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Is cinderblock necessary? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Is cinderblock necessary?

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  • Is cinderblock necessary?

    I have loads of old brick from a teardown. I was going to clad the cinderblock with bricks and got to wondering why not use fewer cinderblocks or none at all.

    I could easily build a double thickness wall with a buttress of either cinderblock or brick every 3-4 feet for stability. It just seems overkill to me and I despise cinderblocks anyway. I am no engineer but I figure there is one out there somewhere who has the answer.


  • #2
    Re: Is cinderblock necessary?

    Hey Fishnfowler,

    I can't imagine why a brick wall wouldn't get the job done.

    For most of us, we don't have access to a pile of brick, so the least expensive, and best solution to build a stand that will support the weight, and remain stable, is cinder block.

    Do the research, or maybe you are already skilled with the brick laying details, but I'm sure you could design and build a brick wall that will support a pizza oven... certainly start with a solid foundation...

    Just one opinion!



    • #3
      Re: Is cinderblock necessary?

      go for it mate. The cinderblocks (that you call them but we refer to them as Besser blocks because they were made by Besser Industries), are a quick, easy hollow brick/block that is easy to pass reinforcing rods up through them or could be filled with columns of concrete.
      I would set a few reinforcing rods into your footings to run up between your course walls to tie the hearth concrete slab to the base though.


      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      Neillís kitchen underway


      • #4
        Re: Is cinderblock necessary?

        Brick are fine. Two wythes of brick with ties in between them is a good way to do it, or search for "brick patterns" to find one which uses the bricks themselves as ties. FYI, from what I have seen on this board, most bases are seriously overbuilt. That is not a problem, it is a good thing, but it is the fact none the less.


        • #5
          Re: Is cinderblock necessary?

          I built my base out of brick, above ground level. If you do a double layer of brick, the inner layer could support your slab. If you only want to do a single layer of brick, you could build 4 corner piers out of concrete block (They haven't been made of cinders in a century) to support your slab.

          I think concrete block slathered in stucco is not an aesthetic triumph. I'd go with brick if you have brick.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            Re: Is cinderblock necessary?

            Brick would work fine - they still build buildings with it (although facade seems more common these days). If it'll hold up a house roof and even an additional story, it can handle an oven.

            I have to agree with dmun, brick would look really good. Although concrete block covered with stucco can be an artistic triumph... theoretically...

            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

            "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka


            • #7
              Re: Is cinderblock necessary?

              Thanks for the replies. I was contemplating placing 4 piers of concrete block in the corners with cement and rebar to tie into the hearth. These would be hidden and would probably be gilding the lily as it were. Oversupport seems to be the case with the oven crowd, no offense. I'm a regular belt and suspenders guy myself.