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Adhoc 36" Oven in Lake District, UK

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  • #16
    At last it came to the point of tackling the entrance arch. Ive not planned this out in anyway, hence the post title. I'm literally just winging it! When I measured and cut (very roughly) the semi-circile. I forgot to subtract a brick height for resting the form on. Plus the curve angles were completley skewed!!
    In a big rush and not giving this thing the patience it deserved, I thought 'Balls to it, I'll just bodge it all up with cardboard'
    The result was hideous and I HAD to start all over again. Made the next form a lot more carefully!!

    Now looking like an oven not a playschool sandcastle. Arch height is 11" and because (another error!) I'd not put a reveal in, Ive stepped the arch bricks in a little so that there is a stop for a door.

    Width is 18 and a bit, but slightly less over the arch

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    • #17
      This is my latest update, as of today. All looking a bit wing and prayer, isn't it! Its gonna be mega tricky to fit bricks over the arch from here. Awkward cuts.

      Those recesses either side of the arch brick supports need filling in.

      I dont know if the recess formed by the two arch keystone bricks would need filled in too?

      This is my current situation so any feedback would be of a great help. Thanks

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      • #18
        Hello, I follow with interest! I am no expert and currently making my own pizza oven as well so. In my opinion all the gaps needs filling with cut to size bricks and the dome bricks should rest on the arc a little bit to help with stability. Avoid large area of mortar filling here.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Lucag View Post
          Hello, I follow with interest! I am no expert and currently making my own pizza oven as well so. In my opinion all the gaps needs filling with cut to size bricks and the dome bricks should rest on the arc a little bit to help with stability. Avoid large area of mortar filling here.
          Thanks for the advice. I went out with the intention of filling those rear of arch gaps. ... thats when the back keystone brick of the arch, fell out!! I had a full day of work on tues to focus on it and it resulted in my rebuilding the arch. Not once but TWICE more (4th attempt is now in situ!!)

          I rebuilt almost the entire arch with two wedge shaped bricks as keystones. Much happier. Then I thought 'Hang on...where exactly is course 7 gonna GO? Is it just gonna suspend in mid air?'

          I'd built my inner arch too far forward in relation to the dome. Thus, my half bricks forming the arch curve needed to be full bricks to allow some support for the upper arches! Great

          cue Arch #4!

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          • #20
            This is where things are going a little skew-with. Trying to cut a full brick with a slope for the 7th course to rest on AND a lower slope/curve for the continuation of the inner dome shape. Not easy!! I went on at least two rampant rages where bricks broke and got thrown or punched!! But all in all the dome curve, whilst a little rough isn't TOO bad I suppose

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            • #21
              Today I got the keystone bashed into course 8 and finished off course 9. Using bricks cut at thirds where possible. Its ended up a bit of a wonky donkey unfortunately and VERY messy on the inside joins. Also looking a bit egg shaped too! Im beginning to regret ripping the crap out of that Cretan oven in my previous post!! This is no easy feat using non-cut to size bricks!!!

              I need to leave it a few days to give mortar a chance to dry out before the small course 10. I will grout and clean up inside if I can fit!!!!

              The level is a bit out but I'm not going to concern myself at this late stage. If it was much further down I'd correct it.

              Feel free to pass comment, good bad or ugly on any stage of my progress here guys
              Last edited by MickyPizza; 01-20-2019, 02:38 PM.

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              • #22
                Has anyone noticed their mortar joints 'crying' ? Ive had weeping bricks all the way through the build. Im guessing its just the moisture of the mortar joins seeping out because its taking so long to dry being winter.

                Anyone else had this? Im thinking I should maybe stick some form of heat in the oven to dry it out of a fashion before I even contemplate curing fires etc?

                Additionally - its looking like the top curve of my dome is going to be 18" too - rather than come in lower as I thought it was meant to. Does this cause much in the way of a problem? Front arch is height of 11"
                Last edited by MickyPizza; 01-20-2019, 02:40 PM.

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                • #23
                  Hello. I'll through my thoughts if it helps. I'm, basically, at the same progress in my build. I live north of Houston, TX. The winter is cool, gets close to freezing, but is fairly mild. I believe our climates are similar, cool and humid. That is actually great conditions for curing very strong mortar and concrete. It may be slow, but with strong results.

                  I don't think you need to worry about the "weeping". It looks like natural efflorescence. I didn't fully ready your thread. Are you using Homebrew?

                  Cory

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by cbailey View Post
                    Hello. I'll through my thoughts if it helps. I'm, basically, at the same progress in my build. I live north of Houston, TX. The winter is cool, gets close to freezing, but is fairly mild. I believe our climates are similar, cool and humid. That is actually great conditions for curing very strong mortar and concrete. It may be slow, but with strong results.

                    I don't think you need to worry about the "weeping". It looks like natural efflorescence. I didn't fully ready your thread. Are you using Homebrew?

                    Cory
                    Thanks Cory . It HAS been slow work for sure. Yes, its homebrew. Think it may have all been in vane. As, again in my impatience in getting the final keystone in, I whacked it a little TOO hard and have cracked my oven!!! Can't believe it. Ive sort of managed to grout out and repair as best I can. Gonna crawl in at weekend and attempt one final grouting and tidy up before fires next weekend commence

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                    • #25
                      A week past this monday, I worked all day and got the last two courses finished. Had to fashion a hook out of a clothes hanger for a couple of bricks, but the rest just sat in place obediently. I got to almost a round looking curve again then got down to the keystone
                      I made a pallette type platform to (unstabley) crawl in...

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                      • #26
                        Inside looks horrible. Probably going to easily walk the title of ugliest, worst ever build! I wish I'd not half mocked the Cretan oven I showcased earlier. Working simply with a hammer and a bolster chisel for EVERYTHING does not give the best results. It can take you so far, but when you REALLY need those cuts to be spot on, those tool can't 'cut it' literally. Urghhh.

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                        • #27
                          Then - disaster struck. The half ok/half 'it will do' keystone, when hammered in, one of the last course bricks shattered and the top of it fell into the oven. So, I removed keystone and said brick and made two more bricks. It (the penultimate one) looked a good hammer, tight fit, leaving a good wedge on the final keystone.
                          Well didnt I hammer it home with wayyy too much force and bloody split the oven!!!! I almost cried. Cracks down two sides, including one of the arch bricks has totally seperated and is just kind of floating by 1 mm now!

                          I scraped out grout as much as I could and started pushing more stuff in. I crawled inside and scraped out the worst of the interior cracks and mortared that up.

                          Im HOPING that when I do my interior final grout, that I can seal the damn thing up. To finish, I added the final stone and plastered mortar all over the top and any offending cracked joints as best I could. Hardly the 'crowning glory moment' I had been anticipating. I now have the arduous and tricky, interior clean up ahead of me.

                          In other news - I got more lovely Honister slate to make the exterior arch and clad the done with when finished.

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                          • #28
                            MickyPizza,

                            She looks just fine to me. All of that is going to be covered up anyway. In the old world, bread ovens weren't built to emulate the Pantheon. They were built to perform as efficiently as possible. I'm betting that she will cook just fine and that the slate finish will be stunning. My hat is off to anyone who tackles and completes one of these with a brick set.
                            Joe Watson, "A year from now, you will have wished that you had started today"
                            My Build
                            My Web Album

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Gulf View Post
                              MickyPizza,

                              She looks just fine to me. All of that is going to be covered up anyway. In the old world, bread ovens weren't built to emulate the Pantheon. They were built to perform as efficiently as possible. I'm betting that she will cook just fine and that the slate finish will be stunning. My hat is off to anyone who tackles and completes one of these with a brick set.
                              Thank Joe - reassuring encouragement. I'd spent night before last reading numerous crack related posts on here too. Ive dug mortar out and resealed as best I can. It will likely crack once more during the curing process anyways!

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                              • #30
                                At last, the dome is a done deal!!! All sealed with a good 1cm of heat mortar all round the outside (home brew) and after initial heeby-jeebys of being cramped up in the oven space, I just got on with it, cleaned up the cracks, mortared a little and wiped it all down with a damp and dry cloth.
                                The upper 2 courses are very wobbly looking and not forming a perfect smooth dome but I hope it will be OK.
                                Also - its hard to tell from the pic but there is a recess to the left of the doorway, just the way my brickwork doesnt match. Swehould I fill this? Or just leave it as is?

                                Waiting a week now before curing fires, letting this thing air and dry as much as possible. For the entrance and vent, I have roughly a brick length from oven arch to front of plinth, so Im gonna have a slate arch at the front and visible and inbetween, firebricks. These will be half bricks, but interspersed with longer bits of slate so they kinda dovetail together sotospeak.

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