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  #1  
Old 01-24-2014, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: adelaide
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Default New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Hi all, I'm just in the planning stages of building a wood fired oven. As a non-handyman (though not a complete klutz) I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with it all, have read 4 books, the FB one as well and looked at what feels like thousands of websites and forum pages.

Am building it on top of an existing retaining wall which happens to be at exactly the right height for the oven opening.

Given I'm building mine on earth instead of on a purpose built stand, I'm presuming if I put down a waterproof rubber base then lay a 10cm concrete base (with reo steel) I gather that would be okay?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Will post up photo's when work commences (fairly soon, want to build the dome over the Easter weekend).

Thank you in advance for any advice & suggestions.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 969
Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Dodgygrog

Welcome you are in the right place.

Firstly put up some photo's of the site as it makes responses a little easier if we can all see what you are dealing with. Check lburo site that links all the key builds if you have not done so already. Check out more recent builds as they have in a lot of cases included all the important improvements that have occurred over time/

My concern would be the stability of the soil behind the retaining wall, and if it has been built properly with all the necessary drainage to get rid of excess moisture. I would be inclined to include some strip footings in the pour rather than simply building the hearth as a flat slab.

There are some builds on here that have done similar to what you are doing. I'm not sure which ones off the top of my head can anyone else point him in the right direction?
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bundaberg. Australia
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Welcome Dodgygrog

Like Colin said, a pic of the site would make giving advice easier. The most important thing would be to get the drainage right. As for the slab it depends on how you intend to go about it, CalSil board or vermicrete but the drainage behind your retaining wall is the first point of focus.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:09 PM
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Location: brisbane australia
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgygrog View Post
Hi all, I'm just in the planning stages of building a wood fired oven. As a non-handyman (though not a complete klutz) I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with it all, have read 4 books, the FB one as well and looked at what feels like thousands of websites and forum pages.

Am building it on top of an existing retaining wall which happens to be at exactly the right height for the oven opening.

Given I'm building mine on earth instead of on a purpose built stand, I'm presuming if I put down a waterproof rubber base then lay a 10cm concrete base (with reo steel) I gather that would be okay?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Will post up photo's when work commences (fairly soon, want to build the dome over the Easter weekend).

Thank you in advance for any advice & suggestions.
Gudday
Welcome you'll find quite a few SA builders here .That rubber sheet is called builders plastic. You don't have to by a full roll its available in small DIY sections at most hardware.
Regards dave
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgygrog View Post
..........Am building it on top of an existing retaining wall which happens to be at exactly the right height for the oven opening.

Given I'm building mine on earth instead of on a purpose built stand, I'm presuming if I put down a waterproof rubber base then lay a 10cm concrete base (with reo steel) I gather that would be okay?.............
Polyethylene sheet under the slab would be good. I would place the "waterproof" barrier on top of the slab between the concrete and the insulation, though.

Be careful with the fill behind the retainer wall. Depending on how well it is packed: You might want to consider, footers that extend down to the stable soil. There are other ways, depending on your partiular situation. A wider foot print than normal for the slab is one. Piers/pilings strategically placed and, dug down to this layer with a post hole digger, are another. A lot depends on exactly what size oven you are planning to build. Oven size, finish etc. equals weight.

It would be great if you could get some advice from a local, who is familiar with your type of soil etc.

You mentionted that the 10 cm slab on top of the retaining wall would give you the "right height" for working the oven. As has been advised, think about the drainage in each direction from the oven. If you have to build it a little higher to allow for good drainage, do so. You can always build up below the retaining wall where you stand to work the oven.

I put "french drains" around my oven behind my retaining wall. They are a pain in the as.......... Since you wont have a wood storage underneath, you can get around this if you take care of the surface drainage and use the waterproof barriers.

Like has been said, pics and a little more explaination of your build and build site would help........a lot .
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Last edited by Gulf; 01-27-2014 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Welcome Dodgygrog.

This site will make your build process a lot easier and simpler.

There was a similar build done some time ago on top of a retaining wall like you propose, I think it was in the Australian forum, I will endeavour to find and post link.

As the slab will be sitting on earth, consider two things, heat loss and water penetration.

Drainage and position will determine water issues, and Insulate, Insulate, Insulate, Insulate under the floor to prevent heat loss from the cooking floor.

Most people who build WFO's start out not having the skills but soon quickly develop them, through the experience and tapping into the knowledge of this site.

Good Luck

Cheers

Craig
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:50 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: adelaide
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Hi all, appreciate your interest and support.

Here are a couple of photo's that may explain the set-up I'm working with. Hoping it will be suitable because there's not really another workable place (that the chief decision maker will approve).

The dimensions of the space I was looking to concrete up as the hearth is 2m along the fence, with 600mm out to the retaining wall, then 2m along the retaining wall, then 350mm to the garden shed, then 2m back to the start (corner of fence and shed). So it's a triangle with two squared off ends (if that makes sense?).

Obviously the shade will come down. The height of the retaining wall is almost 800mm. The oven itself is intended to be 930mm across, with a 400x300mm opening.

I am a mildly concerned about the size of the oven and the space. In particular whether enough heat will escape the sides (pressed brick halves with blanket insulation & render) to damage the shed or fence.

Anyway, here are the piccies (one is sideways, if I knew how to right it I would, sorry about that):
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New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!-p1273919.jpg   New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!-p1273915.jpg  
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2014, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Gudday
If your using a tablet / phone take the pic in landscape not portrait the button on the right and it'll end up the right way round

New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!-image.jpg
Regards dave

Ps how much space do you have there seems a bit shallow for an oven, for a 1 m oven you going to need 1.2 1.4 mtr depths for entrance insulation brick thickness etc
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Last edited by cobblerdave; 01-28-2014 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

Hi Cobblerdave,
Measuring from the front, at the width of the oven (930mm) the depth from the back of the retaining wall to shed wall slab on one side and the fence on the other is exactly 1.2m. Which is probably cutting it a little fine. I was planning for a short entrance, basically just room for a flue and brick front, maybe 300mm all up.

What would the wall thickness be for half bricks, blanket insulation and render finish? I'm imagining about 250mm? Given a 930mm wide oven base that would mean it takes up 980mm all up width-wise, and 1010mm deep given the 30mm entrance.
Cheers, Grog.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: New build in Adelaide - total rookie in need of help!

You could try doing more of a corner build, with the hearth slab/oven entrance between the two walls. Form work would enable the slab to be suspended over the corner and it should be self supporting tied into the rest of the slab over the main wall. This would give you more room.

Or if you want the oven straight on to the fence/wall area, cantilever over the edge of the wall would work as well

Craig
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