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New build in the upstate of South Carolina “Southern Hospitality”

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  • New build in the upstate of South Carolina “Southern Hospitality”

    I️ would like to start by thanking everyone for their contributions to this forum. I️ have been lurking here and collecting material for years. I️ finally joined a couple of years ago as I️ hoped to start work on the oven shortly after the purchase of a house, but we spent more time remodeling it than we originally planned.

    I️ am on staff at a church, so we host people on a weekly basis (men’s group, Bible studies…), so we will be building a 42” oven with a fireplace beside it. I️ have collected hundreds (800-900) of block, 600-700 firebrick, and thousands (3000-4000) of standard brick.

    We have a 20’x24’ patio that eventually will have a hip roof that joins to the house. This space will include a griddle, an oven, and a sink that will be used for the breakfast that is served to our men’s group that currently meets in my shop every Thursday morning. There will be concrete or granite (if I️ can acquire more from remodel jobs) countertops surrounding the griddle. We hope for this area to be screened in, and we may try to enclose it with the thick clear vinyl in the winter.

    The current pad is on packed dirt. In the upstate of South Carolina, we have dense red clay. The pad is between 4” and 5” thick with a vapor barrier. I️ am considering a corner build if I️ build on the current pad, but it is not reinforced with rebar. It is however the 3300-3500 PSI fiber reinforced blend. I️ do have an option of building a new pad off the end of the current pad, but I️ would like to have the entire oven under cover (future roof).

    I️ don’t like to start off my first post with a question, but this is my first brick oven build. Even though I️ have spent hours and hours reading this forum, I️ would like to get opinions on building on the current slab. I️ have searched and found a few discussions on “building on existing slabs,” but most of them had some question as to the thickness of the slab, the grading below the pad, or if the pad was a consistent thickness. Our current pad was poured with true 4” forms, and had to have dirt placed around the edges to close small gaps between the form and the ground. I️ feel very comfortable that there are no thin areas.

    Could I️ get your thoughts on building on the current slab? I️ thank you in advance for your input now and for your answers to the many future questions that I️ am sure that I️ will have.

    Because He Calls,

  • #2
    Hi Doobird,

    Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a nice setup your going to have planned. I'm working on a similar build with and for a friend at this time. It sounds like you have done a great job on collecting the materials for the oven and fireplace. I'm not sure where you can use that many blocks on this project though.

    Regarding the thin reinforced slab. That will be an issue IMO. All masonry Pompeii Ovens and fireplaces are heavy. You may need to cut out some of your existing slab and put some footers in below the finished grade. You mentioned a bump out from your planned roof. Placing it under roof also may be something that want to consider.

    The 32" oven that I am working on now won't be a corner build. It will be aside a 48" "Rumford style" fireplace similar to what I have at home. The rear of the oven projects out from under the eve just as the fireplace. The opening of the oven will be in the same plane as the fireplace. Projecting it out from the room leads to some waterproofing issues. But, it saves a heck of a lot of room under their screened patio cover.

    I will be starting a build thread in just a few days for this project. I'm not involved in the outdoor kitchen addition. But, you may get some ideas for the oven and fireplace.

    Good luck on your build and do start a build thread when you get started. Also, you may use that same build thread for future planning questions.

    That will keep us all on the same page and will help future builders

    Joe Watson " A year from now, you will wish that you had started today" My Build Album / My Build


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply. We most definitely will not use that many blocks on this project, but I was able to get these from a building that I demoed several years back.

      I'm struggling with the idea of cutting the slab. I have access to a walk-behind saw, but I think that I have decided to place the oven on the side of the pad. The oven would be brick-walled, and it will have a gable roof (if we go this route). Here is a rough drawing of the location.

      I will start a build thread once we are sure of the location. I look forward to sharing my struggles (and I hope a few successes as well).

      Because He Calls,

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      • #4

        I think that is a good idea for the oven location. Where will the fireplace be located?
        Last edited by Gulf; 01-14-2022, 05:03 PM.
        Joe Watson " A year from now, you will wish that you had started today" My Build Album / My Build


        • #5
          Give plenty of thought before attempting a corner build. With two walls to cope with, it makes applying the outer layers really difficult, especially when your customer jams the supporting slab hard up against the wall.
          The only way I could access this oven at the rear was to crawl under the stand and squeeze into the tiny space in the corner. With hardly any room to move I had to apply the vermicrete in single handfuls which necessitated squatting down to the bucket at my feet and standing again. I have done hundreds of squats in the last few days and my quads are killing me.

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          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


          • #6

            The plan would be to put the fireplace at the end of the pad (across from the door to the garage). We would pour a pad for the fireplace, and the hearth would be on the current slab. I️ am toying with the idea of building a heat chamber (much like a steel fireplace insert except with brick) behind the firebrick and adding a fan system. Lots to think about there…

            Do you think working the oven would be too tight in that corner after the roof and screen walls are added? I’ve never loaded, turned, unloaded, or cleaned an oven with long handle tools.

            If we place the oven there, I️ think we will do a squirrel tail chimney. I️ need to research to see how much weight the dome can handle. I’d like to do a brick chimney.


            There are currently no walls. We would build a brick enclosure with roof after the dome was finished.

            That’s a tight squeeze. I️ don’t envy you.

            Because He Calls,


            • #7
              Click image for larger version

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ID:	444014 Here are a few pictures of the patio and proposed oven location.

              Because He Calls,
              Click image for larger version

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