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Setting oven slab in a boulder wall - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Setting oven slab in a boulder wall

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  • Setting oven slab in a boulder wall


    This is my second build. My first was a conventional free-standing design using a Casa oven: https://picasaweb.google.com/1110394...7380/PizzaOven. Now I want to try something more unusual and plan to hand-build the dome.

    I am hoping to set the oven into the boulder-stabilized hillside pictured here. We didn't live here when the hill was formed. It appears that it was built by stacking boulders (1 or 2 high) at the margin, backfilling with soil, setting another stack a few feet back, etc.) The boulders in front are in firm contact wherever one is stacked upon others. I can fit a 50" circle (oven chamber in the 30-32" range) in front of boulders C and D if about 1/4 to 1/3 is cantilevered in front of boulders A and B. A level line from the top of boulder A is about 4" below the soil line at the back of the space.

    I am considering two options and would appreciate opinions and/or other options:

    Option 1: Dig out the entire space behind A and B, fill with coarse gravel, and form and pour a floating slab. The material between boulders A and B is concrete poured between mud forms (with weep space at the bottom) to contain the gravel. The idea here is that the oven is "just another rock in the wall." I have the option of adding thickness to be sure that the top of the slab is above the soil line in the back.

    Option 2 is a little like Neil's Flying Saucer: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ucer-3033.html. I can pour a sonotube "leg" at the rear and pour shorter "feet" that rest on the boulders at the front. This would let me raise the height of the oven more readily. I'd probably fill most of the hole with gravel then cover the top 6" with soil to reestablish a surface path for water. Forming is then a little more conventional.

    Of course, I am nervous about movement! Advice appreciated!


  • #2
    Re: Setting oven slab in a boulder wall

    Hi Alan,

    My concern would be, was this stabilized by an engineer or just filled by someone with a backhoe?


    • #3
      Re: Setting oven slab in a boulder wall

      Most likely this was done by landscapers. An addition was put on the house 7 years ago. It looks like they cut into an existing hill to make room. It does *appear* to be stable. Just to the left of this spot there is a boulder staircase and there's no evidence that anything is askew.