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gjbingham 10-18-2007 10:25 AM

George's Pompeii progress
3 Attachment(s)
Hi all,
I've moved over from the introductions/newbie forums to start posting pics of my progress.
Funny how I finally got started on this project. My drain field failed last winter during heavy rains in Washington State (imagine that!). I ended up having to change over to city sewer service. The contractors who put in the sewer lines etc. really tore up the yard, and I had to remove some of my very weathered decking to access the septic located underneath it. Once the sewer project was complete, I decided to replace the old decking with composite type, which I completed in May/June.
Closeby to the deck, there was an existing footing that used to be the foundation for a long-since-gone sun room enclosure. When I bought this house a couple of years ago, there was nothing inside the footing except dirt. At the time, it seemed like a great spot to plant strawberries and tomatoes. You can still see them growing in one of theses pics, as well as my torn up grass from the sewer project. Don't tell my wife I posted this pic of her sitting there in her sweats. She's actually a beautiful woman and she'd kick my butt if she saw it! ;o)
Anyway, once I finished the main deck, I kept looking at that footing and the 11 foot gap between the main deck and it and decided that the footing would be a nice place to put my long-dreamed-about pizza oven. I decided to fill in the opening between the deck and the footing with a lower level deck making a smooth transition to what someday become and oven/BBQ and bar area. I built the lower deck in July, I think, with the help of my neighbor, Walt, who shows up in later concrete pouring pics.
Once I landscaped over the area of the new sewer tank/pump system, around 10 weeks ago, I decided to go ahead and tear out the strawberries and pour the slab, just for the hell of it. I didn't take pictures of the rebar work or pour that day. I only made it a 4 inch slab, which I believe will be fine here in the relatively mild NW winters. Half of the blocks for the base of the oven sit directly on the footing itself, which should take a lot of stress off the slab itself.
As I said in the Introductions Forum, I'm retired, and so have a quite a bit of free time on my hands. Once my wife's kids went back to school in Sept. I was really free'd up to spend more time with a new project, so just for the hell of it, I went to Lowes and bought 8 concrete blocks, just to play with ideas about the orientation of an oven. I pushed those blocks around for a couple of weeks before I went out and bought another 20, and started dry stacking them a little higher.
I must have stacked and restacked those bricks at least 10 times before deciding a corner orientation was going to be the best for my limited space situation. I was planning to do a 34 inch oven, but I believe that this orientation will allow a 36 inch, which is what I'm now planning. Time will tell if this is truely the case.
I decided to go ahead and put in the rebar and fill the cores of the cement blocks a couple of weeks ago. This last pick was a week or so later when I had started playing with framing.
All for now. Baby's crying, wife's not home.

jengineer 10-18-2007 10:58 AM

Re: George's Pompeii progress
Were you in the army? Stack and restack - this is what teenagers are for. Ever see "Holes" Funny tale.

Good job taking your time once the blocks get set you are kinda commited to the direction of the opening.

gjbingham 10-18-2007 11:05 AM

George's Pompeii progress 2
5 Attachment(s)
So anyway, the point I was trying to make initially was that a failed septic drainfield last winter finally got me started on my WFO.
I started playing with framing for the conrete about 10 days ago and finally poured the first layer of hearth yesterday, on a day that was supposed to have scattered showers but ended up with heavy rain most of the day.
I put up a canopy a couple of days prior to keep the taping dry and the boards from warping more than they already were.
I used rebar L's in a few of the remaining cores and tied everything together. I did throw 45 degree blocking behind the benderboard because I snapped so many pieces trying to get one to bend to the shape I was looking for. I didn't want this one to snap during the pour. Also, I shimmed and nailed a brace under the unsupported front edge, under the bender board to strengthen that area once it had mud in it.
I decided to use my tractor's front end loader to lift the mixed concrete up to the pour area, which turned out to work really well. My neighbor Walt and I mixed and poured 30 bags in about 90 minutes. The heavy rains began just as we finished.

gjbingham 10-18-2007 11:33 AM

Re: George's Pompeii progress 3
3 Attachment(s)
I was a Navy Dentist for almost ouyears. My back got so bad over the years that I couldn't wait for the day when I didn't have to do dentistry anymore.
Your exactly correct about being committed once the cores are filled. But at that point, you're off and running.
Here's the last pics that will bring me up to date. Here's the concrete going in and the finished product, now curing for the next couple of weeks.
I had to take down the canopy as the weathermen were calling for wind gusts up to 45 MPH. I just found the umbrella down a few minutes ago. The new concrete is covered by a tarp, and I'm bored and waiting.......

thebadger 10-18-2007 12:49 PM

Re: George's Pompeii progress

Looking great so far. I think you had an earlier post about building permits... No matter how you net out there you may want to think about the height (probably already know this) of your chimney given the close proximity to your house. My oven will be over 10 feet from my house but next to my pergola. I'll need to extend the chimney 2-3 feet higher than my pergola.


gjbingham 10-19-2007 11:11 AM

Re: George's Pompeii progress
Thanks Dick,
I read your posting about the pergola and chimney height before. Yes, it is going to be a tall chimney. I was going to build the stand one block higher so that two 48" sections of chimney would put me 2 feet above the house. I decided against that because the floor of the oven would have ended up somewhere around mid-chest height, a little too high in my book.
From what I've read, the taller the chimney, the better it will draw. I hope that is truely the case. I'm still not sure how to enclose the oven and make it look attractive with that big chimney sticking out. As long as it cooks well though, I'll be happy enough.

biondoli 10-23-2007 06:20 PM

Re: George's Pompeii progress
Hi George,
looking at your progress, you did a nice job, I am thinking to build a corner oven like yours as I have limited space and thinking if 60" would be ok instead of your 64" as heart slab. What would you suggest based on your experience? Thanks Carlo

gjbingham 10-25-2007 07:28 AM

Re: George's Pompeii progress
It seemed that no matter how I stacked the blocks, I ended up with 54 or62.5 inches (+/-) (not 64 as you wrote). I had no desire to try to cut those concrete blocks, though it can be done.

For a 36 inch oven, you need 55 inches of base plus space for whatever building your finish...block, metal studs, stucco, etc. There should be enough room on a 60 inch base for a stucco or metal stud/backerboard finish on the corner installation (I think). The sticking point is the space for the oven opening, which requires and additional 6 inches for the vent and 12ish for the landing. I get really tight on mine. I think I have 9 inches for the landing because of the way I rounded the corner.

Check my question in the Getting Started forum about how much space is required for the vent floor. It may shed some more light on the situation. Ultimately, you could make the oven slightly smaller, which is not as desireable but better than no oven at all.

Hope this helps.

biondoli 10-25-2007 09:37 AM

Re: George's Pompeii progress
George, the 64" I mentioned are related to the foundation slab, you are right 62.5" is the heart slab because the blocks are not 16" but 15.6" each. I am posting a reply and add my drawing plan to your venting question so we can open a discussion and get some input, thanks Carlo:)

gjbingham 10-25-2007 01:11 PM

Re: George's Pompeii progress
Ahh, my mistake. I see what you're referring to. Sadly, I don't have any experience in the hearth slab size. I poured mine into an existing foundation of a (now gone) sunroom.

I think James recommends 4 (or 8?) inches wider than the stand so that you have room for final finishing. Realistically, I think you could probably use the same width for the slab that you use for the stand. Just my opinion.

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