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cynon767 07-15-2009 04:37 PM

Jamie's build
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And were off... Like herd of turtles!

...of our rockers, maybe?

Whatever, it's an agonizingly slow start. I'm a full-time, stay-at-home dad of an 18-month-old, so there's precious little time to devote to the oven and yard. Nonetheless, it's coming along, bit by bit.

I've got the stand almost built, and am working toward the time when I can pour the support slab. Closer day by day.

I decided to do a corner installation to make the most of our small yard, and to try to incorporate a small outdoor kitchen. There will be a barbecue built in on the left wing of the kitchen, and a countertop and sink on the right. The oven has taken priority, though, and as I can only work in fits and starts I'm doing it in stages where possible.

I'm going for an overall rustic brick look with both the oven and garden to match the weathered brick of the house.

cynon767 07-15-2009 04:49 PM

Re: Jamie's build
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Here's my previous thread about laying out the garden and building our raised beds, and pouring the foundation slab. When I look back at that I see how far I've come; but it still feels agonizingly slow to me.

I decided, after lengthy discussions with my better half, that due at least in part to our overly thick foundation slab, there would be concerns about her ability to reach the oven opening comfortably if we went a full four blocks high on the stand. So, we're going with 3 blocks high, and planning on an extra-thick vermicrete layer to get the floor height up to a good level. Does anyone have a good recommendation for the oven door height? I am 6'1" and she is 5'3", so whatever we do will be a compromise.

cynon767 07-15-2009 05:11 PM

Re: Jamie's build
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here's the front door of our house, serving as inspiration for the arch to the wood storage area.

cynon767 07-16-2009 12:56 PM

Re: Jamie's build
Since I'm only going 3 courses high with the block, I had a bunch of extra left over. Since the space is too small to crawl into anyway, I built up the center of the stand to box to create a smaller storage area, which will fit the corner installation and also provide more support for the concrete span.

cynon767 08-29-2009 01:58 PM

Re: Jamie's build
2 Attachment(s)
Haven't updated in a while. Things have been moving slowly... especially me, in the Sacramento summer heat. Progress is happening, though.

A couple weeks ago my neighbor Diego came over and helped me pour the hearth slab. His help was indispensable. We were done before noon, which was good on a hot day. I kept the slab well-watered in the afternoon, and for a week after. I tried to go and wet it down every few hours for several days.

While the slab cured, I did more brickwork on the garden beds and bench area.

I mixed the perlicrete dry at a little over 6-1 by volume in the wheelbarrow. Unfortunately, I overestimated the capacity of the barrow and had to turn it very carefully to mix it without spilling too much. I used 12 cu. ft. of perlite, which I found for $16.50 a bag locally. As I mentioned before, I wanted to make a thicker insulation slab, so went with 6 inches.

cynon767 08-29-2009 02:15 PM

Re: Jamie's build
4 Attachment(s)
Now, at last, I've finally gotten the hearth floor laid and the first course dry-fit.

A couple of days ago I set the cooking floor. The Muddox red firebricks (well, orangey-pink, anyway) have a wonderfully smooth surface, and will probably make an excellent hearth.

Today I spent all morning adjusting the positions of the soldier course of half-bricks and debating over how best to lay out the arch for the doorway, but in the end I went with as simple an arrangement as I could. I plan to follow Lars' recent example and cut all the bricks by hand, including a fair amount of tapering. Foolhardy? Maybe. I just know that I can't really spare the money for a fancy saw, and I have already gotten relatively good with the chisel and brickset. Besides, as Lars said, this way I don't have to worry about so much noise and brick dust.

I feel like I've turned a real corner now. I'm actually working on the dome at last!


cynon767 08-29-2009 02:30 PM

Re: Jamie's build
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She doesn't even know it yet, but she's gonna have the best pizza parties of any kid in her class!:cool:

cynon767 09-05-2009 10:46 PM

Re: Jamie's build
The other day I mortared the soldier course together. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm, I neglected to wet the bricks sufficiently. They stuck together, and at first it seemed fine, but I'm now afraid that I may have created an insufficient base for the rest of the oven.

Today, I pressed ahead and moved on to the next ring. Cutting a simple single-diagonal taper with a chisel, I managed to get the next ring of bricks in place. In the process, I managed to knock loose a couple of the soldiers. I pulled them out, dampened them, and mortared them back in place, but I'm afraid that I haven't seen the last of my problems with the too-dry soldier course.

I am going to wait and see how it looks tomorrow.

PerryPizza 09-06-2009 02:40 AM

Re: Jamie's build

Originally Posted by cynon767 (Post 63737)
In the process, I managed to knock loose a couple of the soldiers. I pulled them out, dampened them, and mortared them back in place, but I'm afraid that I haven't seen the last of my problems with the too-dry soldier course.

I knocked a few bricks before they had properly set throughout my oven build, though I don't think it is important. I made sure I filled as much space between the bricks as possible with mortar (often the day or so after the chain had been completed). In theory the mortar will eventually set hard to fill the space between the bricks - if it isn't 'glued' to the bricks it will act like a perfectly shaped firebrick anyway. In a perfect world the whole oven could be built using perfectly shaped bricks with no mortar... that's my theory.

I learned not to worry too much during my oven build, just do the best you can using the information gathered from the forum. It will all work out!

cynon767 09-06-2009 11:27 PM

Re: Jamie's build
3 Attachment(s)
The second course looks pretty solid... I think I'm going to continue and keep my fingers crossed.

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