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Old 11-08-2010, 05:46 AM
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Location: Bundaberg,Queensland
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Smile Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Hello to everyone.
I have been going to build a pizza oven for years and have finally decided to take the plunge and give it a go.I have decided to go with a better homes style oven instead of a full blown brick oven like the pompei ovens.I have plans to use ideas from both types in my oven.I have been wondering what type of clay to use.The plans say to use a ball or terracotta clay because of their plastic content but not fire clay as it has not got a high plastic content.What i am wondering is can i use a mixture and also does anyone know what fireclay grog is and would it be any good to use.Iam going to build my oven slightly larger than the BHG one and incorporate a layer of insulation on top 25mm thick.Do i need to then cover the insulation with a vermiculite layer or can i leave it out and put a render mix straight over the insulation layer.Ihave everthing ready to start the base this weekend weather permitting as its been a bit wet the past few days.Any ideas on the clay issue would be much appreciated.Thanks,
BUNDYMARK.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:23 AM
Jed Jed is offline
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Location: Bend, Oregon; West Coast USA
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Hi Bundy Mark,

Man, I don't really want to say to much here, because I am working on old memories.... But it seams to me the plan you are looking at had a couple of fatal flaws... You would go to the trouble to build the oven, but it wouldn't work very well. And I don't really remember what the details were... Maybe it was the insulation..

Does the plan show to put a good bit of insulation below the cooking floor?

Steve
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

If it is this one:

Pattern Sheet: Wood fired Oven - Better Homes & Gardens Magazine - Yahoo!7 Lifestyle

I would probably make some changes like adding more insulation under it and skipping the sand/decomposed granite.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

And 25mm (one inch) of insulation on top, even high grade refractory insulation, is not nearly enough. You need two inches of refractory blanket, or four inches of vermiculite concrete concrete minimum.

I'm way out of my area of expertise here, but i seem to recall that clay or cob ovens need more air circulation over the insulation than stucco (render) provides.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:31 PM
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Location: Whittlesea
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

I actually attended one of the courses run by Alan Watts who was the builder in Better Homes and gardens pizza oven, lovely man, lots of knowledge.

I wouldnt build one of those clay ovens if you expect to get long term service out of it.

We built both the clay and refractory oven in the 2 course and I ended up building the refractory model for myself.

The clay oven was fired the next day and some lucky buyer drove home with it still cooking a chook on the back of his trailer..
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:23 AM
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Location: Bundaberg,Queensland
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Iwas thinking of using hebel blocks instead of the granite and sand to fill the void in the base and then use 50mm thick hebel over the base to act as insulation and use fire bricks as the floor and build the oven up from there.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:59 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Hi Mark and welcome aboard.

Quote:
I have everything ready to start the base this weekend weather permitting as its been a bit wet the past few days.
I was always lead to believe that the weather up there in Queeensland was"beautiful one day, perfect the next"!
I personally think that you are playing with death going down that path. I myself would go with the tried and well proven method and follow methodically the Pompeii plans that are free to download. I also have seen the Better Homes and Gardens ovens and let's be realistic, it is something that filled a couple of pages in a monthly magazine and little if anything has been followed up nor heard of again.
To put the finances and effort into an oven, go for the known rather than the unknown. Although the other members will try their best to answer your questions, are not familiar with this oven, nor with some of the methods/processes involved.
All the best and I hope it all works out well for you.

Cheers.

Neill
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Mark
Yep I downloaded a set of these plans as well when doing my investiation of the different oven types. The main thing that tipped my thinking was the fact that both the cob and brick types involve clay the differnce one was air dryed and the other fired. The effort involved in both is about the same but a brick oven is going to last a hell of a lot longer as the brick will put up with the heat and the whole thing will not melt in the next rain. Check out a mag called backyard ovens by Earth Garden( you'll find it at any newsagents) its not a lot on detail but it does compare many types. Allen Watt is in there as well and yes he builds a fire brick refactory cement ceramic insulation oven as well as the cob.
Good luck
Keep us all posted on your build regardless of the type
Regards
Dave
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:02 PM
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Location: Perth, Australia
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Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by nissanneill View Post
I was always lead to believe that the weather up there in Queeensland was"beautiful one day, perfect the next"!
The only problem being is Queensland is full of Queenslanders . But I did get married to a Queenslander so they cant be too bad!! LOL

I agree in regards to the Clay oven. I too saw that ep when they built one and was really considering building one...but the amount of things that can go wrong with them, and the amount of life you get from one is just not worth the effort IMO. You cant leave them in the weather unless you go to great lenghts in weather proofing it and there is a chance it could all just go BANG if it gets too hot! Like everyone else has said, building a brick or refactory cement WFO is the way to go. Not as hard as you may think...just do a heap of research into which one suits your needs the best.
Good luck with it all.

Scott

Last edited by scottz; 11-10-2010 at 05:03 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:11 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bundaberg,Queensland
Posts: 4
Default Re: Newbie to build better homes pizza oven

Hi all,
I have been working away so this is the first chance i have had in a few days to check out the forum.So i get the the idea from all of the comments that the clay oven is not the way to go and to look into the other types.I guess the only reason i shyed away from the pompeii oven was the amount of firebricks i would need and cutting and of course the cost of the bricks so now i will have to work out whether to build from scratch or go with a kit.I think because i am not in a capital city it may be easier for me to go down the kit route as just trying to find the basics in Bundaberg has been proving tad difficult.Oh well time to have can of rum and cola and ponder what to do.
BUNDYMARK p.s It rained again last nite just as i was feeling keen to do some concreting today.
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