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JakeRhee 06-08-2011 04:36 PM

Making my base
Hello Forno Bravo Forum Members
I am thinking of making a brick oven and really need to build a base. The thing is, I want to make the base 52" wide by 64" deep, and 38" high on top of which I will build a 36" brick oven on. I need to make the top of the base flat, and in my plans it says to cast a 2" thick layer of insulating refractory concrete on top of the base and set the firebrick oven floor directly on the insulating refractory concrete. There's is a problem though, I do not know how to create the slab. I can pour concrete, but I cannot shape it as a slab on a 'U' shaped, hollow base. Also, how can make a top layer of Concrete blocks all around so there is a space on the front of the base to store firewood? Sorry, I'm all new to this brick oven building thing. THanks!

Lburou 06-08-2011 05:47 PM

Welcome Jake :)
Planning ahead is good! Take some time and look around a bit before you start. It sounds like you need to fill some gaps in your oven building education, I sure did! ;)

Start in the photo gallery and look at some completed ovens and some in the process of completion. The rest of my advice to you is here.

A 24 inch oven would be one of the smallest I've read about here on, but still doable.

Good luck!

azpizzanut 06-08-2011 06:54 PM

Re: Making my base
Hi JakeRhee,

There is a lot of valuable information in the free Pompeii oven plans. Also look at my oven links.

Even with a 24" oven you might consider more insulation under the hearth. You will be dealing with the same temperatures as the largest ovens.

Do you have room for a 48" x 60" base and top slab? This will allow you to have counter space at the front of the oven.


JakeRhee 06-08-2011 07:08 PM

Re: Making my base

I am now making a 36" Oven. I have as much space as I need and all suggestions are welcome. I really need to get this done over the summer

Lburou 06-09-2011 11:45 AM

You asked about sourcing materials for your oven
You should check at your local building center for the firebricks. Masonry supply businesses will have most of what you need. Otherwise look for 'refractory' in the yellow pages for the firebricks, fireclay, ceramic insulation, and rigid insulation for your oven.

Look carefully at the pompeii oven plans. You will need to be vigilant to choose exactly the right materials for your oven, with an incorrect insulation for instance, your oven won't work that well.

PizzaIdiot 06-17-2011 11:45 AM

Re: Making my base
One of your next questions may be the one I'm asking now....
To achieve a 38" high base (4.5 courses), I need to incorporate the 1/2 height course.
I'm dry stacking the 8x8x16 blocks which remember are actually 7.625" tall.
I have 4" high solid blocks that I will use for the 1/2 course.

The question is "For which course should I use the 4" high blocks?"

My first thought is to put them down first (on the concrete pad) and then dry-stack the 4 courses. I'll then fill them with concrete.

azpizzanut 06-17-2011 02:56 PM

Re: Making my base
Hello PI,

I don't think it matters where you put them. I put my 4" blocks at the top because I didn't have enough of them to put down first and had to make a trip to HD to get more after stacking the 8" blocks. If for any reason you might not enclose your base right away then put them in the middle for decorative purposes.......good feng shui. Cover the base later.

BTW, you can adjust the fractions of an inch of finished height when you do the top slab or hearth support. I used 2" x 8" lumber and leveled the top to get it perfect and at the correct height. The base height was already very close to what I'd planned but the 8" lumber gave me plenty of material to work with for final adjustment of the top.


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