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  • Perry's Pizza Oven

    Not one to rush in too quickly I finally made a start on my oven this week.

    It is being built and completely enclosed inside a natural stone construction to make use of a space which is totally wasted at the moment - space is limited and this corner of the courtyard could make a nice place to sit with friends during the summer evenings, and it has been crying out to house an oven since I bought the property in 2006. Major restoration of the house has taken place and I now feel I can devote some time to leisurely constructing the oven which will hopefully be cooking pizzas sometime this summer.

    The budget is very tight and I'm going to be using as much natural/ reclaimed material as possible, whilst trying to keep the oven (and its construction) efficient and functional, hopefully (that word keeps cropping up!) resulting in an oven which is in keeping with the rustic charm of the region.

    I foresee difficulties in constructing the oven in this location which will be difficult to get at, and will also pose problems relating to moisture within the structure (due to the nature of these old buildings they tend to retain a lot of water). I'm confident these problems can be overcome, and the end result will make the extra effort worthwhile, so here we go.....



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    My rustic oven;
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

    Very cool old structure. Welcome aboard!
    Wade Lively

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    • #3
      Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

      I'm all in favor or rustic/reclaimed materials, as well as saving money, but money spent on proper refractory insulation for your oven is money well spent.

      Since your site is immediately next to a building, you may need a taller chimney to get the smoke up over the roofline.

      Looking good, keep us posted
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

        Well, it's just about finished, a day I sometimes thought would never come!

        Here's a step-by-step trip down memory lane....

        Firstly I had to excavate the area where the oven was going to go

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        then create the insulating hearth using 4" of vermiculite + a piece of insulating board I acquired

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        and then using a dry fireclay/ sand mix I created a bed for the fire bricks

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        My rustic oven;
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

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          the first soldier course, comprising of fire bricks angled at one end

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          and my improvised tool for setting the angle on each chain*

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          My rustic oven;
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

            Here's the sketch I made to set the wooden 'angle finder' and the subsequent chains...

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            I had some trouble with the opening and knowing it was going to be hidden decided to use angle iron supporting firebricks

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            I remember it was starting to get tricky now as the dome was blocking my access, severely hampering my progress and stretching me into yoga positions I hadn't thought possible!

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            Still, I was happy with the progress each day

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            My rustic oven;
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

              The area around the opening was a bit of a bodge, having to use what must be the worst refractory mortar in existence (like damp mud with no sticking quality and the ability to slide off my trowel at every worst moment) I had to move swiftly

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              I think I should have started using a form earlier as it was a great help

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              My rustic oven;
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                Finishing the dome was an enormous relief! My improvised tool had helped but the chains were beginning to become oval, which meant the tool needed to be adjusted for each brick. At least I was getting the 'rustic' look I had wanted...

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                You can see the bodged bricks around the opening, but I'm not too worried as it all felt secure...

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                I made a rustic arch from some reclaimed terracotta bricks... looks a bit odd at this point!

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                My rustic oven;
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                  The dome was covered with a thick layer of rockwool - I made a heavy paste soaking the rockwool in water which makes it easier to 'glue' to the dome, and also makes it much nicer to use

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                  And then that was covered with as much vermiculite concrete I could manage. Space was very limited and I had to contort myself into unimaginable positions, trying not to damage the work in progress. It was also very hot, cold beers were essential throughout!

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                  My rustic oven;
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                    Then came the re-building of the stonework around the oven. I used a sheet of thick plastic to help guard against water penetrating the dome from the slabs above, not a perfect solution but there you go...

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                    Aah, the first tiny fire, a big moment for any builder I'm sure...

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                    Before getting back to the job in hand before the rain set in

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                    I used a terracotta lintel as a base for the vent which was made from firebricks

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                    and had to drill trough the large stone slab to form the rough beginnings of the chimney (viewed from above)

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                    My rustic oven;
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

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                      The vent was then insulated using vermiculite concrete, which also served as lightweight concrete to form the lintel. I also rough cut a door from a piece of cast iron fire-back I found behind the house

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                      The lintel/ vent was finished with terracotta bricks & tiles

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                      My rustic oven;
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                        Curing took ages, probably due to the amount of water present in all that rockwool! I took it steady over a few weeks, leaving a day or two between firings and only increasing the temperature when I was happy sufficient moisture had been drawn out. Here I'm cooking some simple chips to make use of the heat anyway...

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                        ...after a number of previous firings

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                        Finally the oven is starting to get up to temperature - it's nice to see those bricks again!

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                        ....and my first pizza from the oven!

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                        Not the best pizza I have ever made, but one of the most rewarding I have ever eaten : )
                        My rustic oven;
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                          Bravo! I love the rustic tile arch, and the way you fit it so seamlessly into the existing structure. Anyone who didn't know better would think it had been there for hundreds of years.
                          -jamie

                          My oven build is finally complete!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                            Thanks Jamie, I know it isn't in the same league as some of the precision ovens on the forum, but it fits in the surroundings well and, more importantly, it cooks pizzas which is all I ever wanted!
                            My rustic oven;
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Perry's Pizza Oven

                              * a quick note about the dome guide I used for anyone interested.

                              I wanted a guide I could use for my oven, although I did not want to create an oven with a uniform dome from base to top, rather a lower dome on a set of upright soldier bricks like the Neapolitan style of oven.

                              I made it using old scraps of wood and clamps, the idea was to have something for next to nothing that could easily slide/ tilt to any angle I desired. In theory the angle would be set using a life size diagram I'd drawn up, taking into account the thin plywood base on which the rotating arm would be mounted (also great for keeping the floor clean). In practice the guide worked up to a point, I think the theory was good but the materials/ workmanship left room for error... still, you might think the idea has potential.

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                              My rustic oven;
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                              sigpic

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