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BackToMyRoots 11-01-2012 11:05 PM

Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Hi all! Ive been wanting to build an oven for about 5 years, maybe longer, but been putting it to the back burner at every turn because of other projects and generally life getting in the way. Anyway being from an Italian family the wood oven has always been a permanent fixture in the backyard since I have been born and with that came a monthly tradition of pizza and bread making that would last for the month. As I grew up as a kid i knew of square bread but never ate it and at school was looked upon wierdly as I bit into roughly cut thickly crusted bread filled with home made cappacollo, pancetta or prosciutto with provelone cheese, iceberg lettuce leaf(never cut into shape) and tomato wrapped up and put into the old plastic bag that was recycled from the thusday night shopping(remember back in the day when shops only opened late on thursdays, closed on public holidays and sundays) because the bread wouldn't fit in that little square lunch box that everyone else had! how have times changed as now the stuff i take for granted now people are willing to pay premium dollar for. Anyway now that I have my own family I've thought why should my boy miss out on the things that I grew up with as the wood oven was always a family event that brings everyone together.
Now in saying that I am looking at building a similar oven in my yard. The internal dimension will be 1100 to 1200mm built on a base of 2 by 2 meters made out of besser blocks with a couple of internal walls for added support of the floating slab that will be poured with mesh made out of rebar tied together that a good mate has donated to the cause as he had left overs from an extension he did a while ago. Now im trying to figure out which way to go with the materials for the dome and floor insulation. My Dad told me(before his rest) he used washed sand for subfloor insulation and the bricks from little hampton when the were located at the brickworks(floor and dome) then built walls around the dome and filled it with more washed sand and roofed it. 40+ years later that oven still stands with no cracks/problems(except when you try to burn wet prunnigs and someone rings the MFS to discover 2 trucks appear lights blazing and a fireman scales the fence to see me and my mum trying to control the smoke comming out of the oven!). Now i'm just wondering what would be the best way to go as now there are new materials etc. what would be best to use for sub floor insulation and what fire brick? as today i've been advised not to use the little hampton brick as it is not a fire brick and i'll waste too much wood etc, etc.. I guess this is the first stumbling block of many!

BOOMERS WFO 11-02-2012 05:12 PM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Great to have another Adelaidian WFO.

I am in the process of finishing my oven, doing the dome insulation a the moment. Have done five pizza firings and things just get better each time.

I used Littlehampton Fire bricks for the floor and dome. They often have seconds available which keeps the cost down.

Have a look through recent posts in the Australian Forum as there are a number of locals who have posted a variety of suppliers.

Good Luck



cobblerdave 11-03-2012 02:53 AM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
I read you post with interest....yes you have heaps of passion...thats great! you'll be an oven builder for sure.
Yes things have changed a bit since you father built his oven there are better products and materials.
Sand will not cut it these days better insulation product and methods are used. Firebricks are the prefered brick to build with...but the beggars are damn expensive. Go to a brick yard and pick one up you will know instantly why, they are heavy real heavy and when you consider this is your bank where you store your heat you'll wan't the best. Again expensive shits and if its the difference between building an oven or not I would use the pressed commons/pressed clay pavers.
Anyway go to the store on the forno site put a FREE copy of the plans in the shopping basket and they will send a pdf copy by email.
Have a good read you'll find it has more info than you can obsorb in one sitting. Hit the site again and check out more

Remember insulate insulate insulate

Regards Dave

EKIMYRF 11-08-2012 03:09 AM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..

I used old red pressed clay bricks from a house that was demolished and these seem the same as the Hallet bricks, mine have been in use for 3 years with no probs

Cheers Mike


EKIMYRF 11-08-2012 03:10 AM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Oops meant Littlehampton not Hallet

nissanneill 11-08-2012 10:40 PM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
EKIMYRF and BackToMyRoots,
welcome both new members.
It is always great to see Adelaidians coming in on board, keeping a record of all Aussie members and we seem to be leading the other states.
Check out my build as it is well documented with suppliers and photos.When I build the next oven, I will be using pressed red solid pavers, probably Littlehampton @ .80C each as they are fired at 1200˚C, well over double the temp that you will ever get your oven to. Poor man's mortar is the best and cheapest (in my opinion) as I have had no problems and never heard of anyone else experiencing problems.



cobblerdave 11-10-2012 12:46 AM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Gudday Neill
I'm in the process of building a mate an oven....and we plan to use pressed clay pavers. The hearth however pavers? a double layer of pavers....or firebrick? I have 17 firebricks or so left over from my build, add another say 20or so it should give a hearth for a 25 inch build.
Any input would be great, it seems the SA builders have the edge on these builds


BackToMyRoots 11-11-2012 10:48 PM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Well I thought I'd get busy and start the base as I am going over dads finished product I thought I would change things a bit for myself considering my skills are no where near his was. For starters he used common house bricks and did it double brick (2 x 2 m) with no internal walls for support. As it fits alot of wood i remember crapping myself retrieving wood from the back corners because of the creepy crawlies but it does double as a choock pen or quail pen on occassion. I've opted for the stock standard besser blocks as said before because of ease and arranged an internal walling that only expands 600mm from wall to wall either way so i have 3 seperate stores. Got myself the rebar for core filling the blocks and the the floating slab. At this stage not real concerned about the finished level of the blocks as I will adjust the level and make it plumb when i box it up for the floating slab. This is also because i figure the slab its sitting on(ground) has a fall that goes almost 3 directions and in the end I will either render it or slate clad it so no one would be the wiser. Anyway it was a busy weekend and the hot weather didn't help! I'll post pics once i've figured it out!

nissanneill 11-13-2012 03:15 AM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Hi Dave,
Russell Jeavons in his commercial ovens and the others that he built for wineries and friends all had 2" clay paver hearths, all be it double layer so they can be easily replaced if needed.
Unless you have sufficient firebricks, I would and will us the pavers but the full 3" thick ones for my next hearth as the firebricks are way too expensive in these installations for what advantages they provide when compared to the fired clay pavers. I have been to his pizza restaurant before he sold it and checked them out very carefully, spending some time discussing it with his son. There are references made in Russell's Pizza Restaurant posting within the forum and pictures of the main restaurant oven.
Go for it!


BackToMyRoots 12-13-2012 10:08 PM

Re: Yes! Another oven build in Adelaide..
Well I still can't get the photo's to upload, maybe to big of a file and don't know how to shrink them. Anyway i've finished the stand, which i made out of besser blocks that is 2x2 m and 4 blocks high. I also put in internal walls so that there is no span more than 600 wide resulting in three seperate wood stores or 2 wood stores and one for the tools(peel, rake, mop, etc). I have also finished the concrete hearth. I put rebar in each corner and third cavity of the besser blocks and filled with concrete. Boy the boxing up took a while to get the boards level at a hieght that would give me 110mm floating slab. Again cut the rebar to length minus 50mm (so it is incased in the concrete and not sticking out) and layed it out in a mesh pattern. Tied it all up and propped it up off of the floor. I used a mixer that I borrowed off of a mate. Unfortunately he couldn't lend a hand so I did this solo. I did this by mixing a batch, then wheelbarrow, shovel it in from a corner, shake the mesh to make sure the concrete goes where it needs to go and level it with a straight edge using the boxed sides as a guide. Then repeat, again and again. I have been feeling like a true Italian watering the concrete every day to help it cure properly:) Now time to start on the oven. Question for anyone that knows. I'm going to mix the poor mans mortar, how much fireclay does one need for a 1200 oven? Anyone?

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