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shimpiphany 01-27-2012 11:09 PM

how hard is it to build the stand?
i'm building on an existing patio (which was poured to accommodate an oven) but is not level so as to allow water to move off it.

i want to build a stand and a long counter alongside it. i have no masonry experience.

how hard is it to build the stand level? i've got a quote of 1300 bucks to build the stand, counters, and pour the hearth. that seems a bit much to me, and i'd like to do it myself if possible.

but i'm kind of intimidated by getting the first course level. advice?

david s 01-27-2012 11:36 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
If you use mortar and a spirit level to get the first course level, subsequent courses can be simply glued with masonry adhesive. This is way easier if you don't have experience laying blocks or bricks. As you will be filling some or all of the block cores this will provide the strength required. The block work can be bagged or rendered later for appearance and filling joint gaps.

Neil2 01-28-2012 12:59 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
How much of slope is your slab ?

The final stand should also have a bit of a slope from back to front to assist in keeping it dry inside. I suggest about 0.5 %.

Building the block wall is dead easy. As David notes you don't have to mortar each layer.

david s 01-28-2012 02:00 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
Regarding a slope on your slab, I think it is better to arrange a slope all the way around. ie sloping down to each corner. If it is only sloped one way then that is encouraging water to enter on the uphill side.

Aegis 01-29-2012 04:57 AM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
Depending on the size of the counters 1300 bucks sounds reasonable to me in Ct. :( As others have said the stand is easy to build, even without masonry experience. I had ZERO experience and it wasn't too difficult, more time consuming due to lack of experience. You will gain experience from doing the stand, and then apply that experience to the dome and remainder of the build. (Time well spent!)Since most stand work is covered by a layer of stucco, veneer stone or something, you only need worry about structural support. I would mortar the first course level, starting at the highest point and working around from that (it is hard to lower existing concrete);) And then pick up with the Pompeii plans from that point, dry stacking and filling in every other hole in the cement block. Be sure you plan for a proper hearth height! Once you pour your hearth, the height of the finished baking hearth will be kinda of set by the amount and type of insulation you choose to go between the cement stand and the firebrick hearth. Planning is the key here for sure, whether you do the work or someone else does it. Planning is key! In the area's I didn't have a plan for I really struggled to make it work! Pizza Bob's motto - If you fail to plan, you plan to fail is OH! so true!:D
Good Luck!

buckeyebreadman 01-29-2012 04:05 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
Also, If you're dry stacking, remember that 16" blocks don't actually measure 16"!
In case you're measurements need to be exact for some reason......

shimpiphany 01-31-2012 04:02 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
thanks! is there an easy way to estimate how many blocks i'll need?

buckeyebreadman 01-31-2012 04:14 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
Each block measures 15 3/4 in. long and 7 3/4 in. wide (or high).
with that said, it all depends on how long and wide your oven base will be.
Multiplied by how many course (rows) of block you want. Mine is 4 course high which gives me a height of 30 3/4 in. BEFORE the 4 in. of oven base AND 4 more inches of insulation under the firebrick floor.....
Total height of my oven floor will be just over 41 inches which suits me.....shorter people might like a shorter ht. and taller may want a higher one.......I don't think it's too critical but I adapt easily.......

Aegis 01-31-2012 04:42 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?

Originally Posted by shimpiphany (Post 126778)
thanks! is there an easy way to estimate how many blocks i'll need?

Count them!:D Just joking, I am 6 foot tall and my hearth is 42" high which I wouldn't have minded having it 2" lower. But again it is kinda of personal preference. Just not so low you are bending a lot which is tough on the back.
As for number of blocks, think about separating the front from the back of the stand with a side or rear entrance. I have a side entrance I copied from Dino's build. I couldn't see myself crawling under the oven all the way to the back from the front. These are just preferences that you need to think of before you start building.
Good Luck


david lyons 01-31-2012 05:24 PM

Re: how hard is it to build the stand?
As regards planning. Get hold of a student's graph book. Makes it easy to scale things out without getting into complex drawings. Just make your brick size a set number of squares and assume the block to be 16 x 8x8 inches and keep the 3/8 inch discrepancy in mind if it will count for much.

Dave Ly

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