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patngayle 08-28-2008 10:26 AM

Hello from Oklahoma
Hi, I wanted to introduce myself since I have been reading and studying for the last few months getting ready to build an oven. We live on what's left of the family farm (about 100 acres) in a suburban community south of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I started about a month ago and am somewhere about half done. I just wanted to thank the folks for showing photo's and answering questions from the new people since I have been able to listen in and learn a lot.

I'm doing a bastardized (can I say that?) oven based on the pompeii, but I built a round base and filled it with sand before doing the structural and insulating base. Since we have a large family I built a little larger than some others- the inside diameter of the oven is 44". I'm not sure I can figure out how to link some of the photo's. But if I'm successful and any of the members see something really out of whack, I'd appreciate any input before I make any terrible mistakes.

This might get to the photos-]Picasa Web Albums -

I probably won't post a lot, but I sure appreciate all the information,

Thanks Pat & Gayle

Breven 08-28-2008 10:55 AM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma

Welcome to the forum...and thanks for sharing the pics. Very interesting design..I dig the all natural stone that you plan to cover it all with- very cool. Looks like you're almost done!
By the way, I used to work for PennWell in Tulsa, on Sheridan. Been through Jenks a couple of times too...
Keep posting! I'm sure we'll all like to see how this turns out.

dbhansen 08-28-2008 11:06 AM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
Welcome! Looking good so far. Here's a linkified link to your photos.

I thought using an old wagon wheel as a concrete form was a rather unique idea, until I took a closer look.... :p

christo 08-28-2008 03:02 PM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
Very good progress!

I like the base design, it's going to look really nice with the stone facing. Are you covering the base with rock found on the property?


patngayle 08-28-2008 09:14 PM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
Yes the rock is exposed sandstone that the creek has washed out over time. I just went to the creek with the tractor and brought back a couple of scoops with the front end loader. I had origionally planned on facing the base with stone and the oven itself with stucco. I guess I will wait and see how it looks with the stone base.

We are lucky to have the natural materials on the property so I thought why not use it when I would have to pay $300+ a ton to buy stone shipped in from another place.

I'm in a bit of a pickle with the oven opening/door. I didn't think ahead enough and I'm not sure I have enough room on the slab to support an opening for the doorway/chimney assembly. I guess I will have to improvise something. I'll show in later photos what I end up doing.

Anyone else use buttress' in their ovens? Maybe a bit of overkill methinks.

I did add another more recent photo or two of the base more finished in the link.

jengineer 08-29-2008 03:16 PM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
I'm in a bit of a pickle with the oven opening/door. I didn't think ahead enough and I'm not sure I have enough room on the slab to support an opening for the doorway/chimney assembly. I guess I will have to improvise something.

Pat - you have enough room that you can build up to the front area and create a landing to match. I bet you can pour a foundation in front of the oven to support an extension for a landing. Just what your back wanted to hear - another foundation. An option would be to use a fence post support structure to float a landing up to the front of the opening.

The only change that the forum would have suggested is to use more insulation in the base rather than less. You are correct that the sand will soak up the heat but that means more wood for the fire to get the floor up to temperature and to keep it there. If you are looking at bread baking that may be ok however the rule is insulate insulate insulate. If you have not built up more courses on the dome you are at a point where your could pull up your floor drop in a couple inches of insulating board and relay the floor. It would mess with your entrance way...


patngayle 08-30-2008 09:23 AM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
Thanks for the input. I will probably do some sort of small slab in the front of the base to build it up. I may very will add some t-posts as a support they would fit into the process and never be seen since I'm covering the base with random rock. Thanks for the idea.

On the issue of the insulation depth, I guess I miscalculated the value of using the base as a heat reserve. Since we have about forty acres of hardwood trees on the property I don't think wood will be a problem, just the pain of having to burn a fire for longer prior to cooking. Since its primary purpose was for bread, with pizza as a great perk, I guess I probably won't tear up the floor since I'm not sure I could ever patch in along the edges after putting in more insulation, so I guess I'm stuck with having to fire it for longer on the front end of the cooking process.

But thanks for the input. I guess my thinking was off in attempting to use the base as a heat source as well as the bricks.

If anyone else sees any other problems please let me know since I have been working on the rock facing on the base ever since I realized I was going to have problems with the opening. I have not laid anymore firebrick till I figure out what to do with the opening. Thanks

patngayle 08-30-2008 09:24 AM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
P.S. I am really going to add lots of insulation on top.

jengineer 09-03-2008 08:34 AM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
The problem with the lack of insulation is that you may also be heating up the base and facing stone. Your stone fins will act like fins on a heat sink for transformers and the sinks for pc CPU's. They will pull heat away from the oven. We highly advocate oven isolation through insulation. Both the oven dome and the base below your floor mass are insulated. Now to figure out how to reduce the amount of heat loss.

You might want to think about leaving the last 2 courses of cinder block as it is until you have fired the oven a few times. Depending on how much heat transfer you get you may need to engineer a band of insulation.

here is your linkage picasa album - thanks for sharing
Picasa Web Albums - Pat - outdoor oven

On a lighter side did you do the shirt yourself. If so I am impressed very nice tying and dying!

I am slated to be on a business trip in Oak City October 6-16th. Stuck in the state for the weekend no they won't send me home for the holiday. looks like a road trip may be in order.


patngayle 09-04-2008 06:37 AM

Re: Hello from Oklahoma
We did make tie dyes over 4th of July, but this one was purchased on ebay. It is way way too detailed for us to accomplish.

Sounds like I really do need to tear up floor and add more. The heat sink metaphor really hit home. I don't want to, but. . .

The reason I only did the insulation two inches was that the oven floor ended up being higher than I wanted. What if I remove hearth bricks and replace with another inch and a half of insulation and then do floor in splits? Would the splits retain enough heat or do I need to stay with the full size brick in the hearth?

I guess I can just build up the surface in front of the oven with another couple of inches of fill so I can work in the oven comfortably. Anyhow let me know what you think about the possibility of using the splits.

Its to late for the suggestion regarding the rock. I got busy over the holiday weekend and its finished up to the concrete support floor, or thereabouts. So I'm going to have to address the floor insulation issue from the top. I did stop at the fouth level of half bricks on the actual oven so I can still remove floor to add insulation.

J if you are stuck in OKC over a weekend and want to take a road trip. Tulsa is about and hour and forty five minutes up the turnpike. You would be more than welcome to visit the farm :)

Thanks for the input. I don't want to do all this work and then have an oven that won't cook well.

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