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Salv B 12-07-2008 07:38 PM

Oven stand question
I was wondering if I could get some views on a very basic question about the oven stand. I am at the point where I ordered some concrete besser blocks and found that the order was messed up - instead of 20x20x40 cm blocks (8"x8"x16")I was supplied with 15x20x40 cm blocks. I was planning on using these instead rather than go through the hassle of changing over and holding up the project. The Pompei oven plans recommend the larger blocks. My question is do the smaller blocks present any problems for the structural soundness of the stand. I think my stand will be around 190 cm x 190 cm and am aiming for a 43" oven. I have enough extra blocks to build a centre supporting wall if needed and I was also planning on closing off the back quarter of the stand with a wall. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Jed 12-07-2008 08:13 PM

Re: Oven stand question
Hi Salv,

My opinion is that the strength from the system that supports the hearth comes from the block and from the cement you will pour into the open cells of the block. The vertical cement with the reinforcing steel bar will supply plenty of strength to support your stand, that any strength you might loose from a marginally smaller block will be insignificant compared to the strength of the poured cement columns.

I'd say, proceed with the material on hand!


RTflorida 12-07-2008 08:31 PM

Re: Oven stand question
I would agree with JED. 5 cm is roughly 2", so 6x8x16 for the metrically challenged. I think the overall tie in is more important than the 2" lost. A properly enforced support slab spanning the entire width of you stand (or cantilevered a bit beyond) and rebar reinforced/cement filled cores (at least every other one) should do the trick. Even though our ovens are extremely heavy in our eyes, in the construction world they are pretty light weight; block are engineered to support considerably all comes down to the process of laying and supporting. Follow the plans and you will be good...if in doubt, go ahead and add more support if you have the materials can only help. Hey, it may add an extra century or two to the life expectancy of your oven.



Salv B 12-08-2008 02:20 AM

Re: Oven stand question
Hi Jed and RT,

Thanks for your advice. I will use my existing blocks and probably do a few extra cores with rebar and concrete. I will probably also look at some other type of internal wall as in addition to giving me the wrong blocks I was also oversupplied. As you said RT I could get a couple of extra centuries out of the oven for future generations!

cheers and thanks again


nissanneill 12-08-2008 04:11 AM

Re: Oven stand question
the US contingent usually 'dry stack' their 'cinder' (Besser) blocks whereas we here in Australia usually mortar them together. Sure, you can run reinforcing rod through the corner blocks and if needs be fill some with concrete, but there is huge structural strength in them.
Rather than lose a reasonable amount of space with a wall(s) internally, which incidentally is not supporting much weight (only the concrete slab, insulation and brick hearth) you could get away with a single brick pillar which with a little reinforcing rod would support far more that you could ever put on it.
Bearing this in mind, your reinforcing rods should be concreted into your beam footings so as to lock the slabs together through your blocks, this also goes for the center column if you choose this method.


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