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Wineguy 10-19-2009 12:58 PM

Winter oven construction?
Hello all,

Well, here I go...

I have my stand and supporting hearth already poured for my pompeii oven project. Planning on purchasing the Pompeii kit from FB but got to thinking... Should I even try to construct my oven during the winter? I plan on setting up a canopy over the area (those soccer game canopies) and water proofing it with walls, and even adding a small heater beneath the hearth (where the wood storage area is). Is this a bad idea?

I work in the wine industry here in Sonoma County CA, and have the most time for this project from November through March...Rain!!!!!

Any advise is greatly appreciated.



dmun 10-19-2009 03:32 PM

Re: Winter oven construction?
Even though you keep your entire project above freezing, it's still no fun using a wet saw or mixing mud in cold weather. Some people have more resistance to the cold than I do, but I predict achingly cold hands for a winter construction project.

Spunkoid 10-19-2009 03:49 PM

Re: Winter oven construction?
Being from Alberta, and having spent a litle time in wine country, I think you would be fine. You can pick your days, work on it when it is nice, and if the weather turns down, wait a day or two and it will improve... My bet would be that your build will be finished long before the vines call you back.

Dino_Pizza 10-20-2009 04:46 PM

Re: Winter oven construction?
First off Dan, welcome to this forum. A WFO in winecountry is like a marriage made in heaven ;)!

After following others build and my own builds experience. you notice that some are continually working on the oven and others like me go in by fits and starts. The nature of the WFO on a block stand lends itself to working all day long or weekend long, to "I can get a half ring done after work, while there's still some light, before the rain tonight". I say go ahead, it all works, you'll be fine.

Hey, and how lucky are you to be so close to Forno Bravo. You're delivery costs will be a lot less than most of us:D. Happy building: Dino

Neil2 10-21-2009 01:37 PM

Re: Winter oven construction?
Just use a canopy to keep the rain off the mortar. In many ways, building in cool wet weather is ideal for concrete and mortar work. Freezing conditions during concrete setting are to be avoided though.

Eric Pfeifer 10-23-2009 08:47 AM

Re: Winter oven construction?
It's been hovering around freezing here in Minnesota, and my indoor 36" hearths, both structural and insulating, were poured in this weather, with only a tarp protecting it from the rain (and snow!), and a wood fireplace keeping the place about 68F. Both have cured nicely. It will be nice to replace the tarp with a wall soon, but working in the winter does work!

plootsnot 10-23-2009 12:09 PM

Re: Winter oven construction?
Above freezing? Go for it!

Wineguy 10-24-2009 05:09 PM

Re: Winter oven construction?
Thanks all for your help! I was mostly concerned with the mortar setting up and drying correctly, but it seems that sometimes the slower, the stronger the set. We don't see too many frost days.

Dino: Yeah, going to FB next week to pick up the Pompeii kit. 12 miles from my house! Also having a flatbed used to haul grapes comes in handy for delivery!!!

Thanks again,


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