#11  
Old 03-13-2011, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Leaning toward a clay/cob/earthen oven

So... I clearly have more contemplation on this to do then...

Shame on me for jumping to conclusions without enough thought...
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2011, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Leaning toward a clay/cob/earthen oven

Quote:
You mean digging up a few shovelfuls? I'm not going to be renting a backhoe or digging for gold or anything. I'm just going to be digging up some clay.
A few shovelfuls? A 36" pompeii weighs about 1500 pounds, and that's dry. Water's heavy, and will nearly double that weight. Now I've read here that mushing the straw into the clay with your feet is a lot of fun for the whole family, but I guess it depends on what you consider fun
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Leaning toward a clay/cob/earthen oven

Hi Ronzorelli,

My first oven was a kit bundle (parts, mortar, firebricks, chimney, insulation) from a company in Ohio that was available through a dealer here in Arizona. I thought it would be easier than building a Pompeii style oven with half fire bricks and mortar. My second oven IS a 36" Pompeii style oven and now that I am nearly finished with it I can tell you with some expertise that it is only marginally more difficult to build.

Much of the effort building an oven is with the non-oven parts such as the base and stand. Both of my ovens have similar sized bases and stands. The mixing and handling of cement, mortar, re-bar, brick and block is about the same whichever way you go. The only easy part was that the kit oven had only eight parts, but they still had to be mortared in place then covered with refractory insulation then Portland/perlite insulation to form a dome. I made an enclosure for it and tiled the entrance. Lots of work.

Now that I've been working on the Pompeii I can say it is slightly more difficult but much more satisfying. Each row of bricks is a goal to accomplish. I consider the first oven a training exercise that gave me skills, experience and confidence. Would I ever consider a kit bundle oven again in the future? Sure I would. When you are done with either type you know you have expended serious amounts of time and labor. Do some research on kit ovens in your area and shop around. Also, download the free Pompeii oven plans and look them over to get an idea of the steps involved in building an oven. These ideas may give you some options to a cob oven. Best of luck.

Cheers,
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Leaning toward a clay/cob/earthen oven

Thanks for your kind and informative reply, Bob.

I've got a lot to think about... not something I want to rush into and blow it... and waste my time and money.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Leaning toward a clay/cob/earthen oven

If you start with a strong, stable foundation, you can pause to think about what you want to put on top of it.

I was afraid to work with brick too so I went with a cob route. I had to buy clay and good sand to mix with it. I should probably check receipts for you, but I think it was about $150 for all that. But that would easily be 100 firebricks and maybe the appropriate mortar too. There's a chance the prices would equalize, though likely brick would only be marginally more expensive even factoring in some beater brick cutting saw.

It was probably a lot easier to do though, but I wouldn't say brick is impossible. After I got comfortable making something out of cinder blocks, I got a lot less scared doing masonry stuff. Actually now I would prefer doing masonry over doing, say, carpentry. I just find it more fun.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Leaning toward a clay/cob/earthen oven

Ron,
Just wondering how the planning or even the build is coming?

I am at the firing stage now on my backyard-sourced-basic-clay oven. I found clay in my yard while building the chook pen years ago, and always figured such beautiful clay should be a resource. Years later I saw clay ovens and decided to take the plunge.

I referred to
Simon Brookes's PDF eBook at The Clay Oven . It was very helpful and free.

If you are interested, I documented my build here: Clay Pizza Oven

...Gef
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