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Good day from South Oz

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  • #16
    Re: Good day from South Oz

    I advised a guy to try using the home brew mortar recipe as a castable about a year ago and he's quite pleased with the result, but who knows how it will survive the test of time. My guess is that it will not perform as well as a calcium aluminate based castable. One problem is the high proportion of unfired clay in the mix, which will give you some shrinkage problems against the mould. You should remove the sand as soon as the mix is hard enough to be self supporting. This is even more important withba clay/cob oven where the shrinkage is much greater. Another problem is that the mix will take way longer to harden. Cement and lime mixed together create some chemistry that results in very slow hardening. A third problem is the unfired clay content makes slow curing to drive off water even more important to take it slow to avoid cracks and blowing. Good luck.
    Ps I think Shiracete is a calcium aluminate based castable with perlite added to it to make it an insulator. This would not be suitable for an oven because you want a dense material. It is also a waste of money to use it as an insulator for an oven because it is way more refractory than you need on the outside and it's expensive. Unless some of it fell off a truck.
    Last edited by david s; 06-08-2011, 07:28 AM.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #17
      Re: Good day from South Oz

      Does anyone ever have trouble with the oven sinking into the vermicrete layer?
      Never happens. Insulating materials have tremendous compressive strength. They build entire houses on top of a foam insulation layer.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #18
        Re: Good day from South Oz

        Dear Mick
        Best way to explain it.... put a petite women in a pair of siletos ...8 mm stiletos and get her to stand on the perlite layer. The weight of that women over that 8mm would be the wieght of a bull elephant but only over that 8 mm and of couse it would break through. Put that same petite women in a pair of snow shoes the weights spread out over a larger area so it wouldn't have the same effect.
        Trust me ...Do Not Try to use this explaination with you wife... for some reason I know she will not like this... I will not explain any more... just trust me with this one

        Regards Cobblerdave
        Measure twice
        Cut once
        Fit in position with largest hammer

        My Build
        My Door


        • #19
          Re: Good day from South Oz


          Just saw a copy of Backyard ovens 2 and found something to might be of help regarding pavers. Aparently the top on a lot of them is slightly domed so if you use them on the oven floor its best to use the bottom side up so you have a flatter surface. yes I checked some out at Bunnings and those ones were all a little round on the top surface not much but you wouldn't notice it unless someone told you to look. Also you might consider a double layer to increase the thermal mass most of the pavers were about 50mm (2 in) thick with most bricks being abot 85mm (31/2 in).

          Regards Cobblerdave
          Measure twice
          Cut once
          Fit in position with largest hammer

          My Build

          My Door


          • #20
            It's been quite a while since I spent much time here. So I thought I'd log on and say G'day.
            And refresh my memory on how to make black olives a la V12Spirit's Syrian wisdom - the neighbour's kalamata tree is loaded and starting to drop them on the ground.

            I joined in 2011, and now it's 2023.
            I built my oven from fired clay pavers, and homebrew mortar, 3:1:1:1
            It has stood the test of time. First pizza was about this time in 2012, so it's been in use 11 years.
            I have a cracked brick in the inner arch, and in a couple of spots it looks like the homebrew mortar doesn't actually adhere to the bricks anymore.
            Inside is a revelation. The homebrew mortar is bloody hard.
            The bricks are all intact as far as I can see. I even put my phone camera on delay and photographed the inside behind the inner arch. No dramas there, either.
            So, it is my considered opinion that a decent oven can be built from low tech materials.
            My company made a video about it for my 45 year long service award:

            It's great to see the forum is alive and well.
            I'm very keen to know how some members are going.

            david s is still quite active, I see. I do hope he is still selling his ovens.
            cobbler dave, where you at mate?
            V12Spirit, are you still with us?
            Annie M, I still want to know more about making seawater bread!
            Brickie in Oz - a pain in the arse, but our pain in the arse. How you doing?


            • #21
              Hey Mick, cool video. I spent 37 years with the same company, and when I started out there were generations of families like there were at yours. Towards the end not so much. Being a retired guy with an oven is much better!
              My build thread


              • #22
                Gday Mick
                Still about from time to time. Read more than I write these days.
                Got cancer a few years ago. Survived it and still cancer free. But it cost me my job to a young fellow.
                Had a few smaller strokes which again I’m still here. But it knocked me about a far bit. A bit of a grey part of my life. Doc wanted to pension me off but an old mate offered me 3 days a fortnight and it helped me back on my feet.
                At that stage they wouldn’t let me drive so I was on the bus and train for 4 hours a work day. Started to read up the forum with that time and I had forgotten so much. But I read more and even though it didn’t majically give me back the things I’d forgotten it filled in the gaps so to speak.
                Anne took he content when she left so that’s a bit of a hard one.
                Bricky hasn’t been back to my knowledge.
                v12 has certainly been back. Can’t remember where he posted but try his build post. He’s got a new house and a new wife. Life moves on, hope we helped keep him sane in that crazy war.
                And Dave, we’ll what can you say he’s certainly Mr ovens around here.
                Good to here your about
                Regards Dave
                Measure twice
                Cut once
                Fit in position with largest hammer

                My Build
                My Door


                • #23
                  Well Wotavidone (aka) Mick. Like JR said, congrats on your 45 years. Great vid, I had a similar journey through the natural gas industry as well. It is great to see the you, Cobbledave, ect are still visiting the blog. Your right on the homebrew, my oven was built in 2012 and holding up very good. I do have to do some tuck and point this year and reset a couple chimney bricks (mostly due to the freeze cycle here in Ut) but a pretty good run on low tech materials. So not that you are retired, come see us more often.
                  Google Photo Album []


                  • #24

                    Great to see you post. Sorry about the your health but glad to see things looking up. We can always use you and Mick's input from builders in the Southern Hemi. David S is a regular poster and our resident cast expert so brick builder's input is always great.
                    Google Photo Album []


                    • #25
                      Bloody hell Dave life bowls some googlies, eh?
                      I trust you are on the mend somewhat, and it sounds like your usual positive outlook on life has stood you in good stead.
                      I'm very glad your mate had some work for you. I have discovered it is a dangerous thing, having no reason to get out of bed in the mornings.

                      Tried my first little batch of black Kalamatas done V12's way, today. Beautiful, and it would only be a month since I put them in the salt, I just had to look up what to do for long term storage. Looks like just chuck 'em in oil.

                      I've been retired for a couple years now.
                      My health isn't great, but I'm not down for the count yet.
                      I built myself a teardrop trailer, enjoyed the process so much I built another (its in the video) that I sold to a lady who lives on the Eyre Peninsula.
                      She must be happy with it, she sends me updates on her adventures.

                      When I was younger I fished a lot, and kept my snapper raiding boat all these years, but just before I pulled the pin I lashed out and bought a little 4.1 metre centre console fibreglass catamaran.
                      Two of everything - radios, sounders, 25 hp Mercuries, bilge pumps, tanks, etc.
                      The guy was in and out of the hospital on chemo, so I bought it with a very quick inspection and no test drive.
                      Having owned it nearly two years I finally started fooling around with it this season.
                      I was horrified. Ran nose down and couldn't trim it up, pulled the inside prop out of the water and dug in the outside bow in turns, wet as a shag, ventilating cavitating rough riding pig-rooting POS, with water in one gear box and an anchor that wouldn't hold, one wheel nearly falling off the trailer.
                      So bad I doubted I could even sell it.

                      So, I thought well, all that marine training is about to get the test.
                      The wheel on the trailer is nice and straight now. Dude replaced the wheel bearings while he was ill - but he didn't seat one side properly. 10 minutes with a spanner and a tub of grease sorted it out.

                      I decided the Mercs had nice rattle free powerheads worth persevering with.
                      I found broken fibre washers on the drain plugs. Water issue seems to have receded with new washers, so the new seal kit is on the bench for now.
                      Mercury 25hp outboard is all about winning races. They run low surface area raked props and tiny "cav" plates (anti-ventilation plates).
                      With new props, same diameter and pitch but much more blade area, cupped trailing edges and no rake, the ventilation/cavitation/complete loss of grip was very much improved.
                      The rest went away when I bolted on aluminium ventilation plate extensions.
                      The portside motor was worse. I realised the port side echo sounder transducer was so far in the water it had its own rooster tail. Repositioning that helped a lot.
                      The extended plates allowed me to trim the motors out another couple of positions without loss of grip, now she runs with the nose up, the water breaking away level with the console and dry as chips, 19 knots at half throttle, rides over the chop instead of digging into it. Full throttle turns are a buzz.
                      I reckon the boat has been badly rigged since new. I bet there has been a load of disappointment amongst previous owners. Did a trip on Wednesday, came home with 38 salmon and 17 big yellowfin whiting. My mate and I ran all over the boat casting to the fish. He said no way could we have done it in his 4.2 m tinny.
                      Google earth says we travelled at least 20 nautical miles there and back, for 15 litres of fuel used.
                      I am now so darned happy with the little cat I'm trying to think up a clever name to put on the side. She's a keeper after all.
                      Still keeping the blue water battle wagon though.

                      So, ignoring the bloody arthritis, the cranky prostate, the hernia, the slowly diminishing mental acuity, the worsening balance and the waning strength - life's been pretty good down here.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
                        We can always use you and Mick's input from builders in the Southern Hemi.
                        Thanks mate.
                        The bloke who filmed me cooking the pizza is the younger brother of a lady I worked with for years.
                        That pizza was a revelation to him, so much so that he promptly bought a cast oven kit in Western Australia and had it shipped over.
                        Just out of interest - the kit comes with instructions to construct it on a Hebel plinth, the autoclaved aerated concrete.

                        My fishing mate is a guy who was another 45 year award recipient. An old schooler who works the mobile cranes without which we could not function.
                        After seeing the video he called me to ask about my oven and accepted my invitation to come to lunch and see it in action.
                        Noel rocked up with two bottles of red wine and we spent a riotous afternoon eating pizza, drinking wine, and telling smelter war stories.
                        He is of Molfetta Italian descent, but had no idea a wood fired pizza could be done in 90 seconds.

                        We are about to get schooled. The smelter has a contract team of masons on standby for all our refractory requirements.
                        One of them is a bloke by the name of Reggie. Starting tomorrow, Reggie is laying concrete and bricks at Noel's house.
                        Noel is getting the works - all fire brick, 2 inches of board under the oven, 4 inches of blanket over the top, rendered, 950mm diameter.
                        Oh, and Reggie says the proper name for his indispensable tool is a trammel.
                        This is going to be interesting. Reggie is also a culturally aware Aboriginal. A ridgey didge noongar, not an urbanised wannabe.
                        I've already learned something of great import. Have you ever seen those videos on Youtube where some random dude, often white, throws a kangaroo tail on the fire and shows you how to cook it "aboriginal" style.
                        Well, that is against tribal law. Only initiates who have been shown how by the elders are allowed to cook it that way.
                        You learn something new everyday.


                        • #27
                          Be sure to have Noel document his build and post on the forum. It is always great to see builds go up. I think Gulf's version of "aboriginal style" cooking is throwing a beef steak directly on coals. He calls it "Caveman" style here in the US.
                          Google Photo Album []