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Bacterium 04-20-2012 12:34 AM

Bacterium's 2nd build
Bacterium is back
not been on here for quite a while, so hi to those I remember and all those new. Gee it's great to see how much new information is now on here. Bear with me whilst I get my head around it.

I have a "problem" :rolleyes: I moved house and couldnt take my oven with

O well shall just have to build a new one :D
Wife wants new pizza oven before paving goes down......gotta be happy with that!!!!!!!
So thought I might as well start a building thread as it's always good to have others chip in their observations.

I've poured a 1.8m x 2m slab with an plan of aiming for an oven ID somewhere around the 1100mm or 42inch size.
Last build I discovered this forum part the way in so it didn't have the full pompeii flavor" this time I'm headed in that direction. I have bricks for the base to match my house and have oven bricks for the dome, also got brick saw and planning on an IT"....... Still considering insulation layers......more soon.

wotavidone 04-20-2012 03:20 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Hi Damon.
Its amazing how the wives get on board, isn't it? I'm still trying to fathom whether mine is really that interested in pizza, or just happy about someone else doing the cooking for a change.
Gee I wish I'd read your original thread before I started my oven.
Some very interesting observations there, for example the one about haveing only the fired face of the brick in contact with the flames, rather than cut (presumably softer) faces. Fortunately I have that, on my half finished dome, with the exception of the inner face of the arch. I'll just have to see how that goes I guess.
Can I ask what mix you used for mortar? Also, I am considering a chicken wire reinforced mortar layer over the bricks. What mix did you use for that, how thick did you make it and how did it fare? Any major cracking/spalling?

Bacterium 04-20-2012 05:48 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Hi mick,
I think they also see the fun we have and they you can entertain at a relatively low cost compared to the high quality of flavor your guests get........ But then again it all changes and we start to "fathom" again.....!!!! Lol

Yeah my first oven had some fairly basic approaches and it's biggest downfall was lack of under insulation.

A bricky told me about having the fired face out - in the 4yrs I had that oven it never spalled. By chance I did manage to get good solid reds as often you find batches that are quite soft and chalky. The way it was explained to me is the cut face will be slightly less softer as it hasn't had the highest baking temp compared to the outer skin, although it's still been fired to a min temp and should be stable.

I'm embarrassed on the mortar mix........ Basically it was GP Portland cement and brickie sand. The sand was from Maslins (south of Adelaide quarry) and had clay in it as you can imagine, pretty basic and standard ratio. This time around I'll try and shoot for the mix in here.......yet to find out where to get supplies of fireclay local, any ideas?

The layer directly over the bricks (before blanket), from memory it was barely anything, maybe and left over mortar mix smeared on - will have to find my old photos to check. From there I pretty much pulled the chicken wire on, then blanket, a small layer of perlite, more chicken wire and then 2 coats of render.......bit rough by FB standards today. Before I put any of the layers on I fired up the oven a few times and made pizza, went through a stack of wood as boy it lost a lot of head.......but it helped cured it I guess.
By now the word "rustic" comes to mind .
the only cracking was basically 1 hairline crack running all the way up one side, over the top and all the way down the other side. It used to open a bit when fired but didn't really release heat or anything. What I did to waterproof the mortar was I put on 2 coats of that membrane material they used between slab and tiles in the wet area of showers. I put paint over it but I wouldn't use it again as I had to touch up a few bubbles over time. Funny enough the oven was pretty neat and minimal cracking for materials used.

Overall the oven worked but there are so many better techniques now. On average it took 2.5 to 3 hours to heat up. you could cook pizza and bread in it same day. If you put the door on it overnight it would generally be 100degC the next day so no real retained heat due to the loss under the floor..".....ahhhh hey no regrets..... It meant you had to do everything same day. I became a bit envious of my mates better insulated oven which was pizza one day, roast or bread the next day and sweets (cakes or biscuits) the next.

I've been reading karangis build and I really like how he has built his entrance first and angle cut it".........still reading other builds and yours. Once I find more photos happy to pass on or maybe even post in my original thread.

Hoping to get and and measure up my slab to get an idea of my build.....stay tuned

BOOMERS WFO 04-20-2012 06:20 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Hi Damon,
Littlehampton Brick sell fire clay in two size bags. The largest is 20kg for $110


wotavidone 04-20-2012 10:01 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Thanks for the swift reply. I'm greatly heartened by the use of ordinary portland cement and sand. I'm hopeful that, if that sort of mix stands up for 4 years, mine will stand up as long as I do. I'm 51, so it only has to last about 20 years.
Many of the old Italians up here in Port Pirie, home of the biggest population of Molfettese dialect speakers outside of Molfetta, say that the mortar only needs to be ordinary brickies mortar with half the Portland cement replaced by lime. (Molfetta is a port on the Adriatic sea, about 240km/150 miles straight across the "leg" from Naples.)
So I am using a sort of modified FB homebrew mix.
I got clay from the local wetlands, used a paint stirrer in a drill to mix it to milk consistency with water, decanted it leaving the little bit of sand and gravel behind, and poured it through a seive to take out sticks, roots, dead bugs etc. Then I drained it through an old bedsheet.
The result was a very clean clayish looking material, which my consultant geologist reckons is probably a "silty clay". It doesn't assay very high alumina, but when you think about it, does it matter? Even if it was say 50% alumina, it would still only improve the alumina content of your mortar by 1/12, say 8%.
My sand is leftovers from a housebuilding job. I had to buy the Portland cement and the lime :)
My "bricks" are actually a variety of pavers. I accumulated them, for a total cost of $35, before I got educated by this forum. Having them all in my hands, and being somewhat tight with money I decided to use them anyway.
My problem was that I would have spent so much money buying real firebricks and fire clay that I might as well have bought a ready-made oven. So I decided to proceed on the DIY route, provided it worked out very cheap.
I'm nowhere near $400 yet, and I reckon I'll just about complete the oven for that sort of money. A 600mm Bunnings oven costs $1000, and it doesn't look very good to me, so I'm pushing on.
I did test all the bricks I used though - put some in a fire to see what happened if I burned them and let them cool. They got a bit black, but that was it.
So then I got some and put them over a butane stove, got a measured 480 C on the face against the flames and about 280 on the other side. I actually used the ones I burnt in the fire, and got them hot enough to burn the carbon off. Again they didn't break nor spall. So I decided to chance it.
Of course it might all just fall down and embarrass the crap out of me.
I reckon a bigger reason to insulate than heat up times is that the brickwork will cool slower, and I reckon that'd be a good thing.
Good luck with your new build.

cobblerdave 04-20-2012 10:13 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Gudday Damon
Welcome back... must find you original build and check it out...were are you now? WA?

Regards Dave

nissanneill 04-21-2012 06:02 AM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Yeh, Hi Damon,
good to have you back on board again.
I still have I think 2 bags of fireclay left over from my build if you need some. Thermal Ceramics I believe, still sell it but no idea of cost. They were close to your Welland location but still at Beverley. Where have you built/moved to?



Bacterium 04-22-2012 05:41 AM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Mick - I like your drive to do it on a budget, my first build was the same. Was in the middle of others stuff (youngest was still a baby) so money for a pizza oven didnt seem highest on the financial administrators mind.

Hi Dave and Neill...........yeah basically I'm still in the north east burbs of Adelaide, have moved Further out, to the outskirts to get a bigger block, so yes built new and moved in just before Christmas. Got just enough space for a pizza oven, veggie patch, shed/garage, pool for the kids........and a decent pantry which houses my mixer, cheese making gear, pasta machine......ahhhhh. Nothing huge but plenty of gums and the kookaburras have a good laugh in the late Arvos.

Neill, thanks for the offer....... Plan is to build the stand out of house bricks (the builder left for me) so while I'm doing that over the next month (still got all the other new house stuff to do outside) will get on here and thrash out my plan and let the forum give it the litmus test to keep me on track.

I picked up a brand new BT brick saw which been I've been cutting it's teeth on retaining wall blocks and pavers so far. My aim is to spend more time on the cool are the threads on the IT?......gotta have one of them.......I had to do my last dome with a sand cap half way up in one day then pull it all out and climb in and clean up.

For the dome bricks this time, my bro got some fire bricks from and old house fireplace. He used them in his oven build and they have good retention. He's got 300 for me so will go over them far the plan is coming together.

Craig, might have to pop into Littlehampton for a look, my bro reckons they are worth a look around too.

All good.....great forum..... I recommend it to whoever gets serious about a pizza oven.........if they can't handle trying to digest a quarter of info on here they should probably try a bit of knitting instead....!!!!!!.........gee I miss the fresh bread from my oven, supermarket copies sometimes seem less interesting than the bag hey!!!!

cobblerdave 04-23-2012 01:50 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build
Gudday Damon
Coupla things you might investigate
Soldier course.... many builds now tend not to use a soldier course... a ring of full upright bricks set outside the ring of hearth bricks. They use instead a sailor course.... a half brick set directly on the hearth bricks.
Check out Karangi Dudes build and how he gets the bricks of the dome to marry into the entrance brickwork... in fact the whole build is a great read.

Regards Dave

Johnny the oven man 04-23-2012 04:19 PM

Re: Bacterium's 2nd build

Originally Posted by BOOMERS WFO (Post 130293)
Hi Damon,
Littlehampton Brick sell fire clay in two size bags. The largest is 20kg for $110


We have 25kg bags for $25, so look aound and do some shopping

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