Jon - yes the possibility of the iron failing has crossed my mind. Chances are with my scrappy bricks and uninsulated approach, I expect to fall well short of a temperature that would significantly compromise the steel - the temperatures Bob mentions certainly seem far too ambitious for this hack oven to reach. That said, I have no experience with this and it could all come down in a heap. I certainly wouldn't want my angle iron any thinner that's for sure.
Michael - that's a very tidy effort and an inspiration! I see you evolved yours into a fully-blown permanent oven too. I'll be starting with a rectangular design also. Out of interest, your first iteration looks like it was laid directly on the riverstones, was that the case? Was it easy enough to level the stones and keep stable under the load?