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31" Cast Oven (Santa Cruz, CA)

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  • #16
    Thanks so much for the quick response! I'll definitely let it dry thoroughly, it's been a ton of work and I wouldn't want to see it crack after all that. Good idea on cleaning and further reinforcing the flue pipe.

    Dave, your posts are an amazing wealth of info across the site. I was able to go fairly quickly because I first spent a few weeks reading all the build threads you'd assisted on over the years.

    Once the oven is completely dry (maybe a month or so) and I've finished my drying fires and then some, I'll plan to stucco it. Do you have a preferred stucco ratio at this point? Sounded like a single thick coat reinforced with AR glass directly on the vermiculite layer was working well for you?

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    • #17
      Update a few weeks later! I've been running my series of curing fires, and cooked a chicken once I got it up to 500/600 or so. Finally did a first round of pizza last night and it came out great. I can tell the oven floor must still be retaining some dampness as it's remaining a bit cool. Will continue to fire it until I drive all the moisture out.

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      • #18
        You can just buy a premixed commercial stucco, although if you have the materials you can make your own much cheaper. A 4:1:1 sand, hydrated lime and cement is pretty good. The high lime content imparts some flexibility and self healing crack characteristics. I usually use that brew 50/50 with a commercial render, but mix in plenty of AR fibreglass fibres for reinforcement.(get them from the concrete countertop suppliers.) Chicken wire is an alternative reinforcing but it is really hard to apply over a compound curve and takes ages. I found using pieces about a foot square and placed on the dome as you go and also overlapping them worked ok. Having dried the oven, applying the render to the dry vermicrete does tend to suck the moisture out of the render coat, so I always wrap the whole oven, after damp sponging the finished render, with cling wrap and leave it for a week to cure.
        Last edited by david s; 04-03-2021, 12:38 PM.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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