Author Topic: My oven and kitchen build  (Read 1819 times)

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Offline benny8

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My oven and kitchen build
« on: June 17, 2013, 05:30:02 PM »
Greetings from NH. After a long time pondering the construction of a pizza oven, this spring I took the leap.
My daughter and I poured slabs for a countertop and a under counter smoker(also homemade). The oven stand was placed on a previous slab. We then decided on casting our oven from homebrew refractory cement.  Due to limited space we decided on a 30" interior diameter. I set to work building  a plaster form of the interior of the oven.  When that was finished I formed it into quarters and packed the refractory onto the mold. 


Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 05:40:57 PM »
While that was curing I went to work on the structural hearth. I then used 2" ceramic fiberboard on the hearth and under the firebricks.  My dad then helped me set the pieces of the oven.  We built an enclosure around it and insulated it with 8 bags of Vermiculite poured between the walls of the enclosure and the dome.  We then proceeded with the curing process. newspaper the first night, couple newspaper next, small kindling, small stick, 2 sticks, etc....Seemed like an eternity.  We are still finishing the outside of the enclosure and the surrounding counters.  We did have our first bake Saturday night and it was a success.  The oven heated up nicely and maintained its heat for a long while.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 05:41:13 PM »
Nice job! Looks like eatin'.


Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 06:22:48 PM »
Very cool. I have not seen anyone build their own modular oven from scratch before.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 03:50:17 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  It has been a fun build and time well spent with my daughter and father, not to mention the weekly family pizza party.

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 12:31:39 PM »
Good Glory!

I am impressed. What may have seemed like a few "simple tasks" to you are anything but that to many of us here. I wonder if you have the time (and desire) if you could provide any more details about how you formed the dome shape, how you mixed your "homebrew" refractory concrete, and what overall costs were.

Either way, your oven looks great and your pies look even better! How bout some smoker pics too!!

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 12:46:09 PM »
Awesome job.  Looks like the oven works great.  Congrats again and keeping rhose pies coming!

Offline kevinbrown22

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 01:03:18 PM »
Way cool.
Science, better than making stuff up since well forever.

Offline dhorst

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 01:11:13 PM »
Wow!  That's impressive.  Happy baking!

Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 02:00:21 PM »
Good Glory!

I am impressed. What may have seemed like a few "simple tasks" to you are anything but that to many of us here. I wonder if you have the time (and desire) if you could provide any more details about how you formed the dome shape, how you mixed your "homebrew" refractory concrete, and what overall costs were.

Either way, your oven looks great and your pies look even better! How bout some smoker pics too!!

John K
John, the dome was made using a form made from plaster.  I drew a circle 30" in diameter and cut some 1/4" plywood into arcs with a 16" height. Hooked them together onto a piece of 3/4" plywood and used rebar wire to make a way to attach wire lath to hold the plaster. I then filled the areas between the 1/4" ply with plaster to get my "inside oven mold".  I then divided the mold into quarters and hand packed homebrew refractory onto the mold at the desired thickness(2.5"). The recipe for the refractory is 6:1:1:1 (sand, portland cement, lime and fireclay, respectively).  I would say I have about $500 into the build currently(just the oven, hearth, insulation, enclosure). I am still working on the smoker, but I will post up pics as they come.

Thanks for the kind words everyone.


Offline Serpentelli

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 03:14:47 PM »
John, the dome was made using a form made from plaster.  I drew a circle 30" in diameter and cut some 1/4" plywood into arcs with a 16" height. Hooked them together onto a piece of 3/4" plywood and used rebar wire to make a way to attach wire lath to hold the plaster. I then filled the areas between the 1/4" ply with plaster to get my "inside oven mold".  I then divided the mold into quarters and hand packed homebrew refractory onto the mold at the desired thickness(2.5"). The recipe for the refractory is 6:1:1:1 (sand, portland cement, lime and fireclay, respectively).  I would say I have about $500 into the build currently(just the oven, hearth, insulation, enclosure). I am still working on the smoker, but I will post up pics as they come.

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Benny,

I know you're not trying to be evasive, and I'm trying my best not to be an idiot, but I am still wondering about a few things. If you'd prefer to have me contact you directly, I'd be happy to do that, but I'd bet others would be interested in knowing the answers as well. My questions are:

1. The oven seems to have been constructed in a place other than its final resting place. Did you make each piece, then let each piece dry and then piece it back together, like I did with the pieces I got with my (purchased) refractory concrete oven?

2. The edges of the dome pieces look like they have carefully constructed overlap joints (like my oven). How were these made so precisely?

3. How did you get your inner plaster mold out from the inside of the oven? (I guess the answer to that is that you DIDN'T, assuming that the pieces were made one at a time and then removed from the mold when they were dry.)

4. Do you think that a similar process would work for a lower dome oven, i.e a Neapolitan oven?

5. How many ways are there to REALLY screw this thing up? More specifically --- It looks like you've got some serious masonry experience. Would you advise against someone without lots of experience with masonry, molds, etc going along this route?

Thanks again, and sorry if I'm a pest.

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 06:12:36 PM »
Benny,

I know you're not trying to be evasive, and I'm trying my best not to be an idiot, but I am still wondering about a few things. If you'd prefer to have me contact you directly, I'd be happy to do that, but I'd bet others would be interested in knowing the answers as well. My questions are:

1. The oven seems to have been constructed in a place other than its final resting place. Did you make each piece, then let each piece dry and then piece it back together, like I did with the pieces I got with my (purchased) refractory concrete oven?

2. The edges of the dome pieces look like they have carefully constructed overlap joints (like my oven). How were these made so precisely?

3. How did you get your inner plaster mold out from the inside of the oven? (I guess the answer to that is that you DIDN'T, assuming that the pieces were made one at a time and then removed from the mold when they were dry.)

4. Do you think that a similar process would work for a lower dome oven, i.e a Neapolitan oven?

5. How many ways are there to REALLY screw this thing up? More specifically --- It looks like you've got some serious masonry experience. Would you advise against someone without lots of experience with masonry, molds, etc going along this route?

Thanks again, and sorry if I'm a pest.

John K
John- Absolutely no deception here. I guess I wasn't sure exactly what information you wanted. So here goes:
1.The oven was built with the mold setting on a pair of sawhorses about 20' from its final resting place.  The pieces were cast by forming up the mold in fourths. The oven opening was 1/4th of the "pie", the two "sides were also 1/4 of the pie each. And the "back" of the oven was the 4th piece of the pie.  I cast the two sides first-think of it as opposite angles. When the two opposite sides dried, they were removed from the mold(to make sure they would release), then stuck back on the mold, and the other two pieces were cast right up to those first two pieces.
2.Overlap joints were made by cutting 3/4" plywood to the same shape as the dome and attached to the forms that held the first two pieces of the cast.
3. The mold is still intact. The first two pieces were removed after they dried to make sure they would come off. Then the last two pieces were cast and then removed when they dried.
4. I see no reason why this process would not work for a lower dome.*
*5. I have absolutely no masonry experience except for this oven.  I am a tinkerer.  I read a lot on the web about projects I like and then I jump in head over heels.  I am a carpenter and woodworker by trade, who enjoys lots of DIY projects. The asterisk(*) in the previous question/answer is because I am not a mason and do not guarantee anything. The thing to do if you have no experience, but you have about $100 you don't mind blowing, is to make a mold, and cast an oven with the 6:1:1:1 recipe.  If it doesn't work out, you are only out $100.  The expense comes with the block stand, under hearth insulation and the insulation around your dome. Cast the oven first, if it works out, go for the rest of it.
Hope this answers your questions.

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 06:27:24 PM »
Benny,

That is stellar info and even better advice!

Seeing as I already have my oven I'm going to have to "experiment" with others who may be up for this kind of adventure. The simplicity of it is really elegant.

Thanks so much!

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 05:45:11 PM »
Thanks John-I will tell you there is quite a bit of time involved. Best of Luck!

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 09:42:20 PM »
I am not sure of the homebrew as a castable, but at worst it will last for a while. Save the mold though, you may have to reuse it with a modified mix. Very nice job all around though, I recommend that a  Mod move this to the appropriate forum.

Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2013, 03:49:08 AM »
I am not sure of the homebrew as a castable, but at worst it will last for a while. Save the mold though, you may have to reuse it with a modified mix. Very nice job all around though, I recommend that a  Mod move this to the appropriate forum.
Thanks Tom, apologies for posting this in the wrong forum, thought this was for the newbies like me.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2013, 10:27:49 AM »
It will be easier for others to find here.  To assist in searches, I will add:  Homebrew castable  plaster mold.

Offline benny8

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2013, 06:10:37 PM »
The family and I have been putting the finishing touches on the outdoor kitchen to get it ready for a upcoming family gathering tomorrow.  The smoker to the left of the oven, under the counter is just waiting for the door. There is two cutting boards above the smoker that can be removed to be washed.  Made an ash dump for the oven. The countertop to the right of the oven will serve as the prep area. Very proud of the work that we completed, and can't thank my family enough.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2013, 06:23:24 PM »
That's awesome.

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: My oven and kitchen build
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2013, 06:56:42 PM »
Very, very nice!

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!


 

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