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Showing posts with the label oven construction

Cutting The Firebrick Floor - DIY Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Project

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The oven construction process has been one focused on:  planning (the foundation), building (the foundation), planning (the stand), building (the stand).  And, then more planning (for the oven).  And...now comes the ACTUAL building of the oven.  That starts with learning how to handle the wetsaw and cut out the floor.  Thanks to my VERY HANDY brother-in-law, we went with an isolated floor.  That means, we cut the floor of the oven to be 40" diameter and *then* cut out the soldier course to lay NEXT to the floor.   We started with cutting the oven entry:  Then, thanks to the jig that my brother-in-law made, we quickly cut out the rest of the floor and the soliders: We began to figure out the oven opening and how to make the transition pieces from opening arch to oven dome: And, cut out the second layer of the dome - these only with side-cuts, no tilt cuts (yet): We also built our indispensable tool (IT) or dome gauge - to help place the bricks of the dome: We did ALL of the inital

Laying Out And Drawing Oven Floor For Wood-Fired Oven - July 2024

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Yesterday, I shared the details of a template that I cut out of Masonite and a circumference tool that will shape the form of the floor of my wood-fired oven.  In order to get the inner arch opening correct, I opted to create a second drawing jig - one that is 20.25" wide that will set the width of that opening.   The goal was to draw the outline of the oven floor, but it proved harder (for me) than I thought it might be when I started. Before I get into the process of getting the oven floor drawn, a quick mention on firebricks.  The community on FornoBravo spec's "Medium-Duty Firebricks" for the floor and dome.  After poking around online, I've come to discover that Illinois is home to the Alsey Refractory - in Alsey, Illinois.  Somewhere between Springfield and St. Louis is the Alsey Refractory ; where they've been making firebricks in the USA for more than 100 years.  A few towns over, a materials dealer - LaGrange Materials - sells Alsey firebricks.  The

DIY Pizza Oven Floor Template-Making - July 2024

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Last week, I showed the final form of the raised hearth - after I stripped the concrete-pouring forms from the four sides and talked about how I can now move-on to actual oven building.    For me, that started with creating a template out of Masonite.  I bought an 8x4' sheet and created a little circle-drawing jig that I cabbage'd together out of spare parts I had on hand.  The sheet is just 48" wide and after thinking about it, I've decided to make a 40" oven (interior diameter), which means the outside footprint diameter is 49".  That meant that I'm going to be a half-inch shy on either side.  That's ok.   I also needed to figure out where the dome meets the inner arch.  I started by attaching the circle-drawing-jig to the center of the board and drew out a 40" and 49" circle.  Then, I started to think about my arch sizes and how the inner/outer arch differ.  I chose to go with a 20-1/8th" inner arch width.   That meant that I could

Stripping Forms From Concrete Hearth - Pizza Oven Build - July 2024

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Last week, I completed the concrete pour of the raised (reinforced with rebar) hearth for our DIY pizza oven build project.  After a few days of allowing the concrete to cure (wet curing), I stripped the forms and was able to see the final product.  Good news, all around.  The backer rod, caulk and sand held and the forms didn't leak.  The concrete also settled down into the Pressed Bond Beam blocks and filled all the available space.   Below is a look at the fresh concrete right after stripping the forms: The first thing I did was to put a couple of levels on the surface: And...more good news:  dead perfect level.  Both directions: Other good news include the hearth being square, fully-formed.  And all six drainage pipes clear and useful.   With the forms removed, I'm now DONE with the stand construction and can move on to the actual oven build. It has been quite a journey. January 2024 -  Location decision in our backyard . January 2024 -  Using LEGOs to decide on the size/

Pizza Oven Hearth Concrete Pour - Wood-Fired Oven - June 2024

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Yesterday, I showed how I built a platform for the Mudmixer in order to pour the raised hearth in our backyard wood-fired oven stand construction project.  Today, we show the details of the actual pour.  Using the Mudmixer and 35-or-so 60# bags of 4K PSI concrete mix, I was able to complete the job in just about an hour of run-time.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to make sure the forms were level and square and using a mix of sand (to fill cores), caulk and backer rod, I filled as many of the gaps in the forms as I could to keep the slab from leaking too much. The good news - the forms held.  They didn't bow.  And...they didn't leak that much.  Same with the supports under the Densshield boards.  Below are a few photos showing the raised, reinforced hearth pour.  The first one shows the platform and the poured hearth: Below, you can see the drain pipes that were able to sit right at the surface of the hearth: Below are a couple of shots showing how snug the Mudmixer was to

Building A Platform For Concrete Mixer - Pizza Oven Hearth - June 2024

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A few days ago, I shared an update on our DIY backyard wood-fired pizza oven build that showed the latest progress:  the installation of the final rebar and bracing (wires) for the raised, reinforced concrete hearth.  I'm set to pour that 4.5" thick hearth (plus the filling of the pressed bond beam block cavities (so...around 8" deep around the perimeter and 12" deep across the opening spans), but the forms of the heart sit 42" above grade.   Like I did with the foundation slab, I'm planning on using the MudMixer to help pour the concrete.  The problem that I'm facing is that the Mudmixer's chute stands just 16" from the ground.  That means....that I have to either use buckets to lift the mixed concrete up from the Mudmixer chute or....raise the Mudmixer to allow it to 'POUR' directly into the raised hearth. If you look back at this post where I showed the foundation slab pour, you can see that I made a platform for the Mudmixer to allow

Rebar Installed for Pizza Oven Hearth - June 2024

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The last I posted about my DIY backyard wood-fired pizza oven, I shared how I made and mounted the forms for the reinforced hearth on top of my cinder block stand.  With the forms set-up and square (and level), I began to finalize the rebar setup.  I ran a couple of rows around the flow-thru bond beam blocks that made-up the top row of the stand.  Before doing the rest of the rebar, I laid down a couple pieces of vapor barrier on TOP of the tile backer board segments.  Once in place, I ran vertical rebar up the filled cores from the foundation slab, through the block stand and out the top.   I tied a grid of 1/2" rebar together and spanned the hearth with seven pieces each direction.   I used zip ties to tie them together and some block fragments to elevate the center part of the grid.  On the edges, I tied this rebar grid directly to the vertical posts.   Once that was done with the rebar, I cut up some one-foot segments of 1/2" pvc and drilled holes through the tile backer

2x8 Forms for Hearth Concrete Pour - Wood-Fired Oven Build - June 2024

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Busy week with the pizza oven.  First, the bottom trays and supports were put in-place .   Then, I cut, bent and placed some rebar into the top of the stand - via the bond beam blocks .  I also cut most of the grid of rebar.   That meant that I could move-on to creating the hearth forms.  I used 1/2" trays and I'd like the hearth to be 4" or so thick, so that means I need 4.5" of height on-top of the stand.  Because of the Bond Beam blocks and their openings, I also need the forms to cover 1.5" of the stand.  That's 6" of form - which means I can't use a 2x6, but had to upgrade to 2x8's. I cut the 2x8's to length, then affixed a 2x4 to the face of them to stiffen them - and prevent bowing.  I used various pieces of lumber to create legs that were just a tiny bit short.  I put the forms together, stood-it-up on the legs and then shimmed in one side for the final height.   Moving around the stand, I leveled up each side using shims to get the