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Annie M. 10-23-2012 01:06 PM

Rustic Primitive Materials

brickie in oz 10-23-2012 11:44 PM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Originally Posted by Annie M. (Post 140981)
I am wondering do I need to infill with beach sand (that is what I would use) to help insulate the bottom of the oven?

Sand is not an insulator, it will conduct the heat away from your oven into the base.


Originally Posted by Annie M. (Post 140981)
I have plate of 1/2 inch thick cast iron that is 3' x 5' that I was planning on placing on top of the rock base as a platform for the firebricks for the oven... my reasoning was that the cast iron would provide heat retention & stability... is this a good/bad idea?

Again, all the heat from the oven will escape through iron/steel and brick into the base, you need to insulate.

wotavidone 10-24-2012 03:47 AM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials
Hi mate.
I applaud your decision to go with what you have.
Here are my thoughts:

1) Rocks might be heavy but, unless you are a very short person, trying to cook in an oven with a floor only 2 feet 6 inches off the ground will be a pain, too.
2) Find some insulation to go under the floor bricks. If you use your oven, and then decide it needs insulation over the outside, it's very easy to add later, and can be quite cheap. For example your insulating layer over the outside could be clay with sawdust in it if you were really short of cash.
If you build your oven with no insulation under the floor bricks, adding it later is next to impossible, so it's much better to "bite the bullet" and do it now.
Is a layer of vermiculite concrete beyond your financial reach? This would be good, as you can "screed" it fairly flat.
Perhaps you can get scoria or pumice? Essentially you need either something that traps air, which is a poor conductor of heat, (pumice, scoria, vermiculite, perlite) or a material that itself doesn't conduct heat well (ceramic?)
3) Most people say red bricks are probably not as good as firebricks, but thousands of ovens would have been built with them, and many have lasted decades, even centuries. Advice from a brickie - most bricks have been fired at least a bit hotter on the surface than inside, so make sure that an original outer surface is facing your fire - it will be that little bit more robust.

I know a guy who has an oven made of red brick (dome) and fired clay pavers on a sheet of steel for the floor. His advice to me was "Don't worry about insulation, these things get bloody hot."
The difference between his and my moderately insulated oven is that his takes well over two hours to get to pizza heat, and presumably takes a lot more wood.

So insulate if you can, but if you can't build it anyway and be prepared to accept it will be slower to heat , and hungrier for fuel, and you may never get a 90 seconds margherita out of it.

All the best with your build.

wotavidone 10-24-2012 03:56 AM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials
PS check you red bricks. Make sure none of them have gone soft or crumbly. You should be able to tell when you cut them.

Tscarborough 10-24-2012 05:04 AM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials
Beach sand contains salt so it should not be used for any kind of construction.

Laku 10-24-2012 08:34 AM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Originally Posted by Annie M. (Post 141025)
Ceramic is an interesting idea... perhaps I can put something together from a potter friend's shard pile.

As far as I know not an insulator, unless in fiber form (ceramic blanket or board)

Laurentius 10-24-2012 10:36 AM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials
Hi Annie,

Here are the plans for a modern(meaning well insulated and fuel effficient) traditional pompeii oven. Look at it and see how you can modify it to your needs. Keep it Rustic Primitive, but make it function as if solar powered, go with ceramic fiber boards and blankets, since this wil be your only real expense. Good luck and in a few months, start sharing your recipes.
Pompeii Oven Plans2.0

wotavidone 10-24-2012 12:43 PM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Originally Posted by Laku (Post 141027)
As far as I know not an insulator, unless in fiber form (ceramic blanket or board)

Ys, I should have been clearer - ceramic fibre or blanket is what I meant.
That's a beautiful door by the way, you certainly must incorporate it in your build.

Laurentius 10-24-2012 01:16 PM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials
Hi Annie,

We didn't think that you would be picking ceramic boards and blankets from your friend's shard pile? That door looks great, but HEAVY, and it will get HOT and you need handles. It might be better served as a rustic plaque?

brickie in oz 10-25-2012 11:03 PM

Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Originally Posted by Annie M. (Post 141098)
I made a little progress today... I hope.

I was able to acquire some new firebricks at what I hope is a reasonable price (1.25/1.45) for split and full bricks. However they were just on a pallet with no manufacture identification but I jumped in anyway and purchased some.

The splits weigh 3 lbs 9.5 oz & the full bricks weigh 6 lbs 8 oz does this sound like the correct weight for the type of brick usually used for the oven floor?

Fingers crossed... Annie

Sounds good, the heaver the brick the denser it is. :)

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