Good luck.

Carl 08-11-2008 01:49 PM

Re: Hello ... from England
That's good advice from Faz - spend your time accumulating your building materials, then design to suit what you've got. Freecycle, ebay and simply talking to your friends and neighbours will often help find you what you need. I was donated 16 bags of cement and 2 tonnes of sand from a friend of a neighbour down the road who had over-ordered on a back garden project. He wouldn't accept a penny for them, so long as I carted them all away that day!

Don't be afraid of asking what might seem a daft question in public on the forum. I've found this is a friendly place - and there's lots of expertise that can help you. Often there's no 'right' answers...

Failing that, happy if you want to send me a private message to discuss if you prefer.

aureole 08-13-2008 03:37 PM

Re: Hello ... from England
In all likelihood, I'll have a bunch of leftover material after this build - I'll post up whatever leftover bits I've got.

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