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irelande5 07-20-2012 04:36 PM

Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
Howdy folks,

After much deliberation and research I have started my wfo build. After reviewing so many great builds I couldn’t wait to get started, though I know mine will never be as neat and exact as most folks here, but I will try my hardest for a solid, good firing oven. I am a firefighter by trade, and below average carpenter at best, and oh yeah, never laid a brick in my life, but I did stay at a holiday Inn last week. Really hope I don’t screw the pooch on this one…

I would like to thank Dino, Les, and Mingy for some great advice during the planning stage, and many others too numerous to name them all. Dino in particular was methodical in the way he documented his build, and his drawings and pictures have helped me tremendously, and many others I am sure.

It has been slow going sourcing materials, but I have made enough progress to post some pics and start a thread. My build is a straight forward 42” Pompeii. My intent is to keep it igloo style like Les, and incorporate into an outdoor kitchen design that will be built next year after oven is complete. I put the opening on the side for wood storage access, since I like the look of solid veneer in front, and plan on putting a small ledge of granite on oven entrance spanning the front of the stand, for a work area, and maybe a horizontal gun rack like Les underneath (that’s bad ass by the way). My landing is 15” on oven, was planning on at least an 8” ledge cantilever off of slab of granite for work area, anyone see problem on reach into oven? I am 6’2” with some gangly ass arms, but don’t want to make it too far of a reach to rear of oven.

The oven will face the house, and will be tied into granite or poured concrete countertop, making a reverse U shape layout. I will attach a rough field sketch (please critique if anyone has input or sees something not quite right). On the long side of the countertop I will have a green egg smoker (for the 12-16 hr 200f smoking stuff), a 36” grill, side burner, and at least 3-4’ empty countertop space for work/prep area. This long side countertop will tie into a raised bar top the will extend out 8-10 ft, and seat 6-8 people. The bar cabinets will also include an outdoor fridge, slide out refuse can, and drawers for storage. I will have power pulled to area for at least 2 outlets. I have a flood light in the corner, but would like to add some lighting to the area, just don’t have any good ideas for outdoor lighting, any suggestions?

I have outdoor speakers on adjacent deck, so we got music, was also tossing around mounting an outdoor rated LCD on side opposite side of oven, on retaining wall attached to house, nothing huge.

The oven block stand, front/sides of countertops, and retaining walls will all be covered with a veneer, either brick, cobblestone, or similar, also want to put same on top of igloo, any suggestions on which is easiest to install? After all this is complete I will acid stain the existing concrete patio to match, also tossed around exterior rated tile.

The most stressful part yet has been footer or no footer (reside in Ohio), after many sleepless nights and great insight by forum members, I opted to split the difference. I have 6” of compacted gravel as a base, and 5 sonotubes interlocked into reinforced slab (with a sha-load of rebar). Hopefully I made the right decision, time will tell. The slab is directly adjacent to existing concrete patio, with an expansion joint installed

I was held up until I got the FB board, then I was delayed when I had to level the board!! Really unlevel what a shame for the price. I tried the just sand as some suggested, but it moved the bricks around and got in between them, maybe I wasn’t doing it right. I went with the book method, which is what I am used to, trowel on with a ¼ trowel, sand, clay and water. I dry fit the floor bricks, cut them, fit again, them numbered and removed for quick reassembly, but it was balls hot that day, so it kept setting up on me, it was pretty frustrating, but finally completed. However, there are quite a few that are not level (off 1/16” couple 1/8”, so I will be doing some sanding in the near future.

After the floor was down I installed my 1st course, a ½ soldier course, and installed a flared entry (thanks Dino/Bandasco), two layers, so it is now even with 1st course.

Good news is I put a level on the 1st course, and its dead on level. The inside is a dead on 42” diameter. Oddly enough my oven opening (flared like Dino and Bandasco) is ½” wider on the far left side than right side, the very ends of where the entry bricks lay, not the entrance, or area between the two entry bricks. We have had some real burners here like most, so I think I heat stroked out and mismarked. However, I don’t think it will affect look, design, or functionality, I will just know its there for the remainder of my life. I pondered taking it apart or grinding it back, but since I will have a façade on outside it will not be so evident, is that right? It looks like just the entry is not covered on most builds, and bricks arches cover up fire brick, hope that’s right?

So I am off to my 2nd course this week, one with an angle, some say 3 degrees on each one, others had 4 or 5 degrees. I like the idea of a mason string, so I have on installed center of floor and marked at 21”, but after reading several posts on how to properly use it, my brain is still on fire. Does anyone have additional threads they recommend on this that might explain it better, I would give my big toe for a u tube video on this.

Sure I am going to have a lot of questions, hopefully don’t irritate you fine folks here. What a great site, I am truly thankful for this forum, it has inspired me to take risks and build something I would have never attempted on my own.

Take care,


irelande5 07-20-2012 04:37 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
2 Attachment(s)
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pic of area, and sketch of layout, moved oven to the left as it faces the house, so oven opening sint too close to where it connects to countertop

irelande5 07-20-2012 04:45 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
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irelande5 07-20-2012 04:45 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
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UtahBeehiver 07-20-2012 07:14 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!

Nice start, enjoy the build.........

irelande5 07-20-2012 08:05 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
Thanks Russel, have been to your links more than once, outstanding build!

irelande5 07-29-2012 09:55 AM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
Thanks to John, Dennis, and Chip I finally completed the second course. If I was to do it again, I would have angled the 1/2 soldier course I put in, would have made the 1st angle less sharp on 2nd course.

The bevel is a little tricky, and I have been cutting it on each brick as I dry stack. I had to cut out the angle for now. I know I could save a lot of mortar, but I have very limited time to complete this project, wife goes back to school in august, we have a 13 mn old, and a new one due in Jan! Needless to say its going to get real busy. If I was better at this I would cut the angles, but it looks like lots of folks did not and worked out well, just a lot more mortar. I am making sure I have brick to brick contact in oven. Couple of bricks that come together do not have a straight mortar line, really bugs me, but its in and solid.

All I know is there are some real smart/talented people on this forum. Dennis was giving me the math for the bevels and angles, it was too much for me, just dont get it enough to be good at it. Will post pics. Thanks all

irelande5 07-29-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
4 Attachment(s)
Here are the latest, entry/landing is in along with 2nd course, 3rd course is dry stacked ready to be mortared in. Having a hard time making the cuts to tie into vent from courses, but will try better.

I seen some made 3 high, others 4 high on bricks for arch, I went 4 high. Will start arch this week, or maybe 3/4 course, not sure yet. A little concerned on arches and how to bring it all together, complicated by the widened inlay of entry, should be intresting...

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jimkramer 07-29-2012 06:05 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
Looks great! How have you determined the angle on the top side of the brick? (Is that the bevel?) Are you using standard wood shims, or did you custom cut them? Can't wait to see what comes next.

irelande5 07-29-2012 07:18 PM

Re: Pat's 42" WFO build begins...I think!
Hi Jim, thanks for the compliment. I have seen threads that state between 3 and 6 degrees. But I am not that accurate or talented. I have a mason string dead center, i use it to determine pitch of brick as it faces inward, I use normal shims to hold that pitch till mortared. When the next brick is placed at same pitch, I meadow the inverted v roughly, then use that to bevel top sides of brick. Sure there is a better way to do it, but it has been going fairly well using this approach. Take care pat

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