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ohthetrees 12-05-2010 11:18 AM

Compact 36" in Seattle
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Hello all! Today I break ground on my 36" pompeii! I'm very excited, and thankful to the amazing people on this forum. Almost every thread is a wealth of cheerful, expert advice.

The main design goal of my oven (other than quality, performance, etc) is a compact footprint. I have a small yard, and am right up against my property setback limits. The available site is a corner of the yard, against a retaining wall. I plan on a number of things to reduce the footprint. Obviously an igloo style enclosure is the smallest. I'm also building the oven diagonally on the hearth slab, and building the hearth slab offset from the slab below it. I hope the schematics make it clear.

If anyone can think of any problems with this approach, or any ideas to make it even more compact, please let me know!

So it begins! I'm litterally hitting submit on this post, then going outside to begin digging.

C5dad 12-05-2010 11:55 AM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
Welcome to the world of Pizza Oven Madness!

Be sure to take the base up 5 courses as 4 is a little low for me and I am 5'10". I was contemplating jacking my oven up and resetting the thing - but we will see.

When playing with cement, wear gloves, lotion up before and wash and/or soak your hands in vinegar after - cider works better.

Check out the Dino and Les threads - they are awesome.

Best o luck and stay dry.:eek:


fxpose 12-05-2010 12:00 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
Nice layout. If your hearth slab can clear the top of the retaining wall you could probably move the hearth slab back, cantilevering it further...?

Neil2 12-05-2010 03:01 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
"I hope the schematics make it clear."

Looking forward to your build, should be interesting.

With the cantilevered slab, rebar quantity and placement will be important.

As C5dad notes, you want to consider the final hearth height carefully.

ohthetrees 12-05-2010 03:13 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
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C5dad - Yes, I think I was going a little crazy with my "smaller, smaller, smaller" mantra. I'll take it up higher. The most important thing is the footprint, not the height.

fxpose- Most of the diagram is to scale, but not my drawing of the retaining wall. That was just to demonstrate why it made sense to set the hearth slab off-set from the foundation slab.

Neil2, I will certainly be careful at that step, and run the final design by this forum.

Thanks all, for the early advice, I'm already having fun!

kebwi 12-05-2010 03:57 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
Excellent. It was great meeting you the other day. Good luck with the build.

C5dad 12-05-2010 07:03 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
One other thing I was thinking of (Danger Will Robinson, Danger Danger!)

Since the footprint is important, you may want to do a mock floor and dome on a piece or two of particle board so you have a better idea about slab size.

As for the rebar, if you are cantilevering a whole bunch, just keep it on 6 inch centers and you will be fine. Rebar is fairly cheap and easy to cut with a 4 inch grinder with a cutoff wheel. Just try to keep it 2 inches from any flat external surface and you will do fine. If you are spanning a gap, do a triple rebar. When I built my ICF house, each window portal has 4 pieces of rebar over and under it, and I spent over 5 grand on just rebar. Lets just say good luck to anything hitting my walls.


ohthetrees 12-07-2010 03:35 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
C5dad, will keep the cantilever advice in mind.

I will probably do a mockup, but not really sure where I can go wrong... the math seems pretty simple.

C5dad 12-07-2010 07:40 PM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
I thought the same thing on my floor plan for the dome, but somehow still messed it up. Seeing that I use pencilCAD2000, it was easy to determine that I translated the units up. Figures that a Chemical Engineer cannot do layout very well!:)

ohthetrees 12-12-2010 11:45 AM

Re: Compact 36" in Seattle
5 Attachment(s)
I thought I'd update you on recent progress and ask a few questions too.

I finished digging and leveling for the slab, and put down a few inches of 3/8 minus gravel. I think that in most places in the country 3/8 minus is crushed, but here a lot of gravel is from glacial deposits, and looks sort of like pea gravel. Not very compactable. I went over it several times tamping it with a cinder block, but I'm a little worried that it isn't sufficiently compacted. But I carried on.

Concrete was a dilema. I needed about 10 cubic feet of concrete, which is just enough to be painful to mix by hand. Rather than rent a small mixer, make several trips to the store (my car can't handle a full load of concrete) I priced out some different options....

Concrete in bags from Lowes: $59 plus $35 mixer rental
Delivered pre-mixed: $300
A third way is an outfit here called Handy Andy does something called U-Cart Concrete. You buy the concrete, which they mix at their facility, and then load it into a trailer (trailer rental included in the price of the concrete) which you tow to your site. This option, including renting a truck (my car wouldn't cut it) was $125. So that is what I did!

The day started out dry, but it started raining hard moments after they mixed my concrete, so I was committed at that point regardless of weather.

The pour went fine, though I'm a little worried that it was mixed too wet. Maybe you more experienced folks could look at my pics and try to judge. I had planned to put a few pieces of vertical rebar into the wet slab once it was screeded, to correspond to the stand block shafts, but it was absolutely pouring at that point, and the huge raindrops were leaving crater marks in the concrete finish, and water was running off the surface, and I felt it was more important to get it covered. So now I'll have to drill or something to anchor my walls.

A couple of details...
I slightly overfilled the form, and then screeding I spilled a lot of concrete to the outside of the form. I hope I don't have too much trouble getting the form off.

In the picture where I'm poking a 2/4 into the concrete, in my mind I was settling the concrete, and getting rid of air voids.

Finally, one other fun thing is that when I work on the oven I set up my camera to do time lapse the entire time I work, so it is fun to see those pictures. Maybe when the whole project is finished I'll post of movie that compressed the whole job into a minute or two.

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