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ultra shoestring budget pizza oven

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  • ultra shoestring budget pizza oven

    Hi All! I have started the base for my oven using rocks and boulders gathered from my property and around the area(and my back is not very happy about it).
    I'll throw in a bit of my history/ bio. Chef/baker by trade, have used many types of wfo as well as commercial gas fired hearth ovens. One of my favorites is a clay cob behive style oven built by volunteers for a historical reenactment village in Columbia state park in northern California gold country. It has a huge limestone base and was built with locally gathered clay. Many layers were built up, with lots of straw cob. The walls are probably 8-10 inches thick. It takes about 3 hours to heat up, but will cook steadily for 5-6 hours. My plan is to make a hybrid. I have been lurking on these forums for a while and have gleaned lots of information. As the title states ultra low budget, but I am going to create an outdoor kitchen that will have a built in barbecue smoker and grill alongside the oven. The base of boulders and rocks is very rustic and has been a challenge (some of the boulders are probably 400-500 pounds) . I set the first course of the largest rocks into concrete(no slab, using an area where there used to be an above ground Swimming pool, so it is nice and level with a good base of sand and gravel. Because I have been using my indigenous rock that is a mix of granite like fieldstone and slate/shale mortared together. The hardest part has been to reach a level finish point because of the odd shapes and sizes. I'm pretty close to finishing up the oven side(with a wood storage cavity).
    Planning on a thick hearth, with the obligatory 3" structural slab poured in place with steel grids and steel bar for support. Using a piece of concrete/ fiber siding for the bottom of the form(it will remain in the slab) with removable support underneath. Then I will be using some gathered brick to create an island (don't have enough bricks for a whole oven) and fill that with empty bottles and perlite concrete for insulation. Then firebrick and some locally quarried marble for the landing. The oven dome will be clay that I gathered mixed with sand and Portland cement, then a layer of clay, perlite and Portland cement with some chicken wire mesh added in for structural support/insurance. Final finish should be a clay/cement stucco. Planning on a brick arch/chimney and incorporating some gathered rusty gold(old cast iron furnace doors and an arch for a fireplace)......the plan so far. Letting it come together pretty organically. I'm confident that the base will be sturdy enough, the hearth slab should be plenty strong as well. I'll get some progress pics posted soon. Wish me luck, lol. Open to ideas/criticism on all aspects. Phew, long winded post, thanks for reading.

  • #2
    Hello and welcome to you. Keep us all posted. We love pics.
    My Build:

    "Believe that you can and you're halfway there".


    • #3
      Update: base stone work is mostly done(added picture link), poured the concrete base for the hearth slab
      Post with 2 votes and 24 views. Shared by Chefkiller69. Wood fired oven stone base


      • #4
        Hi Serf,

        I'll be following this closely as I plan to do the same thing. I am in P-ville just up the road from you.


        • #5
          Nice looking base! I especially love seeing the "traditional" method of setting the square using string. Looking forward to watching your progress...and hearing about the total pounds of aspirin you will have taken over the course of doing this build with lots of "big rocks"
          Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
          Roseburg, Oregon

          FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
          Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile


          • #6
            Getting closer! Just need it to cure, forecast in the upper 90's next week, so I'll probably be keeping it covered with wet burlap/ blankets to try and give the lime a chance to cure.