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28" homebrew cast oven in walled enclosure Belgium

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  • Kris S

    As a possible alternative to dry stacking the hollow 40 x 20 x 14 cm (15.7 x 7.8 x 5.5 inch) concrete blocks, I like the thinner look of the smaller full concrete blocks as used in these 2 builds:

    Is it pure coincidence that both builders used an 'E' pattern with a middle wall? Is this necessary from a strength point of view with these thinner blocks, or is it just for aesthetics?

    thank you for any feedback,


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  • Kris S
    I still have plenty of questions:

    Can I put the concrete slab directly on the dug out soil (with plastic foil underneath), without first putting a layer of compacted gravel under it?
    We do not live in an earthquake area and my soil is pretty hard and sandy – loamy. The oven being a cast instead of heavy bricks, with a lightweight enclosure made of hardiebacker panels shouldn’t be too heavy? We usually don’t get a lot of frost around here so I’m not too worried about frost pushing the concrete slab upwards.

    nce the oven will be enclosed, is it necessary to put a 5cm / 2” vermi/percrete insulation layer on top of the 5cm / 2” fireblanket insulation to act as 1) insulation and 2) a firm surface on which to put the final cement based render?
    is it possible to skip the vermic/percrete layer and final render layer and instead just add 5cm / 2” fireblanket extra, so: cast + 10cm / 5” fireblanket. And then just enclose it?

    I like the idea of a removable chimney, that way I could get away with keeping the walled enclosure lower, and making it less bulky. This is one design I kinda like, and it looks like a low profile roof with quite a short chimney. So I was thinking of a removable cover stone on top to access the ‘free standing’ pipe and insert / pull it out when in use / not in use. Is this a good idea? Anyone done anything like that?

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  • Kris S
    started a topic 28" homebrew cast oven in walled enclosure Belgium

    28" homebrew cast oven in walled enclosure Belgium

    Hi all, I plan to post my progress in making my first cast oven, after having plowed through the masses of excellent advice and opinions.

    Just some of the threads that I found particularly useful:

    I plan to go for a small size oven of 70cm – 28” internal diameter, because it will be mainly used for cooking like 6 or 7 pizza’s for the family.

    I really, really like the look of an igloo, and really don’t like the look of an enclosed oven, but living in Belgium means I really have to protect it permanently from the elements. Our weather is comparable to the UK: rather wet than dry . I looked hard for a perfect weather proof final render hoping to avoid enclosing, but the general consensus is it doesn’t work because sealing it shut means vapor inside can’t escape which in turn means slower heat up times needing multiple drying out fires… so a walled enclosure it is…

    I’m going for a homebrew cast oven with 5cm / 2” thick walls

    This is my plan, dome internal diameter: 70cm – 28”, dome outer diameter: +/- 104cm / 41”.

    1,35 x 1,65m concrete slab 12cm / 5” thick reinforced with rebar

    1.25m x 1.5m dry stacking hollow concrete blocks, filling every other hole with rebar and concrete.

    Width: I’m thinking 10cm / 4” extra space around the outer dome edge to accommodate enclosure walls so 104 + 10 + 10 = 125cm / 49”.
    length: I’m guessing I’ll need an extra 20cm / 8” for the vent landing / flue gallery (like to keep it as short as possible) and the extra 10cm for decorative arch and walls so 104 + 20 + 10 + 10 = around 145 – 150 cm?
    I’ll have to draw it out on cardboard first to get an exact figure for the length.

    Table surface:
    Dimensions are the same as the stand:1,25 x 1,5m.
    concrete slab 9cm / 3.54” thick reinforced with rebar

    Was first looking at the CaSi boards, but thery’re expensive and bulky (2.4 x 1.2m) so I guess I’ll go for a 10cm / 4” 50/50 vermiculite/perlite and cement layer in ratio 7:1 (should be strong enough to support oven while also insulating enough)

    Homebrew (sand, fireclay, lime, cement) cast with PP fiber, but without SS needles. Walls 5cm / 2” thick.
    Probably cast the flue gallery separately
    5cm / 2” fire blanket on top

    5cm / 2” vermiculite/perlite and cement layer in ratio of about 8:1
    Final 2.5cm / 1” render of some cement/sand mixture.

    Door opening:
    Using the 63% internal dome height rule the door opening height will be 22cm / 8.7” and the width will be 48cm / 19”.

    The vent is part of the cast dome/entrance structure, 15cm / 6” diameter single walled stainless steel pipe 1m long +/- 3 feet.
    I’ll try and cast the gallery separately with a flat area on top on which the chimney would simply rest unattached. Fireblanket up against the pipe, also PVcrete up against it because it has enough give when the pipe expands. Making sure I render the PVcrete high enough upwards against the pipe so the pipe has something to sit into and not fall over. Final cement based render not touching (using a cardboard spacer around pipe) and later filling the gap with heat resistant silicone.
    Last edited by Kris S; 02-12-2021, 06:32 AM.