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New build in Houston

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  • New build in Houston

    I started my research over a year ago and had the slab poured 11 months ago. I have a 8” slab under the full cinder blocks. I had a 5/8” thick piece of steel cut that I’m using to place my 5” of perlite/cement 5:1 on. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Waiting on my 1” fiberboard and once that’s down I can begin the brick installation.

    I’m going for the vesuvio style with the chimney that goes over and out the center. It will have a 40” ID and I poured a 57” OD of perlite/cement.

    Has anyone done an oven like this as I haven’t found one yet.

  • #2
    The steel is problematic in that it will be subjected to both moisture and heat which accelerate corrosion.As the steel also acts as a moisture barrier some holes drilled in it to allow moisture to escape would be advisable. Allow a few weeks of drying the vermicrete before covering over it and locking in the moisture. Or alternatively replace the vermicrete with calcium silicate board which is more expensive but at least already dry.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #3
      The steel has been primed and sealed so corrosion won’t be an issue. We also have a roof over this area and I do not plan on enclosing the underside of the steel and have weep holes in the cinder blocks so air can flow around it. I also have 5” of perlite on top and will be putting fiber board on top of that because yes steel will suck all the heat out of the oven floor. Oh I also have given the perlite over a month to dry and cure.


      • #4
        Ok, you should be good for 20 years then. The underfloor moisture is a common and recurring theme with wood fired ovens and is always the last of the moisture to be eliminated. Hopefully you won't have a problem with moisture against the steel and a month of drying. Attached is an experiment I did re drying of a vermicrete slab, that you might find informative.

        Vermicrete insulating slab PDF.pdf

        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


        • #5
          Wow, I have to say that’s amazing. I live in Houston which is very humid and from my experience pouring small concrete slabs and counters (very different formulas) I knew I needed to wait at least a month before I touched it. I also wet it daily and kept it covered in plastic to help slow the cure process down for the first week. I think I will wait another month before I put the fiber board down and I’ll remove the steel around it as well to help dry it out.


          • #6
            Well I put a 1” layer of fiberboard down and since I bought 4 sheets I had enough to just do the entire base.

            Today I picked up 85 firebricks because my husband said not to put to much weight In the truck bed. Tomorrow I plan on cutting them with my HF brick cutter.


            • #7
              Well I started cutting my bricks and this is as far as I got and my blade was to dull. Now it was a blade I had been using to cut my cement blocks to support my counters so it was far from a fresh blade. I also discovered I needed to order a smaller blade for the grinder to make the detailed corner cuts I need for the oven floor. So now I wait for those to arrive.

              How many blades do people tend to burn through on this project?

              I guess I can go pick up some more bricks, cement and fireclay.


              • #8
                I think we covered this before previously but with a full soldier course and doing a low dome oven you will probably need to buttress the solders due to the outward pressure from the low dome at the top of the soldier mortar joint.

                Number of blades depends on how hard the bricks are, the quality of the blade, etc. For a HF saw, take the pump out of the drip tray, extend the supply line and place in a Homer bucket with fresh water (filling as needed) this will prolong the pump life from brick cutting residue.

                A 4.5" angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel are good for doing detail work.
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                • #9
                  So I’ve been a little busy!!!