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pisc78 11-02-2007 04:30 AM

Steel frame vs. wood frame
Is it even an option to construct a wood frame exterior or due to the heat, is steel framing a must? I am brand new to this forum and plan on getting under way with construction next spring. Thank you to all and I'm looking forward to all the input. By the way, I live in Southern New England (CT) and will likely eventually have some weather specific questions.


wlively 11-02-2007 08:01 AM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
Make plans based on "what ifs", like what if a piece of dome falls in while you have a big raging fire.

I used steel framing and Durock for everthing but the roof deck. As long as you are very well insulated, contained, and have adequate spacing I think it would be alright for everything but the front. The front wall invariably ends up very close to the dome/vent area.

Another thing to consider is steel framing is pretty easy to work with anyway, so easy to work plus fireproof means method of choice.

dalucca2003 11-02-2007 08:22 AM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
I could not agree more with Wade. Steel framimg makes so much sense and gives peace of mind. It is easy to work with, no bowing or warping to worry about, fireproof, and not expensive to ensure there are no issues down the road. I did not use Durock, but used Hardibacker instead which I believe is just as sturdy and provides water and fire protection. I then had a friend lath it and put a scratch coat on with plans to rock it in the Spring.

Like Wade, I built my oven with the "what ifs" in mind. I know I overbuilt the stand, hearth and the rest of the structure; but as all my guests state, they are coming over and hiding out under the oven if we ever have a hurricane. It truly is built to last.

james 11-02-2007 08:28 AM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
Definitely do not do wood. I agree with dalucca that Hardibacker is a good choice. Water and fire protection, it's pretty lightweight, easier to cut and less messy can concrete board.


Versachi 11-02-2007 09:12 AM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
2 Attachment(s)
I will post pics if it burns down.

Cheers, Versachi

waynebergman 11-02-2007 01:21 PM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
I like the rock finish on the vent and landing area. Very nice. What kind of mortar do you use for this application. I am guessing a reg mason mortar but I have only used the high heat stuff so far. Can this just be put right over top of the fire brick and the insulating concreate as well....wayne

james 11-02-2007 01:40 PM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
Her Versachi,

What about lining the inside of your enclosure, on the sides where it faces the oven, with 1/4" hardibacker? That would remove any combustible faces from any heat. Not much cost or hassle.

What does everyone think of that?

Versachi 11-02-2007 02:17 PM

Re: Steel frame vs. wood frame
Hey James, I am planning on doing something with hardibacker. Possiblly stepping it off of the inside of the 2x6 with a ceramic washer and inch or so. With that airspace I will make a vent underneath my first row of siding to allow air to flow up the sides of my walls and exit through a vent in upper part of my rear overhang. I agree that steel is the way to go but I want a rustic wood look and my wood siding will anchor better to the frame this way. Besides I have to work with steel studs everyday so its nice to play with wood every once in awhile.

Wayne, thanks for the complement. Its just regular mortar. Seems strong enough. I ran a lintel along the back side to take some weight off the arch and it looks like it will hold. I will post more pics around midnight but for now I am off to work the night shift renovating a bank.

Cheers, John

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