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pfennigthecat 04-22-2013 07:20 PM

32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
I've finally started! And the concrete is set now, no going back without a sledge hammer at least!

I'm sticking essentially with my original square plan as described in the Outdoor Kitchen Design subforum, with all the components (pizza oven, propane fire pit, propane grill) inside the square left by removal of an old hot-tub.

Last weekend I worked on 'squaring' the slab by filling in mortar mix on top of the paving stones surrounding the slab itself -- no more than ~3" on any one side, but the original slab was far from square somehow ;-). I don't forsee any structural problems from this, all the cinder blocks will be 70% on the slab at least and at least one of the hearth walls will essentially be right down the center of the slab.

The grille (26" RCS Junior) arrived about 2 days after ordering (bbqguys) and my aunt is lending me her HarborFreight cement mixer, so it was time to start in earnest!

Here's the SketchUp design model:

Here's me laying the last CMU. The camera-boy is on top of the large stone wall behind the grill. I'm essentially standing in the middle of the countertop that will be across the back (note grill insert hole), the pizza oven hearth will be on the other side of my big head.

Got rebar and concrete poured down every other CMU hole:

Hopefully from these pics you can see a bit more of the area I'm working with. I obviously wanted to use the old slab, a primary design driver. Any part of the slab I didnt cover in pizza oven/kitchen would be at best an ugly floor. At best. And while it's true that people generally sit around a firepit, I think 3 or four people can still do that, and be facing and talking to the giller or the pizza chef. If we have more company than that, there's always the chiminea.

Anyway, hopefully I will have the support wood frame for the hearth cut over the next couple weeks (away next weekend) and then pour the hearth slab around May 4th. Then vermiculite concrete layer on the 5th and then countertops a week or two after that. Then I'll have to get firebrick and start doming :-).

My biggest concern is around concrete -- this is my first concrete project and Texas Summer is approaching. Last weekend was very pleasant, but still dry (I liberally wet down the CMUs after pouring the concrete). As it gets hotter I'm not sure I'll be treating the cement right.
I generally know I shouldn't mix the cement too wet or it loses strength, but is it possible to wet it too much after pouring? E.g. if I liberally water it with the hose rather than misting every 6 hours or so, would that be bad? Or do i just need to wet it if it looks dry (and minimize that by covering in plastic)?

My hearth will be ~4" thick with 1/2" rebar on 12" centers, with ~6" vermiculite concrete on top of that.

Ok, that's enough brain dump for now, hopefully I provided all the right info ;-). Sorry for being long-winded, it's a habit.

AaronKenny 05-03-2013 01:18 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
How is project coming? I live in Austin, and I am thinking about delving in as well. Someone told me there were free plans on this site, but I have yet to see them. Do you have links to free plans?

Gulf 05-03-2013 04:43 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX

Originally Posted by AaronKenny (Post 151725)
How is project coming? I live in Austin, and I am thinking about delving in as well. Someone told me there were free plans on this site, but I have yet to see them. Do you have links to free plans?

Click on the Pompeii Oven Construction Ebook.

The one which lets you set your own price :).

pfennigthecat 05-04-2013 08:38 AM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
Making the support slab (~4" with rebar) and insulating slab (~6" 5:1 vermiculite/perlite) today / this weekend. If things go really well somehow I might start the countertops (maybe just making the forms).

Tscarborough 05-04-2013 09:52 AM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
You have the hard part done. Good work.

pfennigthecat 05-04-2013 04:39 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
Hearth form constructed -- didn't get started today till later than hoped, so haven't mixed the concrete yet.

Does this look like enough rebar, or spaced well enough??? I've never done this before....
The slab is overall 71" x 54". I extended the opening on the long side inwards so that the span across the middle would be smaller, hoping to ensure strength.

pfennigthecat 05-04-2013 04:44 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
Also, as you can see, I didn't worry about making the sides of my form uniform height. The way I figure, the top of the structural hearth doesn't need to be level, just the top of the vermiculite layer. Having the slab slope slightly under the vermiculite may even be a good thing as it will help weep moisture to the edge, kinda like the sloped concrete under the tiles in a shower. So I'm going to try to very slightly dome the concrete in the middle then make the vermiculite layer flat.
Anything wrong with this thinking?

I assume I can do concrete in the AM tomorrow then vermiculite mix on top of that almost immediately after -- I shouldn't need to wait for the concrete to fully cure before doing the vermiculite, right?

Final question -- do I need to go buy rebar tie wire, or can I use plastic zipties to hold the rebar together while I pour? I probably shouldn't use copper wire to tie the bar as dissimilar metals in an acidic environment is usually a bad idea :-)


UtahBeehiver 05-04-2013 04:58 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
1 Attachment(s)

IMHO I would add a few more #4 rebars running left to right base on your pic. You mention in an earlier post about wanting 12" centers, you will need to add these to make your goal. Tip, to prevent a side blowout with your pour, consider bracing the middle of each side. Better safe than sorry. Great start on your build. I've have seen people use zip ties, I used wire, what ever works.

pfennigthecat 05-04-2013 05:27 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
Thanks Russel, will get another 3 or so rebar and some wire from the HomeDespot tomorrow AM before pouring.

In the picture, the sides over openings are screwed to the plywood beneath to prevent a 'blow out', or even a 'bow out'. How can I brace the long side on the far side of the picture? Just an angled 2x4 behind the wall, pushing against it? I can't picture any other way.
Or did you mean something like wrap a strap around the whole form and tighten, to prevent the screws in the corners from giving way?

UtahBeehiver 05-04-2013 07:18 PM

Re: 32 Igloo Build, Lakeway TX
Bracing against the wall would be just fine on the far side. If you have some scrap 2x4 it would not hurt to brace but the screws in the play may be just fine on a 4" pour. Good idea on the extra rebar these ovens get quite heavy. Good luck with your pour tomorrow and send pics.

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