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Old 08-11-2012, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 198
Default 36" Pompeii in DC

After months of looking at these forums and several weeks of waiting for the right time, I finally started excavating for my oven.

A month ago, we moved from an apartment in California to a big old house that we bought in Washington DC. I had deluded myself into thinking that maybe I would start working on oven during the three weeks we had here before I started work at the new job, but the old house had old house problems, and there were walls to be painted and appliances to fix and all manner of other chores.

But! Now things have settled a bit, and I get to start digging. I've never been quite so excited to dig a hole in the ground...

I'm planning to do a 36" Pompeii, with an extra 48" of counter on the right side of the block stand. I posted some Sketchup drawings here in a previous thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/m...ans-17797.html (Making plans). I decided to switch the counter and oven compared to those pictures.

I've attached pictures of the spot before, and after my little bit of digging this afternoon. I'd have gotten farther, but realized an hour in that I was coming down with a cold and really ought to go lie down...



Before:






After(ish)

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Old 08-11-2012, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,545
Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Good luck and come back to this forum a lot for ideas and what to do and what not to do. Will be watching your build.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

I've nearly got the foundation dug out, and I've realized that the ground slopes down about 6 inches from the back of my foundation to the front. Any suggestions out there on how to put a level 5.5" concrete pad onto a 6" slope? I'm a total newbie at this sort of thing.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:04 PM
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Location: Mississippi
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsandler View Post
I've nearly got the foundation dug out, and I've realized that the ground slopes down about 6 inches from the back of my foundation to the front. Any suggestions out there on how to put a level 5.5" concrete pad onto a 6" slope? I'm a total newbie at this sort of thing.


Hope this helps. There are a lot builds out there that have plenty of pics for this too.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Thanks, that's helpful. Two questions though (asked because although I know I've seen pictures on the forum I couldn't turn any up in a quick search): (1) Wouldn't that make the front of my oven an additional 4+ inches above ground, making my work surfaces possibly too high? (2) The slope is actually greater than the height of the form, so how does that affect things?
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

1. I wished that I had of placed a 4" row to make my oven higher. Many suggest that you do a mock up to help you decide what is the correct height for you. Will you be installing some type of pavers in front of your oven in the future? Most are a minimum of 2".

2. If the slope where you are placing your oven is this steep, then chances are the slope behind and in front are too. You could dig down level behind your oven and install a short retainer wall. This dirt can be used to back fill the retainer wall and/or build up in front of your oven stand.
My advice is to install the retainer wall a few feet behind your oven and train the water to run on either side and away from your oven base. Do not use your stand as a retainer wall. That opens up a whole can of worms .

Once this area is level you can adjust the form to what you need. Many use a 4" form on top of the drainage gravel. I tend to over build .
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Thanks, that's helpful. A retaining wall is probably the way to go, although it will be a bloody pain since it will end up being underneath the deck as a result :P.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:03 PM
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Smile Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

More progress:

My "assistant" helping tamp down gravel in the excavation:



Graveled, framed and plastic down:



Wider view:



I thought I was digging out enough to have room for a retaining wall on the back and left side, but it ended up being tighter than expected. I'll probably have to do some more digging after the foundation is poured and the form is out of the way.

I've also gotten the rebar and remesh all cut to size (fun with angle grinders), and would have gotten it in the frame and tied up, but I got chased inside by the rain. A task for tomorrow night, or maybe later this evening.

Then, time to figure out how I'm getting concrete

-Ryan
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Yesterday my office was gave everyone the afternoon off, and conveniently we had ~3 tons of concrete mix delivered that morning. So in honor of Labor day, my wife and I labored heartily to pour the slab foundation! I should note that neither of us had any experience with pouring concrete save for filling a couple of post holes long ago. So it was an adventure. We took turns doing the mixing in the wheelbarrow, 3 bags each and then switch. We managed to get it done, but oy, that was a chore.

Just starting:


Me mixing concrete


My lovely wife taking her turn (I owe her big time for helping on this!)



All done!


Not the prettiest concrete slab ever. Indeed, a candidate for the ugliest! But, like the Pompeii plans say, no one will ever see it, so it just has to be level and structurally sound. Fairly sure I managed that...
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Default Re: 36" Pompeii in DC

Hey, rsandler. I am a bit south of you in Harrisonburg.

The rain has been slowing me down all summer. I would be finishing my dome this weekend but I am on call and it is raining.

The slab looks good and your work is just starting.

David
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