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Hey! Look at this. A middle-class MN home outside of the kitchen, with established flower beds. It's about to be destroyed. Why? Cos, I just gotta have the pizza. Quattro Staggione. Fungi. Whatever. I've waited twenty years for this.
It's now time.
Digging the 48 inch deep (below the MN frostline) footings was the last discrete thing about the whole project. Then a truck with a 100 ft boom showed up to blow in the concrete for the hearth tower. After that, although they're still guessing, there was nothing clandestine about this!
Excuse my ignorance. Your formwork is high, high, high.
Is this oven going to be accessed from inside the house?
Yep, the oven will be accessed from within the kitchen--a necessity I feel, when it's -26F around here. The dome will be supported by this tower, which is steel reinforced concrete and is 8 feet above grade. I have a friend who is a skilled concrete tradesman, and we borrowed the mud forms at no cost. It took a day to put them up, and 45 minutes to pour (with the monster boom truck), and half a day to remove the forms. Even after paying my friend his normal wages, buying the mud, and renting the pumper (150 dollars per hour), doing it this way was far cheaper and faster than laying block. The foramen will be about elbow-shoulder height inside.
For the hidden amount of my tax dollars that goes into his 1 million per game, the Vikes better do something right this year!
Finally I am ready to lay the masonry. The FB boards are mushy in areas where they absorbed water from the concrete, so I'm trying to dry them out with a heater. At least the hearth is enclosed now, and I can work through the winter.
Today we nearly completed the (what I call) the "thermal containment area" for the indoor 36". The hearth is 2 inches FB board, 1 inch percrete, and 4 inches structural concrete. The outermost walls are cement board. The dome will be covered by 5 inches of ceramic blanket, leaving an air gap between the dome and the cement board. The hole you see is the outside access door for inspections/repair.
I also started laying out the floor and soldiers. As you can see there is quite a bit of space competition in my little garage. Next week the brick cutting begins in earnest!