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Golden Hammer Oven.

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  • Golden Hammer Oven.

    We're going. We've jackhammered a hole for the slab, bought a janky cement mixer, begged borrowed and stole rocks, bricks , blocks, rebar and tools, and we're well underway towards building the worlds first carbon neutral, totally recycled pizza oven. Well, mostly recycled. We bought portland cement, which we're mixing six to two with the broken up slab for the new slab, and we're probably going to have to buy our fire bricks... BUT! We're collaborating with the local elementary school to turn the local trash dump/crack alley into a park/organic garden learning center, full of plants so we can feel good about the amount of smoke our oven will belch into the atmosphere. And we're filming everything. 24p broadcast quality all the way. Much of our work will be done by out of work actresses. Can I post video here? Many thanks to all on this site. A slice for you all soon. (we're already selling pizza futures on the interweb..)
    Last edited by redbricknick; 05-10-2006, 02:37 PM.

  • #2


    • #3

      We've been busy. Got all our old bricks excavated from various places, bought a bunch of rocks from a wierd dude on craigslist.. We have about three times more than is pictured, this is the batch we pressurewashed. Got all our cinderblock for free from the same guy... Went to a huge construction site and pulled all this lumber and some rebar (Freebar) out of the dumpster... Poured the foundation. Next we build the stand walls. We're going with a similer stonework style to the the third picture. (It's a wall in Tuscany) Thinking about building a moon arch for the opening of the wood storage area. (first picture) Filmed about five hours of footage so far.. Heaps of fun.


      • #4
        "Going vertical Mav'"

        That's not powdery mildew on the vines in the background. Our mixer spits. The vines are quite healthy.
        Last edited by redbricknick; 07-02-2006, 02:26 PM.


        • #5
          Environmental responsibility sets a great example!

          (M) I'm impressed; not just with the workmanship to date, but with your commitment to environmental principles! Your oven will be a real learning example for the local school kids and your community.

          (M) I hope that I'm not patronizing when I stress the importance of the *process*. You're having fun and I'm sure your "students" are as well. Take your time, ........ take your time. I took almost a year to complete my oven and that wasn't too long.

          (M) I think you're wise to purchase real fire brick, both for the Hearth Floor, and for the dome. It would be a shame to have this beautiful appearing oven fail to produce excellent pizza and bread.

          (RBN) " we can feel good about the amount of smoke our oven will belch into the atmosphere."

          (M) You will be surprised to see very little smoke after the first 1/2 hour. The fire will burn very efficiently. But what will you use for wood? L.A. has lots of Eucalyptus which is fine for a fire place but could mess up a pizza. "Live Oak" would burn well but may be hard to find; perhaps Topanga Canyon may be a source.

          (M) "Build it and they will come"!


          "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
          but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)


          • #6
            A recycling suggestion

            Here's a hint from the concrete article on Wikipedia:
            Originally posted by
            Fly ash: A by-product of coal-fire electric generating plants, it is used to partially replace Portland cement by up to 40% by weight. Experiments have determined that the use of ash up to 95% can produce structurally sound concrete, but it is only useful under limited load pressures.
            I'd always heard of cinder blocks, of course, but I assumed that the cinders were used in the place of aggregate, but it seems it can replace some of the portland cement.

            Sources for coal cinders might be artisan blacksmiths, or NYC style coal fired pizzarias.

            This might be worth doing some experiments.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


            • #7
              Casting call.

              Thankyou Dmun. I'll look into that for sure. Our oven isn't going to end up totally recycled, it's too hard with our schedules. We're using good ol' American money for some things, Mostly other people's (production companies) money. I'm a freelance art director by day, and we've been sneakily adding supplies onto company tabs. Of course, it's all for the good of the film, which is turning out hilarious. Sean Lennon is slated to do a cameo, and I'm working on Daryll Hannah...

              Any and all forum members are welcome to come over and be actors. Please bring clothes you don't mind trashing, a bottle or two of reasonable wine, and some firebricks...

              Dmun. Your geodesic dome oven is flabbergastingly cool. Please document it as well as you can. Innovation is best shared.


              • #8

                Sure, I'll show up, but only if I'm cast as the Scavenger's Apprentice. Where ARE you?

                "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                • #9

                  That's the word I was looking for. Thanks Nick.
                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces


                  • #10
                    Exploding rocks

                    I know that river rocks can explode with high heat, and I'm building my oven base out of them. Can anyone put my mind at ease (and my Mother's) and confirm that my oven base will not reach exploding temperatures?


                    • #11
                      Oh yeah river rock can explode. In an earlier life I used to be a fire tender at a sweat lodge. Our volcanic rock was getting a bit small and someone brought these nice boulders to use. I sratched my head and said sure why not. We used a wood and gas fire combination stacked the rocks and then put a metal funnel shaped dome over the lot. About 3 hours later some of the rocks split and one or two dented the funnel.

                      So as long as your rock is insulated from the heat you should be ok.

                      If they are not going to be isolated from the heat and yu have doubts then build yourself a roaring fire and let them cook for four hours.


                      • #12
                        Consistent terms

                        (RBN) "I'm building my oven base out of them".

                        (M) If by "base" you mean the Hearth Stand that is usually made of re-bar supported hollow core concrete blocks, I think you have no reason to worry.

                        (M) If you plan to use river rock as a part of your Hearth Slab I'd be more concerned. I can only imagine using large river rocks as an aggregate for a refractory concrete that supports your medium duty fire brick. While I applaud your ecologically friendly commitment, I worry that your oven may suffer if you become so dedicated that you apply the wrong materials.

                        (M) Several of us have been in the process of re-writing the plans for the Pompeii oven and want to release it in .pdf format. I hope to convince my colleagues to use the following nomenclature so that Newbies will have an unequivocally clear understanding of each term.

                        (M) Starting from ground level and working up, I'd like to see the following terms applied:

                        1- Foundation Slab: a Horizontal poured, re-bar strengthened conventional concrete on which everything else is supported. In some freeze areas, an added footing may be advisable

                        2- Hearth Stand: concrete cored rectangular blocks that form the perimeter structure that raises the business end of the oven to a comfortable height.

                        3- Hearth Refractory Slab: This slab is in 2 parts and the order of their placement is still a subject of debate that depends upon whether the builder wants to stress pizza, or bread baking. The traditional order has the lower layer a mix of perlite or vermiculite plus cement and water. The top layer is closer to a conventional concrete and contains a network of steel re-bar. It, or the perlcrete-vermicrete will support the actual floor bricks.

                        4- Firebrick Cooking Floor: These bricks are typically comprised of a high (up to 35%) Alumina content and are set on top of a thin, none adhesive layer of sand and fire-clay. The bricks radiate heat well and are resistant to cracking and spalling.

                        5- Firebrick Dome: The igloo of individual bricks that both retain heat and reflect it onto whatever food is being cooked.

                        6- Refractory Cladding: A crack resistent mortar applied over the dome bricks to help strengthen the dome and add some additional mass for heat storage.

                        7- Insulating mortar: Depending upon whether the builder wants to build a decorative enclosure, s/he may apply a layer of varying thickness Perlcrete or Vermicrete over the dome. The mixture is typically made with cement and either vermiculite or perlite in a ratio of 6 - 8 parts perlite-vermiculite to 1 part of cement.

                        8- Housing: A shell that protects the dome from the elephants. It can be made from many different materials but is generally made from cement board which can later be embellished with other more decorative materials.

                        There are many variations and optional material additions such as aluminum foil. I just wanted to suggest a consistent terminology and am taking this posting as an opportunity to suggest some terms to the 5 other editors.


                        "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
                        but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)


                        • #13
                          Hey marcel no sneak peak at the Glossary ;-)

                          Item 3 will be revised to follow the Italian norm of convention which is to use the reinforced concrete as the bottom layer (which is a mixture of aggregate, sand, cement and water that was needed for a chemical reaction to get the matrix to bond that was subsequently de-hydrated in the natural curing process) topped with the insulating layer of perlite or vermiculite mixed in a 6 to 1 with cement ratio to from the insulating concrete layer upon which your oven floor and dome will there upon find rest. (was that a run on sentence?)

                          and 5 which needs to be told that the same bricks you use in 4 are used in 5.

                          marcel is right as I was beating around the bush in my first post. The river rock can be used as a facade to hide or beautify the Hearth Stand. Do not use it in your refractory slab - pop goes the weasel.


                          • #14
                            no explosivo.

                            Yup, no worries. The river rocks are being used for the hearth stand, nothing else. Everything else is being done more or less to the plans provided here. Thankyou. I'm using cinder block for the interior of my stand walls, the river rock is pure pretty.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by redbricknick
                              Yup, no worries. The river rocks are being used for the hearth stand, nothing else. Everything else is being done more or less to the plans provided here. Thankyou. I'm using cinder block for the interior of my stand walls, the river rock is pure pretty.
                              I am using a lot of river rock for my wall but the rocks are insulated from the heat with a Calcium Silicate board which assures a thermal break between the oven and the supporting structure. This sure is a fun project. I am ready to go out and get more rocks now though, I am running low.
                              Renaissance Man
                              Wholly Man