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  #11  
Old 04-19-2013, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

You never know whats going to happen. I lived in Virginia once too! But now China. If you'd told me then that I'd be here now I would've called you crazy too. Life can take many turns, as it has for me since my days of teaching people to fly helicopters at the Woodbridge Virgina Airport in 1985. The airport that I believe is now a strip mall...
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  #12  
Old 04-19-2013, 03:10 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
Posts: 620
Default Re: The why in Foundations

Hello Filthymutt,

Is this current home yours or a rental? Makes a lot of decisions about mobility easier. I live in a rural area of Japan, but most things are readily available.

My thoughts for China would be to contract some local workers to build your base at least up to your structural slab. I am sure there are hundreds of mom and pop operations that could get this basic work done quickly and cheaply.

The fun part is the oven anyway.

All the expensive ceramic fiber blankets and mats come from China but finding them might be another issue.

Ever consider casting your oven instead of brick? Then all you need are some basic hand tools and no saws to cut brick---a lot cleaner working environment!

On another issue--where the heck are you going to find quality firewood? Any restrictions on outdoor burning? Beijing has a great reputation for outdoor air quality--cough, cough.

Anyway, welcome back...I'm a newbie first time builder of a WFO yet to be fired!
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  #13  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

Hi Mikku,
Actually,I was supposed to start this project a year and a half ago when we bought a place up here. What happened was we bought our house, new construction, empty shell and all and we just have not gotten around to building the interior. So, we live in a rental. Which we find to be in a much more convenient area than where we bought and so have elected to hold the house as is and sell it in a couple years instead.

Meanwhile we rent. This place we rented is too small and was only supposed to be for a year while waiting on the house. Now we are going to move to a much bigger place and rent for 4 years until my son finishes high school. So, I decided I will put in the brick oven at the new place.
You're right, I probably can get a local small company to come do the foundation. And I probably could do a cast oven too but the thing is I want to do this myself top to bottom, or I guess it should be bottom to top eh?
I'm doing it with my 14 year old son whom I want to see that you can do things yourself. It's a big project but he needs to experience it as much as I. So, we are going to do everything ourselves and an all brick wfo. Headaches and all.

Materials are the hard part. Having been over to Japan several times as a tourist I can tell that it is far more advanced and organized than it is here. I've been checking around and find it difficult to get the things we will need. So far I can only find firebrick sold by the ton!

Firewood yes I can get that. All winter long it was available right down at the little local market. Quality? Yet to be seen. But as far as the burning, I don't expect it will be an issue. Also, I live in Beijing municipality, not Beijing city. We are in suburbia or at least what passes for it in China in the middle of a gated community in 'Foregner town' out near the airport. So I think it'll be fine. Restrictions? You are implying that there is a lot more organization to this place than there actually is!

Rural Japan eh? Must be nice. I was just over in Nagano 2 months ago for a week of skiing in Hakuba. Beautiful Have enjoyed much of Hokkaido as well both in winter and summer, loved it. Been in China 15 years so far and I like it a lot but I think I would enjoy Japan too. Both places have such interesting cultures.

Thanks for your input! Please post some photos of your own project! You're not alone I've spoken with another builder in Japan back in 2011 when I first started looking into all this.

Cheers,
Bob
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2013, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

Bob, Are you and your family okay??? The news said you got hit with a big earthquake.
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2013, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthymutt View Post
Hi Mikku,
Actually,I was supposed to start this project a year and a half ago when we bought a place up here. What happened was we bought our house, new construction, empty shell and all and we just have not gotten around to building the interior. So, we live in a rental. Which we find to be in a much more convenient area than where we bought and so have elected to hold the house as is and sell it in a couple years instead.

Meanwhile we rent. This place we rented is too small and was only supposed to be for a year while waiting on the house. Now we are going to move to a much bigger place and rent for 4 years until my son finishes high school. So, I decided I will put in the brick oven at the new place.
You're right, I probably can get a local small company to come do the foundation. And I probably could do a cast oven too but the thing is I want to do this myself top to bottom, or I guess it should be bottom to top eh?
I'm doing it with my 14 year old son whom I want to see that you can do things yourself. It's a big project but he needs to experience it as much as I. So, we are going to do everything ourselves and an all brick wfo. Headaches and all.

Materials are the hard part. Having been over to Japan several times as a tourist I can tell that it is far more advanced and organized than it is here. I've been checking around and find it difficult to get the things we will need. So far I can only find firebrick sold by the ton!

Firewood yes I can get that. All winter long it was available right down at the little local market. Quality? Yet to be seen. But as far as the burning, I don't expect it will be an issue. Also, I live in Beijing municipality, not Beijing city. We are in suburbia or at least what passes for it in China in the middle of a gated community in 'Foregner town' out near the airport. So I think it'll be fine. Restrictions? You are implying that there is a lot more organization to this place than there actually is!

Rural Japan eh? Must be nice. I was just over in Nagano 2 months ago for a week of skiing in Hakuba. Beautiful Have enjoyed much of Hokkaido as well both in winter and summer, loved it. Been in China 15 years so far and I like it a lot but I think I would enjoy Japan too. Both places have such interesting cultures.

Thanks for your input! Please post some photos of your own project! You're not alone I've spoken with another builder in Japan back in 2011 when I first started looking into all this.

Cheers,
Bob
Hi Dirty Dog,

Was wondering of what happened with your oven, now I know. Mikku and I know each other quite well. Next time in Japan give us a yell.
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2013, 02:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

OH! You know Laurentius too!
He is a wealth of information and is very quick with his thoughts!

Good to hear that you have an eager helper with lots of piss-n-vinegar to partner with making your oven. Really don't need much for tools --if you are doing any kind of cement base, concrete can be mixed in a wheel barrow or mud box with a hoe....just takes more time and sweat. If you can get the raw materials; sand, stone, cement you can do it.

I imagine they have cement blocks. By looking at many builds on line; they are stacked up without mortar and core filled with concrete and rebar reinforcement. Probably the cheapest way to go.

It sounds like this build may eventually be a mobil unit. If you are only going to stay at your new place for 4 years... Sure would be a shame to leave an oven for someone else after going thru all the effort of cutting brick etc.

Photos of my oven are on this site, but I chose to cast mine from refractory.

Good to hear there are more Americans around who share common interests.

Is there any reason --you couldn't do the interior work on the new house you purchased? I always see the framing and enclosing of the house the most stressful--knowing you need to get it water tight! Finishing is the fun part.. can take your time and work ---no matter what the weather conditions are.

Take care
Gary
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2013, 01:41 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

Where did you go?
Earthquake from several weeks ago was a very long distance from Beijing--My architect friend did not even mention anything significant happening there the last time we skyped!

He said there were gated communities by the airport that you mentioned, like little glimpses of USA in a foreign land. He does design work in China and there are rules like anywhere else in the earth to comply with. I don't remember his exact words but something like "community council" approval required. But he does not live in special enclaves you describe. His work involves several major projects requiring in excess of 40 foreign architects working on team to develop the projects being built by Chinese real estate developers. If you go into Beijing proper, one of his projects looks like a huge bee hive--really cutting edge architecture! Located right in the middle of the city.
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

Ha ha yes I know the Bee Hive building you are talking about. It's funny, I have a good friend who is also an Architect here and she complains about the lack of creativity and style in Beijing. But for me I've often felt there is a lot more than she gives credit for.

Yes, I live in one of those 'Reverse China Towns' or 'LaoWai towns' near the airport. (In reality though there are more Chinese living in each of these communities than there are LaoWai).
But I can tell you from 15 years experience and having lived in 4 different LaoWai towns with friends in many others that I have never heard of any type of Community Committees here. That is one thing I really love about living here in Capatalist China. Yes Capatalist not Communist. The So called Communist party is now running a purely Capatalist country. And I can tell you that when it comes to daily life I feel more free here than I did living back in the States. No busy body neighbors telling me what I can and cannot do here and I hope it stays that way.
In these communities of cookie cutter houses people do whatever they want. Many people make big changes to their homes and yards as soon as they buy them before moving in. Some may have weird tastes and some may be odd but the vast majority are quite nice. No one minds the differences, to each his own.
Viva la difference!
So I'm putting an outdoor kitchen in my yard. No one has said anything except that they are hoping to get some pizza!
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

Oh, and Beijing is a good 4 day drive from the quake zone so no we definitely felt nothing here.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: The why in Foundations

I will fire sure!
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