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General Topics => Pizza Making Equipment => Pizza Ovens => Topic started by: Pod4477 on April 15, 2019, 12:28:09 AM

Title: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 15, 2019, 12:28:09 AM
Pizza Shark talked about making one, and I really want to try building a coal fired oven type outdoor pizza oven.  Something with a fire chamber down below a cooking chamber up above.  Does anyone know how this might be achieved?  I'm thinking it would be similar to a regular WFO, but without the dome.  I'm also not sure what material would be best for the pizza to cook on.  I have about 10 fire bricks that aren't being used.  Thanks as always.  I also wouldn't burn coal fire oven coal, but probably lump charcoal.

Pizza Sharks idea:
"I am seriously considering building a little brick oven out back that I can burn coal in.  I think I can easily build the thing with firebrick and not even screw around with mortar and such.  I'll buy two custom 24" square x 2" thick baking stones to serve as the deck and the ceiling and basic firebrick for the walls.  I'll keep the coal fire underneath and vent the cumbustion gas up through some holes I'll drill in the perimeter of the deck with a carbide foundation drill and then out the center of the top through holes drilled.  It ain't gonna be fancy but I think it'll get the job done as I'm not gonna spend a fortune on one of those silly pre-fab back-yard brick ovens that are only wood burning to boot.  For the opening I'll simply use firebrick on edge.  The whole thing shouldn't be more than 24" x 24" x 24" tall."
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: norma427 on April 15, 2019, 01:10:03 AM
Pizza Shark talked about making one, and I really want to try building a coal fired oven type outdoor pizza oven.  Something with a fire chamber down below a cooking chamber up above.  Does anyone know how this might be achieved?  I'm thinking it would be similar to a regular WFO, but without the dome.  I'm also not sure what material would be best for the pizza to cook on.  I have about 10 fire bricks that aren't being used.  Thanks as always.  I also wouldn't burn coal fire oven coal, but probably lump charcoal.

Pizza Sharks idea:
"I am seriously considering building a little brick oven out back that I can burn coal in.  I think I can easily build the thing with firebrick and not even screw around with mortar and such.  I'll buy two custom 24" square x 2" thick baking stones to serve as the deck and the ceiling and basic firebrick for the walls.  I'll keep the coal fire underneath and vent the cumbustion gas up through some holes I'll drill in the perimeter of the deck with a carbide foundation drill and then out the center of the top through holes drilled.  It ain't gonna be fancy but I think it'll get the job done as I'm not gonna spend a fortune on one of those silly pre-fab back-yard brick ovens that are only wood burning to boot.  For the opening I'll simply use firebrick on edge.  The whole thing shouldn't be more than 24" x 24" x 24" tall."

Pod4477,

This isn't a coal fired oven setup, but Steve (Ev) had great results in his rigged BBQ grill set-up.  Just an idea.  :-D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20006.0

Norma
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 15, 2019, 01:30:59 AM
Pod4477,

This isn't a coal fired oven setup, but Steve (Ev) had great results in his rigged BBQ grill set-up.  Just an idea.  :-D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20006.0

Norma

Thank you!  That is an awesome oven and very creative.  I might end up doing that!  I also found this video that I could adapt to my specs, if I decide to go the fire brick way: https://youtu.be/uwZ7oC_rW58

I don't know where I heard that the coals go down below and vent up to the deck, but looking at Lombardi's, the fire looks to be to the right of the pizzas.  My idea was to make two openings and maybe even have a space between the two levels for heat to rise.  It may be tough to get temps around 600F if I do a two level construction.  Am I wrong or did some traditional coal fired ovens have the coal down below in a chamber and the deck above that?  Most I see today just cook the pizza next to the coals.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 15, 2019, 09:44:07 AM
Member Andrew Bellucci shows a home coal oven in use here:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=44189.0

And member shuboyje built one too. I dont think the build details were on this forum.  I could be wrong though. I want to say he used a refractory concrete for it but he has built several ovens and I could be mixing them up. Been a few years...

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=31780.0

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 15, 2019, 11:09:11 PM
Member Andrew Bellucci shows a home coal oven in use here:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=44189.0

And member shuboyje built one too. I dont think the build details were on this forum.  I could be wrong though. I want to say he used a refractory concrete for it but he has built several ovens and I could be mixing them up. Been a few years...

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=31780.0

Awesome thank you so much!  So there doesn't seem to be the type ovens I was thinking, where the fire is down below and heat travels up to a deck/cooking chamber above.  I like Andrew's design and it's a truly amazing oven.  There doesn't seem to be much difference between a coal fired oven and a WFO, despite the difference in the dome and chimneys.  I wonder if I could build that oven on a smaller scale, but being able to do 18-22" pies is important to me. 

I think I'm going to try building Andrew's design though. I wonder if installing a chimney/flue is a good idea as much needed heat from my first oven attempt will escape, but I know it's good to let smoke escape and for airflow, so I'm sure I will.  Andrew's chimney appears to just be on the back left of the oven.  I'm still learning about ovens, but I think I could make a something similar, especially following Andrew's design. 

Airflow below the coal grates will be important and it's funny how Ooni did the same thing.  It also seems Andrew used red bricks, and I wonder if I should use firebrick or old red bricks for the frame and cooking chamber.  Insulation is another point Andrew brought up, using sand for it.  I am thinking about how big I want the oven to be, but having a separate cooking chamber and fire box will allow me to make bigger pies.  I think installing doors will be the toughest and most expensive, besides all the bricks.

My idea is to use my firebrick for the floor/deck.  I don't know if it is low, medium, or heavy duty firebrick, but I believe I bought it at Lowes or Home Depot.  I think I will use clay bricks for the walls just due to the cost.  I'd like to find old clay bricks compared to new clay bricks if possible.  Any tips would be appreciated as I've never done this before, but I don't care how long it takes to make. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 16, 2019, 09:51:26 AM
Awesome thank you so much!  So there doesn't seem to be the type ovens I was thinking, where the fire is down below and heat travels up to a deck/cooking chamber above.  I like Andrew's design and it's a truly amazing oven.  There doesn't seem to be much difference between a coal fired oven and a WFO, despite the difference in the dome and chimneys.  I wonder if I could build that oven on a smaller scale, but being able to do 18-22" pies is important to me. 

I think I'm going to try building Andrew's design though. I wonder if installing a chimney/flue is a good idea as much needed heat from my first oven attempt will escape, but I know it's good to let smoke escape and for airflow, so I'm sure I will.  Andrew's chimney appears to just be on the back left of the oven.  I'm still learning about ovens, but I think I could make a something similar, especially following Andrew's design. 

Airflow below the coal grates will be important and it's funny how Ooni did the same thing.  It also seems Andrew used red bricks, and I wonder if I should use firebrick or old red bricks for the frame and cooking chamber.  Insulation is another point Andrew brought up, using sand for it.  I am thinking about how big I want the oven to be, but having a separate cooking chamber and fire box will allow me to make bigger pies.  I think installing doors will be the toughest and most expensive, besides all the bricks.

My idea is to use my firebrick for the floor/deck.  I don't know if it is low, medium, or heavy duty firebrick, but I believe I bought it at Lowes or Home Depot.  I think I will use clay bricks for the walls just due to the cost.  I'd like to find old clay bricks compared to new clay bricks if possible.  Any tips would be appreciated as I've never done this before, but I don't care how long it takes to make.
If you were building a dome, wood fired oven I could provide some pointers. Other than eating pizza that came out of a coal oven, I have no experience with coal ovens. I thought the coal fire box was usually offset and down, but don't hold me to that. I would imagine controlling airflow is very important. I would guess that wall thickness (thermal mass) and insulation control your heat up time and heat retention.  One thing to watch out for is building an oven that takes 20 hours to heat up. That will ruin your Saturday.

Also, I think you would be better off finding a Masonry supply store near you than only shopping box stores. I dont think there is much call for fire brick at lowes or home depot. The ones near me only had very over priced fire brick splits. The supply store will have other things you need like high temp mortar (not cheap but Heat Stop 50 works well) or the ingredients to make a homebrew mortar.

One other piece of advice is offer is to put the oven floor at a height that won't make you be constantly hunched over. That tends to be around elbow height.

Good luck. And read as much on coal ovens as you can find. There might be some coal oven discussions at the Forno Bravo forum too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 16, 2019, 07:50:47 PM
If you were building a dome, wood fired oven I could provide some pointers. Other than eating pizza that came out of a coal oven, I have no experience with coal ovens. I thought the coal fire box was usually offset and down, but don't hold me to that. I would imagine controlling airflow is very important. I would guess that wall thickness (thermal mass) and insulation control your heat up time and heat retention.  One thing to watch out for is building an oven that takes 20 hours to heat up. That will ruin your Saturday.

Also, I think you would be better off finding a Masonry supply store near you than only shopping box stores. I dont think there is much call for fire brick at lowes or home depot. The ones near me only had very over priced fire brick splits. The supply store will have other things you need like high temp mortar (not cheap but Heat Stop 50 works well) or the ingredients to make a homebrew mortar.

One other piece of advice is offer is to put the oven floor at a height that won't make you be constantly hunched over. That tends to be around elbow height.

Good luck. And read as much on coal ovens as you can find. There might be some coal oven discussions at the Forno Bravo forum too.

Thank you! Any help is much appreciated.  A dome is awesome, I just don't think I'd want to tackle that yet.  My idea is an oven 45"L x 28"D x 54"H.  The deck will be about 27"x 27", with the fire area being 18" wide or length.  I was thinking of not having it too low as well; awesome advice.  I definitely don't want a 20 hour heat up, so I'm thinking that Andrews oven took 90 minutes, so mine should be less since it's a bit smaller.  Funny you said that because I just went to a masonry supply store today.  They prices fire brick around 2.5 dollars each and clay brick around 80 cents each.  High temp mortar was about 55 bucks for the 50 lbs I believe.  I'll have to look at the discussions there thanks you! 

One thing I have to figure out is how to make the opening that Andrew had to store charcoal.  I'm not sure if I should even do that, as I don't want the many stray cats living in there haha.  But it cuts down on bricks.  I would just fear that it wouldn't be stable enough support there, since it's under the deck, and I always feel stacking bricks is better than anything floating, even with mortar.

I also need to figure out the foundation floor.  I have pavers that have been in there for a while and are fairly level.  I could put it on there, or I may just build a new area for the oven on dirt.  Is it usually practice to put down a concrete base first? 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 20, 2019, 06:22:54 PM
So my plan is to build a hybrid WFO and Coal fired oven, due to the fact that I need a big cooking area for 22" pizzas.  There has been some debate on the Forno Brovo forums as to whether or not coal fired ovens had a separate chamber for the coal or if the coals burned on or next to the deck using a grate or right on the deck.  My main question is using lump charcoal, do I need a grate system with ash bin below, and a blower? or can I just build a charcoal fire right on the deck?

The plan is to build a tad smaller version of Andrew's oven at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=44189.msg442042#msg442042
I'm not sure if I'm going to use the grates for the fire to be built on, or just make the oven one giant firebrick floor.  I'm leaning towards making it a giant firebrick floor and it being pretty much like many WFOs, but with a bigger deck.  The door/opening will be about 24" width to fit 22" pizzas in and out of, with a minimal height to keep heat in.  Basically my idea is to make a mix between Andrew's oven and the coal fired oven below: https://youtu.be/YKujCHaLBWk

1.  What should I make the top of the oven with, if making it a flat roof and not a dome?  Do I just use insulation and bricks?  Do anyone know what Andrew used for his room?
2.  Why is it important to use a blower with coal fired ovens, but not used in WFO? 
3.  Is airflow below the lump charcoal that important?  It seems to me that the lump could burn right on the firebrick, without air below it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 20, 2019, 07:13:53 PM
There doesn't seem to be much difference between a coal fired oven and a WFO, despite the difference in the dome and chimneys.  I wonder if I could build that oven on a smaller scale, but being able to do 18-22" pies is important to me. 

I think I'm going to try building Andrew's design though. I wonder if installing a chimney/flue is a good idea as much needed heat from my first oven attempt will escape, but I know it's good to let smoke escape and for airflow, so I'm sure I will.  Andrew's chimney appears to just be on the back left of the oven.  I'm still learning about ovens, but I think I could make a something similar, especially following Andrew's design. 

Airflow below the coal grates will be important and it's funny how Ooni did the same thing.  It also seems Andrew used red bricks, and I wonder if I should use firebrick or old red bricks for the frame and cooking chamber.  Insulation is another point Andrew brought up, using sand for it.  I am thinking about how big I want the oven to be, but having a separate cooking chamber and fire box will allow me to make bigger pies.  I think installing doors will be the toughest and most expensive, besides all the bricks.

My idea is to use my firebrick for the floor/deck.  I don't know if it is low, medium, or heavy duty firebrick, but I believe I bought it at Lowes or Home Depot.  I think I will use clay bricks for the walls just due to the cost.  I'd like to find old clay bricks compared to new clay bricks if possible.  Any tips would be appreciated as I've never done this before, but I don't care how long it takes to make.

It's a HUGE difference between a coal oven and a WFO. It's not just airflow below the coal grates; it's FORCED airflow. The entire fire management process is completely different too. Almost zero similarities.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 20, 2019, 07:15:25 PM
I can't help with most of your questions. I can tell you that under my oven stand there is about a foot of compacted crusher run stone and the a concrete slab. My stand is already overkill. Footings below the frost line seemed really overkill since I was on well compacted sand.

For the roof, if you are building in Massachusetts, I would recommend having a slope to the roof. You want any rain or snow to flow off. A flat roof can pond and if it leaks, it will ruin your insulation. You can build a structure around the oven or put on a tin roof or build a shelter around the oven. You can look around at different oven structures and find something you like.

One other thing, I'm not into the lingo of coal ovens. When you say lump charcoal I think wood burnt down to coal for grilling. I'm assuming you are thinking coal like mined coal. Anthracite I think. No experience with it, but I've watched that Forged in Fire show and when they use coal, airflow is very important.

You are not too far from a few Pepe's locations. Might be worth getting a good look at one of those ovens for research...and a pizza.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 20, 2019, 07:42:37 PM
It's a HUGE difference between a coal oven and a WFO. It's not just airflow below the coal grates; it's FORCED airflow. The entire fire management process is completely different too. Almost zero similarities.

Awesome info, thank you.  I didn't realize the differences between coal fired ovens and WFO.  I also realized, in the past hour, that I should have clarified between coal fired and lump charcoal fired, which it seems Andrew is using and I probably would use.  I can see how forced airflow would be important with coal, and I wonder if this would be important for lump charcoal.  With lump charcoal being wood, I feel that it could be used directly on the deck as in a wood fired oven.  So why did Andrew put it on grates?  I wonder if it was just for increased airflow or just ash management.

I can't help with most of your questions. I can tell you that under my oven stand there is about a foot of compacted crusher run stone and the a concrete slab. My stand is already overkill. Footings below the frost line seemed really overkill since I was on well compacted sand.

For the roof, if you are building in Massachusetts, I would recommend having a slope to the roof. You want any rain or snow to flow off. A flat roof can pond and if it leaks, it will ruin your insulation. You can build a structure around the oven or put on a tin roof or build a shelter around the oven. You can look around at different oven structures and find something you like.

One other thing, I'm not into the lingo of coal ovens. When you say lump charcoal I think wood burnt down to coal for grilling. I'm assuming you are thinking coal like mined coal. Anthracite I think. No experience with it, but I've watched that Forged in Fire show and when they use coal, airflow is very important.

You are not too far from a few Pepe's locations. Might be worth getting a good look at one of those ovens for research...and a pizza.

Awesome info too, thank you!  My goal is really to replicate the Pizzeria Regina coal/gas fired oven in the North End of Boston.  Of course, I wouldn't do gas, so I wanted to go back to how PR used coal, but probably use lump charcoal instead.  I've had awesome results using lump in my Uuni Pro, but I wanted a bigger oven to do 22" pizzas.  I'll have to decide on whether or not I do a grate system for the lump charcoal or just burn it right on the deck.

The stone and concrete slab are similar to what is recommended in the book "Bread Earth and Fire": Earth Ovens and Artisan Breads
By Stuart Silverstein.  He recommends filling with gravel, rocks, and rubble, followed by 10" of dry medium perlite, and on top of that 2 inches of a mix of perlite and Portland cement.  He places solid concrete blocks on top of that, and then firebricks on top of the blocks.  I was surprised to read that there is no need to mortar between the concrete blocks that make up the walls, and that he stuccos the four walls with surface bonding cement.  Overkill is always good.

My idea is to make this base pretty big, and then make the firebrick the entire inside of the blocks.  Then I'd build around the firebrick.  I'll make a mockup. I was debating using coal, but the health concerns are not worth it.  A slope is an awesome idea, and I have a mason friend who is going to help, so I won't be going in alone.  For the roof, what is the typical materials if not making a mud and perlite dome?  Could you do it with just bricks?  Andrew's looked like this, but I couldn't tell.

The concrete ground slab is about 6 ft x 5 ft. also.

 I definitely will visit Pepes and maybe even the CT location, if not the MA ones.  Thank you for the recommendation.  We have a bunch of coal fired places around me, but I always look for the original.  Pizzeria Regina was even coal fired back then I believe.  The oven design I'm thinking is similar to Pepes, with a fire door on the right and a main door in the middle.  I may try to replicate this two door setup, just for emptying out and adding charcoal.
https://pepespizzeria.com/photos-by-tom-mcgovern-2/
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 20, 2019, 07:58:18 PM
Not familiar with the Pizzeria Regina ovens. If you are going to use lump wood charcoal, i think you might as well just burn hardwood logs down. That's all a bag of royal oak is.

Just to clarify, I was describing the slab at the bottom of my oven. My stand is similar to the one in the Forno Bravo Pompeii oven plans.  So from the existing sand there is 12 inches of compacted crusher run, plastic barrier, 5.5 inch thick reinforced concrete stab, stacked block (some cells filled with bar and concrete, I think it was 5 courses), a reinforced concrete slab, 3.5 inches of perlcrete 2 inches of insulation board, oven floor/dome, insulation blankets and loose perlite. The whole thing is covered by a structure (which still needs finish work).
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 20, 2019, 08:16:52 PM
Not familiar with the Pizzeria Regina ovens. If you are going to use lump wood charcoal, i think you might as well just burn hardwood logs down. That's all a bag of royal oak is.

Just to clarify, I was describing the slab at the bottom of my oven. My stand is similar to the one in the Forno Bravo Pompeii oven plans.  So from the existing sand there is 12 inches of compacted crusher run, plastic barrier, 5.5 inch thick reinforced concrete stab, stacked block (some cells filled with bar and concrete, I think it was 5 courses), a reinforced concrete slab, 3.5 inches of perlcrete 2 inches of insulation board, oven floor/dome, insulation blankets and loose perlite. The whole thing is covered by a structure (which still needs finish work).

I believe they just use gas now anyway. The result is an oven around 600F and no live flame.  I may need to place fire bricks in between the pizza and the fire to replicate this, as it worked good in my Uuni.  I definitely may just use wood logs and found that the best time to replicate PR is to do it when the flames have gone down. 

Amazing oven you built.  I really appreciate the breakdown of your construction, and there are some similarities.  I'm still new to this, so I insanely appreciate it.  So if I decide to use concrete blocks for the firebricks to sit on, do you think I need high temp mortar to hold them, or can they just be layed down loose, along with loose firebrick for the oven floor?  I also see you used concrete and bar in your 5 course block.  Do you think this is better than the stucco described in the book? 

Also, I'm assuming if I make a brick wall and roof, I would need high temp mortar.  The book also mentions calcium silicate board or sand being used for insulation, was this the same insulation board you used?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 20, 2019, 08:30:08 PM


I believe they just use gas now anyway. The result is an oven around 600F and no live flame.  I may need to place fire bricks in between the pizza and the fire to replicate this, as it worked good in my Uuni.  I definitely may just use wood logs and found that the best time to replicate PR is to do it when the flames have gone down. 

Amazing oven you built.  I really appreciate the breakdown of your construction.  I'm still new to this, so I insanely appreciate it.  So if I decide to use concrete blocks below the firebricks, do you think I need high temp mortar to hold them, or can they just be layed down loose, along with loose firebrick for the oven floor?  I have heard of using high temp mortar, but the book doesn't even use it.

You only need the high temp mortar for the oven itself. I went with enough insulation under the oven floor that I dont think the supporting concrete slab ever gets above ambient temperature. I'd get enough insulation between your oven floor and any concrete for it not to matter. Typical concrete doesn't do well with high temperatures. My father in law put together a little concrete block U shape about 3 courses high for burning brush. The blocks are crumbling. They are just not meant for that.

When I fired the oven before the enclosure was built, inside the oven was 800 plus and the outer layer of blanket was 90. The modern insulation is pretty impressive.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 20, 2019, 08:44:25 PM

You only need the high temp mortar for the oven itself. I went with enough insulation under the oven floor that I dont think the supporting concrete slab ever gets above ambient temperature. I'd get enough insulation between your oven floor and any concrete for it not to matter. Typical concrete doesn't do well with high temperatures. My father in law put together a little concrete block U shape about 3 courses high for burning brush. The blocks are crumbling. They are just not meant for that.

When I fired the oven before the enclosure was built, inside the oven was 800 plus and the outer layer of blanket was 90. The modern insulation is pretty impressive.

Crumbling is my worst nightmare lol.  Good to know about the high temp mortar, thank you.  I will use it if I make a ceiling and walls from brick as Andrew it.  So the book mentions using more mass for bread and less for pizza.  I'm trying to decide on what I should use under the firebrick.  I'm confused about one thing.  Is it best to go from oven floor: firebrick, insulation board, perlcrete, and then concrete slab that it all sits on?

Or better to use firebrick, concrete, and then insulation?  The book shows the order as firebrick, solid concrete block, Portland cement, and then insulation.  Good to know the modern insulation is impressive, so I'm thinking I'd use that.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 20, 2019, 08:52:50 PM
I'd insulate just below the floor. You want the heat in the oven. So floor, insulation, slab.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 20, 2019, 09:02:34 PM
I'd insulate just below the floor. You want the heat in the oven. So floor, insulation, slab.

Thank you.  I just downloaded the Forno Bravo oven instructions.  I see how they filled the block with concrete and bar, and I wonder if this is better than the stucco in the book.  I know nothing about FB board.  Where is the best place to buy FB board and I'm assuming it can be cut to size?  It also seems the book is adding the extra blocks for bread baking, but not needed for me.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 20, 2019, 09:16:47 PM
I got my board and blanket from Harbison Walker. One thing to note, that the boards I used needs to be kept dry. Insboard I think. I had everything covered up all the time with a system of tarps and a 10x10 pop up tent. I think other brands are more forgiving. Perhaps VTsteve will chime in. I know he used a different insulation than I did.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 20, 2019, 09:35:17 PM
I got my board and blanket from Harbison Walker. One thing to note, that the boards I used needs to be kept dry. Insboard I think. I had everything covered up all the time with a system of tarps and a 10x10 pop up tent. I think other brands are more forgiving. Perhaps VTsteve will chime in. I know he used a different insulation than I did.

Thank you.  Really good to know about moisture with it.  I think I may do a hybrid of the book and the Forno Bravo build.  I don't want storage underneath, due to animals and annoyance.  It's nice to have, but I don't need it.  I'm going to draw up an updated mockup.  I need to decide on ceiling and oven walls, but most likely will be brick.  I'm assuming it will need high temp mortar then on the walls and ceiling.  The stand will be all cement block.  I will probably use FB board and then firebrick.  I'm happy to know I can lay the blocks out dry and then have my friend come in to help with the brick oven masonry.  He's also going to help with the foundation.  My biggest issues will be:
1.  Oven wall and ceiling setup
2.  2 door setup, but not as complicated as it feels
3.  Covering the oven from the elements.   
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 21, 2019, 12:40:38 AM
Rough plans with 4 course 8x8x16 blocks and possible brick walls for the oven.  A main door could go in the opening and a fire door possibly.  I may have to go smaller for the firebrick cooking area, as 48"x48" is quite large.  I think 31.5" is recommended in the book.  If I go smaller, I will have to build brick on top of the insulation, which could expose some insulation to weather.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 25, 2019, 02:12:30 AM
Probably going to go with one of the two pictures below.  So the 6" thick, 72x72" slab is done!  I plan on dry laying the blocks in a week and probably will just pour into the inside of them.  Trying to decide if I do a wood base inside for the concrete to sit on, or fill the inside with gravel.  I think the wood would be more cost effective.  Then I plan on doing insulation and firebrick.  The oven is more along the lines of a Scott style oven, trying to recreate Pizzeria Regina or old coal fired ovens.  I think I may do a slight dome ceiling or a flat one like PR, all made from firebrick.  Then foil on the outside of the firebrick and followed by concrete.  Then probably shingles or some sort of roof system.  The door/opening should be no more than 12" high, but needs to be 24" Wide.

I need to remember that it will never full replicate PR's age or gas oven characteristics, but I do think a Scott style oven is a lot closer to PR's oven, or coal fired ovens.  I don't want a 6 hour heat up time, but I think at 48x48 is close to Andrew's coal fired oven on here, and he said his was about 1.5 hour heat up.  I'm definitely not trying to cook Neapolitan pizzas, and I want a bake temp of around 600-660F.

Picture one is 48x48 deck area, and picture 2 is 32x32.  48x48 will give me more room between the pizza and the fire, which is what I want, especially for a 22" pizza.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 26, 2019, 04:14:56 PM
I forgot about the block caps.  In the picture below I have two block caps stacked for a deck height around 32".  I need to decide if I build the oven on the blocks, or do an entirely brick design as Andrew has done.  Blocks are a lot less masonry.  I need to decide on how to fill in the inside of the block to support the oven.  I have seen gravel and wood frames being used, as well as laying cement boards across the opening supported by lintels.  Some even lay concrete across the 3 or 4 walls of blocks.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 26, 2019, 06:12:44 PM
I can't speak to Andrew's oven. Mine is 5 courses of block high topped with a slab. The slab covers the top of the block so no caps. The slab is thicker inside the concrete blocks under the oven but just 4 inches on top of the block. I think it was 6 inside. The a 2x4 height of perlcrete topped with 2 inches of board. Then the floor. Top of deck is about 50 inches. The patio in front screwed me up. I was shooting for 51-52. I fear you will be miserable with a floor at 32. That is below my waist and I'm not really tall(just over 6').

You should also know the 8 inches in a concrete block includes the mortar you are skipping. The block itself is really 7.5 inches so 4 blocks dry stacked is only 30 inches. Your 32 inches also does not include insulation under the floor.

I would recommend standing in a home depot and stacking 4 blocks. There will be some brick or pavers nearby that you can put on top to estimate the floor elevation. Pretend to launch a pizza and see if you like the height.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 27, 2019, 12:05:35 AM
I can't speak to Andrew's oven. Mine is 5 courses of block high topped with a slab. The slab covers the top of the block so no caps. The slab is thicker inside the concrete blocks under the oven but just 4 inches on top of the block. I think it was 6 inside. The a 2x4 height of perlcrete topped with 2 inches of board. Then the floor. Top of deck is about 50 inches. The patio in front screwed me up. I was shooting for 51-52. I fear you will be miserable with a floor at 32. That is below my waist and I'm not really tall(just over 6').

You should also know the 8 inches in a concrete block includes the mortar you are skipping. The block itself is really 7.5 inches so 4 blocks dry stacked is only 30 inches. Your 32 inches also does not include insulation under the floor.

I would recommend standing in a home depot and stacking 4 blocks. There will be some brick or pavers nearby that you can put on top to estimate the floor elevation. Pretend to launch a pizza and see if you like the height.

Thank you; your info is much appreciated.  So you probably did the Forno Bravo method of setting up wood framing next to the blocks, so the slab covers the top of the blocks, inside the blocks on top of backer board.  My Ooni is at 34" (ground to top of oven floor) and yeah you're right that I would not want it at 32".  I do have to hunch over at 34", but I've gotten so used to it.  Still higher is better. I do think 37-40" is best. 

Thank you; awesome points about the mortar being skipped and insulation is 2" right?  Awesome idea about dry stacking them at Home Depot.  I'll do that tomorrow.  I wonder the best way to make the oven slab level, either by using the method in the book I bought (filling the inside of the blocks with gravel and then concrete) or using wood frames.  I feel like with the book's way, I could run a piece of wood across the caps and have the slab come up flush with the top of the caps.  Since I have no experience with this, that seems easiest.  I've done some concrete work and I've read self leveling is always tough. 

Questions I thought of:
1.  What's the best pattern to lay the firebrick? Herringbone or offset patterns have been mentioned in the instructions of Forno Bravo
2.  Should I lay the firebrick flat or on its side?  I'm guessing on its side is to hold more heat, but will take longer to fully hold the heat.
3.  According to the book, 3 courses of block equals 42 blocks, so how many blocks (not including caps) would be required for the 4 courses in the picture?  56?  It seems like 14 blocks per course.

Updated image below:  I may omit the cap if doing the Forno Bravo design of course.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 27, 2019, 09:18:04 AM
Awesome info, thank you.  I didn't realize the differences between coal fired ovens and WFO.  I also realized, in the past hour, that I should have clarified between coal fired and lump charcoal fired, which it seems Andrew is using and I probably would use.  I can see how forced airflow would be important with coal, and I wonder if this would be important for lump charcoal.  With lump charcoal being wood, I feel that it could be used directly on the deck as in a wood fired oven.  So why did Andrew put it on grates?  I wonder if it was just for increased airflow or just ash management.

Andrew is using anthracite coal which is what all coal (not to be confused with charcoal and definitely not briquettes) ovens in the US use. Coal will not work if placed straight on the deck like wood which is why he has the grates and blower. I suspect charcoal might, but I don't know for sure. It might not. Ash buildup may be a problem if you don't have a grate but maybe not if you're not running it for hours on end. I think the bigger concern for not having grates is going to be airflow. I'm skeptical that without good airflow, you won't be able to get the oven up to the operating temps you want.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 27, 2019, 11:25:32 AM
Andrew is using anthracite coal which is what all coal (not to be confused with charcoal and definitely not briquettes) ovens in the US use. Coal will not work if placed straight on the deck like wood which is why he has the grates and blower. I suspect charcoal might, but I don't know for sure. It might not. Ash buildup may be a problem if you don't have a grate but maybe not if you're not running it for hours on end. I think the bigger concern for not having grates is going to be airflow. I'm skeptical that without good airflow, you won't be able to get the oven up to the operating temps you want.

Thank you.  I want to acknowledge all the help you have all been giving me, as I'm trying to figure this all out.
Wow for some reason I thought he said he used lump charcoal, but figured that was odd for his post title.  I went back and it's anthracite like you said; my bad. 

Very good advice, thank you.  I use only lump charcoal in my Ooni and it does have some air holes below it and behind the fire box.  I'm not opposed to just using wood though, but I think for a Pizzeria Regina texture, I won't want any live flames.  Pizzeria Regina pizzas seem to really cook like just bread, with many of the pizzas coming out white from surface caked on flour not even cooking much.  This is what I'm trying to replicate and I guess the closest comparison oven is the Scott style ovens or barrel bread ovens in general.  My original idea was a coal fired oven, but Anthracite wouldn't be good for long term health and PR uses gas now anyway. 

I may do a flat ceiling as PR and other ovens I see are all flat; not good for pizza but I'm trying to do more of a hybrid anyway.  I'm still trying to find step by step instructions for a Scott style oven with a flat ceiling, or even just one with a domed one.  Does anyone know of any?  I should probably have the title of my thread changed to barrel vault oven or something  :-D 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 27, 2019, 11:31:56 AM
You could use angle iron to hang a flat ceiling. The picture below is from New Park Pizza in Howard Beach, NY. Great pizza. The burner (outside of view on the right) is an open ~2" galvanized pipe.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 27, 2019, 11:32:58 AM
For an oven like this, I think it will be very important to have a door that you can close whenever you are no loading or unloading the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 27, 2019, 11:43:01 AM
You could use angle iron to hang a flat ceiling. The picture below is from New Park Pizza in Howard Beach, NY. Great pizza. The burner (outside of view on the right) is an open ~2" galvanized pipe.

Thank you! That is a perfect example there.  This seems like the best way, since I really don't have the skill for a domed oven, and the whole idea was to replicate these style ovens.  Interesting about the galvanized pipe.  You're very right about having a door I can close, and I've been thinking about the best way to do this.  PR uses a door that opens inward, but how do metal hinged doors even get installed into firebrick?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 27, 2019, 11:45:59 AM
You could use angle iron to hang a flat ceiling. The picture below is from New Park Pizza in Howard Beach, NY. Great pizza. The burner (outside of view on the right) is an open ~2" galvanized pipe.
I thought anything galvanized going above 450 or so was a bad idea. The zinc vaporizes and is toxic.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 27, 2019, 11:52:53 AM
I thought anything galvanized going above 450 or so was a bad idea. The zinc vaporizes and is toxic.
Yup I stay away from anything galvanized when it comes to fire.  I'm guessing the best way for a flat ceiling would be angle irons, firebrick, foil, and then concrete?  This seems to be similar to how they did it at https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3271783285/in/album-72157613634415857/
Or just stucco it.  I will have to put some shingles on it or corrugated metal
roof.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 27, 2019, 12:04:00 PM
I thought anything galvanized going above 450 or so was a bad idea. The zinc vaporizes and is toxic.

It was probably black iron painted grey on the outside of the oven. You can see it in this picture.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 27, 2019, 12:08:55 PM
It was probably black iron painted grey on the outside of the oven. You can see it in this picture.
Awesome picture.  That makes sense.  That is basically the oven I have in mind, and the door is going to be tricky.  I need a door/opening that are similar dimensions; around 24" wide by 6-12" height.  I'm also wondering if I should make the cooking chamber 14"-15" tall.  A lot of oven's I've seen are 14"-15" cooking chamber height.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 27, 2019, 12:08:57 PM
It was probably black iron painted grey on the outside of the oven. You can see it in this picture.
That makes more sense. Just don't want anyone using galvanized at wfo temps.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 27, 2019, 12:35:16 PM
For an oven like this, would it be best to install a flue like Andrew did, or just not have any?  The Ooni has one and I'm basically just making a bigger version of the Ooni  ::). I'm assuming the easiest way is just have to have a break in the firebrick ceiling and install a small flue with heat stop 50.  I know the best location for a flue is outside the chamber, but I won't really have that area.  I guess I could install the flue right above and behind the door opening though.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 27, 2019, 03:19:52 PM
Awesome picture.  That makes sense.  That is basically the oven I have in mind, and the door is going to be tricky.  I need a door/opening that are similar dimensions; around 24" wide by 6-12" height.  I'm also wondering if I should make the cooking chamber 14"-15" tall.  A lot of oven's I've seen are 14"-15" cooking chamber height.

I think the door will solve a couple problems - the other being supporting the span over the top of the door opening. Really all you need is to get someone to fabricate a long hinge plate that serves as the door on one side and the support for the bricks over the door opening on the other - then just build it into the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 27, 2019, 03:23:15 PM
For an oven like this, would it be best to install a flue like Andrew did, or just not have any?  The Ooni has one and I'm basically just making a bigger version of the Ooni  ::). I'm assuming the easiest way is just have to have a break in the firebrick ceiling and install a small flue with heat stop 50.  I know the best location for a flue is outside the chamber, but I won't really have that area.  I guess I could install the flue right above and behind the door opening though.

You have to have a flue because your door will always be closed - another reason you need to burn on grates - without an open door, you need an alternate way for air to get in and combustion gases to get out. In an oven like this, I think you do want the flue inside the oven at the opposite side from the fire because you are trying to draw hot air across the interior of the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 28, 2019, 12:10:35 PM
I think the door will solve a couple problems - the other being supporting the span over the top of the door opening. Really all you need is to get someone to fabricate a long hinge plate that serves as the door on one side and the support for the bricks over the door opening on the other - then just build it into the oven.
Thank you! very awesome idea.  So would the hinge plate have to be welded into the middle angle iron and act as a giant angle iron all the way to the front?  I'll have to check on where I can get that fabricated around here.  So then the cooking chamber height would have to be the exact height of the door when hinged down.

You have to have a flue because your door will always be closed - another reason you need to burn on grates - without an open door, you need an alternate way for air to get in and combustion gases to get out. In an oven like this, I think you do want the flue inside the oven at the opposite side from the fire because you are trying to draw hot air across the interior of the oven.
Thank you! That's why I saw in the book that some people use a door with slots on top or bottom, depending on having a flue or not.  That is how I was picturing it as well; probably on the left side in this case.  So let's hope I get this correct, either the fire burns on the center of the oven and then moved over, or burns on one side and the hot air draws across the floor and out the flue?

Do you think I could just put grates on top of the firebrick, on the far right side? If not, I wonder if I should go with Andrew's setup of having grates on the right side and have the ash shoot.  That makes me think of building the entire oven in brick, but the issue is that block seems easier for me to do myself. With having the entire firebrick floor be the oven, I'm thinking putting grates on the firebrick might be the only way to get some airflow underneath.  I was all set to buy the blocks today, but now I'm wondering.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 12:53:05 PM
Thank you! very awesome idea.  So how would the hinge plate have to be welded into the middle angle iron and act as a giant angle iron all the way to the front?  I'll have to check on where I can get that fabricated around here.  So then the cooking chamber height would have to be the exact height of the door when hinged down.

I don't think the door assembly needs to be welded to the angle iron supporting the roof. I'm envisioning two pieces of fairly heavy steel flat stock connected via a "piano hinge." The top is the width of the bricks and maybe 8-12" wider than the door opening. Once the door opening height is reached when you're laying bricks, the top part spans the opening and becomes the support for the bricks above it, so the dome is higher than the top of the door opening. The top part may need to be thicker steel than the door part as you don't want it to flex under the weight of the bricks and ceiling on it or your door may not open. It may be that you need to weld another piece of flat stock to the back of the top part to make it into an angle iron to give it the rigidity it needs. That would basically create an "L" shape that the brick course above the door would fit into - the back of the "L" would point upwards behind the bricks above the door, so you wouldn't see it.

The door piece would be slightly wider than the opening and the same height. The two pieces would each have sections of steel tube welded to them intermittently such that the fit together and a steel rod can be run through the middle of all the tubes, creating a "piano hinge."
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 01:02:12 PM
either the fire burns on the center of the oven and then moved over, or burns on one side and the hot air draws across the floor and out the flue?

Do you think I could just put grates on top of the firebrick, on the far right side? If not, I wonder if I should go with Andrew's setup of having grates on the right side and have the ash shoot.  That makes me think of building the entire oven in brick, but the issue is that block seems easier for me to do myself. With having the entire firebrick floor be the oven, I'm thinking putting grates on the firebrick might be the only way to get some airflow underneath.  I was all set to buy the blocks today, but now I'm wondering.

I don't think you want to move a charcoal or coal fire - certainly not a coal fire. With coal, you don't ever touch it once it gets going except to add more coal. It's not like a wood fire that you can mess with. The fire has to be built and maintained on the side. I don't think you will be able to get the oven hot, much less maintain the heat, without a set-up like Andrew's. I think that's the only way to get the necessary volume of airflow and for the airflow to have the right path. With grates on the fire brick, you starve the fire because there is no place for air to enter the oven when the door is closed, and with the door open and with whatever cracks you have, you're drawing cold air across the deck. I think what you need is cold air entering from below the fire in whatever volume the fire can draw. That air is heated by the fire, moves across the oven, and exits the flue. Cold air never moves through the cooking chamber. You can regulate temperature, if necessary, at the flue by restricting the volume of gas that can exit - though my gas is that it's more likely you will need a flue enhancer fan to increase airflow than it is you will ever want to restrict airflow.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 28, 2019, 01:05:37 PM
I don't think the door assembly needs to be welded to the angle iron supporting the roof. I'm envisioning two pieces of fairly heavy steel flat stock connected via a "piano hinge." The top is the width of the bricks and maybe 8-12" wider than the door opening. Once the door opening height is reached when you're laying bricks, the top part spans the opening and becomes the support for the bricks above it, so the dome is higher than the top of the door opening. The top part may need to be thicker steel than the door part as you don't want it to flex under the weight of the bricks and ceiling on it or your door may not open. It may be that you need to weld another piece of flat stock to the back of the top part to make it into an angle iron to give it the rigidity it needs. That would basically create an "L" shape that the brick course above the door would fit into - the back of the "L" would point upwards behind the bricks above the door, so you wouldn't see it.

The door piece would be slightly wider than the opening and the same height. The two pieces would each have sections of steel tube welded to them intermittently such that the fit together and a steel rod can be run through the middle of all the tubes, creating a "piano hinge."

This is very helpful, thank you!  I was picturing a very similar piano hinge.
1. So the door part would be wider than the opening, which means it would be come down flush with the inside of the firebrick opening and there would be a almost a doorway there with the thickness of the firebrick protruding? 
2.  Yes definitely thicker top steel and it sounds like it would be a giant "T" shape with maybe an angle iron on the top front part.  Awesome detail in the piano hinge description, thank you.  I wonder how much it would cost to fabricate this.

Note: I'm sure I'll need more angle irons than in the picture below, but the idea I had was to rest the top steel onto the middle angle iron, but then it might push up the firebrick in that area from the extra thickness.  The roof will be concrete so that may not matter.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:04:08 PM
This is what I'm thinking:
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:11:13 PM
Front elevation:
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:13:31 PM
Door assembly:
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 28, 2019, 02:23:26 PM
Door assembly:

Awesome mockups! thank you.  This is incredible all the help you guys are giving me.  So it seems like an angle iron with a hinge.  So I'm assuming the hinge would have to be pretty tight in order for the door to stay up all the way while open.  I also wonder if I should build the oven the same way out of clay brick and do just the oven floor in firebrick, or do the entire thing in firebrick. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:31:32 PM
I think the angle iron that hold up the ceiling can sit right on top of a row of bricks and only be held in by mortar. I don't think it needs to be welded to the door assembly. It might even be more than one course above the assembly. I'm thinking that a "T" shape may be better than an "L". With a typical "L" angle iron, you'll have to double them up to hold bricks on both sides.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:33:22 PM
Note that I ignored the firebox assembly as it wasn't part of the design I was trying to showcase.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:36:48 PM
Awesome mockups! thank you.  This is incredible all the help you guys are giving me.  So it seems like an angle iron with a hinge.  So I'm assuming the hinge would have to be pretty tight in order for the door to stay up all the way while open.  I also wonder if I should build the oven the same way out of clay brick and do just the oven floor in firebrick, or do the entire thing in firebrick.

It's an angle iron, but I think you want it have it custom made so that it fully supports the bricks hanging over the door. It's less critical for the roof bricks because you will have angle irons on both sides of the brick supporting them.

I was thinking about the door. I don't think you want it too stiff, or after it rusts a bit, you might not be able to open it. I think maybe you want it fairly loose so that you never have to worry about it seizing up and then just make some sort of loop or catch for the handle that you use to hold the door in the open position.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 02:42:20 PM
Ceiling:
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 28, 2019, 02:50:46 PM
Ceiling:
Amazing work!  This really helps me picture and plan it.  I'm very grateful  :-D Sorry grate pun.  Do you think a separate firebox is needed or could I elevate using a grate on firebricks?  I'd also love to just build this oven with red clay brick as you have it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 03:12:28 PM
Amazing work!  This really helps me picture and plan it.  I'm very grateful  :-D Sorry grate pun.  Do you think a separate firebox is needed or could I elevate using a grate on firebricks?  I'd also love to just build this oven with red clay brick as you have it.

Yes, I think a firebox set-up like Andrew's is a requirement for this style of oven. I think that's the only way to get (1) the necessary volume of airflow and (2) for the airflow to have the right path. With grates on the fire brick, you starve the fire because there is no place for air to enter the oven when the door is closed, and with the door open and with whatever cracks you have, you're drawing cold air across the deck on the way to the fire.

I think what you need is all the cold air entering from below the fire in whatever volume the fire can draw. That air is heated by the fire, hot air moves across the oven, and exits the flue. Cold air never moves through the cooking chamber. You can regulate temperature, if necessary, at the flue by restricting the volume of gas that can exit - though my guess is that it's more likely you will need a flue enhancer fan to increase airflow than it is you will ever want to restrict airflow.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 28, 2019, 03:14:23 PM
If the angle iron thickness is about the height of the mortar, cut the pieces just a bit shorter than the oven, and you should be able to hide all of it in the joints except the piece over the door.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 28, 2019, 03:47:26 PM
If the angle iron thickness is about the height of the mortar, cut the pieces just a bit shorter than the oven, and you should be able to hide all of it in the joints except the piece over the door.

Thank you again! These are a really big help.  So I can build the stand out of block, and then the oven out of firebrick or red clay brick as you did, and then build the tall firebox made from red clay brick next to it and connect the two together. Or I could just make a ] shape with concrete block for the firebox well, keeping the entire base block, and then building with clay bricks on top of that.   The only thing is that brick seems easier to install an ash door and a fire door.   

Thank you for tip about cutting the pieces.

I really like the way you have the T irons running front to back. So I'll probably build the top out of red clay brick as you did, with a firebrick hearth, and concrete block stand.  I'll have to just create the separate chamber for the fire shoot. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 28, 2019, 11:31:50 PM
I think the angle iron that hold up the ceiling can sit right on top of a row of bricks and only be held in by mortar. I don't think it needs to be welded to the door assembly. It might even be more than one course above the assembly. I'm thinking that a "T" shape may be better than an "L". With a typical "L" angle iron, you'll have to double them up to hold bricks on both sides.

T shape is definitely what I'll buy as I was going to ask about the doubling up.  I saw that in some of the videos.

Couple of questions/thoughts:
1.  My concrete slab isn't perfectly level on the area where the firebox shoot will go.  I wonder how I can remedy that when I build it with bricks.   I also only have 72" slab, so I may have to make  the hearth smaller, taking away a block width wise.  Making it 3 blocks wide instead of 4.  Then building the firebox maybe the width of a block.

2.  I'm trying to calculate how many firebricks for the hearth and red clay bricks for the oven according to your renders.  I like the 5 course height of the brick for the ceiling.  Do you know how many firebricks for the hearth and how many red clay bricks for the oven?  Even if I take away the width of a block, the bricks on top of it will still be used for the firebox.

3.  I will definitely need to get this door fabricated before I start the oven building.  Where or what do you think the handle catch should look like?

Again thank you so much.  I made a model, and while not as good as yours, I hope it shows my ideas.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 29, 2019, 07:05:36 AM
Don't read too much into my renderings. They are intended to be conceptual only - and really just to explain my thoughts on supporting the ceiling and how a simple door might work. The individual bricks pictured are 9x4.5x3, but the bricks in the stand and body of the oven are just painted on and don't represent any particular size. Also, I don't know if red clay bricks will or will not work. I'd seek input from a local professional.

I'm also worried that this oven will not be able to reach, much less maintain the desired temp if not insulated or without more mass in the walls (the latter will dramatically increase heating time).
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 29, 2019, 12:27:49 PM
Don't read too much into my renderings. They are intended to be conceptual only - and really just to explain my thoughts on supporting the ceiling and how a simple door might work. The individual bricks pictured are 9x4.5x3, but the bricks in the stand and body of the oven are just painted on and don't represent any particular size. Also, I don't know if red clay bricks will or will not work. I'd seek input from a local professional.

I'm also worried that this oven will not be able to reach, much less maintain the desired temp if not insulated or without more mass in the walls (the latter will dramatically increase heating time).

The renderings really helped and I think I have an estimate on the amount of block and brick for the oven part.  A local professional told me to make it out of firebrick, and I've seen many Scott ovens that do this, followed by foil and concrete for the roof.  The possibilities are:
1.  firebrick walls and ceiling, followed by clay brick on top of the firebrick, followed by stucco
2.   all firebrick, followed by foil, and concrete
3.  all red clay brick followed by stucco
I'm planning on covering this somehow, either by building a structure over it, or using metal panneling.

The insulation is something I'm trying to figure out.  I will probably use insulation board under the firebricks, or use a mix of perlite and Portland cement when making the base slab under the firebrick.  Insulation board is more likely what I'll use.  Then for the walls and ceiling I'll have to see.  In the book, Bread Earth and Fire, they use mud, perlite, and stucco, but they are aren't using any brick for the ceiling and walls.  Other Scott ovens have just concrete over the firebrick.  I could maybe do perlite and stucco over the red clay brick or firebrick, for the roof and walls, or the foil/concrete.  My desired temp is 600-660F, but I am worried about temps as well. 

Now if I'm understanding correctly, if I decide to go the barrel vault oven route and use wood logs instead of lump charcoal, I could probably skip the firebox and just burn it on the floor, and move it to the side like normal?  I'd just have to have the flue behind the door and have a removable fire and bake door, I assume.  I'm thinking something like https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3271796635/in/album-72157613634415857/ could be an alternative design.  I think that oven would be good for the pizza I make, but I also like the deck oven design you rendered.  Both have their complexities, since the flat roof is simpler, but the door has to be fabricated.  I'll have to decide.  I am leaning towards the deck oven style since that is what PR uses.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 29, 2019, 06:56:45 PM
UPDATE:

Spoke to a fabricator today and they said they'll do it for me for $200-250.  I'll now just have to decide what kind of oven I build, but if I go this route I'll definitely have that door made.  They suggested Ĺ" thick steel for the top part that supports the brick.  They could also be helpful making a fire door and ash door.  If I do a Scott oven, I could have them make a removable steel fire door for me.
It also seems to me the width of the top part of the door and the door can really be even wider if desired.  This will add weight of course though.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 29, 2019, 07:23:16 PM
1/2" is crazy. I have brick spans over window in my house that are twice as wide and the steel supporting them is 1/8".
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: barryvabeach on April 29, 2019, 08:52:35 PM
I play around with steel a little, and I agree with Craig,  1/2 inch is way too large.  My other suggestion is that when you look at making the hinges, look at how they make them for DIY smokers.   Usually, they just weld two pins on one side, and two loops on the other.  You don't want it to be a piano hinge, or a door hinge,  too easy for rust to make it hard to open.    Here is one design  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85luNNaehkE   here are some other options. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/hinges-for-my-builds.104626/
  You might just want to have tabs with holes in them welded on the lintel and on the door, and use bolts to go through the holes so you can take it on or off easily -  like this  http://www.thesmokerking.com/images/KingSmoker/Building_Firebox/Firebox_Hinge/IMG_2065_5_1.jpg



Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 29, 2019, 09:04:20 PM
You don't want it to be a piano hinge, or a door hinge,  too easy for rust to make it hard to open.   

Good suggestion.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 29, 2019, 10:38:39 PM
1/2" is crazy. I have brick spans over window in my house that are twice as wide and the steel supporting them is 1/8".


haha if it supports a house then it definitely would be overkill for an oven.  Would there be any disadvantages from it being Ĺ" versus ⅛" or ľ"?


I play around with steel a little, and I agree with Craig,  1/2 inch is way too large.  My other suggestion is that when you look at making the hinges, look at how they make them for DIY smokers.   Usually, they just weld two pins on one side, and two loops on the other.  You don't want it to be a piano hinge, or a door hinge,  too easy for rust to make it hard to open.    Here is one design  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85luNNaehkE   here are some other options. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/hinges-for-my-builds.104626/
  You might just want to have tabs with holes in them welded on the lintel and on the door, and use bolts to go through the holes so you can take it on or off easily -  like this  http://www.thesmokerking.com/images/KingSmoker/Building_Firebox/Firebox_Hinge/IMG_2065_5_1.jpg
Oh that's a good idea!  Awesome video and I like the idea of the pin, as in the one from the picture.  Thank you everyone for these awesome ideas!  The biggest issue will probably be the fact that the bricks over the top steel may protrude upward if they are on top of any hinges.  For the one in the picture, since the tabs are so large, it seems they would interfere with the bricks that are laid on top of the steel.  The one in the video seems better size wise.  Those bricks make it annoying!  I suppose you could have the one in the video at the very edge of the steel, so it clears the bricks but also allows the door to be at a right angle.  These are awesome suggestions, thank you, as I don't want rust to mess this door up in a year.  I'll have to decide on a hinge within the week.  I wonder if they have any good ones at the shop.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2019, 06:13:03 AM
haha if it supports a house then it definitely would be overkill for an oven.  Would there be any disadvantages from it being Ĺ" versus ⅛" or ľ"?

Might be hard to keep the row of bricks level with a 1/2" piece of steel between some of them.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: barryvabeach on April 30, 2019, 07:17:29 AM
While there are probably tons of things more important than the hinges, there are some details that you do need to consider on the hinges.  Exactly where the barrel is located makes a big difference in how it swings -  if you move the barrel out from the lintel, the arc will be different than if the barrel is close to the lintel.  It is hard to explain, but if you look at how the hinge is set up on the trunk lid of the car, you can see that it doesn't open as a door hinge would.  The other detail is how are you going to keep the door open when you load and retrieve pies.  One method is to use a stick to prop it open.  I don't know if it would work, but I would want to put a notch in the side of the barrel, so that when you open the door, it could slide to the right to engage the notch and keep it open, then slide to the left ,  and it would close.   Hard to explain, but it would look something like the latch here - with a raised area to keep the door open at one spot, and a recess to allow the door to close elsewhere.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/567430367/cast-iron-barn-door-gate-bolt-latch?ref=shop_home_active_2
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2019, 08:26:53 AM
Another great idea on notching the hinge to deal with holding the door open. I like that a lot. He should be able to model and test it in sketchup.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 30, 2019, 11:15:13 AM
Wouldn't you just cut half an inch off a brick that was on top of the 1/2 inch steel?

In building my stand, I notched out where the steel angle would fit in the concrete block for the openings so those blocks would line up with the rest of the course.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2019, 11:16:53 AM
Wouldn't you just cut half an inch off a brick that was on top of the 1/2 inch steel?

In building my stand, I notched out where the steel angle would fit in the concrete block for the openings so those blocks would line up with the rest of the course.

Yes. My brain only thinks in whole numbers on Tuesdays.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 30, 2019, 12:13:31 PM
Yes. My brain only thinks in whole numbers on Tuesdays.
Mine brain too. If you are going to get some mortar in there, more than half an inch needs to get trimmed off. When I did mine in the stand it was just the steel depth. The concrete block was eventually filled with reinforced concrete turning it a beam.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 30, 2019, 01:06:18 PM
While there are probably tons of things more important than the hinges, there are some details that you do need to consider on the hinges.  Exactly where the barrel is located makes a big difference in how it swings -  if you move the barrel out from the lintel, the arc will be different than if the barrel is close to the lintel.  It is hard to explain, but if you look at how the hinge is set up on the trunk lid of the car, you can see that it doesn't open as a door hinge would.  The other detail is how are you going to keep the door open when you load and retrieve pies.  One method is to use a stick to prop it open.  I don't know if it would work, but I would want to put a notch in the side of the barrel, so that when you open the door, it could slide to the right to engage the notch and keep it open, then slide to the left ,  and it would close.   Hard to explain, but it would look something like the latch here - with a raised area to keep the door open at one spot, and a recess to allow the door to close elsewhere.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/567430367/cast-iron-barn-door-gate-bolt-latch?ref=shop_home_active_2

Hinges are important though!  Thank you for your info here and I really like the notch idea.  The fabricator had the idea of installing a gate latch into the brick for the handle to go into when the door is open.  I'm having trouble picturing the notch on the door though, but I believe I've seen it somewhere before.  So in this case I'd cut a notch in the brick? 

Yes. My brain only thinks in whole numbers on Tuesdays.
Haha mine too.  I was thinking about how the Ĺ" would even work.
Mine brain too. If you are going to get some mortar in there, more than half an inch needs to get trimmed off. When I did mine in the stand it was just the steel depth. The concrete block was eventually filled with reinforced concrete turning it a beam.
.
Good idea about trimming off whatever the thickness of the steel is.  I think it would thankfully only be a few to several bricks, so not that bad.  As for the stand, I may fill the cores with concrete and stucco it with surface bonding cement, or just one or the other.  I've seen both done in guides.  Do you think one is better than the other?  Also, unfortunately one side of my slab is not perfectly level, but thankfully it's mainly where the firebox will go.  So I'll probably just have to mortar the bottom of half of one of the first course blocks and then the bricks that make up the first course.  It was my fault as a friend did it and I didn't check to see if it was level on one part of the slab.  Do you think leveling it with mortar will work? 
I may buy the first course of block today just to figure out placement.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: dmckean44 on April 30, 2019, 01:11:40 PM
A lot of bikeshedding going on in this thread.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2019, 01:12:34 PM
Hinges are important though!  Thank you for your info here and I really like the notch idea.  The fabricator had the idea of installing a gate latch into the brick for the handle to go into when the door is open.  I'm having trouble picturing the notch on the door though, but I believe I've seen it somewhere before.  So in this case I'd cut a notch in the brick? 

Build the notch into the hinge itself. It's a cut in the tube attached to the frame and a little piece welded or screwed into to the rod attached to the door. When the door is open, the piece on the rod is aligned with the notch. When you want the door to stay open, slide the door over and the piece welded to the rod slides into the notch locking the hinge in that position.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2019, 01:16:18 PM
A lot of bikeshedding going on in this thread.

How so?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 30, 2019, 01:59:21 PM
A lot of bikeshedding going on in this thread.
Nope.  Might seem like I'm asking a lot of questions and taking my time, but that's because I am.  I'm a novice and we've had two weeks of almost straight rain here in MA.  I want to take my time and plan this thing out right.  I have 3 oven designs in mind: Earth Oven, Barrel Vault Scott style oven, and a deck/angle ironed flat roof design as TxCraig1 modeled.  Each have their own dimensions and door designs, well really only two door designs in mind.  I want to keep it as simple as possible, but with the deck oven design, a door and firebox are needed.  I have a week to decide on whether or not to make the stand 4 blocks wide or 3, depending on whether or not a brick firebox will go next to the block.  Also, I estimated 5 courses of the brick around here (2.25" height) comes to 14.375" using ⅝" mortar.

Build the notch into the hinge itself. It's a cut in the tube attached to the frame and a little piece welded or screwed into to the rod attached to the door. When the door is open, the piece on the rod is aligned with the notch. When you want the door to stay open, slide the door over and the piece welded to the rod slides into the notch locking the hinge in that position.
Thank you.  That is a good idea as well!  That reminds me of some of the ways PR and other shops do it.  I'm sure the fabricator can build that according to your description, as you and them know a lot more than I do.  I still like the piano hinge design the best, but with rusting I also like the idea of the other hinges shown to me.  The biggest issue will be clearance with the hinges, but I guess I can cut more brick if I have to.  A big hinge over the steel will be quite thick.  The best thing about a piano hinge is that it's beside the bricks.  What do you think of the gate latch idea for the handle to lock into?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: dmckean44 on April 30, 2019, 02:09:48 PM
How so?

Everyone is chiming in on the hinge because it's the only part of the oven that they understand.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2019, 02:26:27 PM
Everyone is chiming in on the hinge because it's the only part of the oven that they understand.

Everyone? All three of us? Is that why we're doing it? And I thought we were just trying to be helpful.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on April 30, 2019, 07:09:29 PM


Hinges are important though!  Thank you for your info here and I really like the notch idea.  The fabricator had the idea of installing a gate latch into the brick for the handle to go into when the door is open.  I'm having trouble picturing the notch on the door though, but I believe I've seen it somewhere before.  So in this case I'd cut a notch in the brick? 
Haha mine too.  I was thinking about how the Ĺ" would even work..
Good idea about trimming off whatever the thickness of the steel is.  I think it would thankfully only be a few to several bricks, so not that bad.  As for the stand, I may fill the cores with concrete and stucco it with surface bonding cement, or just one or the other.  I've seen both done in guides.  Do you think one is better than the other?  Also, unfortunately one side of my slab is not perfectly level, but thankfully it's mainly where the firebox will go.  So I'll probably just have to mortar the bottom of half of one of the first course blocks and then the bricks that make up the first course.  It was my fault as a friend did it and I didn't check to see if it was level on one part of the slab.  Do you think leveling it with mortar will work? 
I may buy the first course of block today just to figure out placement.

If I ever get off my butt and start the finish work, I'll have an opinion about different block treatments. I do know that quickcrete makes a product to spread on the outside of dry stacked blocks. No idea if it is good. I was thinking of trying ot on the a part under the oven that is still visible. I filled the corners of my stand and then just about every other block. There is a local guy that delivers short loads of concrete so I filled the top course because I had to buy a full yard as a minimum and there was extra.

Mortar can be used to help level. I believe it is more important for the top slab to be level, but you are not building a dome on a raised slab so your geometry is different.

Buying a handful of block will help you visualize the layout. You can also stack them to look at heights. I spent years reading, drawing arches and drafting different layouts. Put myself through a few tests before I started too- one was making a crossection out of wood "bricks." Even with all the planning, there were several "I've got to stop and think about this" moments. Take your time. If you are anything like me, you want the oven ASAP. But you are kind of setting things in stone. Make sure you will be happy with the oven you build. And depending on your location you might need to check with the local building inspector. I was lucky and just had to be 10 feet off the house and property lines.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: barryvabeach on April 30, 2019, 08:50:46 PM
Pleading guilty to the " the only thing I know anything about is the hinge".  I have played around a little with hinges, so I do know a little about them. It comes up in wood working, like a drop leaf table, or a slant top desk, you set the barrel in a particular place to determine how the door swings.    I also have built a few doors for pizza ovens, though never a coal fired oven.  I have seen video's of very cool bread oven door that was counterweighted so that as the peel pushed forward, the door hinged down into the oven, and when the peel was removed the door swung back up, sorry can't find the video, and it would be far more work than it was worth, though it looked so cool in use.

I know nearly nothing about coal fired ovens, though I was reading Craig's responses because I find the idea interesting -  with some themes similar to a white v. black oven for bread baking - https://community.fornobravo.com/forum/good-background-information/newbie-forum/2792-white-oven-vs-black-oven see comment number 8.

BTW,  Craig had it exactly right - a pin would be mounted to a door, and the pin fits in the barrel mounted to the lintel, and the barrel has a slot in it so that the door, or a tab mounted to the door, fit into the notch in the barrel when the door is opened and slid to the right. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on April 30, 2019, 11:47:35 PM

If I ever get off my butt and start the finish work, I'll have an opinion about different block treatments. I do know that quickcrete makes a product to spread on the outside of dry stacked blocks. No idea if it is good. I was thinking of trying ot on the a part under the oven that is still visible. I filled the corners of my stand and then just about every other block. There is a local guy that delivers short loads of concrete so I filled the top course because I had to buy a full yard as a minimum and there was extra.

Mortar can be used to help level. I believe it is more important for the top slab to be level, but you are not building a dome on a raised slab so your geometry is different.

Buying a handful of block will help you visualize the layout. You can also stack them to look at heights. I spent years reading, drawing arches and drafting different layouts. Put myself through a few tests before I started too- one was making a crossection out of wood "bricks." Even with all the planning, there were several "I've got to stop and think about this" moments. Take your time. If you are anything like me, you want the oven ASAP. But you are kind of setting things in stone. Make sure you will be happy with the oven you build. And depending on your location you might need to check with the local building inspector. I was lucky and just had to be 10 feet off the house and property lines.

Sounds like you did it exactly how Forno Bravo recommends :) Thank you.  I'll make sure to use mortar to level and then make sure the top slab is level with a 2x4 probably.  I'm going to get some block to setup and visualize.  I need to decide on oven design by the end of the week.  I believe in MA they are maybe grouped in with outdoor fireplaces http://fire.billericaps.com/index.php/2015/04/24/cooking-recreational-fires/.  Not sure though.  I have it over 25ft from my house and or 20ft away from property lines which is good.  If anyone knows MA fire code or if WFO's are considered outdoor fireplaces, please let me know.  Stuart Silverstein is the one that wrote the book I'm using and he pretty much just stuccos his block.  So I'm guessing that or the way you did it are all that's needed.  My idea is to fill the inside with a wood frame or gravel and perlite, and then level concrete with a 2x4 screeding across the block.
Tests are a good idea. 

Pleading guilty to the " the only thing I know anything about is the hinge".  I have played around a little with hinges, so I do know a little about them. It comes up in wood working, like a drop leaf table, or a slant top desk, you set the barrel in a particular place to determine how the door swings.    I also have built a few doors for pizza ovens, though never a coal fired oven.  I have seen video's of very cool bread oven door that was counterweighted so that as the peel pushed forward, the door hinged down into the oven, and when the peel was removed the door swung back up, sorry can't find the video, and it would be far more work than it was worth, though it looked so cool in use.

I know nearly nothing about coal fired ovens, though I was reading Craig's responses because I find the idea interesting -  with some themes similar to a white v. black oven for bread baking - https://community.fornobravo.com/forum/good-background-information/newbie-forum/2792-white-oven-vs-black-oven see comment number 8.

BTW,  Craig had it exactly right - a pin would be mounted to a door, and the pin fits in the barrel mounted to the lintel, and the barrel has a slot in it so that the door, or a tab mounted to the door, fit into the notch in the barrel when the door is opened and slid to the right. 

You know a lot more than I do though, and all this help is much appreciated.  Honestly the latch and door are major concerns for me, so I appreciate it.  Do you think someone could show me a mockup or example of the pin idea Craig mentioned?  I can't quite picture it and I want to make sure I get it right before I show the fabricator.  I feel weird asking, but I'm much better seeing examples.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: barryvabeach on May 01, 2019, 06:54:36 PM
The  hinge in the first photo on this page is simple a barrel and a pin www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/hinges-for-my-builds.104626/   The pin is welded to the door, and rotates, and the barrel is welded to the top of the smoker.    Imagine that you cut a slot in the end of the barrel at 12 oclock that is as wide as the pin is thick, and twice as deep.  As you opened the door, the pin would rotate in the barrel, and once you got the door open to 12 oclock, the door could slide to the left, and the part of the pin that is bent would fit into the slot, and the door could not close.  You could then slide the door to the right, and the pin could then rotate, and the door could close.  Hope that clarifies it.  If not,  I will send you a pm with a markup of the photo.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 02, 2019, 02:04:25 PM
The  hinge in the first photo on this page is simple a barrel and a pin www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/hinges-for-my-builds.104626/   The pin is welded to the door, and rotates, and the barrel is welded to the top of the smoker.    Imagine that you cut a slot in the end of the barrel at 12 oclock that is as wide as the pin is thick, and twice as deep.  As you opened the door, the pin would rotate in the barrel, and once you got the door open to 12 oclock, the door could slide to the left, and the part of the pin that is bent would fit into the slot, and the door could not close.  You could then slide the door to the right, and the pin could then rotate, and the door could close.  Hope that clarifies it.  If not,  I will send you a pm with a markup of the photo.
Thank you.  Awesome description.  I think I follow now, but could you send a mockup if you have one?  I'll show the fabricator when I go back this week.  I have the first course of block on the slab.  They are almost level but need a bit of mortar under some areas.  I need to make a final decision in the next few days, on the oven stand being 4 blocks wide or 3, depending on if I build a brick firebox or not. 

The 3 designs are:
1.  Scott-style oven with domed ceiling and almost exactly as they did it here (https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/albums/72157613634415857/page2)
2.  New Park Pizza style oven out of red clay brick, with a firebox on the side such as Andrew's oven, flue on the left. 46.8"W x 46.8"D stand, with a 15.625" W x 47" H x 44" D firebox.
3.  New Park Pizza style oven with red clay brick, but the entire oven is a cooking chamber, with a removable door and flue in the middle. 62.5"W x 62.5" D stand.  Similar to the Scott style oven, but flat ceiling with angle irons.

I also need to decide on how I'm going to insulate below the firebrick floor.  At https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/albums/72157613634415857/page2 they insulated and then laid concrete and then firebrick.  I could do that or do concrete and then FB board, but it will push the floor height 3.25" and create a considerable gap as my oven walls are sitting flush with the stand.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 03, 2019, 01:25:25 AM
I feel like I'm leaning more towards a Scott style oven and just have it be a 48x48 firebrick floor.  I could burn wood and then push it to the side.  Since these ovens are mainly used for bread, I think they would replicate Pizzeria Regina more than a pizza oven.  I could just have a regular steel fire door fabricated, but have it be 24"L x 8-10"H.  That's the size I want for the opening since it needs to be able to easily get 16-22" pizzas from it.  I still might do the deck style oven, but as Craig said, who knows if it will be vern efficient.  Thank you all for the help with the hinges and overall planning/advice. 

My goal this week is to:
1.  lay block and get the first course level with mortar beneath 
2.  stucco or fill the blocks, or both,
3.  fill the inside with a wood frame and cement board, or gravel
4.  perlite then concrete, or just insulation board on top of the concrete under the firebricks.  I'm assuming if I insulate under the firebrick there is no need to insulate under the top slab.

We've had rain almost everyday which has been annoying, but I was able to get an idea from laying a course of block. 

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 03, 2019, 01:39:49 AM
Not familiar with the Pizzeria Regina ovens. If you are going to use lump wood charcoal, i think you might as well just burn hardwood logs down. That's all a bag of royal oak is.

Just to clarify, I was describing the slab at the bottom of my oven. My stand is similar to the one in the Forno Bravo Pompeii oven plans.  So from the existing sand there is 12 inches of compacted crusher run, plastic barrier, 5.5 inch thick reinforced concrete stab, stacked block (some cells filled with bar and concrete, I think it was 5 courses), a reinforced concrete slab, 3.5 inches of perlcrete 2 inches of insulation board, oven floor/dome, insulation blankets and loose perlite. The whole thing is covered by a structure (which still needs finish work).

I went back re-read this just because I understand it more now.  So you went all out and doubled insulation by using perlcrete and then insulation board.  Pretty awesome.  How did you level the two layers of concrete separately?  I feel like I could make a frame and screed regular concrete, then move the frame up a few inches and screed the perlcrete.  Forno Bravo only said to use concrete slab and then FB board or perlcrete, but you did both  ;D.

My goal is to have the concrete level with the top of the block caps, so I could do 5.5" concrete/perlcrete depth from the top of the bock, if I do your setup.  In the book he just uses 2" perlcrete, lays solid blocks on top of that, and then firebrick, but your warning of concrete and fire is a good one.  I wonder if I could do just 5.5" of perlcrete and then insulation board, and then firebrick. 

1.  Do you think insulation board would be enough on top of regular concrete slabs, or does the doubling up of perlcrete under the board make a big difference? 
2.  Also, the blankets and loose perlite are over the firebrick dome/cieling I'm assuming, but what did you put over that?  I'm thinking I may use concrete poured over the insulation.
3.  Should I use rebar inside the hearth slab?  The book doesn't use it but I know you did and it's usually a good idea.  If I fill the stand with gravel I could probably prop them up with rubble or set them inside the wood form as Forno Bravo instructs.

I also need to decide whether or not I go with a dome or a flat ceiling, and I would do a flue behind the door for a dome.  I get that it keeps the heat in the dome, but I wonder how it would work with a flat ceiling oven.
Sorry for so many questions.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 03, 2019, 09:22:06 AM
It might be worth restating/clarifying exactly what you want to accomplish with the oven: pizza style(s), bake temps, warm up time, fuel type, foods other than pizza?, etc. Giving suggestions on a door design or how to hang a flat roof are one thing. The questions you are asking now really require for you to settle in on a set of operating specifications first.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 03, 2019, 09:41:23 AM
I went back re-read this just because I understand it more now.  So you went all out and doubled insulation by using perlcrete and then insulation board.  Pretty awesome.  How did you level the two layers of concrete separately?  I feel like I could make a frame and screed regular concrete, then move the frame up a few inches and screed the perlcrete.  Forno Bravo only said to use concrete slab and then FB board or perlcrete, but you did both  ;D.

My goal is to have the concrete level with the top of the block caps, so I could do 5.5" concrete/perlcrete depth from the top of the bock, if I do your setup.  In the book he just uses 2" perlcrete, lays solid blocks on top of that, and then firebrick, but your warning of concrete and fire is a good one.  I wonder if I could do just 5.5" of perlcrete and then insulation board, and then firebrick. 

1.  Do you think insulation board would be enough on top of regular concrete slabs, or does the doubling up of perlcrete under the board make a big difference? 
2.  Also, the blankets and loose perlite are over the firebrick dome/cieling I'm assuming, but what did you put over that?  I'm thinking I may use concrete poured over the insulation.
3.  Should I use rebar inside the hearth slab?  The book doesn't use it but I know you did and it's usually a good idea.  If I fill the stand with gravel I could probably prop them up with rubble or set them inside the wood form as Forno Bravo instructs.

I also need to decide whether or not I go with a dome or a flat ceiling, and I would do a flue behind the door for a dome.  I get that it keeps the heat in the dome, but I wonder how it would work with a flat ceiling oven.
Sorry for so many questions.

1. Insulation board by itself is good. 2 inches in the minimum recommendation. I copied an idea to use perlcrete as an added insulation and if a little water got it, it would hang out in the perlcrete and not the board. To form the perlcrete, I made a box out of 2x4s and locked it to the slab using scrap wood and tapcon screws. I filled in and smoothed the top of the perlcrete layer with fire clay. The board went in pretty level

2. I didn't put anything over the loose perlite. Once everything was framed and the walls were up, I poured in the loose perlite. A few hours later the plywood for the roof was up and covered with snow/ice barrier. I kept a tarp over the chimney until the shingles and flashing were up. That was only a few days later.

3. I think rebar is a good idea in slabs. I went overkill on mine. The bottom slab is tied into the walls and that bar ties into the top slab. Add on the steel framing and I built a fortress.

Not sure on the stand dimensions but I think it would be easier to frame the top slab than add fill. The lower face of the top slab does not need to be level, just the top. Around the inside of the block, I attached 2x4s with tapcon screws. I made a cross brace with a 2x6 and supported a in the corners and middle with extra concrete block and wood shims. I attached a few pictures to clarify.

Edit: I also had the top slab overhang the concrete block. I did that by screwing 2x6 pieces to the block with tapcons and the attaching 2x8s to those pieces to form and level the top of the slab. Those were attached with deck screws and supported to the lower slab in a few places with 2x4s. (End edit)

I have to agree with Craig's advice. You don't want to be deciding on what style of oven you are building during the build.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 03, 2019, 11:03:42 PM
It might be worth restating/clarifying exactly what you want to accomplish with the oven: pizza style(s), bake temps, warm up time, fuel type, foods other than pizza?, etc. Giving suggestions on a door design or how to hang a flat roof are one thing. The questions you are asking now really require for you to settle in on a set of operating specifications first.

Thank you and yup, you're right.  I think I'm going more for a bread oven now.  My original idea was coal fired to replicate Pizzeria Regina's old oven setup, but I think it may be too tough in a home setting and I don't think coal is a good idea at home.  I'm going for the bread-ish style of Pizzeria Regina which is usually baked around 600-660F.  I'd preferably like the warm up time to be 3 hours or less.  I was curious between the heat up time difference of a 36" x 36" floor vs a 48" x 48".  I'd love to do a 48x48 but I know the heat up time will rise.  I'm probably going to use wood or lump charcoal, but that's just because I've gotten used to using lump for the Ooni, but I'd probably use wood now.  As long as I can fit a 18"-22" pizza I'd be happy, but a turkey or something would be fun.  I'm definitely thinking a Scott style oven, but with a wider door.  I need to decide if I'd be doing a dome or flat ceiling.  I'm also thinking there should be a door archway with a ridge for sealing off the oven heat, and have the flue above that archway.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3804362425/in/album-72157613634415857/ is probably what I'll end up building.

1. Insulation board by itself is good. 2 inches in the minimum recommendation. I copied an idea to use perlcrete as an added insulation and if a little water got it, it would hang out in the perlcrete and not the board. To form the perlcrete, I made a box out of 2x4s and locked it to the slab using scrap wood and tapcon screws. I filled in and smoothed the top of the perlcrete layer with fire clay. The board went in pretty level

2. I didn't put anything over the loose perlite. Once everything was framed and the walls were up, I poured in the loose perlite. A few hours later the plywood for the roof was up and covered with snow/ice barrier. I kept a tarp over the chimney until the shingles and flashing were up. That was only a few days later.

3. I think rebar is a good idea in slabs. I went overkill on mine. The bottom slab is tied into the walls and that bar ties into the top slab. Add on the steel framing and I built a fortress.

Not sure on the stand dimensions but I think it would be easier to frame the top slab than add fill. The lower face of the top slab does not need to be level, just the top. Around the inside of the block, I attached 2x4s with tapcon screws. I made a cross brace with a 2x6 and supported a in the corners and middle with extra concrete block and wood shims. I attached a few pictures to clarify.

Edit: I also had the top slab overhang the concrete block. I did that by screwing 2x6 pieces to the block with tapcons and the attaching 2x8s to those pieces to form and level the top of the slab. Those were attached with deck screws and supported to the lower slab in a few places with 2x4s. (End edit)

I have to agree with Craig's advice. You don't want to be deciding on what style of oven you are building during the build.


Thank you and thank you for the pictures!

1.  That's awesome.  Now from what I've seen, the perlcrete mix stays pretty coarse and looks like oatmeal before it cures.  Is that how it usually is?  The bread earth and fire book instructions are to fill the block stand with gravel 12 inches from the top of the block caps, and the final 12 inches consist of 10 inches of dry perlite and then 2 inches of perlite and Portland cement.  I guess the perlite/cement mix or perlcrete could be the base for the board, but using fire clay to smooth it out is a good idea.  Or I could do the wood framing as you did.  Wood frame would save me some money, but I've never done it before.

2.  That's sounds perfect and I'm thinking of using shingles and flashing.

3.  Always good to be safe with the block!  This is definitely a concern for me.  My idea is to fill every other block or corners with rebar and pour concrete into them, and then maybe also stucco the outside and inside with surface bonding cement. 

4.  I like how you had it over hang the block.  This eliminates the need for block caps and looks good.

Yup you're both very right and I'm zeroing in here.  I went to the local brick and stone shop around here and they did have an oven kit that had the dimensions I was looking for.  Of course it would need the block stand and it uses mortar in between the firebricks in the floor, and concrete walls.  Seems that both are a bad idea.  It is nice how everything is measured though, but for $2,200 I think mortaring firebrick and installing a flue and chimney would be worth the savings.  I'd just have to pay my mason friend to help with a domed ceiling.  I really feel like the Scott oven at https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3804362425/in/album-72157613634415857/ is what I had in mind. The oven opening might be constructed with with a flat angle iron so the door can be kept as a rectangle.  I'd just have to have a steel door fabricated to keep out mice, and a wood bake door.  I think it would be cool to have a thermometer build into the bake door and maybe the steel door.  I've seen steel fire doors with a slot on the bottom used, or just no door at all while the fire is roaring.  How do you feel about using a fire door vs open oven opening while firing?  Also, you always want the wind to blow against the back of the oven correct?  I find the only thing odd about Scott style ovens are that the flue is inside the cooking chamber vs outside the chamber.  I would think a lot of heat would escape.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 03, 2019, 11:53:55 PM
I wouldn't say perlcrete is like oatmeal. I'd say it's more like a popcorn ceiling. It looks like it will always flake and the it really starts to cure out and gets more solid.

If you were going to put a full foot of perlite/perlcrete under the floor you could probably skip the board.

I was able to save some board and used it to insulate my oven door. Definitely avoid having your oven door facing the primary wind direction.  Just my two cents on door height...design the oven for its main purpose. For Thanksgiving I spatchcocked the turkey. Came out great.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 04, 2019, 01:06:42 AM
I wouldn't say perlcrete is like oatmeal. I'd say it's more like a popcorn ceiling. It looks like it will always flake and the it really starts to cure out and gets more solid.

If you were going to put a full foot of perlite/perlcrete under the floor you could probably skip the board.

I was able to save some board and used it to insulate my oven door. Definitely avoid having your oven door facing the primary wind direction.  Just my two cents on door height...design the oven for its main purpose. For Thanksgiving I spatchcocked the turkey. Came out great.
Thank you.  That makes more sense and the sketch below shows board, but maybe I will just do the foot of perlcrete.  That's a good idea about the board for the door.  Are the insulation boards at Lowes, or are they specialty?

Good point about the door and that's perfect spatchcocking turkey, especially with door heights.  I made the sketch below for a rough design of a square oven.  I may make it have rounded side walls and maybe back wall.  I know a circle is best, but I'm just thinking of ease of doing square.  I may build a chimney and flue in the front or just put a flue up.  I do like the look of a chimney in front though.  The oven opening is large, but I could use a steel door to keep the heat in.  I am thinking a dome would be good for the ceiling to keep more heat in as well, but do you think a flat ceiling would work?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jackitup on May 04, 2019, 01:16:07 AM
It might be worth restating/clarifying exactly what you want to accomplish with the oven: pizza style(s), bake temps, warm up time, fuel type, foods other than pizza?, etc. Giving suggestions on a door design or how to hang a flat roof are one thing. The questions you are asking now really require for you to settle in on a set of operating specifications first.

GREAT post! Don't make it a one trick pony, this post should bounce around in your head for awhile! Foods other than pizza.....no small thing!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 04, 2019, 08:16:16 AM
GREAT post! Don't make it a one trick pony, this post should bounce around in your head for awhile! Foods other than pizza.....no small thing!

This is true and you're right.  I feel like the oven opening should be a bit taller than I figured, in order to maneuver different foods in and out, such as a big roast.  I usually do bread, cast iron pans for various dishes, and I'm thinking definitely a turkey and rib roast with this oven.  I also like to do Bertuccis copycat Tuscan wings in the Ooni Pro.  I'm still going to use my Ooni when I want a quicker heat up time, but I'd like to have more cooking area with a permanent oven.  I read: http://www.hearthmasters.net/uploads/Ovenportfolio.pdf and I found the construction interesting.  What do you guys think of their use of a concrete lintel over the block?  Doesn't seem quite as structurally sound just from the use of mortar instead of a solid slab.  Then they used insulation board, followed by clay/sand and then firebrick.  So the clay/sand mix made from mortar sand, fireclay, and water is used just to keep the firebrick in place and level?  I've seen this omitted, but I know you mentioned fireclay, Jon.  I also wonder if the chimney and front walkway can all be red clay bricks, since they aren't going to take the brunt of the flames, unless the door is open.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 04, 2019, 09:41:49 AM
The insulation I used was specialty. It's good to something like 1700 or 1800 degrees.

I dont know about the differences between a flat or domed roof in a square oven. I know differences in their heights will matter, but not sure how big an impact something like an inch would have.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 04, 2019, 02:01:01 PM
The insulation I used was specialty. It's good to something like 1700 or 1800 degrees.

I dont know about the differences between a flat or domed roof in a square oven. I know differences in their heights will matter, but not sure how big an impact something like an inch would have.

Thank you.  What's the best insulation board to buy?  I found, https://www.fornobravo.com/store/fb-board-36242/ and it mentioned non reactive to moisture which seems good.  I'm thinking I will either do the perlcrete slab with no board, or concrete slab and the board.  I'll have to make up for a 2" FB board gap if I don't use FB board under the landing.  Yup me too about the roof.  I see that a typical Naples oven is listed around 15" on the Forno Bravo instructions.  This seems like a good height if using a dome.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 04, 2019, 02:32:57 PM
Thank you.  What's the best insulation board to buy?  I found, https://www.fornobravo.com/store/fb-board-36242/ and it mentioned non reactive to moisture which seems good.  I'm thinking I will either do the perlcrete slab with no board, or concrete slab and the board.  I'll have to make up for a 2" FB board gap if I don't use FB board under the landing.  Yup me too about the roof.  I see that a typical Naples oven is listed around 15" on the Forno Bravo instructions.  This seems like a good height if using a dome.
Best board...couldn't say. Lots of materials will do. I found several types in a few price ranges. Some required shipping that made them too expensive. I went with Harbison Walker because I was able to pick up the board and blanket from their Buffalo location while I was out that way and several builds had successful used it at Forno Bravo. That was my main thinking behind it. I'd start by looking at what you could get within driving distance.

Not sure where in MA you are but Sheffield Pottery is a place I found looking at stuff. Googling kiln insulation or refractory insulation in MA should get you a few places to call for more information and recommendations on materials.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 04, 2019, 05:09:32 PM
Best board...couldn't say. Lots of materials will do. I found several types in a few price ranges. Some required shipping that made them too expensive. I went with Harbison Walker because I was able to pick up the board and blanket from their Buffalo location while I was out that way and several builds had successful used it at Forno Bravo. That was my main thinking behind it. I'd start by looking at what you could get within driving distance.

Not sure where in MA you are but Sheffield Pottery is a place I found looking at stuff. Googling kiln insulation or refractory insulation in MA should get you a few places to call for more information and recommendations on materials.

1.  Thank you! It could be worth the drive to Sheffield.  I really appreciate it.  I was thinking of avoiding shipping if possible for the board and blanket.  If it becomes too expensive I guess I could just do the 10" of dry perlite and the 2" of perlcement/perlcrete.  So I'm guessing you I would spread the fire clay mix on top of the perlcrete for a more level surface for the firebrick?

2.  Also, I put down the first course of block and there is still that one high spot by about a half an inch maybe, on the slab I was worried about.  I noticed it after my friend left and figured I could sand it down, but now I wonder.  I'm thinking of the best way to solve this. I could try to sand or angle grind the concrete, but that will take a while, or I could sand down or cut the bottom of the block.  I was also thinking I could sand the top of the block that becomes raised and that should level it for the second course.  This seems like the best way but not sure.  What do you think would be the best remedy for this?  Most of the slab is fine, but it's just on one side of the course.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 04, 2019, 09:02:45 PM


1.  Thank you! It could be worth the drive to Sheffield.  I really appreciate it.  I was thinking of avoiding shipping if possible for the board and blanket.  If it becomes too expensive I guess I could just do the 10" of dry perlite and the 2" of perlcement/perlcrete.  So I'm guessing you I would spread the fire clay mix on top of the perlcrete for a more level surface for the firebrick?

2.  Also, I put down the first course of block and there is still that one high spot by about a half an inch maybe, on the slab I was worried about.  I noticed it after my friend left and figured I could sand it down, but now I wonder.  I'm thinking of the best way to solve this. I could try to sand or angle grind the concrete, but that will take a while, or I could sand down or cut the bottom of the block.  I was also thinking I could sand the top of the block that becomes raised and that should level it for the second course.  This seems like the best way but not sure.  What do you think would be the best remedy for this?  Most of the slab is fine, but it's just on one side of the course.

1. Might be good materials closer to you than Sheffield. I was going to make the drive and then found good fireclay about 5 miles from home. I got my perlite from a garden supply store in 6 cu ft bags. I think they were $50 each. I spread some the fireclay for a good base for board. I didn't want any perlcrete poking into the board. I also used some for leveling the oven floor but I might be a unique case because there were different types of flooring materials. It was more about getting them level than the board...hopefully that makes sense. So if you need leveling material, fireclay is fine at WFO temps. Maybe you will not need the leveling material.

2. As for the block, I'd grind the bottom of your block to get it close. Just how I would tackle it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 05, 2019, 12:40:39 AM
Scribing is a good skill to have to fit things together well. I think if you watch this video and use your imagination you will be able to transfer the line representing the top of your concrete pad to the bottom edge of your block, then grind to that. Itís too bad you have this problem but I think your smartest move is to get it worked out on the bottom of the first course. Set the scribe close so you are taking little or no material from the block that will be sitting on parts of the pad that are already the correct elevation. You have some room to play with in the dimension (height) of your mortar beneath the first course, meaning the mortar you lay on the pad to set the first course on.


Set a level line where the top of course 1 needs to be. Do a dryfit and see if it looks like a standard mortar joint can make that happen. If not, lower the lime slightly. Then build to the line (string).


https://youtu.be/LAM9I6kidx8 (https://youtu.be/LAM9I6kidx8)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 05, 2019, 12:46:51 AM
Idea 2: start at each corner and build toward, but stop short of, the high spot in your pad. When those blocks are set and the mortar set up, use plywood or lumber cut to the right height and create a form using the outside edges of the blocks you already laid. Then pour concrete in that section where block would be too high. Finish such that the top of you pour is level with the tops of the blocks on either side. Stick a couple pieces of rebar in the wet concrete that protrude up a couple block heights to tie everything together.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 05, 2019, 02:56:49 AM

1. Might be good materials closer to you than Sheffield. I was going to make the drive and then found good fireclay about 5 miles from home. I got my perlite from a garden supply store in 6 cu ft bags. I think they were $50 each. I spread some the fireclay for a good base for board. I didn't want any perlcrete poking into the board. I also used some for leveling the oven floor but I might be a unique case because there were different types of flooring materials. It was more about getting them level than the board...hopefully that makes sense. So if you need leveling material, fireclay is fine at WFO temps. Maybe you will not need the leveling material.

2. As for the block, I'd grind the bottom of your block to get it close. Just how I would tackle it.

haha sorry I just love numbering systems since I ask a ton of questions.  I hope there are some close materials.  I'm glad you were able to find fireclay close to home, and hope I do too.  I'm sure there are most of the materials in supply shops that I never even knew about :-D.  Such as the fabricator; I had no idea about that place.  That was my best guess as to why people use fireclay, as a leveling material I was assuming.  It was a good idea using it to prevent the perlcrete from puncturing the board.  I feel like the board is going to be tough to find and I'll need to check for perlite from a garden shop too; we have a nice one near my house.  Thank you! 

UPDATE: So as the daylight faded and just as the Bruins game started, I decided to take my angle grinder and diamond blade and just smooth out the slab.  There were some high (and low) spots from my friend that I had to level, but also, (not sure if I mentioned this) last week I did some patch work to try to level out some of the low spots on the other side, but I did a bad job grading the concrete patching.  I knew how to correct it though and unfortunately, the block has to be put exactly on the line where the patch work begins  :-D.  The patching bonded beautifully last week, and as I ground it down, I was amazed at how strong of a bond this stuff really made.  I was able to smooth out the patching and even keep some patching that helped build up some really low spots. I got the block pretty level now.  There may still be some more to do on another side, but it came out good.  I just figured last week to patch it since I didn't think using a ton of mortar for really low spots was a good idea.  I could be wrong though, but I'm happy with how it is now and it's probably the best it could be.  My friend did a good job on the slab though and mixed about 30 bags; I'm definitely happy not having to do that. 

Scribing is a good skill to have to fit things together well. I think if you watch this video and use your imagination you will be able to transfer the line representing the top of your concrete pad to the bottom edge of your block, then grind to that. Itís too bad you have this problem but I think your smartest move is to get it worked out on the bottom of the first course. Set the scribe close so you are taking little or no material from the block that will be sitting on parts of the pad that are already the correct elevation. You have some room to play with in the dimension (height) of your mortar beneath the first course, meaning the mortar you lay on the pad to set the first course on.


Set a level line where the top of course 1 needs to be. Do a dryfit and see if it looks like a standard mortar joint can make that happen. If not, lower the lime slightly. Then build to the line (string).


https://youtu.be/LAM9I6kidx8 (https://youtu.be/LAM9I6kidx8)

Ah yes thank you! I remember using one years ago! This brings back memories and is a really awesome idea for tracing out bottom of the block.  So it basically sketches out the surface of one material onto another, if I remember correctly.  So the block would be like the wood in the video, and the slab would be like the wall?  I'd just run the close scribe across the slab and the side the block, I assume.  Thank you for these tips, including using the line. 

Also, good idea with idea 2.  I'm trying to picture it as I'm still a novice, but are you saying to use wood to mirror the uneven block opposite of it, and use the uneven block as pretty much a built in frame?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 05, 2019, 08:24:26 AM
Yes, I think you have it in both examples. Not sure about the word mirror but if you think of it as the area of missing block to be poured with concrete, the two long sides are formed by the plywood and each end is framed by an 8Ē x 8Ē block end (not end block).
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 05, 2019, 01:04:39 PM
Yes, I think you have it in both examples. Not sure about the word mirror but if you think of it as the area of missing block to be poured with concrete, the two long sides are formed by the plywood and each end is framed by an 8Ē x 8Ē block end (not end block).
Awesome! haha probably not mirror, but opposite might be a better word.  That is a good idea thank you.  Hopefully I can get the first course level tomorrow.  I'll need to pick up some mortar, but as it is now, they may only need mortar under the right half of some of the block, as they are pretty level after last night.  I'll have to double check though. 

I'm thinking of doing the whole front piece out of clay brick including a chimney vent, or maybe a small chimney.  I just need to figure out how I'll do the whole vent and doorway.  I'm leaning towards an angle iron for over the doorway.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 05, 2019, 01:28:09 PM
This might be a good time to post some photos before anything else becomes permanent.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 05, 2019, 02:02:15 PM
This might be a good time to post some photos before anything else becomes permanent.

You're right and I'll take some of the first course.  I'm assuming giving the block a few inches from the edge of the slab is fine?  Also, I'm thinking of using a steel flue system because I'm thinking about rain and catching embers that float up.  But most rain would only get into the landing, so I may just do clay liner with a chimney cap.  Forno Bravo recommends 8" diameter for this size oven, I believe.  The landing I have drawn has a 9" depth.  I ran an angle iron across the oven opening in the model.  I'm thinking either domed ceiling or flat with angle irons, and the landing would basically just be a chimney or support for a flue.  Note: in the model I have the 2" board in red under the firebrick, but obviously that would have to be covered or I may not use it if I use perlcrete under the fireclay the firebrick will sit on.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 06, 2019, 04:06:34 AM
So as I've been researching further, I figured I'd describe my intentions better.  I also read that barrel vault arched domes exert a lot of outward thrust, so I feel that a flat ceiling or an actual dome oven will be much better. 

My Intentions:
1.  My main goal is to replicate what I do in the Uuni Pro, which is that I fire it to an internal temp of 600-700F, floor temp of around 600F, and usually cook 1-2, 16" pizzas of a bake time of about 10 minutes.  Oddly enough my main intention is to replicate the 600ish bake of Regina's oven which, due to the gas used, keeps the flour on the cornicione.  I usually replicate this by waiting until the fire is embers, or having a flame guard.  I realize that a bigger oven is different from the Uuni Pro, which is why I'd like having the fire to the left or right side, so I can see the bake (unlike in the Uuni Pro).  I also want there to be enough space between the fire and the pizza to prevent what happens in the Uuni Pro.  I'd like to do 18"-22" pizzas, but I know a larger oven will take longer to heat and requires a larger width door.

2.  While pizza ovens are the best, I feel that more of a bread oven is what I'm looking for.  I could be wrong though, so I appreciate all the help I can get.  I just think where I'm looking at slightly lower temps, a bread oven may be better.  Reading Forno Bravo's instructions, they mentioned that bread in Italy is cooking in square vault ovens.  This leads me to a few questions on thermal mass and how it relates to my purposes.

Preface to questions:

Regarding the model in the post above this one, my idea is to have a square design.  I very well may change this to a dome before any construction of the oven, but I feel the stand width of 62.5 x 62.5 is large enough to accommodate either oven design.  My plan is to lay block this week and fill the cores or stucco it, followed by constructing the hearth slab to be screeded along the top of the block caps, as shown in the book.  I may decide to use a frame though, so no block caps have to be used, and have the slab cover all the tops of the blocks.  I know square ovens have their cold spots, but I'm not trying to make Neapolitan beauties.  If I was going for a correct pizza oven, I would definitely make it round.

Okay, Finally Questions:

1.  Reading the Forno Bravo instructions, it seems the lowest height for the ceiling is 14.5".  From what I read, a lower ceiling oven heats up faster, but doesn't hold as much heat since there is not a lot of space up there.  Do you think a flat ceiling design pictured in the model below would be functional for my needs?  1 course of firebricks for the ceiling would leave about 11.25" (plus mortar) oven space height.  Another course of brick would raise the roof (haha) to 13.75" (plus mortar) The higher ceiling would add some headroom above the oven opening.  What is the best ceiling height for this type of oven and would the 11.75" ceiling height be too low?

2.  Reading the instructions again, it seems that a lot of thermal mass is not as good for pizza, but good for bread.  Which leads me to questions on the orientation of the firebrick.  I picture the firebrick oven floor laid down in the stretcher position, and for the walls either the stretcher, rowlock stretcher, or soldier position.  Of course this will vary the wall thickness.  For a flat cieling I was thinking of the stretcher position as well.  So what do you think are the best orientations for these? The soldier and rowlock stretcher seem best for the walls, as the stretcher would have the most mass thickness it seems. It's only a difference of about 2". 

3.  My idea for the flue is to install a either a metal vent with a clay flue, or just a small metal flue system into the top ceiling of the clay brick landing.  I like the look of a brick chimney, but I feel the features of having a cap and spark catcher is nice.  Can a cap/spark catcher just be mortared into a brick chimney though?  In the model I just envisioned a couple bricks left out of the angle iron rows.  Of course this would be a crude vent design, but seems like it would work.  In order for a proper flue to be installed I'm not sure if it would clear any angle irons, so I may need to do an arch for the vent area, or just build an entire brick chimney.

Again thank you to everyone that has helped me.  I know way more than I did a month ago, due to all your help and I immensely appreciate it.


Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 06, 2019, 08:34:24 PM
First course is pretty level now after angle grinding the slab some more.  I'm having a hard time deciding on how to fill the stand.  Deciding if I fill the base with gravel, rocks, and rubble or if I use a wood frame.  According to the book, it says to fill 12 inches from the top with gravel rocks and rubble.  Then the final 12 inches are comprised of 10 inches of coarse or medium perlite and 2" of perlcrete (6 parts perlite to 1 part Portland cement). 

My big questions are: if I do it by the books directions, do you think 10 inches of the perlite under the perlcrete is too much/can I get away with using more gravel and less perlite? 

The book also mentions foam glass or calcium silicate board.  It also mentions using sand under the hearth.  Sand seems like a very cost effective solution.  Do you think filling with gravel rocks and then sand, and then 2" of perlcrete slab, followed by fireclay, and then firebricks would insulate well?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 06, 2019, 11:08:11 PM
I donít know anything about ovens, but I know a fair amount about soils. If you place sand over gravel it will eventually settle out. Depending on what is above it that could settle out too. My first idea before I read your entire post is Ďwhy not sand instead of gravel?í There may be a reason having to do with oven builds but I donít know. You could speed up the settling by heavily watering the sand, adding more sand as it settles. At that point, though, if the pore space in the gravel layer is filled with sand how much better is that than just using all sand in the first place?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 07, 2019, 01:08:36 AM
I donít know anything about ovens, but I know a fair amount about soils. If you place sand over gravel it will eventually settle out. Depending on what is above it that could settle out too. My first idea before I read your entire post is Ďwhy not sand instead of gravel?í There may be a reason having to do with oven builds but I donít know. You could speed up the settling by heavily watering the sand, adding more sand as it settles. At that point, though, if the pore space in the gravel layer is filled with sand how much better is that than just using all sand in the first place?

Good points and thank you for the advice!  I didn't think of that.  I would guess they would use all sand then.  Using cement boards and wood are easier, but I'm more used to using sand, so I'll have to make a decision once all the courses are done.  For fill I feel that the 3 best options are 1) all gravel 2)a mix of gravel and perlite, or 3) all sand up to 2" from the top of the block caps and then 2" of perlcrete to fill up flush with the top of the block caps.  I'd probably need a ton of sand though for about 34" height and 48"x48" inside area to fill.  It seems to me that sand along with the perlcrete hearth would hold in enough heat.  It is funny how the book talks about how FB board is better than perlite under the hearth, but that sand is a conductor and insulator.

Also, my oven opening height (8+") to ceiling height (around 14.5") would be right around 63% so that worked out good.  My oven opening width 2 feet wide though which may not be good.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 07, 2019, 08:02:30 AM
I'd probably need a ton of sand though for about 34" height and 48"x48" inside area to fill/
Youíd be surprised how little a ton of sand is. It depends on moisture content but here are the figures I have used with consistently good results on baseball field work. Infield dirt I have been using is about 75% sand of various screen sizes.


1 cu yd = 1.4 T
30% compaction factor


2.94í x 4í x 4í = 47.04 cu ft in your area to be filled
= 1.74 cu yds
= 2.44 T
2.44 T/0.7 compaction = 3.49 Tons needed or 2.5 cu yds


I encourage you to check this out with a local sand and gravel provider. They may have better info on what their products weigh and how they compact. Youíre looking at a small dump truck delivery. It will cost more and frustrate you if you try to do this will bagged sand from a big box store. Good luck with the next step. Iím trying to help, not discourage, you.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 07, 2019, 03:28:33 PM
Youíd be surprised how little a ton of sand is. It depends on moisture content but here are the figures I have used with consistently good results on baseball field work. Infield dirt I have been using is about 75% sand of various screen sizes.


1 cu yd = 1.4 T
30% compaction factor


2.94í x 4í x 4í = 47.04 cu ft in your area to be filled
= 1.74 cu yds
= 2.44 T
2.44 T/0.7 compaction = 3.49 Tons needed or 2.5 cu yds


I encourage you to check this out with a local sand and gravel provider. They may have better info on what their products weigh and how they compact. Youíre looking at a small dump truck delivery. It will cost more and frustrate you if you try to do this will bagged sand from a big box store. Good luck with the next step. Iím trying to help, not discourage, you.

Haha sorry didn't mean litterly a ton, my bad!  I didn't even realize I said that.  I appreciate your help for sure.  A dump truck is a very good idea and would work out easily where the stand is.  I'm heading to my local sand and gravel provider now and will check back.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 07, 2019, 07:20:46 PM
I dont know if I would say the board is a better insulator than the perlcrete. I think it is just more efficient. In other words it probably would take 2 to 3 inches of perlcrete to provide the same level of insulation from 1 inch of board.

Also, be careful filling a dry stacked stand with sand off a dump truck. I see the sand sliding down with enough velocity to take out a wall.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 07, 2019, 11:13:33 PM
I dont know if I would say the board is a better insulator than the perlcrete. I think it is just more efficient. In other words it probably would take 2 to 3 inches of perlcrete to provide the same level of insulation from 1 inch of board.

Also, be careful filling a dry stacked stand with sand off a dump truck. I see the sand sliding down with enough velocity to take out a wall.

Thank you, that makes sense and is the clarification I needed.  My plan is to either use wood framing/form supports or just fill with sand, and very good tip Jon, thank you.  I was thinking I'd have to shovel the sand into the stand myself after having the truck dump it in my driveway.  The gravel place I go to estimated about 1.5 tons of sand for a 48x48" inside area and about 32" thickness/height.  Wood framing supports and Hardibacker would be a lot cheaper and doesn't seem too hard to do. I'd follow Forno Bravo Pompeii instructions. 

From what I gather, Forno Bravo says to use a 3.5" rebarred concrete support layer below a 3.5"-4" perlcrete or FB board layer.  The book uses just 2" perlcrete.  With Forno I'd need to have the hearth span across the block for support, but with the book I can fill with sand and only pour in the middle of the stand if I want.  Forno's does seem more structurally sound as it covers the entire block stand.  At https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3271769925/in/album-72157613634415857/ they used lintel irons and cement board and at http://www.hearthmasters.net/uploads/Ovenportfolio.pdf they use a concrete lintel. 

I'm going to set my first course of block tomorrow with mortar only under areas that need to be raised up a ľ" or so.

I think Forno Bravo's is the best since it is very detailed.  With sand, do you think I'd be able to get it level and packed enough to support 2-3" perlcrete?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 07, 2019, 11:38:02 PM
Thank you, that makes sense and is the clarification I needed.  My plan is to either use wood framing/form supports or just fill with sand, and very good tip Jon, thank you.  I was thinking I'd have to shovel the sand into the stand myself after having the truck dump it in my driveway.  The gravel place I go to estimated about 1.5 tons of sand for a 48x48" inside area and about 32" thickness/height.  Wood framing supports and Hardibacker would be a lot cheaper and doesn't seem too hard to do. I'd follow Forno Bravo Pompeii instructions. 

From what I gather, Forno Bravo says to use a 3.5" rebarred concrete support layer below a 3.5"-4" perlcrete or FB board layer.  The book uses just 2" perlcrete.  With Forno I'd need to have the hearth span across the block for support, but with the book I can fill with sand and only pour in the middle of the stand if I want.  Forno's does seem more structurally sound as it covers the entire block stand.  At https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3271769925/in/album-72157613634415857/ they used lintel irons and cement board and at http://www.hearthmasters.net/uploads/Ovenportfolio.pdf they use a concrete lintel. 

I think Forno Bravo's is the best since it is very detailed.  With sand, do you think I'd be able to get it level and packed enough to support 2-3" perlcrete?
You do need the sand to not settle, but the sand doesn't need to be perfectly level if your going to be building up with perlcrete. Only the top of the perlcrete gets level for the oven floor. Same thing would apply to any bottom concrete formwork. Just needs to be levelish and strong enough to hold the concrete up until it sets. Basically 24 hours. Getting the top as close to level as possible would help, but you are still going to have a perlcrete layer to get it closer to level.

When I did construction inspection many moons ago, sand was spread and compacted in lifts. Might be best to tamp the sand in layers. Maybe each course height?.

I'm not sure which is easier to build. Mixing bags of concrete isn't easy. For the slabs, I had small batches of ready mix delivered (a little more expensive than bags of quickcrete, but I still had a functional back when I was done). Moving and tamping layers of sand isn't easy either.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 08, 2019, 02:08:29 AM
You do need the sand to not settle, but the sand doesn't need to be perfectly level if your going to be building up with perlcrete. Only the top of the perlcrete gets level for the oven floor. Same thing would apply to any bottom concrete formwork. Just needs to be levelish and strong enough to hold the concrete up until it sets. Basically 24 hours. Getting the top as close to level as possible would help, but you are still going to have a perlcrete layer to get it closer to level.

When I did construction inspection many moons ago, sand was spread and compacted in lifts. Might be best to tamp the sand in layers. Maybe each course height?.

I'm not sure which is easier to build. Mixing bags of concrete isn't easy. For the slabs, I had small batches of ready mix delivered (a little more expensive than bags of quickcrete, but I still had a functional back when I was done). Moving and tamping layers of sand isn't easy either.

Thank you again as always!  Awesome info for me to know about leveling and tamping every course height; very good idea.  That's cool you did construction inspection, so you have a lot of knowledge.  Ya it's going to be a lot of work mixing the concrete and shoveling and tamping sand!

I'm researching refractory mortar and fire clay.  I feel like I need a bit of help on the fire clay and perlite.  I found some products at Walmart, but not sure about the perlite or fire clay variety listed.  I'm more confident with the heat stop dry mix as it's ok for exterior applications compared to the pre-mix.  The fire clay says on the bag "not certified for refractory mortar," but I'm only using it for firebrick leveling anyway, so I hope that's ok.  Thinking of amounts, Forno Bravo recommends 8 Cubic Feet of perlite for the slab and Heat Stop recommends 50lbs per 100 Firebrick.  Do you think these 3 items would be good and how much would you recommend of each?  I just don't want to be wrong about brand or amounts.

https://www.walmart.com/lists/shared/6acce818-dc6c-4851-8f3e-76b3809d85bf
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: norma427 on May 08, 2019, 08:34:02 AM
Pod4477,

Probably won't help you, but Steve (Ev) built a Forno Bravo Pompeii style oven with lots of great photos of the build at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11155.msg100628#msg100628 Not a flat top though.  I recall Steve telling me that his friend Bob also built a Forno Bravo Pompeii style oven, but it was smaller and didn't have enough insulation under the oven.  Photos of that oven are at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18828.msg183753#msg183753  Steve and Bob also worked on their vintage Airstream with a WFO inside.  Some of the photos are at  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19725.msg193381#msg193381 Steve told me he never could get the same bakes (NY style) in the WFO he built in his back yard as he could in his WFO in the Airstream.  Guess what I am trying to get at is most all ovens bake differently/maybe not.  :-\  Some more of his NP Ischia starter bakes and NY style pizzas at the same temperatures in the Airstream.  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21856.0 I sure am not an oven builder and don't understand all that goes into building an oven, but find it interesting how different ovens bake. :-D

Norma
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 08, 2019, 08:55:22 AM
For the fireclay used for leveling, I'd check therecommended temperature range. The stuff I bought was good for something over 1700 degrees so I figured it was good for my purposes. I also saved the fines from cutting firebrick and used that as fireclay too.

I got 50 pound bags of Heatstop 50 from my local masonry supply place. Mixed just what was needed as I was working. It does its initial set fairly quickly. Since you are making walls you might need it faster than I did but I was mixing a few cups of it at a time. I used 3 bags.

I bought perlite from a garden supply distributor. Griffen Garden Supplies. There is one in Tewksbury, MA. A lot of the perlite sold in masonry stores is very fine and used to fill voids in concrete block. The garden perlite is bigger particles. I read somewhere the larger particles was supposed to make better perlcrete. Heres a link.

https://www.griffins.com/locations#1tewksbury
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 08, 2019, 11:37:54 AM
Pod4477,

Probably won't help you, but Steve (Ev) built a Forno Bravo Pompeii style oven with lots of great photos of the build at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11155.msg100628#msg100628 Not a flat top though.  I recall Steve telling me that his friend Bob also built a Forno Bravo Pompeii style oven, but it was smaller and didn't have enough insulation under the oven.  Photos of that oven are at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18828.msg183753#msg183753  Steve and Bob also worked on their vintage Airstream with a WFO inside.  Some of the photos are at  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19725.msg193381#msg193381 Steve told me he never could get the same bakes (NY style) in the WFO he built in his back yard as he could in his WFO in the Airstream.  Guess what I am trying to get at is most all ovens bake differently/maybe not.  :-\  Some more of his NP Ischia starter bakes and NY style pizzas at the same temperatures in the Airstream.  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21856.0 I sure am not an oven builder and don't understand all that goes into building an oven, but find it interesting how different ovens bake. :-D

Norma

No it does help, thank you.  Awesome ovens; and I've been thinking about this as well.  Every oven being different will make it challenging to estimate exactly how my design will perform until I build and fire it.  For PR style pies, I'm definitely going to have to wait for the red hot embers and probably will have to use a fire separator like at https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/6405631933/in/album-72157613634415857/.  That Airstream is insanely awesome!

For the fireclay used for leveling, I'd check therecommended temperature range. The stuff I bought was good for something over 1700 degrees so I figured it was good for my purposes. I also saved the fines from cutting firebrick and used that as fireclay too.

I got 50 pound bags of Heatstop 50 from my local masonry supply place. Mixed just what was needed as I was working. It does its initial set fairly quickly. Since you are making walls you might need it faster than I did but I was mixing a few cups of it at a time. I used 3 bags.

I bought perlite from a garden supply distributor. Griffen Garden Supplies. There is one in Tewksbury, MA. A lot of the perlite sold in masonry stores is very fine and used to fill voids in concrete block. The garden perlite is bigger particles. I read somewhere the larger particles was supposed to make better perlcrete. Heres a link.

https://www.griffins.com/locations#1tewksbury


Thank you as well.  According to Amazon, this fireclay is rated up to 2000F, and people claim it's just fire clay, so that seems reassuring.  I'm assuming I'll need a commercial respirator for this though? 

I'll make sure to mix only a bit as needed, as you did.  I've read only to use up to a ľ".  For my square design it doesn't seem I'll need any thick mortar joints.  Heat Stop recommends 2 bags for 200 bricks, and I estimated 200 bricks for oven.  We'll see if I need more though, especially depending on brick orientation.

Thank you; the coarseness needed is what I couldn't remember exactly.  I'll probably go to that garden supply in Tewksbury then.  The perlite on Walmart is supposed to be super coarse, so I hope it's not too coarse. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 08, 2019, 12:59:37 PM
No it does help, thank you.  Awesome ovens; and I've been thinking about this as well.  Every oven being different will make it challenging to estimate exactly how my design will perform until I build and fire it.  For PR style pies, I'm definitely going to have to wait for the red hot embers and probably will have to use a fire separator like at https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/6405631933/in/album-72157613634415857/.  That Airstream is insanely awesome!

Thank you as well.  According to Amazon, this fireclay is rated up to 2000F, and people claim it's just fire clay, so that seems reassuring.  I'm assuming I'll need a commercial respirator for this though? 

I'll make sure to mix only a bit as needed, as you did.  I've read only to use up to a ľ".  For my square design it doesn't seem I'll need any thick mortar joints.  Heat Stop recommends 2 bags for 200 bricks, and I estimated 200 bricks for oven.  We'll see if I need more though, especially depending on brick orientation.

Thank you; the coarseness needed is what I couldn't remember exactly.  I'll probably go to that garden supply in Tewksbury then.  The perlite on Walmart is supposed to be super coarse, so I hope it's not too coarse.
I didn't use a respirator for the fireclay. Wouldn't hurt. I did use dust masks and eye protection when cutting bricks with a wet saw and working with the insulation. Hearing protection with the saw too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 08, 2019, 10:42:07 PM
I didn't use a respirator for the fireclay. Wouldn't hurt. I did use dust masks and eye protection when cutting bricks with a wet saw and working with the insulation. Hearing protection with the saw too.

Might just be the product from Walmart.  It had a warning about Free Silica and wearing breathing protection.  So from reading https://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/101/what-is-fire-clay-and-where-to-get-it, Fire Clay can either be solid or powdered.  It says you can use soft pottery clay body and dry it, and then break it into an almost powdered form, then mix 50/50 with sand for the firebrick leveling.  So would I mix water into the sand/fire clay mix or just dry?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 08, 2019, 11:25:27 PM
Might just be the product from Walmart.  It had a warning about Free Silica and wearing breathing protection.  So from reading https://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/101/what-is-fire-clay-and-where-to-get-it, Fire Clay can either be solid or powdered.  It says you can use soft pottery clay body and dry it, and then break it into an almost powdered form, then mix 50/50 with sand for the firebrick leveling.  So would I mix water into the sand/fire clay mix or just dry?

My only experience is with dry fire clay. It was almost flour-like. For me, and especially with the board insulation I was using, I minimized moisture around the board.

I'm not sure of the direction you are going (I don't think you are 100% either), but if you are filling the stand with gravel or sand then topping that with a bunch of perlcrete, you might not need fireclay at all. Try and form the top of the perlcrete level.

Or, if you are pouring a slab on top try to make that level. And if the slab is off a little, correct that in the perlcrete layer on top of the slab.

For a good visual of a slab and perlcrete layer, scroll to the bottom of this page. It is an oven built by one of the forum moderators. But you can see his slab and perlcrete form work and then the oven floor. There are good pictures of the rest of the build too.

http://brokebrick.com/genesoven.htm
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 09, 2019, 01:40:40 AM
My only experience is with dry fire clay. It was almost flour-like. For me, and especially with the board insulation I was using, I minimized moisture around the board.

I'm not sure of the direction you are going (I don't think you are 100% either), but if you are filling the stand with gravel or sand then topping that with a bunch of perlcrete, you might not need fireclay at all. Try and form the top of the perlcrete level.

Or, if you are pouring a slab on top try to make that level. And if the slab is off a little, correct that in the perlcrete layer on top of the slab.

For a good visual of a slab and perlcrete layer, scroll to the bottom of this page. It is an oven built by one of the forum moderators. But you can see his slab and perlcrete form work and then the oven floor. There are good pictures of the rest of the build too.

http://brokebrick.com/genesoven.htm

I wonder if that would be similar to the ground fire clay I've seen online.  Haha I'm not too sure what I'm going to do for the inner part of the block or slab, for sure.  That was my idea that I may just be able to use sand and perlcrete.  I guess the fire clay bedding will be needed if I don't get the perlcrete perfectly level, which I will try to have no happen.  Fire clay bedding seems like a good idea, but I've seen people not use it.  In the book he lays solid concrete block on top of the perlcrete and then fire brick on top of the solid concrete block.  This seems like a bad idea as the concrete would heat up quite a bit.  Insulation board seems like a better middle layer, or just perlcrete under the fire brick. 

I do want my firebrick very level, but honestly in the Uuni Pro, the tiles jut up a bit and the pizzas still cook fine.  Probably would want only a few bricks max to be not level and only minorly.  I'm a perfectionist though so I expect me to get it perfect.  Could the perlcrete be sanded if one area is not exactly level?  Those pics helped a lot to visualize, thank you.  I like how he did a different size and shape with the perlcrete layer.  Awesome oven and portable!

I got some Quickcrete type S mortar mix from Home Depot today and a new square.  My plan later today is to set the first course. Do you think it's best to mortar the slab across the entire line of block, making a thicker joint in some sides of the block that are low and need raising; or is it ok to just use mortar under low areas of the block, just filling in one side until it's level?  I guess I could always paint on a thin wet layer of mortar to the bottom of all blocks as a bonding assurance and then only mortar in low areas.  It seems that the blocks are nearly level, but only need a bit of height adjustment on the right half of some blocks.  Of course, mortar isn't usually necessary, but I just wasn't sure if the joint should span the entire bottom of the blocks or if it can be used as filler.  This kind of seems like a weird, and unique situation.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 09, 2019, 07:56:31 AM
I wonder if that would be similar to the ground fire clay I've seen online.  Haha I'm not too sure what I'm going to do for the inner part of the block or slab, for sure.  That was my idea that I may just be able to use sand and perlcrete.  I guess the fire clay bedding will be needed if I don't get the perlcrete perfectly level, which I will try to have no happen.  Fire clay bedding seems like a good idea, but I've seen people not use it.  In the book he lays solid concrete block on top of the perlcrete and then fire brick on top of the solid concrete block.  This seems like a bad idea as the concrete would heat up quite a bit.  Insulation board seems like a better middle layer, or just perlcrete under the fire brick. 

I do want my firebrick very level, but honestly in the Uuni Pro, the tiles jut up a bit and the pizzas still cook fine.  Probably would want only a few bricks max to be not level and only minorly.  I'm a perfectionist though so I expect me to get it perfect.  Could the perlcrete be sanded if one area is not exactly level?  Those pics helped a lot to visualize, thank you.  I like how he did a different size and shape with the perlcrete layer.  Awesome oven and portable!

I got some Quickcrete type S mortar mix from Home Depot today and a new square.  My plan later today is to set the first course. Do you think it's best to mortar the slab across the entire line of block, making a thicker joint in some sides of the block that are low and need raising; or is it ok to just use mortar under low areas of the block, just filling in one side until it's level?  I guess I could always paint on a thin wet layer of mortar to the bottom of all blocks as a bonding assurance and then only mortar in low areas.  It seems that the blocks are nearly level, but only need a bit of height adjustment on the right half of some blocks.  Of course, mortar isn't usually necessary, but I just wasn't sure if the joint should span the entire bottom of the blocks or if it can be used as filler.  This kind of seems like a weird, and unique situation.
Dont know about the mortar in the first course of the stand. I dont think it will really matter. As you go up, make sure you have a running bond with the concrete blocks.

I guess the perlcrete could be sanded. I didn't do it. As it cures, the first few days it is kind of flaky and you wonder if it will ever fully set. That would probably be the best time to address any high spots. I think more important than getting the oven floor perfectly level is getting the top of the floor smooth enough so none of the joints between the floor bricks grabs a peel.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 10, 2019, 03:38:58 AM
Dont know about the mortar in the first course of the stand. I dont think it will really matter. As you go up, make sure you have a running bond with the concrete blocks.

I guess the perlcrete could be sanded. I didn't do it. As it cures, the first few days it is kind of flaky and you wonder if it will ever fully set. That would probably be the best time to address any high spots. I think more important than getting the oven floor perfectly level is getting the top of the floor smooth enough so none of the joints between the floor bricks grabs a peel.

Sorry! I read this and got straight to mortaring the block.  Haven't been on my computer since this morning.  I got the first course level and covered with a tarp for the rain today.  Next step is to get the rest of the block picked up and fill in the cores.  Thank you for that advice!  I have been wondering that about the perlcrete layer and oven floor.  My perlite came in today too.  So do some people only fill in the corner cores of the block, or is it best to do every other core? It also says to drop a section of Ĺ" rebar in every other core, along with stuffing the other cores if a slab is poured on top.  What does a section of rebar mean here, one piece going vertical?

 I'll have to decide on using block caps or not, I guess I would only if I use the sand middle filling and concrete/perlcrete slabs in the middle.  Of course if I build the slabs over the block holes I won't need caps.  I figure with caps might have to be stuccoed or mortared down, but the middle slabs would bond to the caps as well.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 10, 2019, 09:01:51 AM


Sorry! I read this and got straight to mortaring the block.  Haven't been on my computer since this morning.  I got the first course level and covered with a tarp for the rain today.  Next step is to get the rest of the block picked up and fill in the cores.  Thank you for that advice!  I have been wondering that about the perlcrete layer and oven floor.  My perlite came in today too.  So do some people only fill in the corner cores of the block, or is it best to do every other core? It also says to drop a section of Ĺ" rebar in every other core, along with stuffing the other cores if a slab is poured on top.  What does a section of rebar mean here, one piece going vertical?

 I'll have to decide on using block caps or not, I guess I would only if I use the sand middle filling and concrete/perlcrete slabs in the middle.  Of course if I build the slabs over the block holes I won't need caps.  I figure with caps might have to be stuccoed or mortared down, but the middle slabs would bond to the caps as well.

Going to sound like a broken record here... but these are things I would want to know before starting.

In my stand, I went overboard. My walls are tied to the bottom slab with rebar. I did the corners and every other hole. A piece of bar goes down every hole I filled. Those bars were long enough so that they could be bent and combined with the top slab rebar. I basically made a reinforced concrete box.

I stuffed portions of the bags that the concrete used to fill the cores came in to plug the unfilled cores so the slab concrete didn't go all the way down those holes. If you are capping and filling the stand with sand, this doesn't matter because there is no slab. If there is no slab, personally I would at least fill every other hole  in the the block and the corners. If you do the running bond, this will ties the stand together. Having rebar in the filled cores will make it stronger. With the right tools, half inch rebar isn't hard to cut. With a hack saw, it grows old fast.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 10, 2019, 11:16:35 AM

Going to sound like a broken record here... but these are things I would want to know before starting.

In my stand, I went overboard. My walls are tied to the bottom slab with rebar. I did the corners and every other hole. A piece of bar goes down every hole I filled. Those bars were long enough so that they could be bent and combined with the top slab rebar. I basically made a reinforced concrete box.

I stuffed portions of the bags that the concrete used to fill the cores came in to plug the unfilled cores so the slab concrete didn't go all the way down those holes. If you are capping and filling the stand with sand, this doesn't matter because there is no slab. If there is no slab, personally I would at least fill every other hole  in the the block and the corners. If you do the running bond, this will ties the stand together. Having rebar in the filled cores will make it stronger. With the right tools, half inch rebar isn't hard to cut. With a hack saw, it grows old fast.

Haha, yup you're very right.  I'm going to finalize and make decisions in the next day, but I know the construction of the stand will take a few days, especially with rain today.  Tying in the slabs and walls is genius and something I should have done.  I have been getting pretty good at using the angle iron with the diamond blade, so I'm happy to not have to use a hacksaw for it, because I know that is what I would have used prior to buying the angle iron.  Filling only the corners seems like a risky idea, so every other hole it is for sure.  I may even stucco after, as well, for added insurance.  I have a ton of rebar left over from the slab.  So I pretty much just drop one rebar in every other hole and corners, making sure it isn't too long that it comes up the top (cut it if it is), and then fill with concrete? 

Also, what consistency did you use to fill?  Forno Bravo says to mix a wet batch and put it in buckets to make it easy to pour into the cores; they don't mean literally making it extra thin and runny, probably just mixing with water before using buckets in a regular consistancy I'm assuming?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 10, 2019, 11:41:08 AM


Haha, yup you're very right.  I'm going to finalize and make decisions in the next day, but I know the construction of the stand will take a few days, especially with rain today.  Tying in the slabs and walls is genius and something I should have done.  I have been getting pretty good at using the angle iron with the diamond blade, so I'm happy to not have to use a hacksaw for it, because I know that is what I would have used prior to buying the angle iron.  Filling only the corners seems like a risky idea, so every other hole it is for sure.  I may even stucco after, as well, for added insurance.  I have a ton of rebar left over from the slab.  So I pretty much just drop one rebar in every other hole and corners, making sure it isn't too long that it comes up the top (cut it if it is), and then fill with concrete? 

Also, what consistency did you use to fill?  Forno Bravo says to mix a wet batch and put it in buckets to make it easy to pour into the cores; they don't mean literally making it extra thin and runny, probably just mixing with water before using buckets in a regular consistancy I'm assuming?

That's all the bar is. You can also use the bar like a tamping rid to help pack in the concrete into the core.

I mixed to the quickcrete package directions. Some extra water won't hurt but really over doing it will separate the stone from the paste and start to reduce the final cured strength.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 10, 2019, 11:58:54 AM

That's all the bar is. You can also use the bar like a tamping rid to help pack in the concrete into the core.

I mixed to the quickcrete package directions. Some extra water won't hurt but really over doing it will separate the stone from the paste and start to reduce the final cured strength.

Thank you for the quick reply.  That is a good idea to use it for tamping.  Yeah I learned my lesson doing patching to never use too much water.  I've been getting more used to consistency, but I really should properly mix to the bags' ratio.  Did you use the Quickcrete High Strength Concrete in the yellow bags?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 10, 2019, 12:09:48 PM
Just the regular quickcrete. I got the smaller bags to spare my back. Cost was basically the same.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 11, 2019, 12:51:23 AM
Just the regular quickcrete. I got the smaller bags to spare my back. Cost was basically the same.

That's what I've been using too, but didn't check last time to see if they came in 50 or 60 lbs.  I picked up the rest of the block today!  I plan on stacking and filling the cores today.  We have some more rain on the way after tomorrow, but I'll make a decision on sand vs wooden supports in the next day or two.  I just want to get the stand done while the first course if level.  I have more experience dealing with sand/earth and tamping, but I'm sure I could do wooden framing.  For the top slab, I'm wondering if I need two different layers (concrete with rebar and then perlcrete) or if I should just do one 2-4" perlcrete layer.  I assume the added support is always good, but the book only used the 2" perlcrete slab.  What do you think?

Lastly, I came across this article https://www.mugnaini.com/2016/07/insulation-or-thermal-mass/; in the last paragraph they talk about refractory concrete for the slab.  Has anyone ever tried using refractory concrete for thermal mass?  So if I understand right, perlcrete and Fb board work in similar ways, by stopping downward heat, holding some heat and pushing heat back up to the firebrick.  Refractory concrete holds heat which basically keeps the firebrick hot as well.  Do you guys think insulation or thermal mass is a better way to handle what happens below the firebricks?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 12, 2019, 10:28:22 AM
Update: 4 courses are done and every other core filled, making sure to do the corners and so every block has at least one core filled.  We have about 3 days of rain ahead so I covered it with a tarp. In the next 3 days I need to decide whether or not I mortar on block caps or do a wood frame and have the slab cover the cores. I also hope the first course leveling mortar will be ok in the rain. Itís been about two days so Iím assuming it would be fine.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: scott r on May 12, 2019, 11:42:10 AM
Do you guys think insulation or thermal mass is a better way to handle what happens below the firebricks?

When I first opened my pizza truck five years ago the oven in it had a single layer of WG firebrick for the floor with insulation directly under that.  When it was preheated properly it was plenty of thermal mass to make 150 pizzas in succession with the floor blanketed for two hours without loosing the floor.  For a home oven you will never need any more thermal mass than what your floor will give you so I would just put some calcium silicate under your firebrick floor.  If you put any thermal mass under there its just going to take you forever to preheat the oven to the point of full saturation (which is what your going to want for really great bakes).
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 12, 2019, 07:21:00 PM
When I first opened my pizza truck five years ago the oven in it had a single layer of WG firebrick for the floor with insulation directly under that.  When it was preheated properly it was plenty of thermal mass to make 150 pizzas in succession with the floor blanketed for two hours without loosing the floor.  For a home oven you will never need any more thermal mass than what your floor will give you so I would just put some calcium silicate under your firebrick floor.  If you put any thermal mass under there its just going to take you forever to preheat the oven to the point of full saturation (which is what your going to want for really great bakes).

Thank you and wow thats a lot of heat retention! So perlcrete would be similar to calcium silicate, just less efficient per inch?  I also forgot that making a closed stand means I can't make a wooden form support, as there's no way to get it out.  So looks like I'm set on:
a) filling it in with sand, using block caps and filling without frames by screeding across the block caps
b) mortaring concrete lintels to span across the blocks
c) use wood frames and pour 2-3" concrete followed by 2-3" perlcrete over the sand and cores.  This will give me even more height than block caps, if I do 6" total concrete/perlcrete. So for the wood frames, shims are used in between the legs and frame  or under the feet, to level?  I've also seen strapping used.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: scott r on May 12, 2019, 09:40:48 PM
So perlcrete would be similar to calcium silicate, just less efficient per inch? 

yes, both will insulate under the floor
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 12, 2019, 10:49:16 PM
yes, both will insulate under the floor

Awesome, thank you.  Would it be possible to fill the base using mainly topsoil and then a few inches thick sand on top of that?  I'm trying to think of what would be the cheapest and easiest so I don't have to pay for a truck to deliver it.  I could just rent a Lowes truck like I did for the block.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 07:21:48 AM



b) mortaring concrete lintels to span across the blocks


Not sure what you mean by this. Are you talking about filling the top course of block?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 07:30:50 AM


Awesome, thank you.  Would it be possible to fill the base using mainly topsoil and then a few inches thick sand on top of that?  I'm trying to think of what would be the cheapest and easiest so I don't have to pay for a truck to deliver it.  I could just rent a Lowes truck like I did for the block.

I would assume that topsoil has some organic material that would eventually decompose and settle. If you are filling the stand, I'd go with well compacted and inorganic.

Also, you mentioned not being able to get the concrete formwork out if you cast a slab. You dont need to get it out. You can abandon it in there. Don't know how concrete compared cost wise to your other options.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 13, 2019, 07:57:41 AM

I would assume that topsoil has some organic material that would eventually decompose and settle. If you are filling the stand, I'd go with well compacted and inorganic.
I agree. Also, topsoil typically costs more than sand. Sand can get pricey if you demand only certain screen size(s). Fill sand can be very cheap but could contain anything from stones to organic materials such as clumps of grass to tree roots. There is not standard definition for topsoil or ďblack dirt.Ē It could turn out to contain anything shredded plastic garbage bags to partially composted diapers. Screened topsoil is a little better but will vary from place to place and year to year in terms of what percent of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter (and its source) it contains. It also has lots of weed seeds, which doesnít matter here. For many reasons sand is a better choice than topsoil.


Pod, I stand by my calculations in post 104 above. If you refigure it for the inside dimensions of your block work it will be very close IMO. Good luck.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 13, 2019, 11:38:53 AM

I would assume that topsoil has some organic material that would eventually decompose and settle. If you are filling the stand, I'd go with well compacted and inorganic.

Also, you mentioned not being able to get the concrete formwork out if you cast a slab. You dont need to get it out. You can abandon it in there. Don't know how concrete compared cost wise to your other options.

Sorry yup I meant for the inside of the block stand, and that was my thought of using topsoil or dirt from the yard.  Thank you, I didn't realize that, so the wood framing and hardibacker can be left in there?  I think that is definitely the cheapest option then. 

I agree. Also, topsoil typically costs more than sand. Sand can get pricey if you demand only certain screen size(s). Fill sand can be very cheap but could contain anything from stones to organic materials such as clumps of grass to tree roots. There is not standard definition for topsoil or “black dirt.” It could turn out to contain anything shredded plastic garbage bags to partially composted diapers. Screened topsoil is a little better but will vary from place to place and year to year in terms of what percent of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter (and its source) it contains. It also has lots of weed seeds, which doesn’t matter here. For many reasons sand is a better choice than topsoil.


Pod, I stand by my calculations in post 104 above. If you refigure it for the inside dimensions of your block work it will be very close IMO. Good luck.

I believe the local shop might have been talking about fill sand since it was so cheap.  He said $30 for around a ton to 1.5 ton.  Haha diapers don't seem fun, so sand definitely would be the better option. Thank you for doing the calculation for me.  I appreciate all the help with calculations and tips.  I reconfigured the dimensions and figured I'd update. The sand would be filling an inside area of 15.25 sq ft. (46.875"x 46.875" inside area) with a height of 29-31".  Having the sand stop at a max height of 31" allows me to build up a bit with concrete or the block caps about 3.75" height.  I may not have been right with my dimensions last time, but it seems that it would be 39.41 cu ft for the entire area of sand to fill
=1.4596296 cu yds
=2.04 T
2.04T/0.7=2.9T

Your calculations are much appreciated and I'll just have to check compaction rate for the type of sand they use, I guess.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 11:55:37 AM
Sorry yup I meant for the inside of the block stand, and that was my thought of using topsoil or dirt from the yard.  Thank you, I didn't realize that, so the wood framing and hardibacker can be left in there?  I think that is definitely the cheapest option then. 

I believe the local shop might have been talking about fill sand since it was so cheap.  He said $30 for around a ton to 1.5 ton.  Haha diapers don't seem fun, so sand definitely would be the better option. Thank you for doing the calculation for me.  I appreciate all the help with calculations and tips.  I reconfigured the dimensions and figured I'd update. The sand would be filling an inside area of 15.25 sq ft. (46.875"x 46.875" inside area) with a height of 29-31".  Having the sand stop at a max height of 31" allows me to build up a bit with concrete or the block caps about 3.75" height.  I may not have been right with my dimensions last time but it seems that it would be a cu ft of 20.18 for the entire sand.
Dirty secret about my oven build...I let the slab sit a few days before taking down the forms. Well, I didn't wet down or oil the plywood I used as the base support enough and it stuck to the slab. Like really stuck. Crowbar and hammer couldn't move it stuck. The following summer the plywood fell down. But I had used the oven regularly without a problem. So maybe eventually some of your form might fall down. But it will be falling into a concrete box no one will ever see.

With a good amount of insulation between the oven floor and the slab, I dont think the top face of the slab will ever see 100 degrees. I'd guess less than than that.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 13, 2019, 12:04:09 PM
Dirty secret about my oven build...I let the slab sit a few days before taking down the forms. Well, I didn't wet down or oil the plywood I used as the base support enough and it stuck to the slab. Like really stuck. Crowbar and hammer couldn't move it stuck. The following summer the plywood fell down. But I had used the oven regularly without a problem. So maybe eventually some of your form might fall down. But it will be falling into a concrete box no one will ever see.

With a good amount of insulation between the oven floor and the slab, I dont think the top face of the slab will ever see 100 degrees. I'd guess less than than that.

haha that is something that would happen to me and something I thought about for the side forms.  My plan is that if do wood supports, I would just pour the slab over the top of the block and not even use block caps.  This way the slab spans the entire stand and would be more structurally sound.  I would build form supports just like Forno Bravo has pictured, with 9 legs, and 5 top pieces of wood that the hardibacker or plywood rests on.  So that can all be left in and even if it falls down the slab should stay up?  I'd probably do 2-3" structural concrete slab with a 2-3" insulated slab, so I hope that would be enough to prevent heat from getting to the wood.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 12:09:08 PM


So that can all be left in and even if it falls down the slab should stay up?

If you build a properly reinforced slab, it will stay up without the formwork once the concrete cures. If there was a opening in your stand, you would be removing the formwork to create storage space, right?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 13, 2019, 12:15:15 PM

If you build a properly reinforced slab, it will stay up without the formwork once the concrete cures. If there was a opening in your stand, you would be removing the formwork to create storage space, right?

oh yup true!  I'm wondering what the best type of concrete to use for the structural, between the 4000psi and 5000.  The insulating seems like it should always be 6 part perlite mixed with 1 part Portland cement.  I should probably do 4" for both just to be sure of insulation and structure.

Also, just called another local supply shop and they said it would be $104 including delivery for 2 tons of concrete sand, which can be delivered tomorrow.  I'll have to decide.  It's going to rain so I'd have to cover it, I assume.  If I use sand, my idea would be to use it just as a filler and added support, since I'm thinking I would pour the slabs over the entire span of the block stand and not just the inside.  That way instead of having the slabs sit only in the middle 39 cu ft of the stand, if there are any issues with the sand not being compacted properly, the slab should stay supported from the block. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 12:45:12 PM
Again (broken record), you need to pick your design. If you go concrete slab you dont need the sand. If you go sand, you dont need the inner concrete formwork. I will say from reading your posts, I feel like you are more confident with filling the stand with stand. I could be wrong. It's your build. As Anthony Falco recently said in a video, "chase your rainbow."

But should you go with a slab, you do not need high strength concrete for this. If you are using premixed bags, regular quickcrete is all you need...and some rebar.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 13, 2019, 03:53:44 PM
Again (broken record), you need to pick your design. If you go concrete slab you dont need the sand. If you go sand, you dont need the inner concrete formwork. I will say from reading your posts, I feel like you are more confident with filling the stand with stand. I could be wrong. It's your build. As Anthony Falco recently said in a video, "chase your rainbow."

But should you go with a slab, you do not need high strength concrete for this. If you are using premixed bags, regular quickcrete is all you need...and some rebar.

You're right.  I definitely feel more confident with the sand since I haven't done wood work in a long time.  I don't mind doing slab framing, but it's just the structural wood I worry about.  My idea was just that the sand in the middle would provide extra support for the slab if I fill over the entire block, instead of just filling concrete over only the sand.  Filling concrete over the sand or gravel only, has always seemed a bit risky after reading it in the book.  I feel this way the slab at least can have support from the blocks.  It was a good recommendation from you early on, as it eliminates any need for block caps. 

I guess I'm using the sand in place of the wood supports and pouring the concrete slabs right over it.  The only thing is that if I don't fill the sand right to the top of the block, the first support slab would have an odd shape from going down a bit into the sand and then up on top of the block.  The stand is 30.75" tall and that is even shorter than the 2 tons of sand I calculated (31" calculation), so my plan will probably be to fill the stand entirely with sand up to the top of the block, and then just pour 3-4" rebar concrete support over the sand and the block, followed by 3-4" perlcrete, using a wooden frame.  Out of breath there a bit.

Thank you as I was wondering if 5000psi was needed or not.  I already have an extra bag of regular quickcrete.  The water amount listed on the bag definitely was pretty dry when I mixed it the other night.  Since water decreases strength, but being too dry isn't good either, I'm assuming being in the middle is best consistency for the support concrete?  The insulating layer usually suggests adding enough water for the perlite to clump up.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 05:52:08 PM
I guess I'm using the sand in place of the wood supports and pouring the concrete slabs right over it.  The only thing is that if I don't fill the sand right to the top of the block, the first support slab would have an odd shape from going down a bit into the sand and then up on top of the block.  The stand is 30.75" tall and that is even shorter than the 2 tons of sand I calculated (31" calculation), so my plan will probably be to fill the stand entirely with sand up to the top of the block, and then just pour 3-4" rebar concrete support over the sand and the block, followed by 3-4" perlcrete, using a wooden frame.  Out of breath there a bit.

I'm assuming being in the middle is best consistency for the support concrete?  The insulating layer usually suggests adding enough water for the perlite to clump up.

You still don't need to worry about how flat the bottom of the slab is. Make the top level. Whatever minimum thickness you want the slab to be, make sure the slab is at least that thick everywhere. So if you want a 4 inch slab, and parts are 4.25 and one spot is 4.5 and another is 4.1...it doesn't matter as long as the top is flat. You would just be using a little more concrete. I'd throw a piece of plastic sheeting over the sand so that it doesn't wick and water from the mix. It will also prevent any water from coming up from the sand once you are done.

30.7.5 + 4 (concrete) + 4 (perlcrete) + 2.5 (floor brick) + 9 (top of door) = 50.25

I recommend cutting up some cardboard to make something that shows you where your oven floor is (41.25) and blocks off anything above 50.25 in which will be your line of sight. I believe you will be bent over to see in the oven. For reference, my oven floor is at about 50 and a bit higher would have been fine. Rule of thumb is about elbow height for the oven floor.

A little extra water in the concrete mix will not hurt anything. It is when you add a bunch of water and the paste gets really thin and the stone starts to separate that creates some problems.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 13, 2019, 07:07:08 PM
You still don't need to worry about how flat the bottom of the slab is. Make the top level. Whatever minimum thickness you want the slab to be, make sure the slab is at least that thick everywhere. So if you want a 4 inch slab, and parts are 4.25 and one spot is 4.5 and another is 4.1...it doesn't matter as long as the top is flat. You would just be using a little more concrete. I'd throw a piece of plastic sheeting over the sand so that it doesn't wick and water from the mix. It will also prevent any water from coming up from the sand once you are done.

30.7.5 + 4 (concrete) + 4 (perlcrete) + 2.5 (floor brick) + 9 (top of door) = 50.25

I recommend cutting up some cardboard to make something that shows you where your oven floor is (41.25) and blocks off anything above 50.25 in which will be your line of sight. I believe you will be bent over to see in the oven. For reference, my oven floor is at about 50 and a bit higher would have been fine. Rule of thumb is about elbow height for the oven floor.

A little extra water in the concrete mix will not hurt anything. It is when you add a bunch of water and the paste gets really thin and the stone starts to separate that creates some problems.

Thank you for all that info!  Huge help honestly.  So then it doesn't matter if the sand is flush with the top of the block, which makes it easier.  Plastic sheet is a great idea and so is the cardboard.  I'll do that.  I'm pretty short, 5'4", but anything under 40 seemed too low and yeah 45 might be better.  41" did seem pretty good though.  Thank you, I was worried about the water, but I'm fine then.  That is the appearance of when I add initial water on top of the concrete mix and the stone separates.  Looks pretty crazy until it's mixed in. 

Also, talked to another supply shop and they can do it all for around $90 in 2 days.  Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty bad out so I'd do it Wednesday if I decide to.  So I'm assuming concrete sand is what I should go with over brick sand?  It's a bit cheaper.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 13, 2019, 08:26:22 PM


Thank you for all that info!  Huge help honestly.  So then it doesn't matter if the sand is flush with the top of the block, which makes it easier.  Plastic sheet is a great idea and so is the cardboard.  I'll do that.  I'm pretty short, 5'4", but anything under 40 seemed too low and yeah 45 might be better.  41" did seem pretty good though.  Thank you, I was worried about the water, but I'm fine then.  That is the appearance of when I add initial water on top of the concrete mix and the stone separates.  Looks pretty crazy until it's mixed in. 

Also, talked to another supply shop and they can do it all for around $90 in 2 days.  Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty bad out so I'd do it Wednesday if I decide to.  So I'm assuming concrete sand is what I should go with over brick sand?  It's a bit cheaper.

Since you are talking numbers...

Your stand inside area is less than 4'x4', that's less than half a sheet of plywood. A 4x8 sheet of 23/32 plywood is about $30.

The concrete blocks are less than $2 each. Two stacked is 2x15.625=31.25 so you are right there. If you got 18 blocks (overkill), that's $36.

Stack 2 blocks the long way so they are the height of your walls in each corner, the middle of each wall and the center. Drop the plywood cut to size on top of the blocks. Done for under $70 without shoveling.

Or, another even cheaper idea is to get the plywood, cut it 48"x50" or so, have it supported by your stacked wall on all sides and add one or 2 block columns in the somewhere in the middle. 4 blocks and Lowes will do the plywood cut. You might be able to fit that in a car. Plywood could be tight fit in the car.

I apologize if I am confusing the issue, but if it were me, I'd really not want to shovel all that sand. It is hard enough mixing and placing the concrete without having just moved a truckload of sand.

If you go for sand, I think either of the sands you mentioned would be fine. If they are for use as building material, they should be free of sticks (and decomposing diapers).

I'll shut up and leave you alone now.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 13, 2019, 09:08:32 PM

Since you are talking numbers...

Your stand inside area is less than 4'x4', that's less than half a sheet of plywood. A 4x8 sheet of 23/32 plywood is about $30.

The concrete blocks are less than $2 each. Two stacked is 2x15.625=31.25 so you are right there. If you got 18 blocks (overkill), that's $36.

Stack 2 blocks the long way so they are the height of your walls in each corner, the middle of each wall and the center. Drop the plywood cut to size on top of the blocks. Done for under $70 without shoveling.

Or, another even cheaper idea is to get the plywood, cut it 48"x50" or so, have it supported by your stacked wall on all sides and add one or 2 block columns in the somewhere in the middle. 4 blocks and Lowes will do the plywood cut. You might be able to fit that in a car. Plywood could be tight fit in the car.

I apologize if I am confusing the issue, but if it were me, I'd really not want to shovel all that sand. It is hard enough mixing and placing the concrete without having just moved a truckload of sand.

If you go for sand, I think either of the sands you mentioned would be fine. If they are for use as building material, they should be free of sticks (and decomposing diapers).

I'll shut up and leave you alone now.

haha no need to leave me alone and that is a ton (no pun intended) of shoveling and mixing.  I appreciate the help; those are both solid ideas.  Didn't even think of doing that and it eliminates any tamping or shoveling ;D.  I think I may just do one of those two ideas, and even rent a truck for 20 bucks if I have to.  My mustang doesn't fit much, but I could always borrow a family members car too.  So the first idea is to have the plywood fit only on the inside of the stand and the second idea is to have the plywood larger to cover some of the cores in the stand?  For the second option, I assume I'd need a 5'x5' sheet cut to around 55"x55"?  Tough to find 5x5 sheets, so I wonder if I could use two smaller sheets held up by the center blocks.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 14, 2019, 09:10:48 PM
Planning on trying to get some 5íx5í plywood if I can, or put two pieces together. Also, does the rebar have to fill the entire top framing or can it be a little short on each side? I know 4í  rebar is common. I also have a bunch I could splice together.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 14, 2019, 10:40:01 PM
Planning on trying to get some 5íx5í plywood if I can, or put two pieces together. Also, does the rebar have to fill the entire top framing or can it be a little short on each side? I know 4í  rebar is common. I also have a bunch I could splice together.

Doesn't mean it isn't out there, but I have only seen 4x8 sheets of plywood or some portion of that cut up. I don't think you can find a 5 foot width of it.

If you could get the 10 foot pieces of bar, you could cut the length you need and then use the scraps in your cores. I got all my bar from a local shop of the Metal Supermarket chain. They sell by weight and cut to length. Not sure where you are but there is a Metal Supermarket in Woburn. I think you would be able to get 4 foot pieces to work but how much bar you put in there is up to you.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 14, 2019, 11:34:37 PM
Doesn't mean it isn't out there, but I have only seen 4x8 sheets of plywood or some portion of that cut up. I don't think you can find a 5 foot width of it.

If you could get the 10 foot pieces of bar, you could cut the length you need and then use the scraps in your cores. I got all my bar from a local shop of the Metal Supermarket chain. They sell by weight and cut to length. Not sure where you are but there is a Metal Supermarket in Woburn. I think you would be able to get 4 foot pieces to work but how much bar you put in there is up to you.

Ya I haven't been able to find any 5'x5' despite Home Depot having an article mentioning it, but of course they only carry the 4x8.  Didn't know that about Woburn, thanks!  I would like not having to cut them, but will cut them if last resort.  I guess it would be a foot short on each side, but I was thinking it might be okay.  Most of the slab would have rebar throughout it.  So if I cut two 4x8 sheets of plywood into 2.5x5 sheets and then joined them, I assume that's the only way.  Would brackets be the best way to connect the two sheets?  I mean the block would be holding them up anyway, but I wonder the best way to approach that.  I want to do this all tomorrow, so I can have it covered with a tarp more securely.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 14, 2019, 11:46:08 PM
Ya I haven't been able to find any 5'x5' despite Home Depot having an article mentioning it, but of course they only carry the 4x8.  Didn't know that about Woburn, thanks!  I would like not having to cut them, but will cut them if last resort.  I guess it would be a foot short on each side, but I was thinking it might be okay.  Most of the slab would have rebar throughout it.  So if I cut two 4x8 sheets of plywood into 2.5x5 sheets and then joined them, I assume that's the only way.  Would brackets be the best way to connect the two sheets?  I mean the block would be holding them up anyway, but I wonder the best way to approach that.  I want to do this all tomorrow, so I can have it covered with a tarp more securely.
I thought the inside dimensions of the stand were just under 47x47? I dont understand why you need 2, 5 foot pieces.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 15, 2019, 12:43:52 AM
I thought the inside dimensions of the stand were just under 47x47? I dont understand why you need 2, 5 foot pieces.
Oh yup they are, but I'm thinking of laying the plywood over the entire stand (having it cover about halfway across the cores which came to about 55"x55") and supporting the middle with blocks.  That way I wouldn't have to use as many blocks in the middle area.  I interpreted your second idea as being that way and it's pretty smart.  I guess I'd only need 48"x48" though to have it lay across the stand, but I just wanted to make it larger to account for any shifting.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 15, 2019, 06:58:23 AM
Use the 48 as one side and as long as you'd like on the other. I think that will save you a lot of hassle and all the edges of the plywood will be supported.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 15, 2019, 09:45:23 AM
I sketched this up to show what I meant. This is the stand with a shaded 48x55 piece of plywood. My gut feeling is 4 columns is overkill but the price difference between 2 and 4 columns is under $8.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 15, 2019, 10:32:20 AM
I sketched this up to show what I meant. This is the stand with a shaded 48x55 piece of plywood. My gut feeling is 4 columns is overkill but the price difference between 2 and 4 columns is under $8.

Thank you!  I'm much more of a visual learner, so the sketches are much appreciated.  48x55 is a much better idea and yeah I don't mind the price difference, as I'll probably rent the truck anyway.  How set should the support layer be before I pour the insulating layer?

Also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2vuY2kL5bw talks about using a concrete vibrator or tapping the forms with a hammer to get the air pockets out and not to wait too long to tap the forms out. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 15, 2019, 10:41:27 AM


Thank you!  I'm much more of a visual learner, so the sketches are much appreciated.  48x55 is a much better idea and yeah I don't mind the price difference, as I'll probably rent the truck anyway.  Does the support slab and insulating slab have to be poured on the same day?

No. I'd pour the support slab, cover it and let it cure for at least 24 hours before continuing with the insulation layer.

At my Lowes, they will do a cut on the plywood for you so if you can fit 48x55 and 48x41 pieces, you dont need a rental.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 15, 2019, 10:51:07 AM

No. I'd pour the support slab, cover it and let it cure for at least 24 hours before continuing with the insulation layer.

At my Lowes, they will do a cut on the plywood for you so if you can fit 48x55 and 48x41 pieces, you dont need a rental.

Thank you.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow so that will be a fun challenge.  I wonder how I can coordinate the wood forms and the rain without a canopy; probably just using a tarp.  So the forms would have to stay on for over 30ish hours then, factoring in the insulating layer being poured after.

I can hopefully fit that in a Rogue.  I'll have to go measure; but definitely better than moving a 4x8.  I will calculate how many bags of concrete based on about less than 16 sq ft and 3.5" thickness, but for the Portland cement it doesn't seem like I'd need a lot because of the 5-1 perlite.

Also, what if the support blocks come up to 31.5" or so, which will be an inch higher than the stand; will that push the wood up?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 15, 2019, 05:17:57 PM
Also, what if the support blocks come up to 31.5" or so, which will be an inch higher than the stand; will that push the wood up?
Well yeah. Better to be too low than too high. The top edge of your concrete pad is what matters. The shape of the bottom edge matters very little, if at all. Try removing a little soil beneath the bottom block of each of your columns. You can no longer be concerned with plumb and level for this part. I suggest running 4 strings, 2 each end to end and side to side that cross in the 4 places your block will be. At each of those string crossings that is you maximum top block height. Since it appears they will be stacked straight up I suggest filling the cores and using a piece of rebar. I know it only needs to hold until you slab hardens but if one of the supports moves or topples over you will have a mess. I assume and hope those columns are not half blocks, they are shown as square on your drawing - or are you stacking them end on end and rising (almost) 16Ē with each one? If so, I donít know how to stabilize that but it would be even more important IMO.


EDIT - Sorry, I see now that was Jonís drawing. Maybe he can clarify.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 15, 2019, 06:09:36 PM
You're right. I screwed up. The way I have the block columns stacked is 3/4 of an inch too high. I must have typed it into the calculator wrong.

4x7.625 is 30.5
2x15.625 is 31.25

I suck.

Quick fix would be to take the 8 blocks from the 4 columns and make 2 columns stacked 4 high, same as the rest of stand walls.

Tony-  the blocks are only needed to support the wet concrete for about 12 hours,. Not the most stable thing, but good enough for the short term. When I did it like that for my oven, I had wood on top of the block because I wanted to take the forms down. Once the wood was out, it was still hard to move the block. The blocks I used had flat faces and they worked well in this way.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 15, 2019, 06:25:51 PM
Thanks, Jon. Good to know. Although I have not been too involved here I am finding it difficult to walk away. I keep hoping to see this thing come together for brother Pod.


I hope you were being funny with your Ďscrewed upí and ĎI suckí comments. I meant nothing like that at all.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 15, 2019, 06:44:16 PM
Thanks, Jon. Good to know. Although I have not been too involved here I am finding it difficult to walk away. I keep hoping to see this thing come together for brother Pod.


I hope you were being funny with your Ďscrewed upí and ĎI suckí comments. I meant nothing like that at all.
I know you didn't mean anything. It's more just me frustrated about offering advice for the past week and then basically forgetting to carry the 1 in the math.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 15, 2019, 09:01:45 PM
Well yeah. Better to be too low than too high. The top edge of your concrete pad is what matters. The shape of the bottom edge matters very little, if at all. Try removing a little soil beneath the bottom block of each of your columns. You can no longer be concerned with plumb and level for this part. I suggest running 4 strings, 2 each end to end and side to side that cross in the 4 places your block will be. At each of those string crossings that is you maximum top block height. Since it appears they will be stacked straight up I suggest filling the cores and using a piece of rebar. I know it only needs to hold until you slab hardens but if one of the supports moves or topples over you will have a mess. I assume and hope those columns are not half blocks, they are shown as square on your drawing - or are you stacking them end on end and rising (almost) 16” with each one? If so, I don’t know how to stabilize that but it would be even more important IMO.


EDIT - Sorry, I see now that was Jon’s drawing. Maybe he can clarify.

Yup I was thinking better to be too low than too high.  The string is a good idea!  Thank you. 

You're right. I screwed up. The way I have the block columns stacked is 3/4 of an inch too high. I must have typed it into the calculator wrong.

4x7.625 is 30.5
2x15.625 is 31.25

I suck.

Quick fix would be to take the 8 blocks from the 4 columns and make 2 columns stacked 4 high, same as the rest of stand walls.

Tony-  the blocks are only needed to support the wet concrete for about 12 hours,. Not the most stable thing, but good enough for the short term. When I did it like that for my oven, I had wood on top of the block because I wanted to take the forms down. Once the wood was out, it was still hard to move the block. The blocks I used had flat faces and they worked well in this way.

haha no, no worries; you and everyone have been a huge help.  Funny thing is that I did pretty much as you suggested here and stacked 8 blocks, 4 courses high, in the very middle to support the plywood pretty well.  I may fill the blocks to be solid as foreplease suggested, but I got them pretty level.  The plywood worked awesome too and I got 8 pieces of rebar to be 12" on center.  They will be a about a foot short on each side, but I could always splice some of my 15 scraps of cut rebar into them.  I got ties too and I wonder what I can cover the block cores with.  I've seen tin covers and empty concrete bags.  I also got the frame 2x8's but if forgot it will really be 7.75" or so high actually.  I also got a strap and corner brackets just incase, along with wood screws.  I got 2x4 legs, but I may have to put the frames on the block stand as one person did, just because of imperfections in the stand walls.  It's pretty plumb, but I feel it may not be 100% for the wood.  I'm sure if the concrete doesn't come all the way to the edge by about an inch, it may not matter as it will be covered by something in the future.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 15, 2019, 09:27:54 PM
I didnít follow that entirely but it sounds as if you have the details for next part figured out. One suggestion: if you splice rebar, alternate sides so all, the short pieces are not along the same wall.


Maybe when this thing is done and working you or someone could teach me how multi-quote works (please). I have not been able to figure it out in 3+ years here :)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 15, 2019, 09:39:08 PM
I didnít follow that entirely but it sounds as if you have the details for next part figured out. One suggestion: if you splice rebar, alternate sides so all, the short pieces are not along the same wall.


Maybe when this thing is done and working you or someone could teach me how multi-quote works (please). I have not been able to figure it out in 3+ years here :)

I think I may have taken a pic of it.  Basically just made a center column of block in the middle for the wood to be supported by.  Good tip for the rebar, thank you!  It's important to overlap them a lot before tying them together right?
hahaha multi quote was tough to figure out definitely; I just quote someone like normal, but then below this text window under the section called "topic summary" you click "insert quote" to the right, to add another quote of a recent post.  Not sure how to do it from older posts though, only recent topic summary ones.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 15, 2019, 10:43:39 PM
Itís good to see some pictures! Looks as though it will turn out as you hoped but you have more decisions ahead. Yes, I would think it is important to overlap the rebar a lot. I donít remember how long your pieces are compared to the span but I would probably just not cut any of them and let them overlap as much as that allows. You are bending them 90į and inserting one end into the top block (at least) of your walls, right? Lay them out on alternating sides and tie them together as planned. Please keep posting pics - it makes things so much more clear. As I said another time, I know nothing about ovens but a fair amount about building things to last.


Thanks for the multi-quote advice. I will find a quiet thread to try it out sometime.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 15, 2019, 11:04:04 PM
The plywood looks like it came our great. Glad that everything fit.

I haven't looked at anything rebar code-wise in a long time. Longer lap length is better and like Tony suggested alternating sides is the way to go.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 16, 2019, 12:43:50 AM
Thanks, Jon. Good to know. Although I have not been too involved here I am finding it difficult to walk away. I keep hoping to see this thing come together for brother Pod.


I hope you were being funny with your ‘screwed up’ and ‘I suck’ comments. I meant nothing like that at all.
Also, meant to say thank you.  I'm hoping it comes together as I plan.  So far the only weird thing is some of the block sticking out a bit (maybe ľ" on two courses) in the back, which I attribute to not getting every block 100% plumb or just imperfections.  I made sure to get the stand quite plumb though before making it permanent, as all sides are 62.5 away from the other side.  The first course was very good, so my other guess is it's just from staggering the block and any size differences.  The stand is solid though and quite straight sides, so any imperfections should be covered up by brick eventually if I do a veneer.  I suppose I could always sand the edges of the block, but I think I'll probably just bring the brick veneer out ľ" more on the back, where some of the blocks stick out that ľ".

It’s good to see some pictures! Looks as though it will turn out as you hoped but you have more decisions ahead. Yes, I would think it is important to overlap the rebar a lot. I don’t remember how long your pieces are compared to the span but I would probably just not cut any of them and let them overlap as much as that allows. You are bending them 90į and inserting one end into the top block (at least) of your walls, right? Lay them out on alternating sides and tie them together as planned. Please keep posting pics - it makes things so much more clear. As I said another time, I know nothing about ovens but a fair amount about building things to last.


Thanks for the multi-quote advice. I will find a quiet thread to try it out sometime.

Sorry I haven't posted many pics but that will change :) I was wondering if I should bend them into the walls.  I've seen both ways, while Forno Bravo doesn't do it in their instructions.  Makes sense though to tie it in with the stand.  With the length being short by a foot, the only way I can do that is to splice some rebar in and bend it.  You definitely know a lot! 

The 4' rebar is what I got at Lowes, without having to buy the big 12 footers.  I maybe should have, but I didn't want to cut any.  And Np!  I use it a lot as you can tell.  hahaha the quite thread part made me lol, literally.

The plywood looks like it came our great. Glad that everything fit.

I haven't looked at anything rebar code-wise in a long time. Longer lap length is better and like Tony suggested alternating sides is the way to go.
Thanks!  You know a ton as well and it has really helped, as well as from all you guys.  Idk why I didn't think of making it 48x55" at first.  When I read 48x55" from your other post, I read it as 48-55", I don't know why.  So you basically just lap them and then tie them really tight with the same rebar ties that I'll use for the intersections?  I also need to decide on which orientation the oven will face.  I'm assuming I take a flame outside and see which way the wind blows on average, and then face the opening away from that?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 16, 2019, 11:04:29 AM


Also, meant to say thank you.  I'm hoping it comes together as I plan.  So far the only weird thing is some of the block sticking out a bit (maybe ľ" on two courses) in the back, which I attribute to not getting every block 100% plumb or just imperfections.  I made sure to get the stand quite plumb though before making it permanent, as all sides are 62.5 away from the other side.  The first course was very good, so my other guess is it's just from staggering the block and any size differences.  The stand is solid though and quite straight sides, so any imperfections should be covered up by brick eventually if I do a veneer.  I suppose I could always sand the edges of the block, but I think I'll probably just bring the brick veneer out ľ" more on the back, where some of the blocks stick out that ľ".

Sorry I haven't posted many pics but that will change :) I was wondering if I should bend them into the walls.  I've seen both ways, while Forno Bravo doesn't do it in their instructions.  Makes sense though to tie it in with the stand.  With the length being short by a foot, the only way I can do that is to splice some rebar in and bend it.  You definitely know a lot! 

The 4' rebar is what I got at Lowes, without having to buy the big 12 footers.  I maybe should have, but I didn't want to cut any.  And Np!  I use it a lot as you can tell.  hahaha the quite thread part made me lol, literally.
Thanks!  You know a ton as well and it has really helped, as well as from all you guys.  Idk why I didn't think of making it 48x55" at first.  When I read 48x55" from your other post, I read it as 48-55", I don't know why.  So you basically just lap them and then tie them really tight with the same rebar ties that I'll use for the intersections?  I also need to decide on which orientation the oven will face.  I'm assuming I take a flame outside and see which way the wind blows on average, and then face the opening away from that?

Yes, you just tie the bars together. It may have changed but I think the code used to be 40 bar diameters. So for half inch bar it would be 20 inches for a full lap length. Running the bar into the top course will make the stand stronger.

For wind, I found what is called a wind rose online. It is an analysis of like a years worth of wind data. In my area, it is mostly in two directions. You can also look at the orientation of the airports runways. Maybe one of the pilots members can confirm this, but I thought planes took off into the wind. Whoever planned the runways will have looked at wind data. Anyhow, if you can find a wind rose online for your area you will know for sure. I'd hate to have you check the wind on an off day and build based on that data.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 16, 2019, 04:19:15 PM

Yes, you just tie the bars together. It may have changed but I think the code used to be 40 bar diameters. So for half inch bar it would be 20 inches for a full lap length. Running the bar into the top course will make the stand stronger.

For wind, I found what is called a wind rose online. It is an analysis of like a years worth of wind data. In my area, it is mostly in two directions. You can also look at the orientation of the airports runways. Maybe one of the pilots members can confirm this, but I thought planes took off into the wind. Whoever planned the runways will have looked at wind data. Anyhow, if you can find a wind rose online for your area you will know for sure. I'd hate to have you check the wind on an off day and build based on that data.

Thanks so much.  So is that 20" length of overlap basically?   
That is a much better way to do it than have an off day mess it up.  So it looks like since 1946, the wind usually blows from South-North West.  Most of the wind comes from SSW, but a lot does come from West-North West.  This is awesome news and confirms what I've been feeling when building the stand.  I had a feeling the opening would have to around North East - East.  Thank you!

Also, I set up the wood framing as a test run.  I do think I'll just place it on the stand, because the stand's edges won't work with the wood.  So is it best to just use wood screws and I wasn't sure how long they usually should be.  I estimated 3-4" screws. I also wonder if corner braces and strapping are needed. The model for the framework should look like this: http://thewoodfiredenthusiast.com/building-my-wood-fired-oven-construction-walk-through-pt1-foundation-stand/

I'm going to start pouring the support concrete Saturday morning and then should I leave the forms on for 24 hours, then pour the insulating layer, and then wait 24 hours for that to cure before popping them off?  I'm a bit nervous about leaving the forms on too long, so where I'm using the same form and planning on keeping it there until the insulating layer is screeded, what is the max time it should stay on for?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 16, 2019, 06:19:45 PM
Pod,
The corner braces and strap as shown in the pictures from your link are a smart idea. The braces across the top of the corners would be easy. You could do it with scraps and wouldnít even have to measure or cut anything if you donít want to bother. The strap would buy you another little piece of mind but you can probably get by without it. Just make sure the frame is solidly joined and you brace the top. I have poured small things like stanchions for pitching mounds and bases on ball fields and always cinched and tied a rope around my forms just to be safe. Thatís only my opinion and guess.


The lumber forms will come off. If you want to make it easier take an old paint brush and some oil and cover the edges of the lumber that will come in contact with the concrete. Itís like greasing a pan before you make brownies.  ;D
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 16, 2019, 08:02:26 PM
I agree with Tony. Just to elaborate on the oil, vegetable oil would work. I skipped it because I was going to try and keep using the wood. (My upper slab 2x8 boards are currently supporting some firewood) My slab edges didn't come out the prettiest but I figured they would eventually be covered up. Should have paid more attention to them during the pour than I did.

Yes, that 20 inch lap length is just the length of the splice usually tied together with some wire. The wire is only keeping everything in place during the pour, no strength gain from the wire.

One thing I wanted to point out from ths link is the shims in places to make the top of the form level. Level is nice here, but you still get a chance for a correction in the perlcrete layer. I'd give your concrete layer 24 hours to cure. You could probably get away with less time at our current outdoor temperatures. With your plan, you could leave the form on while you se up the perlcrete form. That won't hurt anything. Put plastic over the concrete to keep the water from evaporating while the concrete cures.

That site was set up by member StoneCutter. He has built some very pretty stuff.

For wood screws, I used 3 inch deck screws I had. Pilot holes are a good idea so you don't split the boards.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 17, 2019, 12:23:36 AM
Pod,
The corner braces and strap as shown in the pictures from your link are a smart idea. The braces across the top of the corners would be easy. You could do it with scraps and wouldnít even have to measure or cut anything if you donít want to bother. The strap would buy you another little piece of mind but you can probably get by without it. Just make sure the frame is solidly joined and you brace the top. I have poured small things like stanchions for pitching mounds and bases on ball fields and always cinched and tied a rope around my forms just to be safe. Thatís only my opinion and guess.


The lumber forms will come off. If you want to make it easier take an old paint brush and some oil and cover the edges of the lumber that will come in contact with the concrete. Itís like greasing a pan before you make brownies.  ;D

Thank you.  I think I'll do corner braces for the structural concrete layer and then maybe take them off to screed the perlcrete layer perfectly.  That's really cool, I love baseball, and from what I've read on here and other sites, it's always good to tie or strap the the boards for sure.  I have been getting good at buttering cake pans lately, so I will brush it with some oil.  I was just about to ask how most people coat the boards; a brush makes a lot of sense.

I agree with Tony. Just to elaborate on the oil, vegetable oil would work. I skipped it because I was going to try and keep using the wood. (My upper slab 2x8 boards are currently supporting some firewood) My slab edges didn't come out the prettiest but I figured they would eventually be covered up. Should have paid more attention to them during the pour than I did.

Yes, that 20 inch lap length is just the length of the splice usually tied together with some wire. The wire is only keeping everything in place during the pour, no strength gain from the wire.

One thing I wanted to point out from ths link is the shims in places to make the top of the form level. Level is nice here, but you still get a chance for a correction in the perlcrete layer. I'd give your concrete layer 24 hours to cure. You could probably get away with less time at our current outdoor temperatures. With your plan, you could leave the form on while you se up the perlcrete form. That won't hurt anything. Put plastic over the concrete to keep the water from evaporating while the concrete cures.

That site was set up by member StoneCutter. He has built some very pretty stuff.

For wood screws, I used 3 inch deck screws I had. Pilot holes are a good idea so you don't split the boards.


1.  I was just going to ask what oil is okay to use, so thank you!  I will definitely oil them down a lot.  Yeah, it doesn't seem really crucial to get it looking amazing when it will be covered anyway.  As long as it's structural and level I'm happy.  I'll make sure to make it 20" lap length if I do splice them in.  It will be my first time making a rebar grid.  I'm thinking of just leaving the forms up, but would a tarp over the framework be good to keep the concrete from drying out, or is it best to lay a cut piece of plastic over the concrete when it's semi cured?
Oh I didn't know it was from a member.  His and all your ovens look amazing.  I may do a full brick veneer over the block stand and oven. 

2.  I have some 2 Ĺ" exterior screws that could work, but I think 3" would be a safer bet.  So true about pilot holes, I've learned my lessons not drilling them in the past.

3.  Also, my plan is to pour concrete over the firebrick and make a sloped shape to it from front to back sloping down, very much like https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3272605452/in/album-72157613634415857/, but I wonder the best way to install roofing onto concrete.

4.  Lastly, I forgot that I'm going to put up a tall fence around the area, so I'm assuming that would cut out most wind as long as the fence is taller than the oven?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 17, 2019, 07:59:37 AM
1. I think a tarp would work. The idea is to keep the sun from evaporating all the water off the top. Based on the weather in the northeast for the past few weeks, it might not be s big deal. But keeping the water in there will help the concrete cure.

3. Looks like they hand troweled a mix with pea stone for aggregate. Not really sure though.

4. I think it would depend on how far the oven is from the fence and what else is around you. My guess, and it is just a guess, is that if everything is open and relatively flat, the wind would go over the fence kind of like fast flowing water over a dam. Again, just a guess.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 17, 2019, 12:04:23 PM
1. I think a tarp would work. The idea is to keep the sun from evaporating all the water off the top. Based on the weather in the northeast for the past few weeks, it might not be s big deal. But keeping the water in there will help the concrete cure.

3. Looks like they hand troweled a mix with pea stone for aggregate. Not really sure though.

4. I think it would depend on how far the oven is from the fence and what else is around you. My guess, and it is just a guess, is that if everything is open and relatively flat, the wind would go over the fence kind of like fast flowing water over a dam. Again, just a guess.

Thank you for the fast and thorough reply.  A lot of the info I'm using immediately, so I really appreciate the help and the speed of it has been amazing.

1.  The sun worked opposite wonders on my mortar I was mixing last week, so I witnessed how quick it can dry in the hot sun.  I bought a new tarp so I could try that.  Yup so much rain, I haven't even been able to pour this slab for a week.

3.  Thank you; there were no other comment on their pics of that process besides them mentioning concrete.  It seems like they put in some wire mesh and covered that with the mix, and then used wood framing to keep it in a box shape.  Then they built up the brick facade/walls along with a stone front piece, and then built the roof into the gap between the walls and oven ceiling.  Pretty cool idea and since I may build a brick facade over the entire stand, maybe I can do something similar.  I definitely need something to cover the concrete shell; I could build a structure, but I like the look of a roof on the oven.

4.  Ya lots of variables definitely.  Where I have the door facing in my head would be facing SE, and the majority of the wind comes from South to North West.  It seems that without any fence, most winds from SSW-WNW should be blocked by the house.  Any wind from South that goes around the house should roll over the fence.  Any winds from NW should hit the side of the oven and not the opening.  That's how it seems, but might not be correct.  I'll get some measurements of the area, but there should be about 5-6 feet clearance around the non flammable  :P fence.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 17, 2019, 10:46:57 PM
Got the framing set up and now just have to pour the concrete tomorrow morning :)   Got 8 bags already, and need to get 10 more bags of concrete when I wake up.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 18, 2019, 07:16:44 PM
Got the supporting concrete layer done and covered with a tarp!  Now have to do the perlcrete tomorrow.  Everything went as planned and I'll post pics from my phone in a bit; left my phone in the car.  It may rain tomorrow night, so I should probably put the perlcrete layer on in the morning.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 20, 2019, 03:05:32 AM
annnnnd finished the perlcrete layer today.  I hope I got the consistency right for it.  It wasn't too wet, but also wasn't dry so I think it matched the look of the videos I've seen with it.  Thunderstorm coming in as I type, so I have it covered with a tarp.  I'm assuming if water gets in that would be pretty bad?  I have it covered with two tarps just incase of any holes.  When should   I take the forms off?  I'm thinking the perlcrete should cure for at least 24 hours before taking them off?  I hope the pearlcrete doesn't stick to the forms, as I forgot to oil the extra wood trim I added to get the perlcrete a bit higher. 

Iím also deciding if I use fireclay and sand for leveling. Is there a reason people donít use just dry sand like for pavers?  My best guess was because the wet fireclay and sand lock the bricks in place better than sand.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 20, 2019, 01:55:10 PM
I dont think a little extra water trickling onto the perlcrete will hurt it but it will just take longer to dry out.

Hopefully the layer is level enough to not really need any sand. The main reasons I used fireclay was to make a softer pad for board insulation then leveling different materials (I split my oven floor into 2 sections). Ideally you can put the firebrick right on top of the perlcrete.

I left the perlcrete forms on for a few days. It kind of went through stages- obviously still wet, crumbly (hope it gets firmer than this), looks firmer (took the form off, and finally wow, that's actually pretty solid.

I think if you hit each side of your form a few times with a hammer before unscrewing it, this sides will come off easy. The sides on mine came off easy, it was the large pieces of plywood underneath that stuck.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 20, 2019, 08:06:54 PM
I dont think a little extra water trickling onto the perlcrete will hurt it but it will just take longer to dry out.

Hopefully the layer is level enough to not really need any sand. The main reasons I used fireclay was to make a softer pad for board insulation then leveling different materials (I split my oven floor into 2 sections). Ideally you can put the firebrick right on top of the perlcrete.

I left the perlcrete forms on for a few days. It kind of went through stages- obviously still wet, crumbly (hope it gets firmer than this), looks firmer (took the form off, and finally wow, that's actually pretty solid.

I think if you hit each side of your form a few times with a hammer before unscrewing it, this sides will come off easy. The sides on mine came off easy, it was the large pieces of plywood underneath that stuck.

thank you!  That was a good idea for using the fireclay and hopefully I won't even need it.  Can I use clay dug up from the ground?  The two section thing is awesome and I would have done that if I had definite dimensions. I think I have it all figured out, but I'll dry stack soon.

Going to check it tonight.  It seemed crumbly and solid when I checked it last night.  I'll definitely tap them when I take them off tomorrow.  The plywood underneath always seemed like it would be stuck, so it's fun to just leave it in my case.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 20, 2019, 09:07:19 PM
thank you!  That was a good idea for using the fireclay and hopefully I won't even need it.  Can I use clay dug up from the ground?  The two section thing is awesome and I would have done that if I had definite dimensions. I think I have it all figured out, but I'll dry stack soon.

Going to check it tonight.  It seemed crumbly and solid when I checked it last night.  I'll definitely tap them when I take them off tomorrow.  The plywood underneath always seemed like it would be stuck, so it's fun to just leave it in my case.
I honestly don't know how well local clay just dug up would work. Maybe if you dried it and broke it into particles. No idea.

I believe there are some ovens that have a salt layer to them. I never really looked into using salt though.  For your purposes, I think you will be fine in top of the perlcrete. Have you put a level on it to see how it came out?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 20, 2019, 10:08:11 PM
I have used several thousand of these unfired clay blocks to build pitcherís mounds and durable batterís boxes (3 layers thick for both).
https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/moundmaster-blocks (https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/moundmaster-blocks)


I used to buy bagged crumbled clay to topdress and level with but didnít really like working with it.
https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/mound-clay (https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/mound-clay)


So, since I always have the blocks on hand, I began softening them in a 5 gal pail of water for 2 days, pour off the water, then used a 1/2Ē drill motor and drywall mud paddle to whip them into a soupy paste (6-8 blocks per bucket of water). Then I would trowel it on with a big drywall finishing knife. Worked great. Much less bumpy than the bagged clay, which had to be beaten to within an inch of its life with a heavy tamp. It wasnít really important that it be perfectly smooth as the top layer of 3/8-1/2Ē infield dirt takes care of that. I skim coated everything to prevent infield dirt settling between the blocks before time, weather, and pressure could fuse them together.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 21, 2019, 06:27:34 PM
I honestly don't know how well local clay just dug up would work. Maybe if you dried it and broke it into particles. No idea.

I believe there are some ovens that have a salt layer to them. I never really looked into using salt though.  For your purposes, I think you will be fine in top of the perlcrete. Have you put a level on it to see how it came out?

Sorry been working on the stand all day.  Ya not sure, probably not as good.  Salt is interesting! I didn't know that. The perlcrete layer is pretty level!  I took the forms off and didn't realize that by having the wood boards indented on the blocks, some of the unfilled cores may not get fully covered with concrete.  I should maybe have filled every core.  The boards were so thick that they crept up a bit over the cores, by about ľ".  I filled in any openings today with concrete; not the prettiest and might not stop water.  I'm just worried about water getting in there, but it's pretty closed now. 

There were quite a lot of air holes or bugholes from not tapping the boards, but the concrete is strong anyway.  The perlcrete has hardened; but the top has some loose concrete colored perlite that can slide around, as well as the corners seem very fragile.  My assumption is just from the top and corners drying more and just normal loose perlite.  Most has hardened though.  Can I stucco over the corners just to keep them from getting broken off?  Won't matter much as the oven doesn't even come to the edges.  I'll have to see how I protect/facade around these exposed layers and the oven, either by building a structure or doing a brick facade over it all.

I have used several thousand of these unfired clay blocks to build pitcherís mounds and durable batterís boxes (3 layers thick for both).
https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/moundmaster-blocks (https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/moundmaster-blocks)


I used to buy bagged crumbled clay to topdress and level with but didnít really like working with it.
https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/mound-clay (https://www.turface.com/products/mound-box-packing-clays/mound-clay)


So, since I always have the blocks on hand, I began softening them in a 5 gal pail of water for 2 days, pour off the water, then used a 1/2Ē drill motor and drywall mud paddle to whip them into a soupy paste (6-8 blocks per bucket of water). Then I would trowel it on with a big drywall finishing knife. Worked great. Much less bumpy than the bagged clay, which had to be beaten to within an inch of its life with a heavy tamp. It wasnít really important that it be perfectly smooth as the top layer of 3/8-1/2Ē infield dirt takes care of that. I skim coated everything to prevent infield dirt settling between the blocks before time, weather, and pressure could fuse them together.


Thank you; very cool!  I enjoyed reading about your process.  So I may be best by buying the blocks and then processing them myself?  That's pretty close to what one site mentioned about how to use already formed clay and breaking it into bits.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 21, 2019, 08:44:21 PM
I think you could use bagged clay or blocks if you plan to soften them in water as I described. If you have a ďSiteOneĒ store near you they may stock it. They used to be called LESCO, then John Deere Landscapes, now SiteOne.
Here are a couple pics of how I used them and one of the skim coat I described.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 21, 2019, 08:46:20 PM
Looks good. I think the darker areas of perlcrete are still a little wet. It will all get to that pale gray as it dries. I'd leave the corners alone if they aren't going to be under the oven. No sense making an edge pretty if it isn't needed and might just get covered. If we can get a little sun in the northeast, that will dry right up.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 21, 2019, 08:50:15 PM
I honestly don't know how well local clay just dug up would work. Maybe if you dried it and broke it into particles. No idea.

I believe there are some ovens that have a salt layer to them. I never really looked into using salt though.  For your purposes, I think you will be fine in top of the perlcrete. Have you put a level on it to see how it came out?
I agree with this. It hasnít really been established that you need clay. I just explained how I have used clay that was purchased rather than dug up. I have no idea what the difference is between what I use and fire clay. I think this stuff I get is mined in Canada.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 21, 2019, 09:06:27 PM
I think you could use bagged clay or blocks if you plan to soften them in water as I described. If you have a ďSiteOneĒ store near you they may stock it. They used to be called LESCO, then John Deere Landscapes, now SiteOne.
Here are a couple pics of how I used them and one of the skim coat I described.
That's in line with what one of the sites said to do.  I'm going to try the bricks right on the perlcrete, but if it's not sitting right I'll probably use clay or sand/salt.  I bet it will be fine, but the perlite is so irregular, so it may take time to get the bricks flat.  I'm sure I can just move some of the looser top perlite around until it becomes level.  Those pics are awesome!  So much work involved and I liked seeing the skim coat as you mentioned. Is that a line you have from the mound to home plate?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 21, 2019, 09:15:54 PM
Looks good. I think the darker areas of perlcrete are still a little wet. It will all get to that pale gray as it dries. I'd leave the corners alone if they aren't going to be under the oven. No sense making an edge pretty if it isn't needed and might just get covered. If we can get a little sun in the northeast, that will dry right up.

Thanks, and yup you're right and I was wondering why it was patchy with darker and lighter.  The lighter parts were definitely quite dry.  I plan on getting firebricks tomorrow for the floor.  The perlcrete hasn't had much sun on it as you mentioned, due to the rain yesterday.

1.  I'm conflicted as to the pattern I'll use for the floor.  It seems the two most popular options are just side by side and herringbone.  As long as they're flat though, there doesn't seem to be a big difference.
2.  I also need to decide if I lay the walls on top of the floor or outside of the floor. 
3.  Deciding where I get my firebrick from.  I have a few local supply shops, but I wonder what the big box stores have.  Usually they only seem to have splits.

I agree with this. It hasnít really been established that you need clay. I just explained how I have used clay that was purchased rather than dug up. I have no idea what the difference is between what I use and fire clay. I think this stuff I get is mined in Canada.

Ya I'm hoping I don't even need it!  But the info is awesome to have.  The info on different types of clay has been confusing, but from what I read and what Jon told me, as long as it's rated for high oven temps it should be fine.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 21, 2019, 09:55:07 PM
I have only seen splits at the box stores and they were more expensive than at masonry supply places. Whitacre Greer light duty seems to be the firebrick of choice for home oven builders. They are what I used. They do make bricks and sell them under different names though. I guess there are only so many places that make firebrick.

I haven't used many ovens so I cant offer a comparison, but most builders opt to have the edges of the brick approach the oven door at an angle. The idea is that there are less straight on edges to catch a peel. If all the edges of the floor brick are parallel to the opening, there are a lot more chances to bump the peel. Once the floor is laid out, run a peel over it to make sure you are happy with how the peel slides.

If the angle description, doesn't make sense, I can post a drawing tomorrow.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 21, 2019, 10:15:50 PM
I have only seen splits at the box stores and they were more expensive than at masonry supply places. Whitacre Greer light duty seems to be the firebrick of choice for home oven builders. They are what I used. They do make bricks and sell them under different names though. I guess there are only so many places that make firebrick.

I haven't used many ovens so I cant offer a comparison, but most builders opt to have the edges of the brick approach the oven door at an angle. The idea is that there are less straight on edges to catch a peel. If all the edges of the floor brick are parallel to the opening, there are a lot more chances to bump the peel. Once the floor is laid out, run a peel over it to make sure you are happy with how the peel slides.

If the angle description, doesn't make sense, I can post a drawing tomorrow.

Thanks!  I appreciate the quick replies before I lay them out tomorrow.  I'll ask which ones they have at the local shops, tomorrow.  Whitacre Greer sounds familiar and definitely better to get the full size rather than splits for this application. 
Is the angle the same as http://thewoodfiredenthusiast.com/building-my-wood-fired-oven-construction-walk-through-pt2-oven-floor-dome-chimney-vent/.  I'd just have to learn to cut and arrange if I do this pattern.  I'm guessing once I get one brick level, I can base all other ones off that one.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 21, 2019, 10:42:57 PM
Thanks!  I appreciate the quick replies before I lay them out tomorrow.  I'll ask which ones they have at the local shops, tomorrow.  Whitacre Greer sounds familiar and definitely better to get the full size rather than splits for this application. 
Is the angle the same as http://thewoodfiredenthusiast.com/building-my-wood-fired-oven-construction-walk-through-pt2-oven-floor-dome-chimney-vent/.  I'd just have to learn to cut and arrange if I do this pattern.  I'm guessing once I get one brick level, I can base all other ones off that one.
Yes. The first picture with the floor laid out is exactly what I meant. In not 100% sure how you want to set up your oven. When I did it, I laid out more oven floor than I needed. Then I made an oven floor template out of luan board. I put it over the floor bricks and used a sharpie to mark the outside and that's where I cut the bricks. Then I cut the template into thirds so each piece would fit out the finished opening. I spliced the pieces together with duct tape and used them to protect the floor during the build. Kept a lot of falling mortar and junk off the floor brick during the build. If you do it, just make sure you can get the pieces out of the finished oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 21, 2019, 10:54:07 PM
Yes. The first picture with the floor laid out is exactly what I meant. In not 100% sure how you want to set up your oven. When I did it, I laid out more oven floor than I needed. Then I made an oven floor template out of luan board. I put it over the floor bricks and used a sharpie to mark the outside and that's where I cut the bricks. Then I cut the template into thirds so each piece would fit out the finished opening. I spliced the pieces together with duct tape and used them to protect the floor during the build. Kept a lot of falling mortar and junk off the floor brick during the build. If you do it, just make sure you can get the pieces out of the finished oven.

Doesn't seem extremely hard to learn the pattern; I'm willing to learn haha.  That sounds like an awesome method.  Definitely a pro tip to cover the bricks during mortaring; didn't
think of that!  I have an idea in mind on how I'll approach it.  It will be different with a square design.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 21, 2019, 10:56:58 PM
That's in line with what one of the sites said to do.  I'm going to try the bricks right on the perlcrete, but if it's not sitting right I'll probably use clay or sand/salt.  I bet it will be fine, but the perlite is so irregular, so it may take time to get the bricks flat.  I'm sure I can just move some of the looser top perlite around until it becomes level.  Those pics are awesome!  So much work involved and I liked seeing the skim coat as you mentioned. Is that a line you have from the mound to home plate?
Thanks, Pod. I had so many lines up on that job I had to look closely at the photo. Yes, it runs to home plate but it is for spot checking elevation on the top edge of the brick. I set the plate quite a bit higher than the old one to get the entire plate circle (27í diameter) to drain off the back edge into some grass I planted later at the proper elevation. I regraded everything from 1st base around behind the plate and to 3rd and blended everything in nicely. Once the plate was set I shot in stakes on all 4 sides of where the pitching rubber belonged. Again, it was for elevation only, which is 10Ē above plate height. As long as those stakes were undisturbed I could drop it in, after mounting in on about 100 lbs of concrete (same for the plate), and locate it with all 3 bases and foul poles. I use a homemade mound gauge I cut out of a very stiff 2 x 12 15 years ago. The specs for the drop in the mound are: a flat table on the back side of the rubber measuring 24Ē x 60Ē and flat for 6Ē forward of the rubber then drop 1Ē per foot for 6í. So that is the angle I cut on the bottom edge of the board. I set a steel stake at the right height at the bottom, which was determined by checking the top (factory edge) of the board with a 6í level. It works really well; just keep the top of the gauge level. Then build the brick to the bottom edge of the board and check each row side to side for level. If you do the excavation part well it goes pretty easily. I try to work clean and use several wet towels to keep the bricks free of dust and sticky. They come out of the bag sticky and very heavy. I think a bag of 8 bricks weighs 60-65 lbs. I canít do this kind of work any more and miss it already but I have done a bunch of it over a 22 year period.


This photo shows one end of my gauge. I could not easily find one that shows how it sits on the rubber but this will give you an idea.





Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 22, 2019, 12:01:11 AM
Thanks, Pod. I had so many lines up on that job I had to look closely at the photo. Yes, it runs to home plate but it is for spot checking elevation on the top edge of the brick. I set the plate quite a bit higher than the old one to get the entire plate circle (27í diameter) to drain off the back edge into some grass I planted later at the proper elevation. I regraded everything from 1st base around behind the plate and to 3rd and blended everything in nicely. Once the plate was set I shot in stakes on all 4 sides of where the pitching rubber belonged. Again, it was for elevation only, which is 10Ē above plate height. As long as those stakes were undisturbed I could drop it in, after mounting in on about 100 lbs of concrete (same for the plate), and locate it with all 3 bases and foul poles. I use a homemade mound gauge I cut out of a very stiff 2 x 12 15 years ago. The specs for the drop in the mound are: a flat table on the back side of the rubber measuring 24Ē x 60Ē and flat for 6Ē forward of the rubber then drop 1Ē per foot for 6í. So that is the angle I cut on the bottom edge of the board. I set a steel stake at the right height at the bottom, which was determined by checking the top (factory edge) of the board with a 6í level. It works really well; just keep the top of the gauge level. Then build the brick to the bottom edge of the board and check each row side to side for level. If you do the excavation part well it goes pretty easily. I try to work clean and use several wet towels to keep the bricks free of dust and sticky. They come out of the bag sticky and very heavy. I think a bag of 8 bricks weighs 60-65 lbs. I canít do this kind of work any more and miss it already but I have done a bunch of it over a 22 year period.


This photo shows one end of my gauge. I could not easily find one that shows how it sits on the rubber but this will give you an idea.

Np and very fun to see how it's done!  It's amazing all that goes into making a baseball field.  That's some intricate leveling and contraptions there, and quite impressive. The photo is much appreciated for perspective.  That's too bad to hear you aren't able to do it anymore, but your work lives on!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 22, 2019, 10:20:12 PM
I bought 96 firebricks and got the floor all laid out.  It's pretty darn level and smooth for a peel. 

I'm assuming I should cover these from the rain.  Is it okay if they get wet, but then dry out before firing up?  I was thinking about covering with some sheeting or even just black contractor bags as an insurance barrier between the tarp and the bricks, just incase the tarps has holes in it.

I also bought a 48" angle iron for over the oven opening.  It's heavy duty (gotta measure the thickness), but I figure heavier duty is better.  What size thickness do you guys suggest for the opening span and also for the ceiling/landing chimney area?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 22, 2019, 11:00:16 PM
Looks good. How do you like that floor height for loading the oven?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 23, 2019, 12:16:52 AM
Looks good. How do you like that floor height for loading the oven?
Thanks!  Sorry, I forgot to mention that.  It seems like a good height and around 40-42".  It's going to be quite expensive using all firebricks, minus the chimney area that I might do in regular clay bricks.  I don't mind spending it though, but do you guys think it's worth the cost vs old clay bricks, to use entirely firebricks?  Seeing the video on YT from the fireplace company in AUS, it seems that it would take years for red brick to chip away.

I covered the oven with a thicker tarp; my third tarp this week haha.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 23, 2019, 07:18:41 AM
...do you guys think it's worth the cost vs old clay bricks, to use entirely firebricks?  Seeing the video on YT from the fireplace company in AUS, it seems that it would take years for red brick to chip away.


Sorry, I know nothing about this kind of thing.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 23, 2019, 07:43:44 AM
I have no guess on what size angle to use. I used 2x2x3/8 angle in my stand and it was definitely thick enough. Two of those angles supported about 3 concrete blocks and then some more concrete until the concrete set. Ballpark guess is that is in the 350+ pound range. But with no deflection and no loaded heat cycling, just ambient temps. If I am picturing your oven design right, the angles dont carry that much weight, maybe 10 bricks each. Not sure about the entry. But you will be putting them through large, loaded thermal cycles and you definitely dont want them to sag long term. If you have seen a similar oven with some age to it, I'd follow their lead. I'm not much help here. I also have no experience with traditional brick. The only bricks I every laid were in the oven and firebrick.

Is there anything you have to do for rust prevention of the steel?  Maybe coat with vegetable oil so it bakes on similar to cast iron pan.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 23, 2019, 07:29:08 PM

Sorry, I know nothing about this kind of thing.

No that's ok!  Thank you though.  So it seems I may not have to use the fireclay under the firebricks, but I may, just to get them super flat.  You've been a huge help so far, I really appreciate it.  Now I just need to learn to mortar ľ" heat stop 50 lol.

I have no guess on what size angle to use. I used 2x2x3/8 angle in my stand and it was definitely thick enough. Two of those angles supported about 3 concrete blocks and then some more concrete until the concrete set. Ballpark guess is that is in the 350+ pound range. But with no deflection and no loaded heat cycling, just ambient temps. If I am picturing your oven design right, the angles dont carry that much weight, maybe 10 bricks each. Not sure about the entry. But you will be putting them through large, loaded thermal cycles and you definitely dont want them to sag long term. If you have seen a similar oven with some age to it, I'd follow their lead. I'm not much help here. I also have no experience with traditional brick. The only bricks I every laid were in the oven and firebrick.

Is there anything you have to do for rust prevention of the steel?  Maybe coat with vegetable oil so it bakes on similar to cast iron pan.

Oh nice!  Mine seems to be ľ" but it's very beefy and weighs a lot at about 48".  It seems like it would be enough, as when we talked about the door it seemed ľ" was fine for the heat.  Good idea about using oil! If anyone knows the proces/has done this before, please let me know.  I'm sure coating in oil is all that is needed though.  There will probably be 8-12 bricks on top of it, over the doorway.  For the ceiling angle irons I'll have to double them up or use T angle irons, and they will only have one course of brick on them of course. 

From what I've seen, old red bricks and new red bricks both handle thermal shock poorly, but it might take years for it to really massively chip away.  Probably still best to use all firebrick, and then just use some solid red clay bricks for the chimney and entranceway.  My plan is to encase the ceiling angle irons and firebricks in concrete, like https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/albums/72157613634415857/page1.  They also used an angle iron over the doorway, and since it's exposed, covering with oil is a good idea.  Some may be covered by my flue vent. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 23, 2019, 07:52:03 PM
I was thinking the roof steel would be holding 8-10 bricks. The steel across the door will hold more. Going back to a drawing in post 101, the steel will hold what looks like a third or so of the oven ceiling weight (which goes up if there is concrete on top) and I guess the door too. Maybe some chimney weight also. 1/4 might work. I have no idea.

Traditional concrete is going to break up at oven temperatures maybe not the end of the world if you are just looking for mass, but the bags of quickcrete are not meant to get that hot.

Another design consideration that maybe you thought of...but if you build walls and then put the entryway steel on top, the front is no longer level with the back. Again, Im just spitballing because I'm not totally sure how you are building this.

Edit: the Flickr link was down so I didn't see the photo.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pete-zza on May 24, 2019, 07:43:18 AM
Quote
Edit: the Flickr link was down so I didn't see the photo.
Jon,

The link is working again.

Peter
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 24, 2019, 10:03:01 AM
Thanks Peter. 

It looks like they did use regular concrete but it is just for mass. I would guess that the concrete loses strength and cracks over time but it doesn't really matter if it isn't structural.

My father in law had a small pit of sacrificial concrete blocks for burning brush. Didn't take long for the blocks to fall apart.

Not sure if it would be easier or how it would be cost wise to turn the firebrick in the other direction so the ceiling is 4.5" inches thick of firebrick instead of 2.5 inches of firebrick + concrete. Probably more expensive.

Like I said, I'm just spitballing. Build the oven you want.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 24, 2019, 10:09:46 AM
I was thinking the roof steel would be holding 8-10 bricks. The steel across the door will hold more. Going back to a drawing in post 101, the steel will hold what looks like a third or so of the oven ceiling weight (which goes up if there is concrete on top) and I guess the door too. Maybe some chimney weight also. 1/4 might work. I have no idea.

Traditional concrete is going to break up at oven temperatures maybe not the end of the world if you are just looking for mass, but the bags of quickcrete are not meant to get that hot.

Another design consideration that maybe you thought of...but if you build walls and then put the entryway steel on top, the front is no longer level with the back. Again, Im just spitballing because I'm not totally sure how you are building this.

Edit: the Flickr link was down so I didn't see the photo.

Thank you; these are all things I need to think about.  I didn't realize how much weight would be on the doorway steel.  I'll have to see if they have Ĺ"next time I go.  https://www.traditionaloven.com/building/details/concretecladding.shtml had mention of the concrete cladding from that Flickr link.  Interesting how he says to use concrete mix with Portland and lime.  I did always find it strange how people use concrete over the walls and ceiling, since it's job would be to hold heat.  I told your father in law story to my cousin last week.  I use it as reference now for using concrete in heat applications  ;D. That's a good idea about the firebrick turning on the side!  So if I had firebrick walls and roof, would I be able to apply roofing right to the firebrick and I'd have to protect all firebrick walls from rain I'm guessing?

I thought about that yesterday as I held up the angle iron and was going to ask, but I forgot haha, so thank you for bringing this up!  So to make it level, I'd need probably either brick or more mortar in the back I'm assuming?  Another thing is that a downward slope to the back might be good for rain.  Another idea is to use another angle iron on the back wall, to make it level with the front one.  People don't usually use mortar with angle irons right?

Weird, Flickr said they are going through design changes on the site.  Not happy with the timing. :P

I looked at Forno Bravo again and I remembered the FB blanket with wire mesh and insulating concrete over the blanket.  Also they say "The oven enclosure must be sealed to protect your Pompeii Oven and its insulation from water. It can be constructed from concrete block, rebar and stucco mesh, metal stud and concrete board or free standing brick or stone. Basically, the style of the enclosure is up to you, your imagination, and the availability of local materials. The examples shown here from around the country will give you a start."

Jon,

The link is working again.

Peter
Thank you Peter!  I have a feeling Flickr might be a bit unreliable over the next few days.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 24, 2019, 10:54:43 AM


Thank you; these are all things I need to think about.  I didn't realize how much weight would be on the doorway steel.  I'll have to see if they have Ĺ"next time I go.  https://www.traditionaloven.com/building/details/concretecladding.shtml had mention of the concrete cladding from that Flickr link.  Interesting how he says to use concrete mix with Portland and lime.  I did always find it strange how people use concrete over the walls and ceiling, since it's job would be to hold heat.  I told your father in law story to my cousin last week.  I use it as reference now for using concrete in heat applications  ;D. That's a good idea about the firebrick turning on the side!  So if I had firebrick walls and roof, would I be able to apply roofing right to the firebrick and I'd have to protect all firebrick walls from rain I'm guessing?

I thought about that yesterday as I held up the angle iron and was going to ask, but I forgot haha, so thank you for bringing this up!  So to make it level, I'd need probably either brick or more mortar in the back I'm assuming?  Another thing is that a downward slope to the back might be good for rain.  Another idea is to use another angle iron on the back wall, to make it level with the front one.  People don't usually use mortar with angle irons right?

Weird, Flickr said they are going through design changes on the site.  Not happy with the timing.

I looked at Forno Bravo again and I remembered the FB blanket with wire mesh and insulating concrete over the blanket.  Also they say "The oven enclosure must be sealed to protect your Pompeii Oven and its insulation from water. It can be constructed from concrete block, rebar and stucco mesh, metal stud and concrete board or free standing brick or stone. Basically, the style of the enclosure is up to you, your imagination, and the availability of local materials. The examples shown here from around the country will give you a start."
Thank you Peter!  I have a feeling Flickr might be a bit unreliable over the next few days.

I think if you add hydrated lime to the mix, that will make the quickcrete paste closer to a homebrew version heatstop, not all the way but closer, however the stones are still not heat rated and the mix is missing fire clay. I think that would be better than straight quickcrete but I dont know how much lime to add. The homebrew mortar is  3:1:1:1 (sand, portland cement, lime, fireclay).

I wouldn't apply the roof the the brick. I'd insulate it to hold heat. I'd insulate the walls too. Cant have too much insulation. If heat saturated, the brick will be 600+ degrees. Not exactly something roofing should be touching. But yes, I'd protect everything from the weather. If the oven gets wet, you'll be driving the water out every time you use it. Things will crack too.

You could leave the angle or make it level. That's a design choice for you. My 2 cents... I think level is better (no experience with your design though) so that the ceiling angles lay flat and have more of a bearing area to transfer load to the walls. Just an a opinion.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 24, 2019, 08:58:18 PM

I think if you add hydrated lime to the mix, that will make the quickcrete paste closer to a homebrew version heatstop, not all the way but closer, however the stones are still not heat rated and the mix is missing fire clay. I think that would be better than straight quickcrete but I dont know how much lime to add. The homebrew mortar is  3:1:1:1 (sand, portland cement, lime, fireclay).

I wouldn't apply the roof the the brick. I'd insulate it to hold heat. I'd insulate the walls too. Cant have too much insulation. If heat saturated, the brick will be 600+ degrees. Not exactly something roofing should be touching. But yes, I'd protect everything from the weather. If the oven gets wet, you'll be driving the water out every time you use it. Things will crack too.

You could leave the angle or make it level. That's a design choice for you. My 2 cents... I think level is better (no experience with your design though) so that the ceiling angles lay flat and have more of a bearing area to transfer load to the walls. Just an a opinion.

Thank you.  haha forgot about hot bricks and roofing touching that.  I bet it's best to follow Forno Bravo's method, which is the same as yours, and they suggest using Ĺ"-2" high temp mortar for added thermal mass.  Then of course the FB blanket followed by concrete or perlcrete.  You already know this process, but just want to make sure I understand it.  Another idea is to just make a gable house structure around the entire oven, fill with perlite and maybe even have a blanket on the oven too.  I'd have to decide if I use metal studs or if I use concrete blocks/bricks for the house. I'm not a huge fan of gable houses, but I'm thinking of the 2-5 ft of snow every year. 

I think level is better too, you're right.  So obviously the most common way to even out the back would be to use more mortar right? But with high heat mortar this is usually frowned upon, so would another ľ" angle iron, mirrored, be the best option?  I also called my local supply shop and that ľ" is the thickest they sell. 

I think the two options are a gable house or do the concrete cladding.  The gable house would require a flue.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 25, 2019, 08:01:16 AM
I really dont know what is best here. I know really big heat stop joints aren't ideal. Also keep in mind that I dont think you have the angles going the full length of the front and back walls so you will have a step. I dont think a little step will matter much but it will be there. Maybe a piece of flat stock in areas that dont "need" the angle? Maybe beefier angles that go side to side instead of front to back? I don't know. Fewer but thicker angles might be about the same price as more thinner angles. I dont know how either ceiling ties into the door.

There have to be steel suppliers that aren't too far from you. That metal supermarket would have many angles of varying thickness and legs. Flat stock too. Maybe the door fabricator will sell you angle or point you in the direction of a supplier. I just put "steel supplier in Massachusetts" into Google and got a lot of options.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 25, 2019, 09:26:24 PM
I really dont know what is best here. I know really big heat stop joints aren't ideal. Also keep in mind that I dont think you have the angles going the full length of the front and back walls so you will have a step. I dont think a little step will matter much but it will be there. Maybe a piece of flat stock in areas that dont "need" the angle? Maybe beefier angles that go side to side instead of front to back? I don't know. Fewer but thicker angles might be about the same price as more thinner angles. I dont know how either ceiling ties into the door.

There have to be steel suppliers that aren't too far from you. That metal supermarket would have many angles of varying thickness and legs. Flat stock too. Maybe the door fabricator will sell you angle or point you in the direction of a supplier. I just put "steel supplier in Massachusetts" into Google and got a lot of options.

Thank you.  So I took some pics of my dry stacked rough draft today.  I was thinking of following the earlier models of angle irons running from front to back, but I could also do side to side.  I bought another angle iron for the back and yup with it being not as long as the sides, there will be a little step.  Fortunately the angle iron thickness is ľ" which will be the thickness of the mortar joints.  You can see the gaps in the photos.  The red brick will be the landing/vent.  With two courses on top of the walls, it spans 14" height, with a 27" wide door (can make 24" in the final mortaring" and 44" depth that the ceiling angle irons have to span. 

Priced out at Home Depot they are about $12-15 for the ⅛" 48" angle irons.  Good idea about checking the metal supermarket, as it will be nice to have them cut it exact for me.  I bought a new Sawzall, so I can if I have to, but it's just one more step.  Now do people mortar in between the angle iron and the brick that sits on it?  I assume they don't mortar the angle iron down onto the brick it sits on.  Or do people not mortar any mortar onto the angle iron?  I never really asked and assumed they just stayed in place from the weight.  So in my case for the front and back angle irons, do you think mortar is needed on top of or below the angle irons?  I really appreciate it!  I'm going to try to get all the angle irons in the next few days.

Picture info:
1.  The firebricks in the middle front are there just for storage before the rain, but I arranged them more safely before I covered the oven.
2.  I placed the firebrick sideways for maximum thickness in the walls.  Is this the best way though?  It will cut down on oven floor space.
3.  The front and side walls have the gap that I can fill in with a cut firebrick.
4.  In photo 2, I showed a rough span of the brick, but obviously the brick will be slid over more.  I just showed it to show the gap.

My other idea is that if no mortar is needed with the angle iron, then things should line up with ľ" angle iron and ľ" mortar joints.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 26, 2019, 05:42:22 PM
I can't answer your questions.  I have no idea on best practices are for putting angles into masonry. I only used them in my stand basically as stay in place forms for the openings.

Wall thickness is a design question. Your call on what you want. If you are putting concrete all around, maybe the thinner wall with concrete on the outside is an option that gets you similar wall thickness. It is about how much thermal mass you you want in the walls. I can say my oven is about 3 inches thick all the way around (floor, walls and dome). Inusually heat up for at least 3 hours but have baked with about 2 hours of warm up.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 26, 2019, 09:25:06 PM
I can't answer your questions.  I have no idea on best practices are for putting angles into masonry. I only used them in my stand basically as stay in place forms for the openings.

Wall thickness is a design question. Your call on what you want. If you are putting concrete all around, maybe the thinner wall with concrete on the outside is an option that gets you similar wall thickness. It is about how much thermal mass you you want in the walls. I can say my oven is about 3 inches thick all the way around (floor, walls and dome). Inusually heat up for at least 3 hours but have baked with about 2 hours of warm up.

Thats fine! You always help so much, along with everyone.  I'm assuming you would just mortar the brick ends to each other, that are end by end on the angle iron. 

2-3 hours is good!  I think I may have to keep the walls this way, only just for support of the angle irons and ceiling.  The side walls may be able to be turned, but the front and back seem best this way for the angle irons on the front and back.There will be a lot of thermal mass though, but I may just end up using a blanket and percreting over that.  I wonder how high the ceiling really needs to be.  So far I have two courses planned on top of the side walls, which seems best.  I believe that's 14" oven hight/headroom.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 29, 2019, 11:57:11 PM
So I'm trying to decide if I should go with stainless steel angle irons or tee bars for the ceiling.  Not sure if it's worth the extra price, and still been thinking about if I'd need to mortar the bricks down onto the angle irons.  I'm assuming I should mortar between brick ends, but I've read that mostly they don't mortar the brick bottoms onto the angle iron.  In photos from the Flickr oven, it looks like he mortared the angle irons to the brick they rest on (all sides of the angle iron look mortared) and this seems like a good idea. 

My other thought is if mortar will even stick to the angle iron after I oil them up.  Cost wise, Home Depot has the best price so far for 48" Length, 1 Ĺ" x 1 Ĺ" x ⅛" angle iron around $13.  I'd have to double them up and cut them down to 44", but that should be easy with a Sawzall or angle grinder.  I'm going to call the metal supermarket tomorrow though, but theirs seemed to be $20 for the same steel angles.

Forno Bravo also said to soak the bricks, but I believe that was already mentioned in here too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 02, 2019, 07:21:01 PM
Got more bricks mortared today.  Hope to get a lot more done tomorrow and then start using the angle irons.  I got info that I should mortar the angle irons in.  I'm also thinking of using the high heat Sakrete mortar from Lowes.  Anyone use that stuff?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 02, 2019, 07:27:11 PM
hahaha multi quote was tough to figure out definitely; I just quote someone like normal, but then below this text window under the section called "topic summary" you click "insert quote" to the right, to add another quote of a recent post.  Not sure how to do it from older posts though, only recent topic summary ones.
Thanks for your help on this. Iíve been able to use it a couple times now. Seems easy now!


How is that oven coming?
Edit: we posted near the same time. Got it. Glad you are making progress.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 04, 2019, 01:12:05 AM
Thanks for your help on this. Iíve been able to use it a couple times now. Seems easy now!


How is that oven coming?
Edit: we posted near the same time. Got it. Glad you are making progress.

Np! It's a productive way of replying for sure. 
Haha sorry haven't checked this thread in a day.  I almost have the 1st course done; expecting to finish it in 10 hours.  Then I gotta do the angle irons over the door and maybe on the back wall, followed by hopefully finishing the second course today.  I ran out of heat stop 50, so I bought two bags of Sakrete high temp mortar. I only save $10 a bag though, so I wonder if its worth changing.  I believe they are probably similar though and probably won't matter.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 04, 2019, 06:58:32 PM
So I got the whole first course done and the front, over the doorway done.  I mortared the angle iron down and mortared bricks on the angle iron.  So for the sides, since the angle iron is so thick in the front row, I had ĺ" joints to get the sides level height.  I had a brick with ĺ" joint mortared, but ended up removing that one brick, just now.  This does make sense since there are two joint heights and steel thickness, ľ+ľ+ľ.  So do you guys think ĺ" will be okay for the second course walls?  But, this will also be the case for the back row, so I think I'm just going to use angle irons on the 3 other walls, to match the front one.  That way the joints are only ľ" thick max.  I need to get two more ľ" angle irons tomorrow, along with more for the ceiling. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 05, 2019, 12:13:36 PM
So I got the whole first course done and the front, over the doorway done.  I mortared the angle iron down and mortared bricks on the angle iron.  So for the sides, since the angle iron is so thick in the front row, I had ĺ" joints to get the sides level height.  I had a brick with ĺ" joint mortared, but ended up removing that one brick, just now.  This does make sense since there are two joint heights and steel thickness, ľ+ľ+ľ.  So do you guys think ĺ" will be okay for the second course walls?  But, this will also be the case for the back row, so I think I'm just going to use angle irons on the 3 other walls, to match the front one.  That way the joints are only ľ" thick max.  I need to get two more ľ" angle irons tomorrow, along with more for the ceiling.
I'm not 100% clear on the question. IIRC, Heatstop is good for up to 1/2 inch joints. I'd avoid a large 3/4 mortar seam.

I think you are stacking the bricks vertically, soldier course, in your photo above. Would you be able to go stretcher courses on top? If I'm visualizing it right, not necessarily case - I usually draw it out, but i think 3 stretcher courses gets you 9 inches of brick plus mortar joints. You would be able to spread the 3/4 inch difference over a few joints. Might help you work out getting level. No idea what that means to a brick count or amount of mortar needed. Also, good brick laying practice is to make it so the mortar seams dont line up and you get a running bond.

No experience with sakrete here.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 06, 2019, 12:06:26 PM
I'm not 100% clear on the question. IIRC, Heatstop is good for up to 1/2 inch joints. I'd avoid a large 3/4 mortar seam.

I think you are stacking the bricks vertically, soldier course, in your photo above. Would you be able to go stretcher courses on top? If I'm visualizing it right, not necessarily case - I usually draw it out, but i think 3 stretcher courses gets you 9 inches of brick plus mortar joints. You would be able to spread the 3/4 inch difference over a few joints. Might help you work out getting level. No idea what that means to a brick count or amount of mortar needed. Also, good brick laying practice is to make it so the mortar seams dont line up and you get a running bond.

No experience with sakrete here.

Thank you for the info!  Sorry was working on the oven all day yesterday and didn't get on here.  So I finished the entire first and second course.  I mortared the bricks in stretcher orientation for the second course.  I've made sure to have a max of Ĺ" joints.  I used steel flats on the sides, as they didn't have angle irons in ľ" thickness at metal supermarkets yesterday.  I ended up getting 14 ľ" angle irons for the ceiling.  I figured having ľ" instead of ⅛" would be stronger. 

As you can see, I mortared the heck out of the outside of the bricks.  The first heat stop 50 bag didn't have the better sticky consistency of the second bag I bought, so I just wanted to make sure nothing would move in the future.  The front left corner isn't exactly level, by about ľ"-Ĺ" but I'm sure when I mortar the ceiling angle irons, I will make up for that.  I'm curious if I should mortar in the bricks on the ceiling angle irons though.  Obviously I'll mortar the angle irons to the walls, but I don't want mortar flaking down into food.  My thought is that the ceiling bricks shouldn't move if I have concrete over the entire ceiling later on.  What do you guys think? In reply #26, it does look like mortar was used in the ceiling angle irons, but not sure.  The side walls look unlevel, but itís just the picture. Theyíre pretty level in person.

The second and third pic show gaps on the side and back when laying the ceiling angle irons dry. Iím assuming Iíd want to fill all these gaps with mortar?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 06, 2019, 02:39:01 PM
Thank you for the info!  Sorry was working on the oven all day yesterday and didn't get on here.  So I finished the entire first and second course.  I mortared the bricks in stretcher orientation for the second course.  I've made sure to have a max of Ĺ" joints.  I used steel flats on the sides, as they didn't have angle irons in ľ" thickness at metal supermarkets yesterday.  I ended up getting 14 ľ" angle irons for the ceiling.  I figured having ľ" instead of ⅛" would be stronger. 

As you can see, I mortared the heck out of the outside of the bricks.  The first heat stop 50 bag didn't have the better sticky consistency of the second bag I bought, so I just wanted to make sure nothing would move in the future.  The front left corner isn't exactly level, by about ľ"-Ĺ" but I'm sure when I mortar the ceiling angle irons, I will make up for that.  I'm curious if I should mortar in the bricks on the ceiling angle irons though.  Obviously I'll mortar the angle irons to the walls, but I don't want mortar flaking down into food.  My thought is that the ceiling bricks shouldn't move if I have concrete over the entire ceiling later on.  What do you guys think? In reply #26, it does look like mortar was used in the ceiling angle irons, but not sure.  The side walls look unlevel, but itís just the picture. Theyíre pretty level in person.

The second and third pic show gaps on the side and back when laying the ceiling angle irons dry. Iím assuming Iíd want to fill all these gaps with mortar?

Thank you for the info!  Sorry was working on the oven all day yesterday and didn't get on here.  So I finished the entire first and second course.  I mortared the bricks in stretcher orientation for the second course.  I've made sure to have a max of Ĺ" joints.  I used steel flats on the sides, as they didn't have angle irons in ľ" thickness at metal supermarkets yesterday.  I ended up getting 14 ľ" angle irons for the ceiling.  I figured having ľ" instead of ⅛" would be stronger. 

As you can see, I mortared the heck out of the outside of the bricks.  The first heat stop 50 bag didn't have the better sticky consistency of the second bag I bought, so I just wanted to make sure nothing would move in the future.  The front left corner isn't exactly level, by about ľ"-Ĺ" but I'm sure when I mortar the ceiling angle irons, I will make up for that.  I'm curious if I should mortar in the bricks on the ceiling angle irons though.  Obviously I'll mortar the angle irons to the walls, but I don't want mortar flaking down into food.  My thought is that the ceiling bricks shouldn't move if I have concrete over the entire ceiling later on.  What do you guys think? In reply #26, it does look like mortar was used in the ceiling angle irons, but not sure.  The side walls look unlevel, but itís just the picture. Theyíre pretty level in person.

The second and third pic show gaps on the side and back when laying the ceiling angle irons dry. Iím assuming Iíd want to fill all these gaps with mortar?

Broken record: no experience with this style of oven but my 2 cents anyway...

I dont think you need to mortar the ceiling brick together if they are snug and you cast over them. I dont think putting mortar in the ceiling would hurt anything either.

I think the gaps between the wall and ceiling should get closed somehow. Heat and smoke will get out through those gaps. Filling with mortar is probably the easiest and most structurally sound solution. It creates a nice, solid full length bearing area for the angle.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 06, 2019, 04:09:50 PM
Broken record: no experience with this style of oven but my 2 cents anyway...

I dont think you need to mortar the ceiling brick together if they are snug and you cast over them. I dont think putting mortar in the ceiling would hurt anything either.

I think the gaps between the wall and ceiling should get closed somehow. Heat and smoke will get out through those gaps. Filling with mortar is probably the easiest and most structurally sound solution. It creates a nice, solid full length bearing area for the angle.

Your input is much appreciated. That was my thought too about the ceiling, so Iím happy you confirmed what I was thinking. Iíll just make sure to plug any small gaps with mortar. Iím hoping to finish it all tomorrow. I bought a flat steel piece to fill the front gap that was left from not leveling right. The gap is more than ĹĒ so I figure probably better to mortar some steel in there instead of a large mortar joint.

So the oven should sit for a week to dry and then 2 weeks of fire curing, but after I finish the oven tomorrow, does the 1 week drying include the concrete I may use on the outside, possibly over a blanket?  Iím just wondering if that needs to dry for a week also, before firing.  My other idea is to fire it up without a chimney, to see how the wide door opening works, before building the chimney vent and chimney. I should be able to make the opening smaller if need be. Is this a good idea?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 07, 2019, 10:29:37 PM
Curing is a misleading word. Yes concrete and mortar gain strength with age. Concrete can kind of slowly gain strength for decades. In my opinion, what the small and slowly increasing fires do is drive out excess water. You cant get up to 600-700 with extra water there. It will boil off first. Getting the water (in the form of steam) out too fast can cause big cracks. Personally, I would start the fires once everything was done but I dont think it is 100% necessary to wait. I started slow on my oven with no insulation blanket on it. I tried to keep the temps in the 100s then low 200s. I could see steam come off. Could also hear the occasional hiss. After a several small uninsulated fires, I added the blankets and increased temps over more fires. I'd like to brag and say I have a crack-less oven, but that would be a lie.

One other thought to consider about firing without a chimney...the little fires can smoke quite a bit so there will be soot on the front. Not sure if that will require cleaning before your chimney or door construction.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 08, 2019, 12:17:27 AM
You are beyond anything I know how to help with now but the photos are quite helpful in helping me understand what you are doing.


Did you see that Hans ate at your beloved Pizzeria Regina on the North End tonight? He does a good job reviewing the many places he visits.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57885.0 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57885.0)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 08, 2019, 10:28:31 PM
Curing is a misleading word. Yes concrete and mortar gain strength with age. Concrete can kind of slowly gain strength for decades. In my opinion, what the small and slowly increasing fires do is drive out excess water. You cant get up to 600-700 with extra water there. It will boil off first. Getting the water (in the form of steam) out too fast can cause big cracks. Personally, I would start the fires once everything was done but I dont think it is 100% necessary to wait. I started slow on my oven with no insulation blanket on it. I tried to keep the temps in the 100s then low 200s. I could see steam come off. Could also hear the occasional hiss. After a several small uninsulated fires, I added the blankets and increased temps over more fires. I'd like to brag and say I have a crack-less oven, but that would be a lie.

One other thought to consider about firing without a chimney...the little fires can smoke quite a bit so there will be soot on the front. Not sure if that will require cleaning before your chimney or door construction.

Thank you!  That was a very helpful writeup and good to know about curing.  So did you concrete over your blanket?  I bet your oven still has few cracks.  That's a good point about soot.  Maybe I can dry stack some old bricks in place to cover up the area for the chimney.  Do I have to wait a week for the mortar to dry, before I do the small fires?

I got the oven fully done yesterday, besides the chimney.  I'll post pics from my phone.  I still need to cover with a blanket and concrete, but I plugged all gaps with heat stop.

You are beyond anything I know how to help with now but the photos are quite helpful in helping me understand what you are doing.


Did you see that Hans ate at your beloved Pizzeria Regina on the North End tonight? He does a good job reviewing the many places he visits.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57885.0 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57885.0)
Sorry I'll post more pics for sure.  Oh wow I didn't notice that!  I like the review and I agree with it.  The sauce is very important.  Tomato Magic was the closest I've had.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 09, 2019, 01:26:53 PM
Also, just noticed that the front angle iron is not flush with the front bricks by about Ĺ".  Obviously this won't matter much with a wood door as it will have a gasket, but I just worry about having a metal door flush as far as keeping out mice.  I'm going to build the chimney tomorrow, but I think by mortaring over the front angle iron, I can make everything flush.  Does this seem sound?  I'm going to have to mortar bricks to the front angle iron or above it, anyway.  My other idea is that since I'd only use the metal door for storage uses and not during firing, maybe I can have a gasket installed onto a steel door to make up for any gaps.  I know mice can fit through a dime size, so it's nearly impossible to keep them out.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 09, 2019, 03:35:44 PM
I thought you were connecting the door to the angle. If you mortar over the angle, I think you lose that option. I don't know how every thing fits together. Any chance you could connect build up the angle section bu connecting a piece of flat stock steel?

I dont recall you mentioning a wood door. Wouldn't a wood door slowly smolder or burn?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 09, 2019, 07:04:27 PM
I thought you were connecting the door to the angle. If you mortar over the angle, I think you lose that option. I don't know how every thing fits together. Any chance you could connect build up the angle section bu connecting a piece of flat stock steel?

I dont recall you mentioning a wood door. Wouldn't a wood door slowly smolder or burn?

Sorry, I made it confusing for sure.That was my original plan, but I'm just going to go the traditional route now, by using a removable steel door to close it off.  The wooden door would only be for residual heat.  My thought is both should maybe have a gasket, since the steel door would only be on there for residual heat as well and to cover from animals and weather.  I'd probably only need a wooden door then, but I'm just thinking rain on steel is better than wood.  Are you saying to mortar on a steel flat to the front piece of the angle iron?  That was actually my thought earlier coincidentally.  I have an extra 3/16" steel flat laying around from HD that I can cut.  I'm also thinking I'll need to use angle irons for the chimney landing area.  Do you think mortaring over angle iron prevents rust?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 09, 2019, 07:33:17 PM
I was thinking bolts or welding, but I'm not totally clear on how you are putting the front together. I dont think mortar would create a good bond between pieces of steel. Picture an oreo where the steel is the cookie and the mortar is the filling. I do not think that will be strong. Casting a piece of steel entirely inside the mortar or concrete will prevent the steel from rusting. Unless the.concrete cracks a lot and water gets to the steel to do the rusting. Like the rebar in the slab.

I tried a few coats of vegetable oil baked onto the steel to protect it. Worked well on the parts not exposed to the elements. The outside face did rust a little. I was going to clean it up and either try again with more coats and more protection or use a high heat paint on the outside.

I dont know how effective wood will be at holding residual heat. I used to stack fire brick in front of the door and that worked well. Not sure what thickness you had in mind but I cant speak to how well wood will hold heat. If you are trying to start holding in heat with the oven at 600 or so, I would expect the door to at a minimum char. Usually after a bake I put some wood in the oven to really dry out. Once I put it in a little too soon. I was watching TV and could smell some smoke. The wood I had put in the oven was charred and smoldering.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 09, 2019, 11:28:40 PM
I was thinking bolts or welding, but I'm not totally clear on how you are putting the front together. I dont think mortar would create a good bond between pieces of steel. Picture an oreo where the steel is the cookie and the mortar is the filling. I do not think that will be strong. Casting a piece of steel entirely inside the mortar or concrete will prevent the steel from rusting. Unless the.concrete cracks a lot and water gets to the steel to do the rusting. Like the rebar in the slab.

I tried a few coats of vegetable oil baked onto the steel to protect it. Worked well on the parts not exposed to the elements. The outside face did rust a little. I was going to clean it up and either try again with more coats and more protection or use a high heat paint on the outside.

I dont know how effective wood will be at holding residual heat. I used to stack fire brick in front of the door and that worked well. Not sure what thickness you had in mind but I cant speak to how well wood will hold heat. If you are trying to start holding in heat with the oven at 600 or so, I would expect the door to at a minimum char. Usually after a bake I put some wood in the oven to really dry out. Once I put it in a little too soon. I was watching TV and could smell some smoke. The wood I had put in the oven was charred and smoldering.

Yup welding or bolts are definitely a better way.  The front steel will probably have the chimney bricks mortared to it.  Still I think I could weld a piece of steel to the other steel.  I've never done welding, but I could buy a machine, some goggles, and learn.  That would be the strongest way for sure.  Thank you for that idea!

Oil is a really good idea and I should probably oil the part the door will rest against!  I also wonder if I need heat stop for the chimney area.  My thought is to use it right next to the vent, but not along the sides of the landing where it will be cooler.

Ya I've been wondering.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/albums/72157613634415857/page1 has the type of door that I was thinking of, but firebricks are a good idea.  Good idea about putting wood in the oven to dry. haha that must have been annoying!  Reminds me of the story of someone's wood door lighting on fire  :-D
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 10, 2019, 07:18:11 PM
I bought some self drilling SS screws and a SS flat bar to screw into the angle iron.  It should work out well!  I also bought bricks for the chimney.  I am finding it tough to get screws in the steel.  I drilled a pilot hole through the stainless steel flat and angle iron, but #8 screws are too small and #10 screws are too big.  #9 is pretty close, but not perfect. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 10, 2019, 11:49:12 PM
I bought some self drilling SS screws and a SS flat bar to screw into the angle iron.  It should work out well!  I also bought bricks for the chimney.  I am finding it tough to get screws in the steel.  I drilled a pilot hole through the stainless steel flat and angle iron, but #8 screws are too small and #10 screws are too big.  #9 is pretty close, but not perfect.
Can you go all the way through with bolt, lock washer, and nut? Or is back side buried?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 11, 2019, 11:12:20 AM
Can you go all the way through with bolt, lock washer, and nut? Or is back side buried?

The back side is buried :(. Definitely bolts, nut, washer would be the best way.  My guess is that the wider screw's threads are no match for the stainless steel and these bars are just too thick.  What about thread locking fluid?  I didn't want anything that would heat up though.  The piece of SS will have mortar and bricks pushed against it, so my guess is that it will be pretty set into place without falling.  I have a piece of regular steel as a backup incase I just decide to weld it.  My other idea was to drill another set of holes, but have the SS hole as a clearance hole and the steel angle iron hole as a pilot hole.  That way the screws don't fight the SS going in.  Of course this all might be for nothing as there may be pull out with regular screws.  My only other thought is that there won't be a lot of vibration usually.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 11, 2019, 08:43:15 PM
That 2 hole method might be your best bet, although you can weld stainless. I think I would try the pilot hole idea in the regular steel somewhere you do not really need a screw. In other words, see how much purchase you can get with self-threading in the regular steel before drilling a bunch of larger holes in your stainless piece. Good luck with it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 12, 2019, 10:28:09 AM
That 2 hole method might be your best bet, although you can weld stainless. I think I would try the pilot hole idea in the regular steel somewhere you do not really need a screw. In other words, see how much purchase you can get with self-threading in the regular steel before drilling a bunch of larger holes in your stainless piece. Good luck with it.

Very good idea!  I'm going to try things out and maybe just weld.  Do you think I could weld stainless to plain steel using a flux core wire feeder and .30-.35 wire?  The SS is about 3/16" and the steel is ľ".  I'd maybe have to wire a 20 amp breaker and outlet though, so idk if I want to do all that.  I do wonder if the mortar and bricks up against the steel will hold it in place anyway.

Since the door would only be used without flames and really only to keep it sealed when not in use, my other idea is to just install a gasket to a wood or metal door to make up for the gap.  It seems to be what they did at the Flickr site.  Is it tough to install a gasket to steel though?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 12, 2019, 11:27:59 AM
Can't help with any welding questions.

Depending on how you build it, I would have thought it was attached with a high temp adhesive. Similar to the gasket on the door of a wood stove. Depending on how the door is built, the adhesive might not last as long. If the gasket get moved a lot, the adhesive will fail...at least that is what I was told about my door. The gap on mine isn't very big so I have added a gasket yet so I have no direct experience with putting a gasket on a door. A wood stove/fireplace store should be able to help you out.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 12, 2019, 04:45:08 PM
Can't help with any welding questions.

Depending on how you build it, I would have thought it was attached with a high temp adhesive. Similar to the gasket on the door of a wood stove. Depending on how the door is built, the adhesive might not last as long. If the gasket get moved a lot, the adhesive will fail...at least that is what I was told about my door. The gap on mine isn't very big so I have added a gasket yet so I have no direct experience with putting a gasket on a door. A wood stove/fireplace store should be able to help you out.

Thank you.  I think I may hire a welder or just stuff the steel in there between the fireplace/landing walls and oven walls.  I can try to do the screws again tonight too.  Since it's not structural, I feel that it may be okay being encased in mortar, and then the bricks up against that mortar.  I guess the worst that could happen would be it shifting or falling and needing to be repaired.  You are still right about mortar not being a strong bond, but I'm thinking the mortar and bricks may hold it in place.  If not I can always cut it and use a gasket on my door.  I may want to use a gasket, so thank you for that help too.  High temp adhesive sounds good and I found a 800F rated bbq gasket on Amazon.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: barryvabeach on June 13, 2019, 07:02:25 AM
Pod,  I am no expert on welding, but yes, you can use regular flux core wire to weld steel to stainless, though of course the weld will not be stainless.  If you were going to weld stainless to stainless, you can buy a flux core stainless that would make the whole assembly resistant to rust  - though it is fairly expensive. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 13, 2019, 11:39:17 AM
Pod,  I am no expert on welding, but yes, you can use regular flux core wire to weld steel to stainless, though of course the weld will not be stainless.  If you were going to weld stainless to stainless, you can buy a flux core stainless that would make the whole assembly resistant to rust  - though it is fairly expensive.
Thank you!  That was a very good explanation that I was looking for.  I'm a bit frustrated because the oven is far away from my 30 amp outlet and the unit is a 20 amp unit.  I could buy or rent a gas welder though, but might be the same price to hire someone.  I'm wondering if being encased in mortar will hold the steel anyway.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: barryvabeach on June 13, 2019, 08:34:11 PM
Pod, renting  a gas welder would not help unless you got a special mix of shielding gas for stainless steel ( usually a trimix, not the standard argon co mix used for steel ) , as well as a spool of stainless wire.  It would probably be cheaper to just find someone to weld it if you want the weld to be stainless , or go with the flux core  which is around $30  https://smile.amazon.com/Blue-Demon-308LFC-stainless-gasless/dp/B00G5GHA7E/ref=sr_1_3?ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-a0047-win10-other-smile-us000-gatwy-feature-SEARC&keywords=stainless+weld+flux+core&qid=1560472201&s=gateway&sr=8-3   
Here is an article which talks about the shielding gases at the end.  https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-ca/support/welding-solutions/Pages/compact-welders.aspx?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 13, 2019, 09:59:23 PM
Pod, renting  a gas welder would not help unless you got a special mix of shielding gas for stainless steel ( usually a trimix, not the standard argon co mix used for steel ) , as well as a spool of stainless wire.  It would probably be cheaper to just find someone to weld it if you want the weld to be stainless , or go with the flux core  which is around $30  https://smile.amazon.com/Blue-Demon-308LFC-stainless-gasless/dp/B00G5GHA7E/ref=sr_1_3?ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-a0047-win10-other-smile-us000-gatwy-feature-SEARC&keywords=stainless+weld+flux+core&qid=1560472201&s=gateway&sr=8-3   
Here is an article which talks about the shielding gases at the end.  https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-ca/support/welding-solutions/Pages/compact-welders.aspx?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

Thank you! Yah probably just going to hire a welder, but I enjoyed reading that.  They should be coming down tomorrow or Saturday.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 15, 2019, 05:35:45 PM
Got it welded today from a local shop and started my first course of bricks for the chimney!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 18, 2019, 01:15:52 AM
So I finished the sides of the chimney/vent.  I'm trying to figure out how I proceed with the angle iron over the top.  The bricks won't fill up the entire space between two of the angle irons, so I wonder if I should use a lot of mortar or how I should fill the gap between the bricks and angle iron.  I've tried different brick orientations and sideways seems to be the only way the bricks will fit in the angle irons, so that the angle irons fit in the area.  I plan on using a simple vent mortared onto the angle irons. 

I also need to decide on using either a blanket or just perlcrete/concrete on the oven for insulation/mass.  My idea is to probably build a covering over the oven, so I can cook in the rain, and because building a facade may be difficult due to uneven ground right next to the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 18, 2019, 11:27:42 AM
Sorry I passed out and forgot to post pictures. These are my ideas for the chimney vent area. I just wonder about such a large gap between the sides of the brick and the angle irons.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 18, 2019, 11:37:47 AM
Not totally clear on what you want to do. In terms of spacing, would you be able to continue the pattern of the columns? In other words, set up the angles so that there is one long brick and one short brick. I dont believe the angles need to be evenly spaced.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 18, 2019, 12:32:24 PM
Not totally clear on what you want to do. In terms of spacing, would you be able to continue the pattern of the columns? In other words, set up the angles so that there is one long brick and one short brick. I dont believe the angles need to be evenly spaced.
First, it is easier to picture with photos  ;D . Prior to those above I was lost. I was thinking he should cut bricks to fit but overlooked that the angle iron is not yet fixed in place. I like your idea and would add he can avoid cutting brick if he spaces one set of angle irons for the brick width and the next for brick length. That is, the rows of bricks would be perpendicular. Perhaps you already had that in mind.


Without a comprehensive plan before starting itís amazing that this is going to come out well and functional. And I mean that neither as criticism or praise.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 18, 2019, 01:11:33 PM


First, it is easier to picture with photos  ;D . Prior to those above I was lost. I was thinking he should cut bricks to fit but overlooked that the angle iron is not yet fixed in place. I like your idea and would add he can avoid cutting brick if he spaces one set of angle irons for the brick width and the next for brick length. That is, the rows of bricks would be perpendicular. Perhaps you already had that in mind.


Without a comprehensive plan before starting itís amazing that this is going to come out well and functional. And I mean that neither as criticism or praise.

Yes. That is what I meant. Once that first course is down, he would be above the angle sections and could do what ever he wants. And I'm not sure if I am correct, but the way I envision it, the full length bricks stop over the door to create the opening for the chimney and the perpendicular bricks would be the front face.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 18, 2019, 07:02:13 PM
First, it is easier to picture with photos  ;D . Prior to those above I was lost. I was thinking he should cut bricks to fit but overlooked that the angle iron is not yet fixed in place. I like your idea and would add he can avoid cutting brick if he spaces one set of angle irons for the brick width and the next for brick length. That is, the rows of bricks would be perpendicular. Perhaps you already had that in mind.


Without a comprehensive plan before starting itís amazing that this is going to come out well and functional. And I mean that neither as criticism or praise.

Really using the multi quote a lot on this thread haha.  Thank you guys for your quick responses.  Haha it is pretty amazing that it came out well, without an exact plan set in place.  I had measurements set, but did have to figure out a lot as I was mortaring.  Sorry I've been so late with the pictures.  They really do help a lot, as most of the time I need pictures for some of the instructions given here.  Thank you and I believe we're on the same page design wise for the chimney.  I was thinking similar to what you said, I believe.  The only issue was having enough room for the two rows of angle irons.  I wish I could do the bricks in different orientations, but it seems the only way is the way pictured, with the bricks sideways.


Yes. That is what I meant. Once that first course is down, he would be above the angle sections and could do what ever he wants. And I'm not sure if I am correct, but the way I envision it, the full length bricks stop over the door to create the opening for the chimney and the perpendicular bricks would be the front face.


Thank you!  My plan was to maybe even do only one course over the span of the angle irons. I just didn't want to put too much weight.  I wonder how high I'd want though for the smoke to not be in my face. 

For your first question, it seemed that spacing wise, there has to be two rows of stretcher brick, and not header brick unfortunately.  The main issue was that in order to span the depth of the sides of the chimney, the angle irons are so far apart and the bricks are not wide enough.  With the bricks in stretcher across the angle irons (picture 2), and with current angle iron spacing, there will be a lot of room in between brick and angle iron (picture 2 shows the gap between brick and angle iron, although it's a bit tough to see in the back of the pic). 

With the angle iron spacing how I have it (to fit two rows of angle iron) I can't get the angle irons to rest agains the sides of the brick.  I could move the angle irons back, but then there would be a notch in the front.  It's probably fine to just fill in the sides space with regular mortar though right?  Does regular mortar have the Ĺ" max joint requirement that high heat mortar does?  Especially since none of this mortar is structural and it's only to fill gaps for smoke to not get through. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 18, 2019, 11:18:31 PM
Maybe I'm missing the big picture. With the way you have it, it looks like you only have two, 1" slits between the angle iron to crate draft for the smoke to draw up the chimney. I dont know if the is enough to draw smoke up. Not sure how you are planning to collect smoke to a chimney. I also dont know how high you are planning to go with a chimney but height will help with drawing smoke up too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 19, 2019, 09:28:25 AM
Not to scale because I dont know the dimensions. I assumed 48 inches wide (including the columns) and about a foot deep. This is a top view of what I was trying to describe. If needed you could top the opening with an anchor plate and add stove pipe for a higher chimney. I'm just concerned that the two slots you have in the photo will not direct the smoke up. Dont know if that is a big deal to you. I've seen dry stack ovens without a chimney before.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 19, 2019, 11:14:19 AM
Maybe I'm missing the big picture. With the way you have it, it looks like you only have two, 1" slits between the angle iron to crate draft for the smoke to draw up the chimney. I dont know if the is enough to draw smoke up. Not sure how you are planning to collect smoke to a chimney. I also dont know how high you are planning to go with a chimney but height will help with drawing smoke up too.

Thank you, this has been a massive help.  I was planning on using a 8"x1" brick vent shown in the back of the second photo, but I'm not married to the idea (thankfully).  I was thinking of just having it as a vent and not building high as I didn't want to add too much weight to the angle irons.  I wonder if I should use an ancor plate instead, so that way the vent is bigger and allows for a flue.  Where is the best place to get an anchor plate though?  I still may have the gap issues with the bricks.  I wonder if I'll be able to fill any gaps with mortar.  I had a similar brick alignment idea, but it didn't seem to fit the angle irons to do it.  I'll go try again today though with dry stacking.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 19, 2019, 11:28:30 AM
I got my chimney stuff from northlineexpress.com. it was double wall duravent. Pretty sure it was 8 inches diameter.

On mine, I used stainless steel bolts to attach the base plate.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 19, 2019, 06:17:27 PM
I got my chimney stuff from northlineexpress.com. it was double wall duravent. Pretty sure it was 8 inches diameter.

On mine, I used stainless steel bolts to attach the base plate.

Thank you, the pic really helps.  So the base plate bolts onto a top plate?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 19, 2019, 06:28:55 PM
Base plate is bolted to the brick. I drilled holes through it. The pipe slides over the bump and twists to lock. The pipe is the braced at the roof of my enclosure.

This is what is under the plate. If you look close, you can see the 4 bolt holes in the brick. The plate had kind of had a ring around it that slid into the circle I cut into the brick.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 19, 2019, 06:47:49 PM
Base plate is bolted to the brick. I drilled holes through it. The pipe slides over the bump and twists to lock. The pipe is the braced at the roof of my enclosure.

This is what is under the plate. If you look close, you can see the 4 bolt holes in the brick. The plate had kind of had a ring around it that slid into the circle I cut into the brick.

Wow, that is a really good job.  I've seen people mortar it in, but bolting definitely seems better.  So I wonder how I could fit one in between the bricks on the angle iron.  Could I just leave the opening and then mortar it in place?

Also, spoke to a steel fabricator and thinking of going ⅛" stainless steel with a bent bottom, for the door, and either welding or bolting on stainless steel handles.  Door is 10"H x 26.5" W, what do you guys think?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 19, 2019, 09:01:44 PM


Could I just leave the opening and then mortar it in place?

Door is 10"H x 26.5" W, what do you guys think?

It's hard to answer without fully understanding your plan. In the drawing I posted, you could add another course just around the opening to get to the base plate dimensions you need. You could slightly overhang the opening if needed, if that makes sense. I had a pretty good wet saw to help me shape the bricks.

No idea on the door. Not sure how well just the steel would hold residual heat. I dont have any experience with just steel. My door is also much smaller.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 20, 2019, 09:12:20 PM

It's hard to answer without fully understanding your plan. In the drawing I posted, you could add another course just around the opening to get to the base plate dimensions you need. You could slightly overhang the opening if needed, if that makes sense. I had a pretty good wet saw to help me shape the bricks.

No idea on the door. Not sure how well just the steel would hold residual heat. I dont have any experience with just steel. My door is also much smaller.

Thank you!  So here are my ideas for the rest of the plans:
1.  On Saturday, I'm going to leave a big enough vent opening to mortar in or screw in a 6" anchor plate at a later time.  I may see how the smoke does with just the wide brick vent opening and then put a plate in if it isn't sufficient.  Now if the angle irons are still very wide, how should I fill in the gap between the sides of the angle iron and bricks? I'm guessing cut up pieces of brick and use the bricks and mortar to fill-in the gaps. I'll have to position the angle irons and bricks to allow for anchor plate dimensions.  I'm thinking of this one https://www.fornobravo.com/store/6-duratech-anchor-plate/. The dimensions are 12x12x6, so I'm assuming I can make sure there are bricks under the holes to drill and make sure the 6" ring is unobstructed.  The drilling idea is more plausible as it allows for less of a gap and stronger bond.  I can make a mock model out of cardboard or wood for Saturday, or order it and wait for it to come in before I do the angle irons.  I was amazed at some of the websites listing the same anchor plate as galvanized or galvalume steel, but Forno Bravo's says SS.  I'm going to have to check with Forno Bravo as http://duravent.com/docs/product/DuraTech_5-8_Catalog.pdf has the model listed as 6DT-AP, which seems to be the Galvalume one and seems to be 10"x10"x6" diameter.  It looks like all of them are 10"x10", so that is how I'll factor the bricks.

2.  I'm thinking of doing a treated wood and metal roofing overhang about 7' D x 7' H x 11' W, to cover the oven and a table I would build over some pavers.  The entire area is a paver patio with some grills and I'm thinking that table.

3.  For the oven, I'm thinking of doing a blanket and then perlcrete or concrete, or just perlcrete, or semi-refractory concrete.  I don't like how perlcrete breaks off, so I'll have to see if I even use perlcrete.  I'm limited by the slab foundation being small, so I don't think I'll be able to do a brick facade around the entire base and oven.

4.  The door is being manufactured.  It will take about a week so I figured best to get the dimensions in.  10" x 26.25".  It will be ⅛" Stainless Steel and have two stainless steel handles (cabinet handles I found from Home Depot that were true SS, and wide enough to fit a gloved hand through) and a hole for a thermometer.  You're right about heat retention, so this door is mainly just for draft control while firing (having the door slightly open of course) and just to keep animals out whether the oven is hot or cold.  I think I will make an insulated wooden door too though, just for overnight heat retention and for pizza/bread baking without flames.  This way I don't burn myself taking a steel door up and down.  I guess I only need one door, but I'm thinking I don't want the wood out there all year round, but really for 1-3 days of heat retention.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 20, 2019, 10:59:16 PM
It sounds like you are planning to move forward with how you have the angles set up in the 2nd photo of Reply 236. I don't understand where the 6 inch hole for the chimney would be. If you left an area without bricks, you would still have a leg of the angle blocking a lot of the air flow. That photo makes it look like there are two, approximately 1.5 in gaps between the legs of the angles. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't visualize the plan.

I called a sales rep at Northline Express to make sure I was getting what I was looking for chimney-wise. I believe the 6 inch anchor plate is 10"x10" and not 12"x12". The 8 inch plate I got was 12x12 and took a little creative angle grinding to get it how I wanted it to layout.

For your outer layer, I don't believe perlcrete would be watertight. I think you would want something over an outer perlcrete layer. Depending on how things layout, maybe a brick veneer is an option instead of full bricks.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 21, 2019, 12:00:53 PM
It sounds like you are planning to move forward with how you have the angles set up in the 2nd photo of Reply 236. I don't understand where the 6 inch hole for the chimney would be. If you left an area without bricks, you would still have a leg of the angle blocking a lot of the air flow. That photo makes it look like there are two, approximately 1.5 in gaps between the legs of the angles. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't visualize the plan.

I called a sales rep at Northline Express to make sure I was getting what I was looking for chimney-wise. I believe the 6 inch anchor plate is 10"x10" and not 12"x12". The 8 inch plate I got was 12x12 and took a little creative angle grinding to get it how I wanted it to layout.

For your outer layer, I don't believe perlcrete would be watertight. I think you would want something over an outer perlcrete layer. Depending on how things layout, maybe a brick veneer is an option instead of full bricks.

Thank you.  Yeah I'll have to reposition the angle irons to fit a 6" hole.  With the rain I haven't been able to get out there and try it :(. Good idea about covering the perlcrete.  Definitely would need concrete over it and brick veneer is a good idea as well.  I think the metal roofing canopy will help as well.

So I just called Forno Bravo and the rep confirmed that the dimensions are 10x10x6 with the double wall being 8".  I was confused because the shipping had the 12x12x6 listed, but that was for the box which I realized later haha.  He also said the anchor plate is SS.  So then I called Duravent and they helped a lot.  There are two models, 6DT-AP and 6DT-APSS.  https://www.build.com/duravent-6dt-ap/s999750?uid=2476111 has it listed the most concise, with the inner diameter being SS, but the outer is either Galvume or SS depending on the above models.  The 10x10" plate is galvume on both models.  It doesn't seem to matter though, because these don't heat up as much as welding of course.  He also said they recommend screws; led anchor screws.  He also said that https://www.mugnaini.com/product-category/accessories/ has a single wall setup available, but I can't find it.  Do you guys think the outer wall being galvume would be okay or should I get the SS one?  I'm assuming SS.  Also, do you think drilling into clay brick would work as drilling into firebrick?  It seems that clay brick would break, but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 23, 2019, 11:38:10 PM
Found a mouse on top of my oven, under my tarp.  Thankfully he built a nest on top of the chimney columns and not inside the oven.  I didn't see any urine (with UV flashlight) or smell any, so I think I'm good.  I chased him off the oven and he looked pretty scared, shaking, as he ran off, and then into the woods.  So I bought a piece of aluminium and used it as a makeshift door until my SS one is ready.  It held in 80F heat today also.  I closed the gaps in the ceiling with pieces of brick, wedged into the gaps.  The gaps were there from the backs of the angle irons not perfectly touching, and the width of having such thick angle iron back to back.  I now can probably concrete or perlcrete right over it, without fear of pieces falling in. 

For the chimney, I'm going to mortar it tomorrow.  I bought around 9" concrete firebrick splits that are the longest of any I've seen, so I think I can span across angle irons and then leave a hole like Jon has.  I'm going to use cardboard to make a mock anchor plate.  I don't think the brick will completely span across, but I have some wide angle irons, so the bottoms of the brick should rest fine on the angle irons.  I could even run flat bar across the angle irons for support.  I'm only running one course of brick, so there is very little weight anyway.

For the mortar that connects the chimney/vent to the front oven firebrick, is high temp mortar vital, or can I get away with regular mortar or my own blend?  I'm running out of heatstop 50, so I'm trying to decide.  My idea is that the front firebrick will get hot, and high heat mortar seems better, but not sure since it's not in contact with direct flame there.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 24, 2019, 09:20:36 AM
I'm sorry, I dont have a definite answer to your mortar question. I used heatstop 50 for everything.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 24, 2019, 10:06:08 AM
I'm sorry, I dont have a definite answer to your mortar question. I used heatstop 50 for everything.

That's ok!  That helps right there.  I probably will use heatstop 50 then.  I need to now decide how to cover/insulate the top and sides of the oven.  The blanket is awesome, but money is lower now for me and the blanket has a lot of risk factors.  I'm torn between pelcrete or a 4:1:1 - Concrete blend : Portland cement : Lime.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 24, 2019, 10:40:46 AM
The perlcrete and blanket are insulation. The modified concrete mix is mass, basically making the walls and ceiling thicker.

I dont know how much the cost difference between perlcrete and the blanket would be. Two, 6 ft3 bags of perlite were around $120.  A box of the blanket I used was around $135. These ballpark prices were a few years ago. Not sure they are still that close. I was able to pick stuff up too. So no shipping in these prices.

I think the bigger consideration is how you are protecting the insulation from the elements. How you want to do that might tell you how you want to insulate. I haven't done it, but Id guess it would be easier to cast a shell over perlcrete. If space is limited, the blanket is more efficient/thinner.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 25, 2019, 10:50:51 PM
The perlcrete and blanket are insulation. The modified concrete mix is mass, basically making the walls and ceiling thicker.

I dont know how much the cost difference between perlcrete and the blanket would be. Two, 6 ft3 bags of perlite were around $120.  A box of the blanket I used was around $135. These ballpark prices were a few years ago. Not sure they are still that close. I was able to pick stuff up too. So no shipping in these prices.

I think the bigger consideration is how you are protecting the insulation from the elements. How you want to do that might tell you how you want to insulate. I haven't done it, but Id guess it would be easier to cast a shell over perlcrete. If space is limited, the blanket is more efficient/thinner.

Thank you.  Very valuable information.  I have some left over bags of perlite; enough to do another 6" slabs worth.  I feel like I'll end up going the perlcrete or just concrete route just because it's more weather forgiving compared to the blanket.  I got a bag of hydrated lime incase I need it, but probably won't bother.  I could do perlcrete and then stucco over that.  My door was ready today :) I also almost finished the chimney vent. I need to decide how to finish the front of the chimney vent. I could just run my stainless steel angle iron across it, or I could mortar half bricks onto the SS angle iron. The pics show the two options.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on June 26, 2019, 06:55:26 AM
Looking good. I'd love to see more pictures, inside and out.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 26, 2019, 06:02:12 PM
Looking good. I'd love to see more pictures, inside and out.

Thank you.  The door fits awesome!  So I added perlcrete to the top of the oven, and then decided I need to build a structure around the oven to fill in with perlite.  I think I may do metal framing and follow the Forno Bravo instructions.  But I will have to put the frame into the ground, as I have no room on the stand for the metal studs.

EDIT:  I think I'll have just enough room to run 3.6" steel tracks along the concrete slab border around the oven stand.  Some area's might be 2.5-3" though, but I will just drill right through what is there and run some steel studs to make a gable house.  The roofing is where I'm a bit torn as to what style to do.  I do think it shouldn't be flat.  Going to start this tomorrow.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 27, 2019, 09:31:08 PM
I ordered the DuraTech 6" SS system with a 3 foot pipe, and it should be in tomorrow.  I need to see if I screw in or mortar in the anchor plate.  I still need to build an enclosure around the entire oven also.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 29, 2019, 08:27:21 PM
The anchor plate is screwed in, and now ready to start building the gable house. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 29, 2019, 08:36:39 PM
The anchor plate is screwed in, and now ready to start building the gable house.
Pizzas on the 4th?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 29, 2019, 11:04:15 PM
Pizzas on the 4th?

I wish.  Curing fires starting Monday  :P. Rain today and tomorrow make it tough to start them until Monday.  I still need to put in the steel studs and backerboard, along with stucco on Monday also.  The plan is to light my first fire as I install the framing for the gable house.  At least the anchor plate screwed in nicely before I mortar it also.  So I'm thinking of using tapcon screws to screw in the steel tracks into the concrete slab.  Any recommendations for what the best screws are to use outside?  It seems the tapcon and framing screws are all coated, along with the galvanized steel beams are all pretty good outside.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 29, 2019, 11:22:13 PM
I wish.  Curing fires starting Monday  :P . Rain today and tomorrow make it tough to start them until Monday.  I still need to put in the steel studs and backerboard, along with stucco on Monday also.  The plan is to light my first fire as I install the framing for the gable house.  At least the anchor plate screwed in nicely before I mortar it also.  So I'm thinking of using tapcon screws to screw in the steel tracks into the concrete slab.  Any recommendations for what the best screws are to use outside?  It seems the tapcon and framing screws are all coated, along with the galvanized steel beams are all pretty good outside.
I was just giving you a hard time. Iím sure it must be getting exciting to be close to useable. It might be worthwhile to look for stainless bolts or screws. Do you have a Fastenal anywhere nearby? If not, maybe Lowes. https://www.fastenal.com/ (https://www.fastenal.com/)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 30, 2019, 12:31:33 AM
I was just giving you a hard time. I’m sure it must be getting exciting to be close to useable. It might be worthwhile to look for stainless bolts or screws. Do you have a Fastenal anywhere nearby? If not, maybe Lowes. https://www.fastenal.com/ (https://www.fastenal.com/)

haha I enjoyed it, and oh it is! It's been almost 2 months.  Thank you; I'll look for a Fastenal.  When I was at Lowes, they did have SS self drilling which seem similar to the framing screws (https://www.lowes.com/pd/Grip-Rite-7-x-7-16-in-Phillips-Drive-Sheet-Metal-Screws-1-lb/3352962) for drilling stud to tracking or stud to stud.  Those seem like the easiest since they are basically just sheet metal screws, but I was having trouble finding 50-100 of them.

The other two screw sets I need seem that they come mainly coated: concrete screws and backerboard screws.  I wonder if there are any SS varieties for either.  For the backerboard, I found the screws made for backerboard, but they aren't SS.  I suppose SS screws or bolts could works for all three things I need to screw in though, perhaps?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on June 30, 2019, 12:56:02 AM
SS will cost more, of course, but I would consider it for all 3 places you mentioned. The tapcon may only be available in coated. Plenty of them in use and working for years. Not sure what diameter you are considering or what instructions say about pre-drilling. I would try one somewhere you do not need it and it where it will not be seen. Good luck with this part!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on June 30, 2019, 01:52:33 AM
SS will cost more, of course, but I would consider it for all 3 places you mentioned. The tapcon may only be available in coated. Plenty of them in use and working for years. Not sure what diameter you are considering or what instructions say about pre-drilling. I would try one somewhere you do not need it and it where it will not be seen. Good luck with this part!

Thank you.  Yup worth the price difference if I can just find the multipacks.  I'll check the other stores.  Good to know about the tapcon.  Not sure on diameter, but it seemed like 3/16" x 1 ľ" length tapcons were used for the concrete.  For the framing it seemed like those were pretty small as well.  I'm guessing bigger diameter is better?  It also seems like bolts for the track might get in the way of the studs, so tapcons might be better it seems.  Bolts have been my first choice though.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on June 30, 2019, 07:55:38 AM
I used the blue tapcon screws and galvanized self tapping screws I got from the place that sold me the steel studs. I figured the screws basically end up indoors and shielded from the weather. Either way, I believe both are usable outdoors. Also, I had a ton on insulation so none of the screws would see heat. Used stainless wherever there was a chance for heat. That was just the anchor plate for me.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 01, 2019, 09:29:40 AM
I used the blue tapcon screws and galvanized self tapping screws I got from the place that sold me the steel studs. I figured the screws basically end up indoors and shielded from the weather. Either way, I believe both are usable outdoors. Also, I had a ton on insulation so none of the screws would see heat. Used stainless wherever there was a chance for heat. That was just the anchor plate for me.

Thank you!  I'm planning on doing the same with filling with perlite.  I see the Black phosphate screws at Lowes, https://www.lowes.com/pd/Grip-Rite-7-x-7-16-in-Phillips-Drive-Sheet-Metal-Screws-1-lb/3352962.  I'll have to look for galvanized though, although I found some zinc ones last time.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 01, 2019, 11:31:44 PM
I used the blue tapcon screws and galvanized self tapping screws I got from the place that sold me the steel studs. I figured the screws basically end up indoors and shielded from the weather. Either way, I believe both are usable outdoors. Also, I had a ton on insulation so none of the screws would see heat. Used stainless wherever there was a chance for heat. That was just the anchor plate for me.

I realized that I used tap con screws for the anchor plate only because DuraVent said to, but obviously stainless is the best. 

SO, I fired up the first fire today after getting the DuraTech pipe and chimney cap installed.  I still need to mortar a little minor gap for the anchor plate tomorrow.  So the first fire was about 3-4 hours and pretty low.  It was about maybe 150-200F.  I didn't want to push it, but I know it can be 300F.  So when Forno Bravo says to do 300F Day 1 fire, they are talking about oven temp, right, and not the temp of the fire itself?  It's a bit confusing because they say to use an infrared thermometer, but I would think my door thermometer would work best for ambient oven temp.  Most smoke went up the flue, but some did come out the front. I donít mind though.

I need to build the structure around the oven tomorrow; so I bought steel tracking today.  I bought two different widths (1.5" and 2.5" roughly).  The 1.5" seems better because the concrete area is limited, but the 2.5 seems like better coating.  What do you guys think?

The oven seems like it may hold heat well with the door off, but a steel firing door with vents in it may work best for firing the oven, or even cooking the pizza, as my oven opening is quite wide.  The Regina style pizzas I make in the Ooni require keeping the door on during the initial fire, and also cooking, to hold in as much heat as possible for the embers style cooking of the pizza.  The chimney was inside the oven for the Ooni, but my idea is to limit the opening on this new oven for enough airflow to keep the fire alive, but keep the heat in. 

I'll see how it does with larger fires in 5 or so days, but since I'm essentially cooking bread with Regina style pizzas, I think a steel fire/bake door with airflow cutouts will work well.  My plan will be to light the fire with the cook door on, then slide the fire to one side and let it burn to embers all with the door on.  Then I'll load the pizza and put the door back on.  Usually this type of pizza only needs one or two rotations.  A hinged door would have been nice, but having two doors is essential to keep mice out and to keep it closed.  The only other way would be to have a sliding vent like fireplaces have, which would allow for only one door.  I'm also assuming a hinge could always be welded onto the angle iron along with a catch welded onto the angle irons above, and around the chimney vent.  I'll probably just use two doors though, but I'll also see how tilting the door during firing works.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 02, 2019, 07:09:40 AM
I'm excited to see the pizza. I really like what you've done with the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 02, 2019, 08:24:00 AM
I'm excited to see the pizza. I really like what you've done with the oven.

Thank you very much :) Doing another fire today as I build the steel framing.  Do people usually just use the 25 gauge steel from the big box stores?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 02, 2019, 08:42:52 AM
I dont remember the gauge number I used but it was overkill. I'll try to look it up. The box stores near me only had stuff for framing interior walls. The problem is as the gauges get thicker, you cant use tin snips for cutting. Making lots of cuts with angle grinder was a pain. I got it all from a local building supply store.

With the amount insulation I used, current me would go back in time and tell past me to use wood except for the front wall and around the chimney.

Update: I used 18 gauge. My tin snips said they work up to 20 gauge. But as the numbers go down, the material gets thicker.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 02, 2019, 09:06:04 AM
I dont remember the gauge number I used but it was overkill. I'll try to look it up. The box stores near me only had stuff for framing interior walls. The problem is as the gauges get thicker, you cant use tin snips for cutting. Making lots of cuts with angle grinder was a pain. I got it all from a local building supply store.

With the amount insulation I used, current me would go back in time and tell past me to use wood except for the front wall and around the chimney.

Update: I used 18 gauge. My tin snips said they work up to 20 gauge. But as the numbers go down, the material gets thicker.

Thank you!  Forno Bravo doesn't ever mention.  I also wonder where I can get heavier gauge.  Haha I've seen people use wood. Another idea is probably just to drill in metal roofing and not use insulation on the side walls, but I know insulation is important for long bakes.  The local HD has 20 gauge also, but would 20 gauge be enough?  On Forno Bravo forums they mentioned 18 gauge as well.  Definitely a pain not being able to use tin snips, but worth the strength.  I can use my angle grinder.  They also mentioned a screw gun.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 02, 2019, 09:29:39 AM
I'm not sure where you are, but a quick search found Kamco and Wall Board Supply Co to have locations in the area around Boston. The guys where I am recommended the higher gauge to make sure snow loads weren't an issue. I think the 25 gauge is just for holding up sheetrock, not a load bearing wall. So if you want metal framing to hold up sheetrock when finishing the basement, 25 gauge is good. I'd go bigger when building walls to hold up a roof. The short lengths of 18 gauge I used felt like 2x4s on steroids. Might not have been overkill if I was using full length pieces, but I think the longest piece of stud in my walls was 48 inches. So short columns that are stronger than they need to be. Not sure how tall/unsupported length you are going.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 02, 2019, 12:14:49 PM
I'm not sure where you are, but a quick search found Kamco and Wall Board Supply Co to have locations in the area around Boston. The guys where I am recommended the higher gauge to make sure snow loads weren't an issue. I think the 25 gauge is just for holding up sheetrock, not a load bearing wall. So if you want metal framing to hold up sheetrock when finishing the basement, 25 gauge is good. I'd go bigger when building walls to hold up a roof. The short lengths of 18 gauge I used felt like 2x4s on steroids. Might not have been overkill if I was using full length pieces, but I think the longest piece of stud in my walls was 48 inches. So short columns that are stronger than they need to be. Not sure how tall/unsupported length you are going.

You're right, I'd def want the 18 gauge.  Problem with mine is that I need quite a bit of height, probably 7 feet, so it does get pricy.  The oven seems to have kept it's heat for about 9-12 hours now.  The outside of the brick walls are warm.  Now if I decide to just have perlcrete on the ceiling, how would I seal the oven from rain?  My thought was to stucco the tin foil over the walls right now and the perlcrete on the roof, and then just screw in a metal roof to the base bricks or the concrete stand.  Even if it's just temporary.  Then if I build a structure I could fill in loose perlite over the stucco, but I'm not sure about warm stucco lol.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 02, 2019, 12:38:23 PM
Maybe you could do the perlcrete/stucco and then a little 4 post canopy or pergola over it. Not necessarily as big as this, but maybe the general concept as an idea.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 02, 2019, 12:55:43 PM
Span and spacing have much to do with how materials are rated for load -then there are live loads and, I believe dead loads. Your spans are quite small. Iím sure if you reduce the spacing between them a little you would be fine with 20 ga.


Re lumber: if you go that way, there is or used to be fire-retardant treated lumber. Years ago the trade name was Dry-Con, as in Dry-Con treated lumber. It is pink or has a pink stripe on it. You donít want splinters from it. I think it only buys 2 hours protection, once exposed, so it may be unsuitable for some of your multi-day heats.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 02, 2019, 01:18:12 PM


Span and spacing have much to do with how materials are rated for load -then there are live loads and, I believe dead loads. Your spans are quite small. Iím sure if you reduce the spacing between them a little you would be fine with 20 ga.


Re lumber: if you go that way, there is or used to be fire-retardant treated lumber. Years ago the trade name was Dry-Con, as in Dry-Con treated lumber. It is pink or has a pink stripe on it. You donít want splinters from it. I think it only buys 2 hours protection, once exposed, so it may be unsuitable for some of your multi-day heats.

I'm with you, Tony. Lumber is only  good here if the temperatures stay low. In my case, with the amount of insulation and an air gap, I dont think any of my structure gets as hot as my house attic.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 02, 2019, 01:21:38 PM
the trade name was Dry-Con, as in Dry-Con treated lumber.

Dricon
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 02, 2019, 03:13:47 PM
Dricon
Thanks :) I think 1988 is the last time I bought any.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on July 02, 2019, 04:21:09 PM
Thanks :) I think 1988 is the last time I bought any.

Ironically, that was the last time I was in high school  ;D
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 04, 2019, 09:19:37 AM
Thank you guys!  Sorry I forgot to check on here yesterday; was outside all day working on it.  I'll have to decide if I do a canopy from fire retardant lumbar (good idea) or gable structure from 18-20 gauge.  I guess it all depends on insulation needs for the side walls.  I may install an aluminum flashing over the brick chimney area to protect the steel angle iron.  It shouldn't get hot, as its on the entranceway.  I just wonder if tapcon screws will rust.  I also was curious if copper flashing is okay to use to fill any gaps between the flashing and the DuraTech pipe?  Lastly, do some people mortar over the entire anchor plate?  I'm finding it tough to fill in around the pipe, but I wonder if flashing can also be used.  Obviously, a gable house's concrete board would solve this issue, but I mortared in bricks around anchor plate, but right now the anchor plate is exposed.  I just wasn't sure if mortar should get on the screws and encase it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 04, 2019, 08:37:59 PM


Thank you guys!  Sorry I forgot to check on here yesterday; was outside all day working on it.  I'll have to decide if I do a canopy from fire retardant lumbar (good idea) or gable structure from 18-20 gauge.  I guess it all depends on insulation needs for the side walls.  I may install an aluminum flashing over the brick chimney area to protect the steel angle iron.  It shouldn't get hot, as its on the entranceway.  I just wonder if tapcon screws will rust.  I also was curious if copper flashing is okay to use to fill any gaps between the flashing and the DuraTech pipe?  Lastly, do some people mortar over the entire anchor plate?  I'm finding it tough to fill in around the pipe, but I wonder if flashing can also be used.  Obviously, a gable house's concrete board would solve this issue, but I mortared in bricks around anchor plate, but right now the anchor plate is exposed.  I just wasn't sure if mortar should get on the screws and encase it.

I have used the blue tapcon screws to mount stuff for my job. Most of the time the screws are sheltered from direct weather, but I have had tapacons mounted outdoors for over 5 years with no sign of weakening.

Not sure what flashing gaps you mean. My kit came with roof flashing that was a big wedge shape that was put in place with the shingles. That had another ring that bent around it snugly. Both had a roofing cement/sealer that topped any seam.


https://www.northlineexpress.com/8-duratech-0-12-6-12-metal-roof-flashing-8dt-f6dsa-7198.html

I think the other piece was called a storm collar.

I've seen the anchor plate mortared over. I've seen it left alone. Mine was left alone and then enclosed in the house I built around the oven. I guess perlcrete topped with something is another option.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 05, 2019, 09:22:58 AM

I have used the blue tapcon screws to mount stuff for my job. Most of the time the screws are sheltered from direct weather, but I have had tapacons mounted outdoors for over 5 years with no sign of weakening.

Not sure what flashing gaps you mean. My kit came with roof flashing that was a big wedge shape that was put in place with the shingles. That had another ring that bent around it snugly. Both had a roofing cement/sealer that topped any seam.


https://www.northlineexpress.com/8-duratech-0-12-6-12-metal-roof-flashing-8dt-f6dsa-7198.html

I think the other piece was called a storm collar.

I've seen the anchor plate mortared over. I've seen it left alone. Mine was left alone and then enclosed in the house I built around the oven. I guess perlcrete topped with something is another option.

Thank you.  I ended up just mortaring over the anchor plate.  Good to know about the tap con screws and that metal roof flashing was something I was thinking of as well. 

I'm a bit stuck and having trouble deciding on the final step.  I still have the aluminum foil over the entire oven and perlcrete on the top.  The best method would be building a gable house with perlite insulation, but if I don't build a structure, would cementing over the perlcrete and stuccoing the side walls make it water resistant enough?  The other idea is building a canopy with metal roofing.  I just wonder if the 20 gauge is okay, or the 18 gauge.  18 would make me feel better about the structure in blizzards lol.  I'll talk to Kamco and Wall Board Supply Co; I appreciate the info on them.  Now if the outside of the firebrick gets wet during firing, I'm assuming that's bad?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 05, 2019, 09:45:53 AM
I dont know much about perlcrete/stucco interiors. It is definitely done and I'm sure you can find many examples over at Forno Bravo. The link I provided earlier to the Tom's oven build for Jetdeck had an outer shell.

The curing fires are driving off excess water. From your last photo, I dont think water would hurt anything like ruining insulation, but it is more water that would need to be slowly driven off. I'd at least cover it with a tarp or two. Those pop up tents are good shelters too. I think they are 50 bucks at a Dicks. You might need to anchor the legs down so it doesn't fly away in the wind. I have sandy soil and the stakes did nothing to hold the tent down. I ended up screwing each leg to a concrete block and using tie down straps through more block so the tent couldn't pop up. Legs went up during work and came back down to protect from weather.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 05, 2019, 12:04:25 PM
I dont know much about perlcrete/stucco interiors. It is definitely done and I'm sure you can find many examples over at Forno Bravo. The link I provided earlier to the Tom's oven build for Jetdeck had an outer shell.

The curing fires are driving off excess water. From your last photo, I dont think water would hurt anything like ruining insulation, but it is more water that would need to be slowly driven off. I'd at least cover it with a tarp or two. Those pop up tents are good shelters too. I think they are 50 bucks at a Dicks. You might need to anchor the legs down so it doesn't fly away in the wind. I have sandy soil and the stakes did nothing to hold the tent down. I ended up screwing each leg to a concrete block and using tie down straps through more block so the tent couldn't pop up. Legs went up during work and came back down to protect from weather.

Thank you again! Beautiful oven and fence/yard there. That makes sense to drive off any extra water. Iím just nervous about water getting in the firebrick. Iím assuming if the bricks get really wet and I light a big fire, they could crack? Iím leaning towards building the structure for appearance and water proofing. Iíll probably stucco the concrete board with a terra-cotta or white stucco. The pop up tarp is an awesome idea. I used one last year, but not sure if itís tall enough for the chimney pipe. I used the concrete leg holders, because youíre right, the stakes donít work that well :(

Avon Home Depot has 20 gauge studs and tracks for 5 bucks each. The supply company Kamco is closed until Monday, but Iím sure they have 18 gauge. So two questions Iíve been thinking of: how do people do the roof, do I put concrete board over the roof studs or just metal roofing, or a mix of both? Also, almost all the dimensions are 7 feet, so would 20 gauge be enough? I guess I could make sure to roof rake any snow off of the roof, and Iíll make sure to give it a pitch.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 05, 2019, 12:23:21 PM


Thank you again! Beautiful oven and fence/yard there. That makes sense to drive off any extra water. Iím just nervous about water getting in the firebrick. Iím assuming if the bricks get really wet and I light a big fire, they could crack? Iím leaning towards building the structure for appearance and water proofing. Iíll probably stucco the concrete board with a terra-cotta or white stucco. The pop up tarp is an awesome idea. I used one last year, but not sure if itís tall enough for the chimney pipe. I used the concrete leg holders, because youíre right, the stakes donít work that well :(

Avon Home Depot has 20 gauge studs and tracks for 5 bucks each. The supply company Kamco is closed until Monday, but Iím sure they have 18 gauge. So two questions Iíve been thinking of: how do people do the roof, do I put concrete board over the roof studs or just metal roofing, or a mix of both? Also, almost all the dimensions are 7 feet, so would 20 gauge be enough? I guess I could make sure to roof rake any snow off of the roof, and Iíll make sure to give it a pitch.

I would guess that any mansony that got wet and heated rapidly could crack as the steam moves out.

I used the tarps and tent until the roof went on. Then the tent didn't fit. My roof is plywood on a steel frame. I should have used thicker plywood. I though half inch good and it works, but should have gone thicker.

For the steel studs, I explained to the people I was buying stuff from what I wanted to do and they told me the gauge. One thing I did was draw everything out to minimize waste. The sales people told me all the lengths they kept in stock. Other lengths would have to be special ordered. I didn't want special order. Also, sorry to let you know, nothing came in 7' lengths. Some 8', lots of 10' and 12' some 14' where I bought. Maybe you can get 14 footers and then you only have 1 cut for 2 pieces. Or you could just go bigger with 8'. For the roof, I went with 10' so there was an overhang on both sides. But maybe for the gable you shouldn't really go by me...nothing in that building is really square, plumb of perfectly level.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 05, 2019, 02:01:28 PM
Pod, if I understand this right your dimensions may almost all be 7í but your spans will be half of that. When you say gable, are you talking about the typical arrangement with a ridge board at the top and resting (or notching) rafters on top of the walls? If that ridge board is solid and your framing work is good, you should have no trouble with snow or anything else. I canít see using anything as heavy and difficult to work with as concrete board or metal roofing. Plywood or OSB will be fine (youíre wanting to shingle this?). I donít care for 1/2Ē in case I ever need to get up on it but 1/2Ē should be ok if you use clips.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/usp-1-2-in-20-gauge-wood-to-wood-g90-galvanized-angle-25-pack/3374510?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-hdw-_-google-_-lia-_-213-_-framinghardware-_-3374510-_-0&kpid&store_code=46&k_clickID=go_1737082938_70887650347_338443720714_pla-352069185834_t_9017334&gclid=CjwKCAjw6vvoBRBtEiwAZq-T1bgP8ZQ3_g5wBy7clM-rFuXFEvr_yRw4IR_qnBazH4ozDAzz5_VWYRoC-SkQAvD_BwE (https://www.lowes.com/pd/usp-1-2-in-20-gauge-wood-to-wood-g90-galvanized-angle-25-pack/3374510?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-hdw-_-google-_-lia-_-213-_-framinghardware-_-3374510-_-0&kpid&store_code=46&k_clickID=go_1737082938_70887650347_338443720714_pla-352069185834_t_9017334&gclid=CjwKCAjw6vvoBRBtEiwAZq-T1bgP8ZQ3_g5wBy7clM-rFuXFEvr_yRw4IR_qnBazH4ozDAzz5_VWYRoC-SkQAvD_BwE)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 05, 2019, 09:03:56 PM

I would guess that any mansony that got wet and heated rapidly could crack as the steam moves out.

I used the tarps and tent until the roof went on. Then the tent didn't fit. My roof is plywood on a steel frame. I should have used thicker plywood. I though half inch good and it works, but should have gone thicker.

For the steel studs, I explained to the people I was buying stuff from what I wanted to do and they told me the gauge. One thing I did was draw everything out to minimize waste. The sales people told me all the lengths they kept in stock. Other lengths would have to be special ordered. I didn't want special order. Also, sorry to let you know, nothing came in 7' lengths. Some 8', lots of 10' and 12' some 14' where I bought. Maybe you can get 14 footers and then you only have 1 cut for 2 pieces. Or you could just go bigger with 8'. For the roof, I went with 10' so there was an overhang on both sides. But maybe for the gable you shouldn't really go by me...nothing in that building is really square, plumb of perfectly level.

Yup youíre very right, and thatís why Iím a bit worried if it gets wet. Iíll have to talk to them Monday. I could probably cut them all. I donít mind, but obviously I have to cut it straight and itís a lot of work. Haha my structure isnít plumb exactly or exactly level either  :P. I like the overhang idea. Iím still deciding if I do a gamble or just a flat roof with a slant downward in the back. Iíll try to find a pic.



Pod, if I understand this right your dimensions may almost all be 7í but your spans will be half of that. When you say gable, are you talking about the typical arrangement with a ridge board at the top and resting (or notching) rafters on top of the walls? If that ridge board is solid and your framing work is good, you should have no trouble with snow or anything else. I canít see using anything as heavy and difficult to work with as concrete board or metal roofing. Plywood or OSB will be fine (youíre wanting to shingle this?). I donít care for 1/2Ē in case I ever need to get up on it but 1/2Ē should be ok if you use clips.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/usp-1-2-in-20-gauge-wood-to-wood-g90-galvanized-angle-25-pack/3374510?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-hdw-_-google-_-lia-_-213-_-framinghardware-_-3374510-_-0&kpid&store_code=46&k_clickID=go_1737082938_70887650347_338443720714_pla-352069185834_t_9017334&gclid=CjwKCAjw6vvoBRBtEiwAZq-T1bgP8ZQ3_g5wBy7clM-rFuXFEvr_yRw4IR_qnBazH4ozDAzz5_VWYRoC-SkQAvD_BwE (https://www.lowes.com/pd/usp-1-2-in-20-gauge-wood-to-wood-g90-galvanized-angle-25-pack/3374510?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-hdw-_-google-_-lia-_-213-_-framinghardware-_-3374510-_-0&kpid&store_code=46&k_clickID=go_1737082938_70887650347_338443720714_pla-352069185834_t_9017334&gclid=CjwKCAjw6vvoBRBtEiwAZq-T1bgP8ZQ3_g5wBy7clM-rFuXFEvr_yRw4IR_qnBazH4ozDAzz5_VWYRoC-SkQAvD_BwE)

How do I calculate the spans. I meant to ask you last time. Well there were a couple gable designs I liked. One had the stud running in the middle and some had a different configuration that was more involved with bracing. Iíll find pics again too. Iíd rather do a flat roof with a slant though and the plywood is a good idea. Easier and cost effective. Forno recommends steel and concrete board so itís fire resistant, but with insulation it may not matter right?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 05, 2019, 09:47:47 PM
How do I calculate the spans. I meant to ask you last time. Well there were a couple gable designs I liked. One had the stud running in the middle and some had a different configuration that was more involved with bracing. Iíll find pics again too. Iíd rather do a flat roof with a slant though and the plywood is a good idea. Easier and cost effective. Forno recommends steel and concrete board so itís fire resistant, but with insulation it may not matter right?
By all means, go with what Forno recommends for roof framing and decking. I have not built anything that occasionally has a fire in it. :) Generally, slopes of 3:12 or less should use rolled roofing; 4:12 and up shingles are OK. Your oven isnít a big structure - Iíd say pick a look you like that is 4:12 or more and go with it. The ratios are inches  (or feet) of rise per inches of run (or feet). So, if you like the way a 5:12 slope looks and your span is 7í (shed roof: entire roof plane slopes from one side to the other, or front to back), your rise (for the 7í of run) will be 35Ē (7 units of run x 5Ē rise per unit of run). If you build a gable with a ridge board in the middle, the peak will be 17 1/2Ē high (3.5 units of run x 5Ē rise per unit) and the span will be half (since ridge board is in the middle) of what it would be for a shed roof. Either way, you will have some wall space to fill between the wall on which your rafter sit and the peak of your gable or shed roof. So you have to think about what you want to use there too.


More pics, please!


Edit: I had written 3:1 or less, it should have been 3:12 or less for rolled roofing. Same thing later,  missed the 2 on the keyboard. Should have said 4:12 not 4:1
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 05, 2019, 10:50:56 PM
I'd have to go back and look, but my roof slope was a combination of the minimum height I wanted in the back and a height that wasn't too crazy of an overhang up front. Plus the flashing piece for the chimney is set up for certain slopes. The flashing pieces had a range. One other thing for you to consider...I think you only bought 3 feet of pipe. I believe you want a minimum of 2 feet of pipe above the roof.

On the plus side, the cuts on the steel studs dont have to be perfect. Most of the ends get slipped to the tracks. I did all the cuts with an angle grinder. I had a scrap 4x4 that was long enough to go between saw horses. Used a variety of clamps to hold the steel to the 4x4 in a good way to make the cut. The track channel kind of slid right onto the 4x4. Worked pretty well once I stopped destroying cutting wheels.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 06, 2019, 10:14:07 AM
By all means, go with what Forno recommends for roof framing and decking. I have not built anything that occasionally has a fire in it. :) Generally, slopes of 3:1 or less should use rolled roofing; 4:12 and up shingles are OK. Your oven isnít a big structure - Iíd say pick a look you like that is 4:1 or more and go with it. The ratios are inches  (or feet) of rise per inches of run (or feet). So, if you like the way a 5:12 slope looks and your span is 7í (shed roof: entire roof plane slopes from one side to the other, or front to back), your rise (for the 7í of run) will be 35Ē (7 units of run x 5Ē rise per unit of run). If you build a gable with a ridge board in the middle, the peak will be 17 1/2Ē high (3.5 units of run x 5Ē rise per unit) and the span will be half (since ridge board is in the middle) of what it would be for a shed roof. Either way, you will have some wall space to fill between the wall on which your rafter sit and the peak of your gable or shed roof. So you have to think about what you want to use there too.


More pics, please!

Thank you for that explanation.  I've seen people use wood, and I'm sure it would be fine with the insulation I'm using (loose perlite).  I like a gable design, but now that I think of it, my flue is in the way in the middle, so I think a flat roof with a downward pitch would work better.  I'll post some pics from my phone.  Just curious, but how would one use wood if attaching to concrete?  I'm in a pickle, because I can't build the structure on the stand, but rather it has to be on the concrete slab or into the ground.

I'd have to go back and look, but my roof slope was a combination of the minimum height I wanted in the back and a height that wasn't too crazy of an overhang up front. Plus the flashing piece for the chimney is set up for certain slopes. The flashing pieces had a range. One other thing for you to consider...I think you only bought 3 feet of pipe. I believe you want a minimum of 2 feet of pipe above the roof.

On the plus side, the cuts on the steel studs dont have to be perfect. Most of the ends get slipped to the tracks. I did all the cuts with an angle grinder. I had a scrap 4x4 that was long enough to go between saw horses. Used a variety of clamps to hold the steel to the 4x4 in a good way to make the cut. The track channel kind of slid right onto the 4x4. Worked pretty well once I stopped destroying cutting wheels.

That sounds like how I may do it, and I'm thinking I can cut off some perlcrete if I had to to make the the roof lower.  Good point about the flue being 2 feet about the roof.  I'm guessing it doesn't matter with metal roofing though from a safety standpoint right?   That's awesome news for the studs.  I'd use my angle grinder too as I've used it for everything lately.  I like that idea with a 4x4.  Lately I've been doing it on the grass  :-\. Haha my wheel must be getting a bit dull by now too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 06, 2019, 11:09:12 AM
Thank you for that explanation.  I've seen people use wood, and I'm sure it would be fine with the insulation I'm using (loose perlite).  I like a gable design, but now that I think of it, my flue is in the way in the middle, so I think a flat roof with a downward pitch would work better.  I'll post some pics from my phone.  Just curious, but how would one use wood if attaching to concrete?  I'm in a pickle, because I can't build the structure on the stand, but rather it has to be on the concrete slab or into the ground.

That sounds like how I may do it, and I'm thinking I can cut off some perlcrete if I had to to make the the roof lower.  Good point about the flue being 2 feet about the roof.  I'm guessing it doesn't matter with metal roofing though from a safety standpoint right?   That's awesome news for the studs.  I'd use my angle grinder too as I've used it for everything lately.  I like that idea with a 4x4.  Lately I've been doing it on the grass  :-\. Haha my wheel must be getting a bit dull by now too.
I think the 2 feet is more about a downdraft than catching the roof on fire. I followed a drawing, the best I could anyhow, from the stove pipe supplier. I checked with my local building codes before I started and they told me that as long as I was 10 feet from the house and property lines they didn't care what I was building. I know that is not the case everywhere. There was one guy at Forno Bravo that had to get permit and show drawings to a town board. You can see how it draws and add another few feet if needed later.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 06, 2019, 11:26:05 AM
Thank you for that explanation.  I've seen people use wood, and I'm sure it would be fine with the insulation I'm using (loose perlite).  I like a gable design, but now that I think of it, my flue is in the way in the middle, so I think a flat roof with a downward pitch would work better.  I'll post some pics from my phone.  Just curious, but how would one use wood if attaching to concrete?  I'm in a pickle, because I can't build the structure on the stand, but rather it has to be on the concrete slab or into the ground.
Iím not sure I understand...you want to anchor the roof framing either to something in the ground or to the slab? Have you thought about fastening a PT top plate to the top of your block walls? Rafters are fitted to rest on top of the top plate. The notch or cut is called a birdsmouth cut. It can be laid out with a framing square; its shape will change as the pitch of your proposed roof changes. The top end cut on the rafter is called a plumb cut. It, too, can be laid out with a framing square. Actually, the top end (plumb cut) should be cut first. This will let it rest squarely against the ridge board. It can get kind of complicated. You have to decide the roof pitch before laying out or cutting anything. First, get yourself something solid to fasten to on top of your block walls - such as the PT top plate I mentioned. Check out this link for the math behind this and how to lay it out.
https://www.thesawguy.com/how-to-cut-rafter-birdsmouth/ (https://www.thesawguy.com/how-to-cut-rafter-birdsmouth/)

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 07, 2019, 12:19:50 AM
Looking again at Jonís photo above, I realize the minimum pitch on your roof will be dictated by the exterior height of your dome. It will be a fairly steep one assuming the bottom edge of your rafters sits on the top plate. Perhaps you foresaw that and had that in mind when you mentioned anchoring the roof structure to the slab or into the ground. At that point, building a cohesive structurally sound enclosure for the entire oven may look and work better. That will take a lot of work. No roof is an option too if you can protect the top of the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 07, 2019, 08:39:51 AM
Looking again at Jonís photo above, I realize the minimum pitch on your roof will be dictated by the exterior height of your dome. It will be a fairly steep one assuming the bottom edge of your rafters sits on the top plate. Perhaps you foresaw that and had that in mind when you mentioned anchoring the roof structure to the slab or into the ground. At that point, building a cohesive structurally sound enclosure for the entire oven may look and work better. That will take a lot of work. No roof is an option too if you can protect the top of the oven.

Thank you for the link and the info in the previous two posts, I really appreciate it.  If I scrape off the perlcrete layer down to the concrete, I still don't have a lot of room around the oven (maybe 2 inches) to lay anything on the walls of the stand, so I think I'd have to build something anchored in the ground or screwed into the slab.  I'll have to go measure again, but I'd be fine with a small pitch.  The perlcrete was already made with a pitch, but I can change that.  I think a flat roof with a pitch is the only way now, because of the chimney flue.  Yup I agree, it will be daunting haha.

I think the 2 feet is more about a downdraft than catching the roof on fire. I followed a drawing, the best I could anyhow, from the stove pipe supplier. I checked with my local building codes before I started and they told me that as long as I was 10 feet from the house and property lines they didn't care what I was building. I know that is not the case everywhere. There was one guy at Forno Bravo that had to get permit and show drawings to a town board. You can see how it draws and add another few feet if needed later.

Oh that makes more sense haha thank you.  It looks like I'd have 2 feet above the structure.  I'm glad I'm 20 feet from house or property lines.  Concrete board and steel definitely seem better safety wise.  So if I did the steel, obviously the concrete board gets screwed into the steel on the walls, but how does that work as far as the roof?  Two questions for the roof/walls: do people use tracking or studs for the roof and top of the wall framing?  I couldn't figure that out from the pics, and would I be able to just screw in metal roofing right onto the steel?

Until I build the structure, I think my best bet is to concrete over the walls and perlcrete ceiling to make it better with rain.  One of my ideas was to set up plywood framing around the oven to pour in concrete or perlcrete, but having the wood hold would be an issue.  Of course having a structure prevents this from being needed.  I probably should have left room for red brick to line the outside, so that way I don't have to worry about the firebricks getting wet.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 07, 2019, 09:29:15 AM
There are lots of ways to do it. I dont think  just metal roofing is strong enough to span the oven. I  have only worked with it once. It went on top of felt covered plywood and the seams ran with the pitch. In other words, the splices would run front to back and not left to right. The metal pieces were 2 feets wide. There definitely could be other types of metal roofing available.

To top my steel walls, I built this boxy thing. You could make it shorter so the sidewalls would be flush and then covered with concrete board. It is a little flimsy by itself, but very strong once the plywood was attached. I covered all the plywood with snow/ice barrier and shingles. You could probably get away with a more shallow steel section. I went bigger for a decorative fascia.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 07, 2019, 10:12:39 AM
Thank you for the link and the info in the previous two posts, I really appreciate it.  If I scrape off the perlcrete layer down to the concrete, I still don't have a lot of room around the oven (maybe 2 inches) to lay anything on the walls of the stand, so I think I'd have to build something anchored in the ground or screwed into the slab.  I'll have to go measure again, but I'd be fine with a small pitch.  The perlcrete was already made with a pitch, but I can change that.  I think a flat roof with a pitch is the only way now, because of the chimney flue.  Yup I agree, it will be daunting haha.
Itís difficult for me to understand with just words (and no photo or drawing). Iím sure some of my remarks are hard to understand for the same reason. If you like the idea of building, essentially, a complete enclosure then that is what you should do. If it is just a way to support roof framing, then I think you could use far less materials (and time) by finding a way to use the substantial walls you have already built. Your new structure will have 2 places it can move and be difficult to stabilize on each side of the oven, IMO: where each rafter and the top of a new wall anchored to the slab or the ground; and again where the bottom of the wall meets the slab or something anchored in the ground.


Can you fasten a 2Ē x 6Ē ďcollar around the top of your block walls, then fasten a second one to the one anchored to the walls? This would give you a bearing surface 3Ē wide and be easy to fit and fasten rafters onto. The top edge of any such collar will probably need to be higher than the top of your concrete wall - you can lay it out different ways using a string and a moveable block - something to mimic various top of collar elevations - until you have something workable. If you find the top edge of the lumber collar needs to be more than 1.5Ē above the concrete wall, then you should probably use a 2Ē x 8Ē to fasten to the concrete. You could then use a 2Ē x 6Ē for the outer band, just pull it up to the same height as the top of the 2Ē x 8.Ē


These are just my ideas of how to get it done more quickly, with less materials, and quite possibly have it be much more stable. I have no design opinions or suggestions.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 08, 2019, 03:48:34 AM
There are lots of ways to do it. I dont think  just metal roofing is strong enough to span the oven. I  have only worked with it once. It went on top of felt covered plywood and the seams ran with the pitch. In other words, the splices would run front to back and not left to right. The metal pieces were 2 feets wide. There definitely could be other types of metal roofing available.

To top my steel walls, I built this boxy thing. You could make it shorter so the sidewalls would be flush and then covered with concrete board. It is a little flimsy by itself, but very strong once the plywood was attached. I covered all the plywood with snow/ice barrier and shingles. You could probably get away with a more shallow steel section. I went bigger for a decorative fascia.

That framing looks amazing and the oven does as well.  That boxy thing is very similar to what the Flickr person did.  So you did concrete board on the steel box and screwed plywood to that followed by snow/ice barrier and shingles?  Sounds amazing.

Itís difficult for me to understand with just words (and no photo or drawing). Iím sure some of my remarks are hard to understand for the same reason. If you like the idea of building, essentially, a complete enclosure then that is what you should do. If it is just a way to support roof framing, then I think you could use far less materials (and time) by finding a way to use the substantial walls you have already built. Your new structure will have 2 places it can move and be difficult to stabilize on each side of the oven, IMO: where each rafter and the top of a new wall anchored to the slab or the ground; and again where the bottom of the wall meets the slab or something anchored in the ground.


Can you fasten a 2Ē x 6Ē ďcollar around the top of your block walls, then fasten a second one to the one anchored to the walls? This would give you a bearing surface 3Ē wide and be easy to fit and fasten rafters onto. The top edge of any such collar will probably need to be higher than the top of your concrete wall - you can lay it out different ways using a string and a moveable block - something to mimic various top of collar elevations - until you have something workable. If you find the top edge of the lumber collar needs to be more than 1.5Ē above the concrete wall, then you should probably use a 2Ē x 8Ē to fasten to the concrete. You could then use a 2Ē x 6Ē for the outer band, just pull it up to the same height as the top of the 2Ē x 8.Ē


These are just my ideas of how to get it done more quickly, with less materials, and quite possibly have it be much more stable. I have no design opinions or suggestions.


Yup I'm definitely a visual learner.  I keep meaning to post pics from my phone, my bad.  I took some better ones today.  The collar is an awesome idea!  I never even thought of that.

Thank you both!  I also have another way; just doing one row of bricks around the oven (on the foundation slab) that go a smidge course higher than the oven perlcrete topping, and then fill in the side gaps with perlite and semi screed concrete with the top of the brick, but give it a pitch.  Do you think that would work?  I have just enough room for one brick depth on every side and either if I use a blanket or perlite, the brick would stay cool.  I'm strongly considering just doing that option since brick is cheap.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 08, 2019, 08:37:30 AM


That framing looks amazing and the oven does as well.  That boxy thing is very similar to what the Flickr person did.  So you did concrete board on the steel box and screwed plywood to that followed by snow/ice barrier and shingles?  Sounds amazing.
Yup I'm definitely a visual learner.  I keep meaning to post pics from my phone, my bad.  I took some better ones today.  The collar is an awesome idea!  I never even thought of that.

Thank you both!  I also have another way; just doing one row of bricks around the oven (on the foundation slab) that go a smidge course higher than the oven perlcrete topping, and then fill in the side gaps with perlite and semi screed concrete with the top of the brick, but give it a pitch.  Do you think that would work?  I have just enough room for one brick depth on every side and either if I use a blanket or perlite, the brick would stay cool.  I'm strongly considering just doing that option since brick is cheap.

Concrete board is attached to the steel for walls. Plywood was attached to steel on top for the roof. Snow and ice barrier come in a big roll so I covered everything instead of just the bottom 4 feet. Shingles on top of the barrier with the flashing kit I linked earlier for the chimney. My hope is to get something over the concrete board this summer. Now that everything is all sealed up, it is more fun to use the oven than making the box around it look pretty.

With insulation, I think brick walls would be fine. You just dont want to get regular bricks and mortar to oven temps but a little heat would be fine, in my opinion.

My only concern with 4 brick walls would be a flat roof. In my experience, a flat roof eventually leaks. Instead of water flowing off, it kind of finds low spots and can pond or it will drain down through that one spot that isn't 100% sealed. Just something to think about.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 08, 2019, 10:02:34 AM

Concrete board is attached to the steel for walls. Plywood was attached to steel on top for the roof. Snow and ice barrier come in a big roll so I covered everything instead of just the bottom 4 feet. Shingles on top of the barrier with the flashing kit I linked earlier for the chimney. My hope is to get something over the concrete board this summer. Now that everything is all sealed up, it is more fun to use the oven than making the box around it look pretty.

With insulation, I think brick walls would be fine. You just dont want to get regular bricks and mortar to oven temps but a little heat would be fine, in my opinion.

My only concern with 4 brick walls would be a flat roof. In my experience, a flat roof eventually leaks. Instead of water flowing off, it kind of finds low spots and can pond or it will drain down through that one spot that isn't 100% sealed. Just something to think about.

wow that sounds amazing; you did an awesome job building your oven.  Plywood makes more sense for the roof compared to steel, so that's what I couldn't picture at first.  What are you thinking to put over the concrete board?  It must be nice to have it sealed for sure, now you can enjoy cooking, compared to me worrying about the rain :-D

I really appreciate the advice.  I will have to make sure it has a considerable pitch then with the concrete.  Right now the perlcrete has a 3" pitch.  I'm planning on firing the oven a smidge bit hotter today.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 08, 2019, 10:03:49 PM
Update: so I went to the local supply house today to look at brick. I think I have one I may go with for 88 cents per brick. Itís going to take around 600 bricks from the ground up. Iím also watching the curing fire right now. So I built another small fire, but how do I judge temperature for the fire? These fires havenít been to hot, but I realized that the ceiling and floor have no mortar facing the fire. Obviously the ceiling angle irons were mortared in though. But it doesnít seem like the walls get that hot from these fires, so with the fire mainly focused on the ceiling angle iron and floor, it doesnít seem like hot temps would affect the oven as much as a mortared dome. Am I right in thinking this?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 09, 2019, 01:49:31 PM
I picked up a temp gun to monitor the walls. Nothing says you cant move the fire locations to get heat where you think you need it. I once had two small fires going on the sides because it seemed like the center of the dome was the only part getting heat.


Edit: also as the material you have on top of the dome gets hotter, it will lighten in color. My guess is the the mass on top will eventually let off a little visible steam.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 09, 2019, 03:29:08 PM
I picked up a temp gun to monitor the walls. Nothing says you cant move the fire locations to get heat where you think you need it. I once had two small fires going on the sides because it seemed like the center of the dome was the only part getting heat.


Edit: also as the material you have on top of the dome gets hotter, it will lighten in color. My guess is the the mass on top will eventually let off a little visible steam.

Thank you. I love those temp guns and I meant to mentioned that it read about 150-200 F on the walls towards the end of the fire, so Iíll check again today. I had a feeling I may have to move the fire around, but this was good confirmation.

So I went to supply yard today and got some samples of brick and a smaller block. With brick/block and mortar my options seem to be:
1.  Use half bricks on the edge of my stand and build them up to the top of the oven. The only issue with this is that the bricks may be right up against the firebrick, with no room for insulation.
2.  Build brick up from the foundation slab up. Obviously a lot of money, but will look the best of the 3 options.
3.  Use concrete block to build up walls instead of brick. Essentially dry stacking the same way and pouring concrete. I could then do a colored stucco to make it more beautiful and try to keep out water from entering the tiny dry stack gaps.

The issue Iím running into is that as you can see from the pics, there is very little room on my stand or the slab. I could run bricks from the top of the block up, or from the perlcrete insulation layer, or even from the concrete oven foundation layer. All 3 areas have very little room which would require me to cut each brick. I donít mind doing it, but do you think half bricks would be fine?

From the foundation slab on the ground, you can see itís not very wide or level.  Would I have to make the slab wider or would the brick/block edges be supported if most of them are on concrete?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 09, 2019, 06:48:50 PM
Update: My number 1 option is to mortar a brick wall around the entire oven, but Iíll have to decide how I handle the front part. Probably just put brick up to the landing area. Now I am just unsure of the slab edge in the last pic on the last post. Itís wide enough for pretty much the entire brick, but itís not very level. My mason friend suggested building that area up with concrete and a form, essentially making a step, but the other option is just to use the mortar to level the area, and of course put the bricks right over the leveled mortar. What do you guys think? The other 3 sides are level. The front would have a little bit of pavers under brick, but it seems that would be okay.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 09, 2019, 07:18:21 PM
Is the highest part of the front side slab no higher than the slab edge along each side? If so, you could build it up with mortar, within reason. Still, your mason friend made his suggestion for a reason and, presumably, has seen it in person. You want the front to look good and by that I mean the entirety of that brick face and how the corners line up going down each side more so that the width of the bottom joint, IMO.


Brick hanging over pavers doesnít scare me. I would not use mortar at the joint where they meet. Stop mortar short of end point of paver beneath it. It probably will not hold up as the pavers are apt to move (heave) seasonly. I would caulk that joint when the rest of the job is done. Moreover, it might be a good idea to slip some plastic or felt paper along that edge of the pavers so not mortar comes in contact with them. That way, if you ever have to remove one the job will be easier. You will still have to take out the second row to get to it, but you wonít need a chisel.


Are you going to be able to get any wall ties into those stacked block joints? I was concerned about wall ties earlier in this project but didn't mention anything because I wasnít sure which direction you were going. I think you need several wall ties in at least a couple different horizontal joints. No idea what code is, it's now a matter of sleeping well.


This has been fun but I feel nerve-wracked on your behalf. Tell me youíre not concerned! :) I do hope you are not.


And please, figure out how the rafters are going to sit at the top brick line before you start laying it up. Stack some dry ones, estimate your mortar jointsí combined width and picture that detail. Later, I think you need to run a masonís line and hit that elevation or you will have some funky cuts to make on rafters. You can do it.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 09, 2019, 09:37:15 PM
Is the highest part of the front side slab no higher than the slab edge along each side? If so, you could build it up with mortar, within reason. Still, your mason friend made his suggestion for a reason and, presumably, has seen it in person. You want the front to look good and by that I mean the entirety of that brick face and how the corners line up going down each side more so that the width of the bottom joint, IMO.


Brick hanging over pavers doesnít scare me. I would not use mortar at the joint where they meet. Stop mortar short of end point of paver beneath it. It probably will not hold up as the pavers are apt to move (heave) seasonly. I would caulk that joint when the rest of the job is done. Moreover, it might be a good idea to slip some plastic or felt paper along that edge of the pavers so not mortar comes in contact with them. That way, if you ever have to remove one the job will be easier. You will still have to take out the second row to get to it, but you wonít need a chisel.


Are you going to be able to get any wall ties into those stacked block joints? I was concerned about wall ties earlier in this project but didn't mention anything because I wasnít sure which direction you were going. I think you need several wall ties in at least a couple different horizontal joints. No idea what code is, it's now a matter of sleeping well.


This has been fun but I feel nerve-wracked on your behalf. Tell me youíre not concerned! :) I do hope you are not.


And please, figure out how the rafters are going to sit at the top brick line before you start laying it up. Stack some dry ones, estimate your mortar jointsí combined width and picture that detail. Later, I think you need to run a masonís line and hit that elevation or you will have some funky cuts to make on rafters. You can do it.

Thank you, very helpful information!  I believe so.  The front slab edge is level with the back and left sides, but the right side is the side that is quite uneven.  He still hasn't seen it in person yet, but I showed him a lot of pics, very much of the same ones on here though.  The right side slab is probably only uneven by a outer of an inch though, so I feel that a trowel of mortar will just level it out. 

Good idea about leaving mortar off the pavers, and/or slipping plastic under there!  I didn't think of that.  I was worried about heaving, but using the caulking is good idea.  I believe the wall ties they use now are the longer thin type right, and not the clips that they used to use?  I think a thin one would slip in there, but I'm assuming I'd have to mortar the wall tie into the existing block?

Good advice about the rafters.  My idea is to fill over the perlcrete thats on the ceiling now, and that will tie in all of the top of the brick walls.  Still good to have wall ties, but at least the roof and brick side wall tops will be connected.  I'm planning on doing a pitched concrete roof, but I'm thinking I can always install roofing on top of the concrete. 

Haha I appreciate the nerves for me.  I'm a bit nervous, but it will all workout.  I keep switching between doing brick, block, steel studs, or just trying to waterproof the oven without any vaneer shell with insulation.  Obviously that would mean the oven would only be good for pizza, but I really only care about pizza.  I do want to try to get this insulated more though. 

Last question for this post; now if I did a 6 foot concrete block surrounding wall, would there be any need for wall ties, especially if the cores were filled with rebar and concrete?  I could dig around the slab tomorrow down 6" and stick some rebar in there, use some 2x8's forms and fill with concrete, extending the slab width and adding 2" height at the same time.  This would give me enough width and level concrete to do concrete block walls.  It's not really needed if I do a brick veneer though, but would be nice to have everything level and wide. What do you guys think? 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 09, 2019, 10:47:56 PM
Another idea is to widen the slab, put block up to the height of the existing stand and basically just make a wider stand on 3 sides.  Then I can finally have width to do any option.  Or just do 6 feet of block.  6 feet of block seems like it would be sturdy if I filled in every core with rebar and concrete.  Widening the slab seems possible, but there is no way to connect the rebar between them.  It would rely on the concrete to concrete bond, or really it's kind of like making a thin slab all the way around the existing slab.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 10, 2019, 12:24:43 AM
Widening the slab will not get you anything that will hold up, IMO. Being unable to tie one to the other with rebar seals the deal. Even without our winters I think you would have trouble eventually. With the freezes we have I doubt it would hold up 2 winters. One possible way out - and I would have you ask your mason friend before taking my word for it - is to make several columns with a post hole digger deeper than the frost line, which is 42Ē where I live. You would need rebar down into each of those and bent to extend into your new narrow slab extension. Lot of work. Guessing you would have to do both corners and 2-3 more between them.


Iím not sure about the wire wall ties, which I think are also called anchors. You would either have to bed them in mortar in your original block wall or, possibly, they could be screwed into the face of the block.


Really, at this point, I think the PT lumber collar is a better, easier choice. If you decide to stucco above and below, it could be painted or stained an interesting contrast color. Iím not lazy, but I do not like doing work that does not in some way make things better. Repairs excepted of course, then I prefer to find someone else to do it.  :-D


This document is overkill for what you are building but it has all kinds of wall ties and describes which one should be used in which application, including brick over block. You are a little hamstrung by not having placed them as you were laying up the block, but there are methods and hardware that will be much better than doing nothing.
https://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/44b-wall-ties-for-brick-masonry.pdf?sfvrsn=0 (https://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/44b-wall-ties-for-brick-masonry.pdf?sfvrsn=0)


- sounds like you can fix that front ledge with mortar. There is an autocorrect or something in your post. I took it to mean 1/4Ē


- the perlcrete will help tie in that wall at the top. Might help to bed some wire mesh where the two planes meet, if it can be done


- re whether wall ties are needed between your existing block wall and a second one, if you go that route. I donít know, but think so, based on the number of fasteners that are made for just that application. They are normally simple to put in if you do it as you lay up courses, so why would anybody not do it? Itís not that simple for you now but it can be done. Try cutting a piece out of a wire coat hanger and see if you can get it in one of the joints and firm it up with mortar. This may tell you if the newer type you mentioned will work.


There are 47,000 bricks on my house and I didnít lay a damn one of them, FYI. I learned a little watching them though.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 10, 2019, 10:35:45 AM
Widening the slab will not get you anything that will hold up, IMO. Being unable to tie one to the other with rebar seals the deal. Even without our winters I think you would have trouble eventually. With the freezes we have I doubt it would hold up 2 winters. One possible way out - and I would have you ask your mason friend before taking my word for it - is to make several columns with a post hole digger deeper than the frost line, which is 42” where I live. You would need rebar down into each of those and bent to extend into your new narrow slab extension. Lot of work. Guessing you would have to do both corners and 2-3 more between them.


I’m not sure about the wire wall ties, which I think are also called anchors. You would either have to bed them in mortar in your original block wall or, possibly, they could be screwed into the face of the block.


Really, at this point, I think the PT lumber collar is a better, easier choice. If you decide to stucco above and below, it could be painted or stained an interesting contrast color. I’m not lazy, but I do not like doing work that does not in some way make things better. Repairs excepted of course, then I prefer to find someone else to do it.  :-D


This document is overkill for what you are building but it has all kinds of wall ties and describes which one should be used in which application, including brick over block. You are a little hamstrung by not having placed them as you were laying up the block, but there are methods and hardware that will be much better than doing nothing.
https://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/44b-wall-ties-for-brick-masonry.pdf?sfvrsn=0 (https://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/44b-wall-ties-for-brick-masonry.pdf?sfvrsn=0)


- sounds like you can fix that front ledge with mortar. There is an autocorrect or something in your post. I took it to mean 1/4”


- the perlcrete will help tie in that wall at the top. Might help to bed some wire mesh where the two planes meet, if it can be done


- re whether wall ties are needed between your existing block wall and a second one, if you go that route. I don’t know, but think so, based on the number of fasteners that are made for just that application. They are normally simple to put in if you do it as you lay up courses, so why would anybody not do it? It’s not that simple for you now but it can be done. Try cutting a piece out of a wire coat hanger and see if you can get it in one of the joints and firm it up with mortar. This may tell you if the newer type you mentioned will work.


There are 47,000 bricks on my house and I didn’t lay a damn one of them, FYI. I learned a little watching them though.

So I realized my main concerned is rain getting on the firebrick walls.  Thank you again; awesome document btw.  Making the slab bigger always seemed like a last resort and not a good idea.  I'll have to try to see if I can get wall ties in there.  At this point I'm ready to just build a canopy over the oven or try to drill tracking into the stand or slab.  Can you explain the PT lumber collar again? That does seem very doable and easier, as long as enough insulation is used.  If I do the tracking on the stand it would have to be the 1.5" wide one since I have very little room.  Now there is still room for bricks or tracking around the slab. I COULD do what my mason friend said, which is build up the sides of the slab with forms, making them level again and then drill tracking into that.  But with 3 out of 4 sides being level, I'm not sure I need to do all that.  I can grind down that one side and drill tracking. 

Sorry about the typo, I believe it was ľ". 

The canopy idea is doable because I have room all the way around the oven to cement in some posts.  I have a fence being put it next week, so I could have them use the machine to dig 4 holes and install concrete anchored 4x4's up to the oven roof height or a bit above it.  Then just drill metal roofing onto the canopy.  Theres an exact picture of it in the bread earth and fire book I have.  It would prevent most water, but not driving sideways rain.  I'd still have to put something over the firebrick.

Well you sure know a ton, and could lay the 47,000 bricks if you wanted.

UPDATE just now:  Called Kamco and their studs and tracking are 3 ⅝" wide and are around 9 dollars and change each.  I don't know if I can fit that width on the slab.  The tracking is 10 feet long and the studs are 8 footers.  The other option is going with the 20 gauge.  My oven is about 6 feet all around the stand and the height is 5'6".

It seems like I'm really limited to building some sort of enclosure, but the slab is really limiting the materials I use for it. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 10, 2019, 12:17:32 PM
I will think about this and reply more fully later.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 10, 2019, 05:15:21 PM
I will think about this and reply more fully later.

Thank you I appreciate that!

So since a structure of some sort seems necessary now, I figured Iíd write up a quick summary Iíve thought of today.

Option 1 (Brick or Block wall):
There seems to be enough room for brick and 4Ē block will hang over the slab a bit. Wall ties seem possible in most of the stand as the gaps are wide enough to fit a coat hanger. This seems like it might be the best option given the narrow slab. My idea is to build up the walls, fill with perlite, and top with concrete or some sort of roofing on the perlctete.

Option 2 (steel tracking and studs):
Seems doable, but the narrow slab in some areas might make it tough to drill the tracking. Still I think thereís always 1Ē to put a screw through, but Iíd have to get the right side really level for a track. Doable, but a bit of work.

Option 3 (PT wood):
This was your idea and I think it may be the best option along with brick and block.

Option 4 (the hole digging column idea thatís similar to option 5):
Again, a very good idea and digging a hole might be the most sound way. Maybe columns could connect a walled structure around the oven.

Option 5 (canopy):
Just digging a 3-4 foot hole and cementing in 4x4s to create a wooden canopy. The chimney could be built through the canopy and metal roofing split to allow for the chimney. It wouldnít protect the firebrick completely though so would it be risky?

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 10, 2019, 05:46:24 PM
Maybe insulate with perlcrete or blanket, stucco over it and protect the whole area with a canopy.

Not sure how the sun hits your yard, but a canopy would be nice on sunny days at mine. Could also protect prep area.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: KevinS on July 10, 2019, 06:27:38 PM
Your foundation was not designed with a brick ledge in mind. It is currently insufficient for that purpose, because you need enough width for the brick to be fully supported, plus room for a (minimum) 1Ē drainage cavity/airspace between the backside of the bricks and the CMUs.

However, water intrusion is the real enemy to you masonry oven. If it were my oven, I would consider a thin brick adhered wall system. The trades call it lick ní stick brick. The brick are generally 1/2Ē to 3/4Ē thick, and are held onto a wall system with adhesive. Put a permeable membrane on the CMUs. On top of this, put 2.5Ē 20 gauge steel studs against the membrane batton style (wide side against the membrane), and anchor directly to the block wall with masonry anchors. Hold the bottom of each stud at least an inch above your foundation, and extend them as high as you need to cover your dome. On top of your wall, attach another row of studs to each of the batton studs. This will form an ďLĒ at each stud location. These studs will only need to sit on top of the wall by 1.5Ē, and will be screwed to the batton studs every 8Ē, all the way up to your top plate. This ďLĒ shaped system (if you have ever framed a house, it looks like the arrangement of studs that you would see at the corner of a wall), will be more than strong enough to handle the wind loads during winter. From the pictures, you should have enough room for this. On top of the studs, you will anchor cement backer board, and cover it with an impervious sealer. At the bottom of this wall, anchor the weephole/flashing channel. Run your brick up to the top, and cap it with a flashing channel. You can then put your rafters and roof system on top of this. Be sure to keep everything straight and in-plane on your walls. This whole system will cost significantly less than full sized brick, and give you a better end result. The big advantage here, is that if any water gets into your oven, through the roof, around the chimney, the mouth of your oven, etc., then it will have a way to get out. You will also not have the risk of the freeze/thaw cycle breaking up the brick sitting on an insufficient brick ledge.

Your brick supplier will have all of this material, and the manufacturers all have detailed installation instructions on their websites.

Ask your mason about this. With an on-site visit, he can advise you on the best course of action.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 10, 2019, 08:58:02 PM
So I realized my main concerned is rain getting on the firebrick walls.  Thank you again; awesome document btw.  Making the slab bigger always seemed like a last resort and not a good idea.  I'll have to try to see if I can get wall ties in there.  At this point I'm ready to just build a canopy over the oven or try to drill tracking into the stand or slab.  Can you explain the PT lumber collar again? That does seem very doable and easier, as long as enough insulation is used.  If I do the tracking on the stand it would have to be the 1.5" wide one since I have very little room.  Now there is still room for bricks or tracking around the slab. I COULD do what my mason friend said, which is build up the sides of the slab with forms, making them level again and then drill tracking into that.  But with 3 out of 4 sides being level, I'm not sure I need to do all that.  I can grind down that one side and drill tracking. 

Sorry about the typo, I believe it was ľ". 

The canopy idea is doable because I have room all the way around the oven to cement in some posts.  I have a fence being put it next week, so I could have them use the machine to dig 4 holes and install concrete anchored 4x4's up to the oven roof height or a bit above it.  Then just drill metal roofing onto the canopy.  Theres an exact picture of it in the bread earth and fire book I have.  It would prevent most water, but not driving sideways rain.  I'd still have to put something over the firebrick.

Well you sure know a ton, and could lay the 47,000 bricks if you wanted.

UPDATE just now:  Called Kamco and their studs and tracking are 3 ⅝" wide and are around 9 dollars and change each.  I don't know if I can fit that width on the slab.  The tracking is 10 feet long and the studs are 8 footers.  The other option is going with the 20 gauge.  My oven is about 6 feet all around the stand and the height is 5'6".

It seems like I'm really limited to building some sort of enclosure, but the slab is really limiting the materials I use for it.


The collar idea was just to get you a nailing surface for rafters. If you stood at the front of the oven and looked down either side you would see the end view of 2 pieces of dimensioned lumber (PT pressure treated) with either a 2 x 8 or a 2 x 6 fastened to the block and extending above it high enough the shoulder your rafters and another 2 x 6 fastened to the piece fastened to the wall. The top edge of the 2 pieces should be even.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57142.msg585492#msg585492 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57142.msg585492#msg585492)


This is getting a little bit like whack-a-mole and Iím ignorant on some of the things others are rightly concerned with, particularly keeping moisture out. Roofs and walls typically do that.


KevinS has what sound to me like good ideas. I think it will take a whale of a lot of money and your labor may only be 50% done at this point if you go that route, but I believe it will be sound. I understand his concern with the lack of a full brick ledge. Thatís on you, unfortunately. Keep in mind youíre not building a church. Itís a few courses of brick that could probably be safely tied in to your block.


Jon, too, has many good ideas and, importantly, experience. He has built one and is baking pizzas in it, good ones.


I took the easy (and marriage preserving) way out and got an Ardore. I am happy with it and still have much to learn about using it. At one time (for a long time), I loved the idea of having a permanent structure and could have afforded something in the 5-10K range. More recently, other things have arisen for me requiring money, patience, perseverance, and world class doctors. In that sense, my perspective has changed significantly about material things and any sense of permanency - for myself, not for you. As such, and only in this one narrow example, I am a guy looking back upon some considerable experiences rather than looking ahead. I hope that makes sense without sounding too dire.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 10, 2019, 10:16:13 PM
Maybe insulate with perlcrete or blanket, stucco over it and protect the whole area with a canopy.

Not sure how the sun hits your yard, but a canopy would be nice on sunny days at mine. Could also protect prep area.

Yup this was one of my thoughts as well.  It seemed tough to get the perlcrete to stick to the aluminum foil, so maybe I'd have to stick it right to the firebrick.  Canopy's are really good for sunny and rainy days and has still been a thought of mine.

Your foundation was not designed with a brick ledge in mind. It is currently insufficient for that purpose, because you need enough width for the brick to be fully supported, plus room for a (minimum) 1” drainage cavity/airspace between the backside of the bricks and the CMUs.

However, water intrusion is the real enemy to you masonry oven. If it were my oven, I would consider a thin brick adhered wall system. The trades call it lick n’ stick brick. The brick are generally 1/2” to 3/4” thick, and are held onto a wall system with adhesive. Put a permeable membrane on the CMUs. On top of this, put 2.5” 20 gauge steel studs against the membrane batton style (wide side against the membrane), and anchor directly to the block wall with masonry anchors. Hold the bottom of each stud at least an inch above your foundation, and extend them as high as you need to cover your dome. On top of your wall, attach another row of studs to each of the batton studs. This will form an “L” at each stud location. These studs will only need to sit on top of the wall by 1.5”, and will be screwed to the batton studs every 8”, all the way up to your top plate. This “L” shaped system (if you have ever framed a house, it looks like the arrangement of studs that you would see at the corner of a wall), will be more than strong enough to handle the wind loads during winter. From the pictures, you should have enough room for this. On top of the studs, you will anchor cement backer board, and cover it with an impervious sealer. At the bottom of this wall, anchor the weephole/flashing channel. Run your brick up to the top, and cap it with a flashing channel. You can then put your rafters and roof system on top of this. Be sure to keep everything straight and in-plane on your walls. This whole system will cost significantly less than full sized brick, and give you a better end result. The big advantage here, is that if any water gets into your oven, through the roof, around the chimney, the mouth of your oven, etc., then it will have a way to get out. You will also not have the risk of the freeze/thaw cycle breaking up the brick sitting on an insufficient brick ledge.

Your brick supplier will have all of this material, and the manufacturers all have detailed installation instructions on their websites.

Ask your mason about this. With an on-site visit, he can advise you on the best course of action.


Yup you're right and funny enough the brick supplier did mention the thin brick system.  But they didn't explain it in as much detail as you just did so I appreciate it.  I'm trying to picture it all, but it seems it would work out really good!  So how do the steel studs attach exactly?  This is a fantastic method though and it's making me smile.


The collar idea was just to get you a nailing surface for rafters. If you stood at the front of the oven and looked down either side you would see the end view of 2 pieces of dimensioned lumber (PT pressure treated) with either a 2 x 8 or a 2 x 6 fastened to the block and extending above it high enough the shoulder your rafters and another 2 x 6 fastened to the piece fastened to the wall. The top edge of the 2 pieces should be even.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57142.msg585492#msg585492 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57142.msg585492#msg585492)


This is getting a little bit like whack-a-mole and I’m ignorant on some of the things others are rightly concerned with, particularly keeping moisture out. Roofs and walls typically do that.


KevinS has what sound to me like good ideas. I think it will take a whale of a lot of money and your labor may only be 50% done at this point if you go that route, but I believe it will be sound. I understand his concern with the lack of a full brick ledge. That’s on you, unfortunately. Keep in mind you’re not building a church. It’s a few courses of brick that could probably be safely tied in to your block.


Jon, too, has many good ideas and, importantly, experience. He has built one and is baking pizzas in it, good ones.


I took the easy (and marriage preserving) way out and got an Ardore. I am happy with it and still have much to learn about using it. At one time (for a long time), I loved the idea of having a permanent structure and could have afforded something in the 5-10K range. More recently, other things have arisen for me requiring money, patience, perseverance, and world class doctors. In that sense, my perspective has changed significantly about material things and any sense of permanency - for myself, not for you. As such, and only in this one narrow example, I am a guy looking back upon some considerable experiences rather than looking ahead. I hope that makes sense without sounding too dire.



The Ardore is amazing from what I hear and I hope everything is alright health wise.  That's the most important thing for sure.  The collar idea is a really good one for sure and seems very doable as well.  All 3 ideas tonight have been amazing and I really appreciate it more than you guys can imagine, thank you all!  My mason friend offered to come by Friday to take a look.  I'm going to bring up all your ideas to him and see what can be done.  I do have remaining funds to put towards this so thats good!  Also what about putting refractory mortar over the walls just as a security measure incase the rain gets through the tarp?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 11, 2019, 10:43:23 AM
I think another option is lining multiple 4x8s up to the roof perlcrete and just encasing the oven in refractory concrete. I havenít tried this yet because of having to rent a truck and I am still keeping hope alive for loose perlite insulation, but it seems this would be a solid closing off of the oven. Itís pretty much exactly as the Flickr account did it, but they build brick around the sides and a roofing system. The coal fired oven that inspired my build just had a flat concrete roof. Iíd make sure to have a pretty sizable pitch to it though.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on July 11, 2019, 10:04:17 PM
I think another option is lining multiple 4x8s up to the roof perlcrete and just encasing the oven in refractory concrete. I havenít tried this yet because of having to rent a truck and I am still keeping hope alive for loose perlite insulation, but it seems this would be a solid closing off of the oven. Itís pretty much exactly as the Flickr account did it, but they build brick around the sides and a roofing system. The coal fired oven that inspired my build just had a flat concrete roof. Iíd make sure to have a pretty sizable pitch to it though.

I'm not sure I totally follow you. There is a big difference between loose perlite and surrounding the oven with refractory concrete. If you just add refractory concrete to all the walls and roof to seal it in, you are just adding mass to the oven by making the walls and ceiling thicker. Additionally, water can move through concrete so if the exterior of a concrete shell go wet, I think you would end up having to drive that water off. Perhaps you want the walls and ceiling thicker. Those are design considerations. I was suggesting insulation covered with a concrete stucco. That concrete stucco could get covered with a sealer or waterproof paint if it was the only protection from the elements. 

I'm not sure if a posted a link to this build in this thread or a different one. I think I linked you to it once. Tom made a perlcrete insulation for the walls and dome and then that got stucco on top. depending on the perlcrete thickness, the stucco might get a little warm, but it should not get hot and will not be part of the oven mass you need to heat up to saturate the oven every time you use it.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20117.msg212650#msg212650

I believe this oven was parked under a roof to protect it. Personally, I wouldn't want the sealed stucco to the the only protection from the elements. That's why i suggested the canopy. But again, this is your build and your oven - you should keep going in the direction that makes you happiest with the project.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 11, 2019, 11:22:57 PM
I'm not sure I totally follow you. There is a big difference between loose perlite and surrounding the oven with refractory concrete. If you just add refractory concrete to all the walls and roof to seal it in, you are just adding mass to the oven by making the walls and ceiling thicker. Additionally, water can move through concrete so if the exterior of a concrete shell go wet, I think you would end up having to drive that water off. Perhaps you want the walls and ceiling thicker. Those are design considerations. I was suggesting insulation covered with a concrete stucco. That concrete stucco could get covered with a sealer or waterproof paint if it was the only protection from the elements. 

I'm not sure if a posted a link to this build in this thread or a different one. I think I linked you to it once. Tom made a perlcrete insulation for the walls and dome and then that got stucco on top. depending on the perlcrete thickness, the stucco might get a little warm, but it should not get hot and will not be part of the oven mass you need to heat up to saturate the oven every time you use it.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20117.msg212650#msg212650

I believe this oven was parked under a roof to protect it. Personally, I wouldn't want the sealed stucco to the the only protection from the elements. That's why i suggested the canopy. But again, this is your build and your oven - you should keep going in the direction that makes you happiest with the project.

Yup your right.  The concrete shell mass is really just a last resort.  The perlcrete and stucco is also a good option.  I wasn't able to get the perlcrete to adhere to the aluminum foil on the side walls, but how did the oven in that link have the perlcrete stick?  I still feel uneasy with the elements unless it was covered or a structure built around it.  I still think the best bet will be a structure and we'll see what my friend says tomorrow when he checks it out.  Luckily I have level ground all the way around the oven to cement in posts, which may be the best way to make a sturdy structure, or attach it to the stand's sides.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 12, 2019, 10:48:32 AM
My mason friend should be by soon, and we'll see what he thinks.  Expanding upon Forepleases' idea, and this might be what he was thinking in actuality, what about digging down on all four corners and cementing in columns and foundation around the oven.  This would be very much like building a brick home.  This would provide me foundation to build brick or screw in steel tracking.  Essentially, I could maybe even do this without the columns, and just putting in a foundation into the ground, but the columns would be nice.  I think it would cost quite a bit, but just a thought.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 12, 2019, 06:31:24 PM
So he advised me on doing stone veneer corners onto the corners of the stand with Type S mortar and add mix, and then doing a stone ledge on top of that.  Then I'll have the stand width I'd need to do brick walls and a roof box or concrete up there.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 12, 2019, 11:02:40 PM
So he advised me on doing stone veneer corners onto the corners of the stand with Type S mortar and add mix, and then doing a stone ledge on top of that.  Then I'll have the stand width I'd need to do brick walls and a roof box or concrete up there.
So the stone ledge would sit directly (in mortar) on top of the remaining reveal edge of your concrete pad? Would it be similar to limestone sill material? That might work well. It would be good to somehow support the part of the stone ledge that hangs over the pad (if I am picturing this correctly). This method would make wall ties that much more important but you have time and space to figure it out.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 13, 2019, 02:06:18 AM
So the stone ledge would sit directly (in mortar) on top of the remaining reveal edge of your concrete pad? Would it be similar to limestone sill material? That might work well. It would be good to somehow support the part of the stone ledge that hangs over the pad (if I am picturing this correctly). This method would make wall ties that much more important but you have time and space to figure it out.

Still need to get clarification on the material, but I believe it works as you said.  The corners provide support for a covering piece that goes over the perlcrete insulation edges and tops of the corners.  Support for an overhang is definitely a good idea.  I'll find out just how much overhang there will be.  I think the'll be cut, so maybe not much overhang. 

Planning on mortaring in the corners today.  Any tips are always appreciated.  I've never used add mix to type s mortar before, so that should be interesting.  He told me to dissolve it into the water first  and not to let it dry out.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 13, 2019, 09:49:15 PM
So the material is 2Ē thick tread material. Limestone was one of them. Iím assuming it will be cut to fit around the perlcrete insulation edges. Still unsure if it will be able to support a brick enclosure on top of it. I have almost all the corners mortared in but On one of them, the mortar is cracking when it cured. Iím thinking thin brick on top of the ledge instead of regular brick.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 17, 2019, 10:32:06 AM
Update: So I got the corners done and they're pretty solid.  They're flush with the perlcrete insulation lip.  I'm picking out a top cap stone today, that will rest on the corners.  I'm hoping to be able to drill some tracking into those or do brick around the oven on top of the stone.  I'm thinking of going with limestone.  Then the stand will be stucco'd.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 17, 2019, 03:01:00 PM
Sounds like it is coming together well. :)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 22, 2019, 01:33:03 AM
Sounds like it is coming together well. :)
Sorry!  Ya it's going good so far.  I haven't been on in several days, but I got the corners done and now need to mortar in some middle support pieces before the top cap granite is available.  Then I'll just have to figure out the structure on top of that. Hope everyone is doing well!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 31, 2019, 12:14:11 AM
How is this coming, Pod? Hope all is well.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 31, 2019, 09:11:50 AM
How is this coming, Pod? Hope all is well.

Thank you!  Sorry for the lack of updates.  So I picked up the top cap pieces the other day and now just have to cut the ends to length, miter cut them, and then use Ardex x32 to set them.  I need to buy a bigger angle grinder for the cuts and at least the pieces are the entire length from corner to corner, so no need for a middle support piece.  I still may mortar some on the middles after the caps are in.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on July 31, 2019, 10:03:49 AM
Nice. Looking forward to seeing it - and some pizzas.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 10, 2019, 12:51:42 AM
Nice. Looking forward to seeing it - and some pizzas.

My bad again.  I have been waiting 1.5 weeks for the top pieces to come in, then I had to cut them.  We got them to sit nice and level on the corners of the stand after making the corners wider.  I had to ardex on 4 corner pieces per corner to get the width on each corner to support the top pieces.  The top granite was placed on the corners with ardex 32 and now I'm thinking it should be cured enough to build brick walls on it.  I bought 100 Boston Colonial bricks to make 3 surrounding walls, followed by filling in with either a slanted concrete roof or a metal roof with gutters similar to the Flickr account.  I could really follow what he did almost exactly. 

I will post pics from my phone and yup pizza soon!  So on the pizza front:
Pizza fest was in Boston a couple weeks ago and I got to try some slices from Naples.  I will say it was amazing, but honestly very similar to Regina or even my dough.  I asked if it had a biga and they told me it did.  It's amazing how Pizzeria Regina and a dough made from a biga taste similar.  The sauce and cheese was top notch of course and it had nice leopard spots for the slightly bitter taste.  I have all the tools now for the oven, including the 8" turning peel from Italy and a long steel peel for removal.  I need to see about a longer wooden peel, but I'll see how long I'll need, and I may get a 22" one.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 13, 2019, 08:33:40 PM
Brick courses have begun.  I got the granite on and now have 3 out of 8 courses done to surround the oven.  Now my idea is to use perlite or a FB blanket in between the brick surround and the oven walls.  I think I can just drop the blanket in between and fill any gaps with perlite.  I know I can't get the blanket wet or compacted, but perlite seems like it will be light enough to not squish it.  What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 13, 2019, 11:25:29 PM
Iím not sure I am picturing it right. There needs to be space for water to move (and get out at the bottom via weep holes) behind the brick. If the blanket might expand with moisture or just time, it could impeded the movement of water. It seems from your description, which I may have misunderstood, that the blanket may channel water from what is above it (roof?) into the area behind the brick. Chances are that is not your plan but it would help me to know what part of it I have wrong.


Really glad you are making progress.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 14, 2019, 09:13:17 AM
The way I understand it is that you are building a brick U around the oven...3 brick walls, front, left and right...and then are going to cover the oven with concrete or a roof. My only concern with that is making the joint between the brick and roof water tight.

Loose perlite on top of the blanket will not hurt the blanket. If I remember right, it is actually recommended to do in the four grande mere instructions. I did it and have not seen a problem.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 14, 2019, 10:37:11 AM
Iím not sure I am picturing it right. There needs to be space for water to move (and get out at the bottom via weep holes) behind the brick. If the blanket might expand with moisture or just time, it could impeded the movement of water. It seems from your description, which I may have misunderstood, that the blanket may channel water from what is above it (roof?) into the area behind the brick. Chances are that is not your plan but it would help me to know what part of it I have wrong.


Really glad you are making progress.

Good points, thank you.  Seems like you're right about it.  So I have 1.5" depth, so not a lot of space for insulation.  So I wonder if loose perlite would be a better option then.


The way I understand it is that you are building a brick U around the oven...3 brick walls, front, left and right...and then are going to cover the oven with concrete or a roof. My only concern with that is making the joint between the brick and roof water tight.

Loose perlite on top of the blanket will not hurt the blanket. If I remember right, it is actually recommended to do in the four grande mere instructions. I did it and have not seen a problem.
Yup you're right and good points also.  My idea was to build up that 1.5" gap with loose perlite so that concrete can fill the top of the gap or a box roof could fill the top of the gap and perlcrete.  To make it water tight, I'm guessing I may need a sealant for the concrete right?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 14, 2019, 12:23:42 PM
Good points, thank you.  Seems like you're right about it.  So I have 1.5" depth, so not a lot of space for insulation.  So I wonder if loose perlite would be a better option then.
Yup you're right and good points also.  My idea was to build up that 1.5" gap with loose perlite so that concrete can fill the top of the gap or a box roof could fill the top of the gap and perlcrete.  To make it water tight, I'm guessing I may need a sealant for the concrete right?
That 1.5Ē air space will be decent insulation. I know little about these types of ovens but would look into rigid insulation as my second choice, 3/4Ē, and solicit advice on that. Affix to block.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 14, 2019, 02:10:53 PM
!!!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 14, 2019, 02:37:57 PM
One other thing, I'm not sure how strong your walls are. Maybe there is a way to connect them to whatever concrete roof you have planned. And we've talked about it before but without some kind of break between the oven and a concrete roof, you are adding mass to the top of the oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 14, 2019, 04:45:37 PM
That 1.5Ē air space will be decent insulation. I know little about these types of ovens but would look into rigid insulation as my second choice, 3/4Ē, and solicit advice on that. Affix to block.

Would 1.5Ē, 25Ē tall filled with perlite be okay insulation? I feel that it will be decent too.

!!!

Haha sorry! I always take pics, back them up on the computer and eras them from the phone. But Iíll take pics when I get home in a few and post them.

One other thing, I'm not sure how strong your walls are. Maybe there is a way to connect them to whatever concrete roof you have planned. And we've talked about it before but without some kind of break between the oven and a concrete roof, you are adding mass to the top of the oven.

Good point. My idea is to connect the top course to the roof, and the bottom course is mortared to the side a of the oven a bit because of mortar getting in between on the bottom of the shelf. My idea is to not add too much concrete to the roof, so the weight is not overwhelming.

I may go with perlite instead of the blanket, as it can get wet and not matter as much as the blanket would.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 14, 2019, 08:43:26 PM
So I have 4 courses done and filled with perlite to prevent mortar from dropping down into the gap. I figure I can always vacuum it out if I decide to use the blanket, but I feel like pertinent will be better at draining any water that could get in there. I will make sure to seal it though, but just Incase water gets in.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 14, 2019, 10:39:32 PM
Itís looking good.  It is as you have described it but not quite how I envisioned it. Photos help a lot. I know more about conventional construction than ovens (almost nothing) so I donít think my opinion will help you with the area behind the brick. Keep the water out at all costs is my best advice.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on August 15, 2019, 06:58:34 AM
Itís looking good.

 ^^^
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 15, 2019, 10:16:41 PM
Itís looking good.  It is as you have described it but not quite how I envisioned it. Photos help a lot. I know more about conventional construction than ovens (almost nothing) so I donít think my opinion will help you with the area behind the brick. Keep the water out at all costs is my best advice.

Thank you! haha I can see how it would be different.  Your opinion still helps; water is the enemy and you're right.  I think a sealer on the concrete roof may work well.  There will be a thickish slab of concrete connecting the walls and roof insulation so that should be able to be sealed and keep the rain out.  I believe the Ausies ovens use a sealer.

^^^
Thank you as well!  So I got another 2 couses done today, and now need 1-2 more tomorrow followed by the concrete and it should be done.  You can see the mortar beds are a bit thick, but I've read that they should still be structurally sound.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 16, 2019, 09:45:16 PM
So I got the 8 course walls done.  My plan is to fill the top with perlite and then concrete.  I'll have to decide if I keep the top concrete, or do a box roof system.  Does anyone have info on how to make a box roof/ gutter system.  I know that flickr account had one and Anthony showed me one.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 18, 2019, 02:26:04 PM
Iím a bit unsure how I want to finish the roof. I think Iíve moved away from concrete as it will crack and add 700-1000 lbs weight on top of the oven. My other ideas are a cement board and steel stud box, or just cement board on top of perlite to fill in the area instead of using concrete. Then I could just seal the edges. I could also use wood, since there is a lot of insulation up there. I think filling the area with perlite and then cement board mortared into the brick walls may work fine. What do you guys think is the best way to finish the roof?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 18, 2019, 10:28:13 PM
My revised plan is to use the 3 `Ĺ" cement board and mortar that to the top of the brick walls.  Then I may finish it with flashing.  Can I screw the flashing right into the cement board or will there need to be something below to screw the flashing into?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 19, 2019, 12:17:22 AM
Canít help much with your last 2 posts but agree that using flashing is a good idea. Will there be anything over most of the flashing? I think that will determine to what extent you need to fasten it down, which isnít exactly what you asked, I realize. If concrete or something framed will go over part of the flashing that may hold it in place.I donít know the answer but I would think a big box store that sells ceramic tile and the cement board would have some kind of specialty fastener. I doubt that ring shank nails or screws are going to hold if the board is all they hit. You might be better off looking for an adhesive to hold your flashing in place.


Nails (or screws) in flashing opens up the possibility of an entry point for water. They fasten it down in valleys in home construction, but the nailing field is then well covered by shingles or roofing. Iíll be interested in how this part comes out.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 19, 2019, 01:20:06 PM
I dont know the dimensions, but I do not think a concrete board will work unsupported long term here. I dont remember the concrete board dimensions I bought. I remember them being smaller than 4'x8'. Even so, I think there needs to be a support system. Either rafters or joists. Something to prevent long term sag.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 19, 2019, 11:14:23 PM
Canít help much with your last 2 posts but agree that using flashing is a good idea. Will there be anything over most of the flashing? I think that will determine to what extent you need to fasten it down, which isnít exactly what you asked, I realize. If concrete or something framed will go over part of the flashing that may hold it in place.I donít know the answer but I would think a big box store that sells ceramic tile and the cement board would have some kind of specialty fastener. I doubt that ring shank nails or screws are going to hold if the board is all they hit. You might be better off looking for an adhesive to hold your flashing in place.


Nails (or screws) in flashing opens up the possibility of an entry point for water. They fasten it down in valleys in home construction, but the nailing field is then well covered by shingles or roofing. Iíll be interested in how this part comes out.

Thank you.  Good points about the screw holes and adhesive flashing.  I'm going to try and avoid screws and I found some aluminum flashing that's a stick on to masonry.

I dont know the dimensions, but I do not think a concrete board will work unsupported long term here. I dont remember the concrete board dimensions I bought. I remember them being smaller than 4'x8'. Even so, I think there needs to be a support system. Either rafters or joists. Something to prevent long term sag.
Thank you and I know what you mean for sure.  I believe they are 5x3'.  I filled the middle with a lot of perlite and for now there is almost no sag, since I used the Ĺ" ones.  The perlite really helped support the middle, but we'll see.

The roof Is quite flat, so my idea is to build it up lightly somehow to give it more of a pitch.  There is a slight pitch, but not enough.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 20, 2019, 12:01:47 AM
Keep in mind your slope needs to be continuous to the edge. Choice 2 would be for the slope to increase at the bottom. If you take a steep slope, say a 5:12 pitch and dump it (terminate; change pitch) onto a less steep slope, say 3:12, you are building a dam and will have trouble where water piles up above the less steep slope. Itís a small structure but you still have to take it all the way off the plane of the roof.


Iíve always had a rule for myself working on ballfields: I never move the same water twice. I take it to daylight or a storm sewer.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 20, 2019, 12:50:29 PM
I cant visualize how you have the concrete boards installed. If you have boards side by side, you've got 2 seams that need to be addressed plus whatever you are doing at the walls. Also are you planning to just expose the concrete board to rain and snow? Most concrete board by itself is water resistant, not waterproof. You have to add a sealer or membrane.  HardieBacker does make a waterproof board but that is still for showers so it gets covered with tile.

I fear you may regret the concrete board roof. I hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 20, 2019, 09:59:27 PM
Keep in mind your slope needs to be continuous to the edge. Choice 2 would be for the slope to increase at the bottom. If you take a steep slope, say a 5:12 pitch and dump it (terminate; change pitch) onto a less steep slope, say 3:12, you are building a dam and will have trouble where water piles up above the less steep slope. It’s a small structure but you still have to take it all the way off the plane of the roof.


I’ve always had a rule for myself working on ballfields: I never move the same water twice. I take it to daylight or a storm sewer.

Thank you! Very valuable info and in depth.  I saw this earlier and applied it before I replied right now.

I cant visualize how you have the concrete boards installed. If you have boards side by side, you've got 2 seams that need to be addressed plus whatever you are doing at the walls. Also are you planning to just expose the concrete board to rain and snow? Most concrete board by itself is water resistant, not waterproof. You have to add a sealer or membrane.  HardieBacker does make a waterproof board but that is still for showers so it gets covered with tile.

I fear you may regret the concrete board roof. I hope I'm wrong.

Thank you as well! I had 3 pieces and then ardexed in 2 more.  Ill take pics tomorrow.  The original 2 out of 3 pieces didn't have a good slope, so I put two more to slope it down.  It seems quite good now and I filled the seams with mortar for now for the mouse.  I am planning on flashing, but TBH I forgot about the sealer until I saw your post.  I think the sealer may be the best, but the flashing seems like it will stick right on.  For sealers or membrane, do you have any product brand suggestions?  It's supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon, so I'll have to do this in the AM.  We'll see how it holds up, but for now the Ardex is very strong and there shouldn't be any water pooling up to add sagging.

I saw https://www.homedepot.com/p/BEHR-Premium-1-gal-Wet-Look-Sealer-98501/202263927 and my idea is to use that on the cement board or stucco the cement board and then apply the sealer over that.  A sealer seems better than flashing because it won't blow away from wind.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 20, 2019, 10:27:42 PM
I think you are combining things. A sealer will add water resistance to the cement board. Dont know how waterproof it will be since I dont think the board or the sealer are mean for long term direct contact with water.

Flashing is typically meant as a layer in a roofing system, not just something to cover a seam. It can get layered in with shingle and snow/ice barrier.

I dont think this type of sealer and flashing go together. You can check with Home Depot or your mason friend for how to best do this. Maybe it can all get cover with some kind of roll roofing. Might be out there, but I haven't seen a stucco roof.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 22, 2019, 10:56:31 AM
I think you are combining things. A sealer will add water resistance to the cement board. Dont know how waterproof it will be since I dont think the board or the sealer are mean for long term direct contact with water.

Flashing is typically meant as a layer in a roofing system, not just something to cover a seam. It can get layered in with shingle and snow/ice barrier.

I dont think this type of sealer and flashing go together. You can check with Home Depot or your mason friend for how to best do this. Maybe it can all get cover with some kind of roll roofing. Might be out there, but I haven't seen a stucco roof.

Thank you again! In the Flickr account, they used roof pans over the cement board, screwed into steel studs below.  But since I don't have those below I was thinking of now using either a white masonry waterproofer right over the cement board, or roll roofing as you mentioned.  The stucco idea came from the Forno Bravo flat roof cement board oven that I believe he stuccoed over, but can't remember.  I know they talked about stuccoing over the cement board, but yea you're right for a roof, probably not the best as it can break off.  The rolled flashing says it is waterproof and for direct sunlight, so it seems similar to the rolled roofing.

I found this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/GAF-Liberty-3-ft-x-34-ft-100-sq-ft-SBS-Self-Adhering-Cap-Sheet-in-Black-for-Low-Slope-Roofs-3732100/100031918

The only thing I worry about is asphaltic odors, but as long as any joints are taped or mortared, this doesn't seem to be concern.

Also, I wonder if I'll need felt paper under either that product or https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-ft-x-36-ft-100-sq-ft-Coverage-White-Fiberglass-Mineral-Surfaced-Cap-Roll-Roofing-24-008006/100405889. I'm not sure how I would install any paper though, maybe glue?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 22, 2019, 12:16:35 PM
Thank you again! In the Flickr account, they used roof pans over the cement board, screwed into steel studs below.  But since I don't have those below I was thinking of now using either a white masonry waterproofer right over the cement board, or roll roofing as you mentioned.  The stucco idea came from the Forno Bravo flat roof cement board oven that I believe he stuccoed over, but can't remember.  I know they talked about stuccoing over the cement board, but yea you're right for a roof, probably not the best as it can break off.  The rolled flashing says it is waterproof and for direct sunlight, so it seems similar to the rolled roofing.

I found this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/GAF-Liberty-3-ft-x-34-ft-100-sq-ft-SBS-Self-Adhering-Cap-Sheet-in-Black-for-Low-Slope-Roofs-3732100/100031918

The only thing I worry about is asphaltic odors, but as long as any joints are taped or mortared, this doesn't seem to be concern.

Also, I wonder if I'll need felt paper under either that product or https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-ft-x-36-ft-100-sq-ft-Coverage-White-Fiberglass-Mineral-Surfaced-Cap-Roll-Roofing-24-008006/100405889. I'm not sure how I would install any paper though, maybe glue?
Not much help...I don't have experience with either product, but the first one looks to use drip edge and a primer. Also goes on with some kind of weighted roller. The description has an instructions download.

If you are using regular roll roofing (again, no experience) I believe you need something under it if you use nails. Not sure about using adhesives. When I did my roof I covered the whole thing with a self adhesive snow and ice barrier that went on top of drip edge. Regular shingle with nails on top of that.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 22, 2019, 04:11:28 PM
Not much help...I don't have experience with either product, but the first one looks to use drip edge and a primer. Also goes on with some kind of weighted roller. The description has an instructions download.

If you are using regular roll roofing (again, no experience) I believe you need something under it if you use nails. Not sure about using adhesives. When I did my roof I covered the whole thing with a self adhesive snow and ice barrier that went on top of drip edge. Regular shingle with nails on top of that.

Awesome info thank you!  I'm sure I could use nails or screws, but I just feel the cement board may split or crack.  I feel like I've narrowed it down for application tomorrow, to https://www.lowes.com/pd/DRYLOK-White-Flat-Waterproofer-Actual-Net-Contents-32-fl-oz/50396318 or one of the roll roof rolls in the above post.  My concern for the roll roof would be the odor from an asphalt primer (if I used one).  I also wonder how well the roll roof would adhere to the naked cement board.

The drylok seems to be a good option as well since it's low odor and can handle high PSI.  Not sure if it would deflate in the winter though, but I can check the PSI around January ;)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 22, 2019, 06:13:37 PM
Dry lock is a concrete sealer. It is for block basement walls and concrete or that kind of thing. I think the psi rating is for resisting standing water pressure on the other side of a basement wall and not a compressive strength. I have never seen dry lock used on concrete board. Definitely never saw it as part of a roof.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 23, 2019, 12:27:07 AM
Dry lock is a concrete sealer. It is for block basement walls and concrete or that kind of thing. I think the psi rating is for resisting standing water pressure on the other side of a basement wall and not a compressive strength. I have never seen dry lock used on concrete board. Definitely never saw it as part of a roof.

haha it would definitely be custom.  Thank you though and makes sense, but I don't see why it wouldn't work here since it works on masonry.  Seems like any sealer would work as far as keeping water from penetrating the cement board.  So I wonder which would be better, a sealer or roll roofing.  The odor is the only thing I'm worried about with roll roofing.  What do you think about ashpalt odor penetrating the oven?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 23, 2019, 09:21:55 AM


What do you think about ashpalt odor penetrating the oven?

I'm not sure what the plan is. Im not sure you know what the plan is. I'd say the biggest risk of smelling the roofing once everything was set would be not having enough insulation between the oven mass and the roof and actually heating the roof with the oven. It sounds like you are using your insulation to support part of the roof so there is contact (never heard of load bearing loose perlite). How thick a layer of perlite is it?

You've got a lot of unique, non-standard building techniques going on here. I hope it works for you but I have no idea how it will perform.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 23, 2019, 11:06:46 AM

I'm not sure what the plan is. Im not sure you know what the plan is. I'd say the biggest risk of smelling the roofing once everything was set would be not having enough insulation between the oven mass and the roof and actually heating the roof with the oven. It sounds like you are using your insulation to support part of the roof so there is contact (never heard of load bearing loose perlite). How thick a layer of perlite is it?

You've got a lot of unique, non-standard building techniques going on here. I hope it works for you but I have no idea how it will perform.

Very true, good point.  I'd say 6" of perlite/perlcrete, but there is the risk of heating it up.  So I'm assuming I should go with something that can take some heat, if there is anything. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 23, 2019, 03:24:19 PM
So I returned the Dryloc and got https://www.lowes.com/pd/Valspar-Clear-Natural-Look-Satin-Waterproofer-Actual-Net-Contents-640-fl-oz/3850751. Its use for horizontal surfaces and non toxic seem to make it a better choice.  My idea is to paint on a taracotta cement for appearance before applying the sealer, since the cement board doesn't look that appealing.  Correction on my part; the Forno Bravo instructions talk about finishing the cement board roof with stone, clay tile or modern composite tile.  I suppose something like https://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/3272619592/in/album-72157613634415857/ is still possible, but would require drilling into the cement board. 

I guess another option is mortaring in some sort of clay or compost tile on top of the cement board.

There also something like https://www.lowes.com/pd/tuftex-polycarb-2-17-ft-x-12-ft-corrugated-polycarbonate-plastic-roof-panel/3043440?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-lbm-_-google-_-lia-_-103-_-roofpanels-_-3043440-_-0&store_code=1914&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAjwnf7qBRAtEiwAseBO_CJieWYV8kyrXzINWnHU9slJ54RkI3xt9aioNbjSJOS-4jXgJ46wgxoCNmkQAvD_BwE

I feel that anything that has to be screwed in has the potential to fly off, so I kind of like the idea of just using a sealer over the cement board.  I could also cut out the cement board and just do angle irons with brick across the walls.  The biggest issue with that is that it would need to be covered with something anyway.

I think as long as I brush off any snow and seal the top of the cement board, there shouldn't be any issues, but we'll see.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 24, 2019, 09:15:25 AM
I'm now thinking of screwing in roof panels.  Obviously I won't use galvanized steel, but I'm thinking copper or PVC maybe.  All depends how PVC is when heated.  I could always use concrete screws to reduce the chance of them coming out on windy days.  Home Depot has one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Palruf-26-in-x-8-ft-Clear-PVC-Roof-Panel-100423/100038031
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 24, 2019, 09:49:38 AM
I'm now thinking of screwing in roof panels.  Obviously I won't use galvanized steel, but I'm thinking copper or PVC maybe.  All depends how PVC is when heated.  I could always use concrete screws to reduce the chance of them coming out on windy days.  Home Depot has one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Palruf-26-in-x-8-ft-Clear-PVC-Roof-Panel-100423/100038031
Just from looking online, there is  Tuftex Polycarb panel that is good to 270F at lowes.  Downside is that pvc is meant to be on open air framing like a carport or greenhouse. Not sure it is meant for going on top of a flat surface. Might be worth a call to a manufacturer.

If your oven is cured to a place where it can be fired as hot as it  goes, maybe you should fire it up and see how hot the concrete board gets.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 24, 2019, 10:08:22 AM
Just from looking online, there is  Tuftex Polycarb panel that is good to 270F at lowes.  Downside is that pvc is meant to be on open air framing like a carport or greenhouse. Not sure it is meant for going on top of a flat surface. Might be worth a call to a manufacturer.

If your oven is cured to a place where it can be fired as hot as it  goes, maybe you should fire it up and see how hot the concrete board gets.

Oh really! I didn't even see that.  Yea that was my fear, but I'm going to fire it up and see how hot it gets today. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 24, 2019, 10:16:44 AM
Oh really! I didn't even see that.  Yea that was my fear, but I'm going to fire it up and see how hot it gets today.
I just looked at the installation instructions at home depot and lowes. The one I saw at lowes looked stronger. Just wanted to warn you they mentioned open framing in the directions. Maybe it works. I never used it before.

I have worked on a metal roof. I have seen that used on open framing like a carport and plywood on a house. That was screwed on with special screws that had a gasket material around the screw head.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 24, 2019, 04:45:56 PM
I just looked at the installation instructions at home depot and lowes. The one I saw at lowes looked stronger. Just wanted to warn you they mentioned open framing in the directions. Maybe it works. I never used it before.

I have worked on a metal roof. I have seen that used on open framing like a carport and plywood on a house. That was screwed on with special screws that had a gasket material around the screw head.

Thank you so much for looking it up, the open framing freaked me out a bit!  Sooooo the cement board didn't bond to the brick on one side.  It was the ardex that didn't bond to the brick.  So I'm just going to tear the roof up and redo it.  I may have to shave some of the brick off to get the ardex off the top of the brick and to get the cement board off.  Now the brick walls are not perfectly level which is good. I'm going to tear this all down Monday morning and until then, I'll have to think about how to finish this. 

I think one idea is to use angle irons and brick to just make a brick roof and then cover that with roof tile or something.  My only concern is getting the angle irons to lay at the same height or slanting them for a pitch, but there would only be about 6-8 of them so not so hard to do.  I'm sure you guys have better ideas on how to put a roof on the 3 brick walls.  I wonder if the angle irons can support the brick spanning about 60".  Hopefully I can cut the roof off in a nice straight cut.  I wonder if a metal roof could be installed using concrete screws into brick.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 24, 2019, 07:43:50 PM
I wonder if just mortaring in some steel studs and screwing in metal roofing into the studs would work. My only concern again is fumes from the steel studs, but if Iím not mistaken, most gable houses have to deal with the possibility that the steel studs will heat up. Most of the gable houses Iíve seen have similar amounts of loose perlite as mine. The roof didnít even go over 107įF and that was mainly because of solar heat today. It was a small fire, but Iím sure any roofing wouldnít get too hot. Iíll have to decide between angle irons and brick, or steel studs and metal roofing, or any other ideas.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 24, 2019, 09:48:44 PM
Iíd like to try to help you but I can no longer confidently picture what is going, both where things stand and what remains. Thatís not meant to be critical, Iím just kind of lost.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 24, 2019, 10:55:00 PM
Iíd like to try to help you but I can no longer confidently picture what is going, both where things stand and what remains. Thatís not meant to be critical, Iím just kind of lost.
Thank you and sorry thatís my fault. Iíll take more pics tomorrow. Right now I have a cement board roof mortared onto 3 brick walls, but tomorrow or Monday Iím tearing it down and itís going to be back to 3 brick walls around the oven. My dilemma is how to connect those 3 walls. My first choice is angle irons and brick, in exactly the same was as I did the oven. Then over that I can put composite roof tiles or mortar something onto the brick. My other option is mortaring steel beams across the brick walls and doing a traditional roof. I could even screw in cement board to the steel studs and roof panels onto that.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 24, 2019, 11:57:53 PM
Alright, cool. Iíll take a look late tomorrow then. Itís a little more clear after reading your post above a couple times. Photos will help for sure.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 25, 2019, 09:18:31 PM
Alright, cool. Iíll take a look late tomorrow then. Itís a little more clear after reading your post above a couple times. Photos will help for sure.

Thereís been a lot of changes so itís been confusing for sure, my bad. I took some pics below with the tarp over it. Not the best, but it was about to rain so I didnít want to take it off the roof. The pics are not the best, but the first pic shows the brick wall around the oven and the cement board over it. Planning on doing a tear down of the roof tomorrow and have to figure out a roof tomorrow night. I think either mortaring in steel studs onto the top of the brick or mortaring in angle irons and doing a brick roof with roof tile over that will be the two best options. Iíll post more pics tomorrow with the roof demolished.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 25, 2019, 11:20:15 PM
There is a good oven there, we just need to figure out how to cover it. I do not know but suspect that steel studs may not be suitable (or rated) for anything other than vertical installation - as studs. It would be a good thing for you to look into.


I have to go to Chicago and back tomorrow (100 miles each way) and will be partially sedated for a couple hours in between. Iíll take a look here tomorrow night and see what your tear down leaves to work with.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 26, 2019, 07:46:59 PM
There is a good oven there, we just need to figure out how to cover it. I do not know but suspect that steel studs may not be suitable (or rated) for anything other than vertical installation - as studs. It would be a good thing for you to look into.


I have to go to Chicago and back tomorrow (100 miles each way) and will be partially sedated for a couple hours in between. I’ll take a look here tomorrow night and see what your tear down leaves to work with.

Thanks man!  Oh wow have fun.  I wonder what on earth could be used as a sedative?  ??? :-D I got the entire roof torn down in a couple of hours and 10 bricks along with it.  I used a sledge hammer for a second and the top course of brick cracked a bit, so I tore them down.  Gives me a chance to do a pitch now.  So I think you're definitely right about the steel studs not being rated for roofing, so I think I'll run 13-14 ľ" steel angle irons from left to right.  I'll probably build up the front and back to hide the angle irons and the inside will have the downward pitch.  I think of the western buildings in Red Dead Redemption that have a front and back frame around them. Then I'll probably put some sort of roofing tile over that or seal it.  I may just do a flat roof though, if the engineering gets too tricky.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 26, 2019, 11:44:33 PM
Interesting that you tore one course off and now have a little pitch. Iíve been thinking of suggesting that you add a course to one side to create the same thing but have not been sure I have been imagining it right.


I knew and understood what the 2 drugs were at the time they gave them to me today but it escapes me now. It turned out to be exactly the right combination and dose that enabled me to endure what they were doing but still be awake enough to participate when asked. Iím grateful for that. This was my 4th bone marrow biopsy and the last one really sucked. I had to kind of lay it out to them ahead of the test today, nicely, but it got their cooperation. You gotta be your own advocate with some of this stuff.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 27, 2019, 12:14:31 PM
Interesting that you tore one course off and now have a little pitch. Iíve been thinking of suggesting that you add a course to one side to create the same thing but have not been sure I have been imagining it right.


I knew and understood what the 2 drugs were at the time they gave them to me today but it escapes me now. It turned out to be exactly the right combination and dose that enabled me to endure what they were doing but still be awake enough to participate when asked. Iím grateful for that. This was my 4th bone marrow biopsy and the last one really sucked. I had to kind of lay it out to them ahead of the test today, nicely, but it got their cooperation. You gotta be your own advocate with some of this stuff.

Yup having a pitch should be good and it's a good suggestion.  I'd have t figure out how to match the sides or back to match the pitch.

Oh my bad I thought it was recreational.  That's horrible :( but glad it put you out perfectly.   I can't imagine having that done, and I hope it gets better and no more biopsies.  I've been nervous about EEE since I got 15 bites putting that roof on.  All the towns here are on low to critical alert.  It's been 6.5 days though, so I'm doing good.  Cant compare to what you're going through though, so it puts in perspective my itty bitty worries.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 28, 2019, 12:33:41 AM
Yup having a pitch should be good and it's a good suggestion.  I'd have t figure out how to match the sides or back to match the pitch.

Oh my bad I thought it was recreational.  That's horrible :( but glad it put you out perfectly.   I can't imagine having that done, and I hope it gets better and no more biopsies.  I've been nervous about EEE since I got 15 bites putting that roof on.  All the towns here are on low to critical alert.  It's been 6.5 days though, so I'm doing good.  Cant compare to what you're going through though, so it puts in perspective my itty bitty worries.
;D  I thought you might have thought I was going for the afternoon to tip a few. If youíre ever looking for someone or something to kick your ass snd canít find anyone, you should sign up for a bone marrow biopsy. Tell them youíre a tough guy and youíre sure a local anistetic is all you should need, nevermind the partial sedation  :-D


Once you get everything torn off and cleaned up, I think a line (slope) to follow that will work, look decent, and not be too difficult or risky will stand out to you. If not, throw a few more pics our way. Youíre going to get it done one way or another. Iíll try to help if you need it but pics of what you are left with will help.
Edit: done, not dome fixed

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pete-zza on August 28, 2019, 08:32:06 PM
Pid4477,

Please be careful. You might also check this out:

https://www.boston.com/news/health/2019/08/28/map-mosquito-eee-risk-massachusetts

Peter

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 29, 2019, 01:08:57 AM
;D  I thought you might have thought I was going for the afternoon to tip a few. If youíre ever looking for someone or something to kick your ass snd canít find anyone, you should sign up for a bone marrow biopsy. Tell them youíre a tough guy and youíre sure a local anistetic is all you should need, nevermind the partial sedation  :-D


Once you get everything torn off and cleaned up, I think a line (slope) to follow that will work, look decent, and not be too difficult or risky will stand out to you. If not, throw a few more pics our way. Youíre going to get it done one way or another. Iíll try to help if you need it but pics of what you are left with will help.
Edit: done, not dome fixed

Haha was my bad, but I don't think I'd be brave enough for that  ;D haha local anesthetic always never sounds like enough.  I'd have to be fully asleep for that!
I think you're right and my idea is to give it a slight pitch, but the front and back row of bricks will be flat to hide the angle iron (in front of the angle iron to hide it).  I took more pics yesterday that I'll post here.  I appreciate the help more than you guys probably even can imagine.  I did a dry run today and needed 4 more angles, and after 3 hours in traffic from Woburn, I got them back home.  I am wondering what I can cover the brick with to keep the rain off, and also I'm thinking of using Hydrolic cement or Castible cement for any big gaps that need filling.  But I may just use mortar and bricks for any gaps.  The picture below shows the pitch of the inside angle irons, while the angle iron closest to the camera is flat.  It's not a lot, but I could make it more extreme.  My only fear is that I don't want the angle irons to be pitched too much when they go into the mortar.  Does anyone know it angle irons HAVE to be flat when mortared or can the ends be angled into the mortar?

Pid4477,

Please be careful. You might also check this out:

https://www.boston.com/news/health/2019/08/28/map-mosquito-eee-risk-massachusetts

Peter



Thank you Peter!  The map helps ease my worry.  I really appreciate all your help over the past year and care for my EEE scare too.  Honestly I've been nervous all week and the mortar really attracted the mosquitos.  Probably had 30-40 flying around the roof and cement board.  So no more evening oven work, and after 8 days, I'm happy to be alive.  The map is awesome thank you!  I know that I didn't actually have any health issues though so I shouldn't complain.  I've been freaked out though after I've had allergy and sinus headaches, and dizziness all week.  What I find amazingly bad timing is how the weather changed the day after I got the bites and pollen was at a high.  You can imagine how freaked out I was to have a headache and almost fever the next day, but it was all from sinuses and allergies.  I've put in some 8 hour days in 100 degree weather so I really work for this oven.  We have a lot of woods (thankfully away from the oven) so we get a TON of mosquitoes.  They seem to be creeping north on that map more than I'd like.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 29, 2019, 09:37:14 AM
Iíve done a lot of (licensed) spraying for mosquitos with larger equipment than this video shows. If you are concerned you can buy yourself some local protection (your yard) by using a liquid insecticide that has bifenthrin as its only active ingredient. It can be done with a new or at least very clean $15 hand held sprayer. If you have one and have ever used it for Roundup or any weed control product you either have to clean it with ammonia and double rinse, or just buy a separate sprayer. In addition to what this guy shows about spraying plant bedding areas during the day, I suggest spraying any plant foliage you can reach: bushes, flowers, bottom parts of trees. Spray to wet, try to get both sides of leaves. Do it early morning or just before dark. Yes, they do mean as little as 1/8 oz to 1 oz per gallon of water (at 7% AI). You will see a huge difference. Repeat once a week for the next 3-5 weeks, as needed. A new or clean hose end sprayer will enable you to reach higher into your tree canopy but if you just cover everything shorter than yourself with a handheld you will be pretty well protected.


On the non-pesticide front, get rid of or turn upside down anything that holds water on your property, even small amounts of water: bird baths, kids toys, unlidded garbage  cans, wheelbarrows, etc.


Iíll check out your other pics when they go up. I canít imagine having to regularly deal with the traffic you described! Wow.


https://youtu.be/BRgQO_ynFSs (https://youtu.be/BRgQO_ynFSs)


Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 29, 2019, 04:30:07 PM
Hopefully I can explain my thoughts clearly...no the angle doesn't "need" to be flat, BUT, the contact the angle makes with the masonry supporting it is the only place the angle transfers the load. Also, if the angle is moving load into the masonry at an angle, the masonry needs to be supported in a way that can handle the load.

One example of this is the difference between a Pompei (half sphere) oven and a Neopooitan (low dome) oven. The Pompeii oven is circular so the load is carried through the masonry to the floor. The Neopooitan oven is a low arch that creates an outward thrust. That outward for is only an issue if the oven walls are not designed to take that load

I'm not exactly sure where the angle pieces will be or where they will sloped, but keep the direction of the force they will be putting on your walls in mind. An outward force might be a long term problem for a wall. The way you built the oven, load from the oven ceiling went straight down the oven walls.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 29, 2019, 09:08:52 PM
Iíve done a lot of (licensed) spraying for mosquitos with larger equipment than this video shows. If you are concerned you can buy yourself some local protection (your yard) by using a liquid insecticide that has bifenthrin as its only active ingredient. It can be done with a new or at least very clean $15 hand held sprayer. If you have one and have ever used it for Roundup or any weed control product you either have to clean it with ammonia and double rinse, or just buy a separate sprayer. In addition to what this guy shows about spraying plant bedding areas during the day, I suggest spraying any plant foliage you can reach: bushes, flowers, bottom parts of trees. Spray to wet, try to get both sides of leaves. Do it early morning or just before dark. Yes, they do mean as little as 1/8 oz to 1 oz per gallon of water (at 7% AI). You will see a huge difference. Repeat once a week for the next 3-5 weeks, as needed. A new or clean hose end sprayer will enable you to reach higher into your tree canopy but if you just cover everything shorter than yourself with a handheld you will be pretty well protected.


On the non-pesticide front, get rid of or turn upside down anything that holds water on your property, even small amounts of water: bird baths, kids toys, unlidded garbage  cans, wheelbarrows, etc.


Iíll check out your other pics when they go up. I canít imagine having to regularly deal with the traffic you described! Wow.


https://youtu.be/BRgQO_ynFSs (https://youtu.be/BRgQO_ynFSs)

Thank you!  I really appreciate this info and I should spray tomorrow.  We have a lot of mosquitoes here since there are a lot of woods.  Speaking of water, I found a dead one in mortar water I left out over night.  I stopped doing that though. 

Hopefully I can explain my thoughts clearly...no the angle doesn't "need" to be flat, BUT, the contact the angle makes with the masonry supporting it is the only place the angle transfers the load. Also, if the angle is moving load into the masonry at an angle, the masonry needs to be supported in a way that can handle the load.

One example of this is the difference between a Pompei (half sphere) oven and a Neopooitan (low dome) oven. The Pompeii oven is circular so the load is carried through the masonry to the floor. The Neopooitan oven is a low arch that creates an outward thrust. That outward for is only an issue if the oven walls are not designed to take that load

I'm not exactly sure where the angle pieces will be or where they will sloped, but keep the direction of the force they will be putting on your walls in mind. An outward force might be a long term problem for a wall. The way you built the oven, load from the oven ceiling went straight down the oven walls.
Awesome info thank you!  I decided to put all the weight on the side and back ledges, so the oven shouldn't have any extra weight on it now.

So I finished the angle irons with a slight pitch.  The angle irons went into the Type S mortar nicely, and I got bricks mortared in on the sides.  I covered it with a tarp but will post pics tomorrow.  I had to get it covered for the mouse before the skeeters came out.  I was also going to use high heat mortar but decided against it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 30, 2019, 07:54:59 PM
So I got the top and front done, and just need to get the back row of bricks done.  Then I need to figure out how to seal this thing or cover it.  The ends of the angle iron need to be covered with mortar also, but the good thing is that the front and back rows of bricks will cover the angle irons from weather.  What do you guys think I should do to cover this?  The good thing is that the bricks have a fairly even pitch.  Do you guys think I should use hydraulic cement to fill in the gaps between angle irons/gaps between bricks, or mortar on some Spanish roof tiles?  I didn't mortar the bricks on top, except for the end bricks.  The middle bricks will stay, especially if covered with something.  I'll post pics from my phone.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on August 30, 2019, 08:45:17 PM
I have no experience with this stuff but it reads like it is more of a seal for a flat roof than something like drylock.

https://gaco.com/solution/silicone-roof-coating-systems/

For the short term, I'd say keep it covered with a tarp until you fully fired the oven to see if any heat gets to the roof. The way I envision what you have described, I dont think it will.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 31, 2019, 12:04:18 AM
I really need to see photos of where it stands currently to venture a guess. Even then, I should not be trusted implicitly. It does sound as though youíve made progress.


My only experiences with (nearly, < 3:1 pitch) flat roofs are rolled roofing, which held up for me about as well as it does for everyone else in northern climates. Also did a couple very expensive jobs using early (1984-86) versions of what was then a new product: single ply synthetic membrane rubber roofing. They have been through 35-plus winters and still holding up as far as I know.

I donít know anything about various mortars and types of cements and additives, sorry.

My fear is that you will end up re-doing this roof system within a year or two - not due to performance, but for appearance.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on August 31, 2019, 12:08:00 AM
I have no experience with this stuff but it reads like it is more of a seal for a flat roof than something like drylock.

https://gaco.com/solution/silicone-roof-coating-systems/ (https://gaco.com/solution/silicone-roof-coating-systems/)

For the short term, I'd say keep it covered with a tarp until you fully fired the oven to see if any heat gets to the roof. The way I envision what you have described, I dont think it will.
This looks like a more current version of what I used (had a commercial roofing contractor install) in the 80s.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on August 31, 2019, 11:28:15 PM
I have no experience with this stuff but it reads like it is more of a seal for a flat roof than something like drylock.

https://gaco.com/solution/silicone-roof-coating-systems/

For the short term, I'd say keep it covered with a tarp until you fully fired the oven to see if any heat gets to the roof. The way I envision what you have described, I dont think it will.
Thank you!  Awesome suggestion and I really may use that.  There are some distributors near me too.  I'll have to see how hot the roof gets this week.

I really need to see photos of where it stands currently to venture a guess. Even then, I should not be trusted implicitly. It does sound as though youíve made progress.


My only experiences with (nearly, < 3:1 pitch) flat roofs are rolled roofing, which held up for me about as well as it does for everyone else in northern climates. Also did a couple very expensive jobs using early (1984-86) versions of what was then a new product: single ply synthetic membrane rubber roofing. They have been through 35-plus winters and still holding up as far as I know.

I donít know anything about various mortars and types of cements and additives, sorry.

My fear is that you will end up re-doing this roof system within a year or two - not due to performance, but for appearance.

Thats really cool!  You definitely have experience with that!  Rolled roofing is an option definitely.  I wonder with the silicone and the rolled roofing, do you guys think fumes would enter the oven?  That's my only concern really, along with it heating up.  That's ok!  haha I may, but I don't really care what it looks like too much.


So guys I got the rest of the roof done and now just need to fill gaps in with hydraulic cement to ensure heavy amounts of water don't get in.   I may use a tarp still as Jon mentioned and that's a good idea.  I wonder if hydraulic cement is the only thing needed, but then of course the brick should still be sealed as it does soak up water.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 01, 2019, 11:27:26 AM
Sorry fell asleep before I added pics.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 01, 2019, 12:29:25 PM
Hey, now that is looking like an oven! So now we (thatís a demonstrative Ďwe,í not a collective one  :-D  ) just need to keep water from getting behind the top course of brick? Which way or where would you like the water to shed?


Can you get a photo of looking down from above the U shaped brick area? Not sure what kind of room there is. I know it will be enclosed, trying to think of how it could be built, sloped, and fastened together.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 01, 2019, 12:48:19 PM
Hey, now that is looking like an oven! So now we (thatís a demonstrative Ďwe,í not a collective one  :-D  ) just need to keep water from getting behind the top course of brick? Which way or where would you like the water to shed?


Can you get a photo of looking down from above the U shaped brick area? Not sure what kind of room there is. I know it will be enclosed, trying to think of how it could be built, sloped, and fastened together.

Haha thank you! Well you guys are helping so it can be a ďweĒ for everyone. So the way I have it sloped is towards the side of the oven. That seems to be the best place for water to move, hopefully. So are you thinking of encasing the top of the brick?  Definitely the best way I think, and maybe even some water proof dryloc  sealer for the walls.
This is the best pic I have of the sloped roof , but Iíll take another one today when I get home.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 01, 2019, 01:36:21 PM
The entire roof is clad in brick? Yes, I think you just need to encase the top of the bricks, as you indicated. Seems like skim coating all of it with the proper material would do it. I donít know what that is. There may be a mesh you could be in to keep it from cracking along predictable lines. You are much closer than I thought to having it finished. I think troweling the correct material (?) on smooth then sealing it, perhaps annually, will do it. Water will follow the slope off the edge quicker than it can penetrate the top surface. Assuming itís never entirely under water (submerged) it should be fine if you get a smooth water resistant top put on.


As a second guess, trowel as above and install rolled roofing over that once it cures.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 01, 2019, 01:57:51 PM
I think the part with back to back angles would be the most susceptible to leaks right now. Maybe something like a coat of hydraulic cement or other non-shrink material over everything and than the silicone based roofing material over that. I'm not sure the walls need anything. Sorry to report I have no experience with either.

Definitely a unique enclosure. I like the stone that you started on the corners of the stand.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 01, 2019, 01:58:56 PM
The entire roof is clad in brick? Yes, I think you just need to encase the top of the bricks, as you indicated. Seems like skim coating all of it with the proper material would do it. I donít know what that is. There may be a mesh you could be in to keep it from cracking along predictable lines. You are much closer than I thought to having it finished. I think troweling the correct material (?) on smooth then sealing it, perhaps annually, will do it. Water will follow the slope off the edge quicker than it can penetrate the top surface. Assuming itís never entirely under water (submerged) it should be fine if you get a smooth water resistant top put on.


As a second guess, trowel as above and install rolled roofing over that once it cures.

Haha yup! My plan is to fill in the gaps with hydraulic cement and then a sealer. Assuming the top doesnít get too hot. I know that the sealer I hadnít last week was for horizontal masonry. The white dry loc would be good for the walls though but I donít know how it would be for a horizontal configuration. Mesh is a good idea. How would that work? Would it go on before the sealer?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 01, 2019, 02:00:36 PM
I think the part with back to back angles would be the most susceptible to leaks right now. Maybe something like a coat of hydraulic cement or other non-shrink material over everything and than the silicone based roofing material over that. I'm not sure the walls need anything. Sorry to report I have no experience with either.

Definitely a unique enclosure. I like the stone that you started on the corners of the stand.

Yup definitely going to use some hydraulic. Do you think I should cover the entire roof in hydraulic or just the gaps? Thank you! Iím nervous about the corners though as they have some cracks, but seem to be strong. They are holding a lot of weight. The pic shows the cracks and there are 3 corner pieces mortared together. I had done one corner piece and it wasnít wide enough so I mortared on two more. The middle ones are the strongest and oldest, but my concern is the ledge is mitered and only really touches the outside corner pieces. I feel like I should mortar in some more supports for it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 01, 2019, 02:07:42 PM
I dont have any hydraulic concrete experience. My guess is that it would be best if you covered it all and made a smooth surface for the silicone sealer. Perhaps the distributer of the sealer would have some insight in what would be best. Maybe they would have a different idea or approach too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 01, 2019, 02:37:16 PM
Mesh is a good idea. How would that work? Would it go on before the sealer?
Well, this is another layer or interior chapter of things I do not know, but suspect. Like you, I would find a way to get it done. Jon has some good ideas and experience - and, when he has not had any experience with something, he seems better at conveying it than me.  :-D  Also, I can see by his posts he had a better idea of what this looked like than I did (based on your descriptions).


If you use mesh, I would try to do it as they do when they pour a driveway or large pad with WWM: seems like it needs to be above the bottom, fully encased, and below the top. In a thin layer that may be difficult but I think it is what you need to try to do. Maybe trowel on an even layer, roll out the mesh, trowel over it with another layer.


However, this could be easier and as good. Many jobs have replaced WWM with ďfiber mesh.Ē In this instance, it means more Ďmesh, a verbí than Ďmesh, a noun,Ē as the fibers are not fastened together. It is fiber(s) concrete companies will mix in if the contractor wants to avoid using WWM, which is unwieldy and would be more so on a ladder in a thin layer. Maybe you can buy this stuff to mix in your concrete for the top?


My driveway and other exposed flatwork has both fiber mesh and WWM as I do not plan move. 27+ years so far and itís holding up pretty well.


http://www.angellematerials.com/angelle-in-action/Fiber-Mesh-or-Wire-Mesh-Which-is-Best-for-Driveways (http://www.angellematerials.com/angelle-in-action/Fiber-Mesh-or-Wire-Mesh-Which-is-Best-for-Driveways)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 01, 2019, 09:18:51 PM
Iíve thought about it some more. If you add a 3-compartment sink, walk in cooler, a waitress stand, a couple dozen tables, cash register, small office, and restrooms youíd really have something!  :-D


Looking good, though, really.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 01, 2019, 11:06:07 PM
I dont have any hydraulic concrete experience. My guess is that it would be best if you covered it all and made a smooth surface for the silicone sealer. Perhaps the distributer of the sealer would have some insight in what would be best. Maybe they would have a different idea or approach too.

So I got done with patching most of the gaps with hydraulic cement and had to buy some more, and then a nap  :-D. I'll have to finish it tomorrow.  I do think that between every brick will need to be filled with hydraulic, so I'll probably do the entire surface over the course of the day.  It takes so much time since it sets so quick, I can only mix very little at a time.  I end up wasting a lot, but found that using a waterproof glove for mixing and spreading made the process go by quicker.  Good advice to check with the sealer. 

Well, this is another layer or interior chapter of things I do not know, but suspect. Like you, I would find a way to get it done. Jon has some good ideas and experience - and, when he has not had any experience with something, he seems better at conveying it than me.  :-D  Also, I can see by his posts he had a better idea of what this looked like than I did (based on your descriptions).


If you use mesh, I would try to do it as they do when they pour a driveway or large pad with WWM: seems like it needs to be above the bottom, fully encased, and below the top. In a thin layer that may be difficult but I think it is what you need to try to do. Maybe trowel on an even layer, roll out the mesh, trowel over it with another layer.


However, this could be easier and as good. Many jobs have replaced WWM with ďfiber mesh.Ē In this instance, it means more Ďmesh, a verbí than Ďmesh, a noun,Ē as the fibers are not fastened together. It is fiber(s) concrete companies will mix in if the contractor wants to avoid using WWM, which is unwieldy and would be more so on a ladder in a thin layer. Maybe you can buy this stuff to mix in your concrete for the top?


My driveway and other exposed flatwork has both fiber mesh and WWM as I do not plan move. 27+ years so far and itís holding up pretty well.


http://www.angellematerials.com/angelle-in-action/Fiber-Mesh-or-Wire-Mesh-Which-is-Best-for-Driveways (http://www.angellematerials.com/angelle-in-action/Fiber-Mesh-or-Wire-Mesh-Which-is-Best-for-Driveways)

Haha there's a lot I don't know, but you convey very well.  The various input here has really made this a success, along with my family's help. 

Thank you; I enjoyed reading about how the mesh works.  All this stuff is new to me, so I love learning about it.  I think mesh is a good idea if I cover the top with concrete or mortar.  So in this case, I'm thinking after the hydraulic cement could go mesh and some sort of cement, followed by a sealer.

Iíve thought about it some more. If you add a 3-compartment sink, walk in cooler, a waitress stand, a couple dozen tables, cash register, small office, and restrooms youíd really have something!  :-D


Looking good, though, really.
:-D I like those ideas and I've thought about a high top table set.  Quite a lot of people want to come over for it, and I'll have to make some dough!  A waitress could help a lot!  Thank you so much; I've tried to design the whole layout and there are a few more things to do.  I do need to get a walkway in through the grass after the oven is done.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 03, 2019, 06:33:34 PM
Looking really good.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 03, 2019, 09:24:21 PM
Looking really good.

Thank you!  So I decided to put in some support columns for the 3 shelves.  I'm going to do that back one first.  I used masonry cement and add mix-21 to mortar in a 6" wide partition block.  My idea is to stack 5 of them and fill with concrete.  They will then be mortared up to the bottom of the granite shelves.  I'm thinking 1 on each side, but I could do 2 on each side for extra support.  There is just enough room on the ground slab to support a 6" block.  Some of the slab is only 3" though, but I think there will be enough touching the slab to keep it study, especially with the mortar.  I also will mortar the back of each block to the stand, to keep it even more solid in place. 

For the roof, I will fire up the oven tomorrow and finish the hydraulic cement.  Now I noticed that the same company sells liquid and non liquid roof tape https://gaco.com/product-details/liquidrooftape/. This seems like a good idea instead of or over the hydraulic cement.  It may be needed though as the GacoRoof seems like it would fill any minute gaps.  I'll probably fill each gap with remaining hydraulic cement and then see if I need a tape.  So far all big gaps are filled and now just little gaps remain between bricks.

I'm also wondering about toxicity compared to the sealer.  One of the clear sealers at Lowes was listed as non toxic.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 04, 2019, 12:03:19 AM
Thank you!  So I decided to put in some support columns for the 3 shelves.  I'm going to do that back one first.  I used masonry cement and add mix-21 to mortar in a 6" wide partition block.  My idea is to stack 5 of them and fill with concrete.  They will then be mortared up to the bottom of the granite shelves.  I'm thinking 1 on each side, but I could do 2 on each side for extra support.  There is just enough room on the ground slab to support a 6" block.  Some of the slab is only 3" though, but I think there will be enough touching the slab to keep it study, especially with the mortar.  I also will mortar the back of each block to the stand, to keep it even more solid in place.

You lost me here. I think you are maybe stacking half blocks as a column to support the shelf holding the brick walls. I do not know what they base of the column is - how much of the column is on the foundation slab. Anyhow, if you are doing that you have about 8-in by 8-in by 5x8-in high, or 2560 cubic inches in volume. When you fill that column you will have almost 1.5 cubic feet of concrete which will weigh about 225 pounds. Again, assuming we are on the same page. I do not think whatever mortar you are going to jam between the column and existing support wall will hold the in place. Aside from keeping the columns upright, you also have to make good contact with the shelf you want to support.

Would something this size work stacked up on the edge of slab you have?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/16-in-x-8-in-x-4-in-Concrete-Block-30165803/100350254

Instead of filling cores, you could stack these, mortar all around and also drill in some kind of mechanical fastener to the stand walls,  a few long tapcons or some kind of anchor bolt. It sounds like you are tying to install a masonry version of a jack post and I'm not sure it really exists.


For the roof, I will fire up the oven tomorrow and finish the hydraulic cement.  Now I noticed that the same company sells liquid and non liquid roof tape https://gaco.com/product-details/liquidrooftape/. This seems like a good idea instead of or over the hydraulic cement.  It may be needed though as the GacoRoof seems like it would fill any minute gaps.  I'll probably fill each gap with remaining hydraulic cement and then see if I need a tape.  So far all big gaps are filled and now just little gaps remain between bricks.

I'm also wondering about toxicity compared to the sealer.  One of the clear sealers at Lowes was listed as non toxic.

Call Gaco and talk to someone there. They will tell you what their products can and can't do. If they don't have what you need, maybe they point you in a different direction. Whatever you apply to the roof, I think you may need to start with a flat surface. I thought you were putting on an even layer of hydraulic over the bricks. With such a low slope to the roof, I think you may see some ponding if there are ridges.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 05, 2019, 09:32:59 AM
You lost me here. I think you are maybe stacking half blocks as a column to support the shelf holding the brick walls. I do not know what they base of the column is - how much of the column is on the foundation slab. Anyhow, if you are doing that you have about 8-in by 8-in by 5x8-in high, or 2560 cubic inches in volume. When you fill that column you will have almost 1.5 cubic feet of concrete which will weigh about 225 pounds. Again, assuming we are on the same page. I do not think whatever mortar you are going to jam between the column and existing support wall will hold the in place. Aside from keeping the columns upright, you also have to make good contact with the shelf you want to support.

Would something this size work stacked up on the edge of slab you have?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/16-in-x-8-in-x-4-in-Concrete-Block-30165803/100350254

Instead of filling cores, you could stack these, mortar all around and also drill in some kind of mechanical fastener to the stand walls,  a few long tapcons or some kind of anchor bolt. It sounds like you are tying to install a masonry version of a jack post and I'm not sure it really exists.


Call Gaco and talk to someone there. They will tell you what their products can and can't do. If they don't have what you need, maybe they point you in a different direction. Whatever you apply to the roof, I think you may need to start with a flat surface. I thought you were putting on an even layer of hydraulic over the bricks. With such a low slope to the roof, I think you may see some ponding if there are ridges.

Thank you.  I may use those for the next two columns.  I used 6" partition block instead of the bigger ones.  The 6" width fit perfectly on the slab and I mortared the bottom one first to the slab and to the stand.  Then I stacked each one while mortaring each one to the stand.  I filled the entire column with concrete and then concreted in between the column and the shelf to make contact.  I will definitely give them a call and it was tough to get the hydraulic smooth since it set so quickly, but I could always sand it down I'm assuming. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 05, 2019, 10:52:22 PM
So I got a pretty hot fire going and the roof and walls didn't heat up at all in 2-3 hours.  I think I may go with Spanish roof tiles.  This way I don't have to worry about how smooth the roof is, and I like how it's non-toxic.  I wonder if the synthetic can be mortared in.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 05, 2019, 11:44:19 PM
Good news on the (lack of) heat loss! Sorry, I have no idea about mortaring in synthetic. Are the Spanish roof tiles you have in mind synthetic?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 06, 2019, 09:03:16 AM
I've got no idea how to do a tile roof. You could poke around youtube. Maybe there are some installation videos. My only recommendation would be to check the minimum recommended roof slope for the tiles. Not all materials are meant to go on a fairly flat roof.

Good news about the top not heating up. Your going to finish your oven long before I finish mine!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 06, 2019, 12:50:22 PM
Good news on the (lack of) heat loss! Sorry, I have no idea about mortaring in synthetic. Are the Spanish roof tiles you have in mind synthetic?

Thank you haha!  I've seen some synthetic ones on a few sites, but it does seem like they're usually screwed in.  I'm going to call/go down to a few places and see what they have.  I have a feeling I may need the heavy traditional ones.  The weight is something I'm not liking, so I still may go with the silicone roofing.  I'll give them a call today as well.

I've got no idea how to do a tile roof. You could poke around youtube. Maybe there are some installation videos. My only recommendation would be to check the minimum recommended roof slope for the tiles. Not all materials are meant to go on a fairly flat roof.

Good news about the top not heating up. Your going to finish your oven long before I finish mine!
Thank you as well.  The only place I really saw anyone mortar them in, was on YouTube.  Most roofing on a google search is for modern methods, so it's been tough.  I can learn how to mortar some in hopefully, with a roofing mortar from Sakrete, I'm just worried about the crazy weight.  Good point about the roof slope.  How's your even coming?!  I didn't know you were building one! that's awesome  :D
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 06, 2019, 01:02:27 PM


Thank you haha!  I've seen some synthetic ones on a few sites, but it does seem like they're usually screwed in.  I'm going to call/go down to a few places and see what they have.  I have a feeling I may need the heavy traditional ones.  The weight is something I'm not liking, so I still may go with the silicone roofing.  I'll give them a call today as well.
Thank you as well.  The only place I really saw anyone mortar them in, was on YouTube.  Most roofing on a google search is for modern methods, so it's been tough.  I can learn how to mortar some in hopefully, with a roofing mortar from Sakrete, I'm just worried about the crazy weight.  Good point about the roof slope.  How's your even coming?!  I didn't know you were building one! that's awesome  :D

Mine is built and enclosed but I've got to make the outside pretty. Right now it is exposed wonderboard and block.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 09, 2019, 10:02:04 PM

Mine is built and enclosed but I've got to make the outside pretty. Right now it is exposed wonderboard and block.

Sorry, for some weird reason I thought it was foreplease who was also building an oven.  Haha my bad.  Wow your oven looks amazing and professional.  I love the roof and I need to finish the walls too with some stucco.  I need to decide if I do columns on the sides too.  I feel that I should, but the slab is only 5" and the blocks are 6". 

1.  How do you like to hold your peels outside when you're cooking?

2.  So I made two pizzas so far using small fires.  After 1.5-2 hours, the floor is hot enough that I burnt the bottom, but since I like to cook with embers, the door has to be half closed and I'll need a bigger ember mass.  5 logs just isn't quite enough, so I'll need bigger fires or longer heating times.  Since I don't cook with open flames as much, keeping heat in with the door and more heat will help.  At least I found out how to prop the door half open and not kill the fire.

3.  So the heating of the walls has caused the mortar on one course to crack at the point where it bonds to the brick below.  It seems that the heat is expanding the mortar and then contracting when it cools down.  Is this okay?  It must be from the fact that I didn't use high temp mortar on the enclosure walls.  The weird thing is that it's happening over the course of a few feet long and on the chimney area too.  The chimney and walls are not connected either, and the cracks are at the same height course of bricks.

You can see The crack in the middle of the picture and these are just low heat pizza tests. I knew that it wasnít going to make perfect pizza, but just wanted to see how the heat was.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 09, 2019, 10:15:22 PM


Sorry, for some weird reason I thought it was foreplease who was also building an oven.  Haha my bad.  Wow your oven looks amazing and professional.  I love the roof and I need to finish the walls too with some stucco.  I need to decide if I do columns on the sides too.  I feel that I should, but the slab is only 5" and the blocks are 6". 

1.  How do you like to hold your peels outside when you're cooking?

2.  So I made two pizzas so far using small fires.  After 1.5-2 hours, the floor is hot enough that I burnt the bottom, but since I like to cook with embers, the door has to be half closed and I'll need a bigger ember mass.  5 logs just isn't quite enough, so I'll need bigger fires or longer heating times.  Since I don't cook with open flames as much, keeping heat in with the door and more heat will help.  At least I found out how to prop the door half open and not kill the fire.

3.  So the heating of the walls has caused the mortar on one course to crack at the point where it bonds to the brick below.  It seems that the heat is expanding the mortar and then contracting when it cools down.  Is this okay?  It must be from the fact that I didn't use high temp mortar on the enclosure walls.  The weird thing is that it's happening over the course of a few feet long and on the chimney area too.  The chimney and walls are not connected either, and the cracks are at the same height course of bricks.

Lately,  I build the pizza on the counter high table. Launch from the wood peel and then put the peel back on the table. I've been keeping the turning peel on the wheelbarrow of wood. I might make get some kind of stand to keep nearby.

I dont fully follow your description of the crack locations. I can tell you that every one wants to build a crack free oven but no one does. I've got a few cracks. I'm probably the only one that will ever notice them and you can only see them when the dome burns clear, but I have some cracks. From a straight structural stability standpoint, I think your oven chamber would be fairly solid just dry stacked. The mortar is added strength.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 10, 2019, 03:27:50 AM

Lately,  I build the pizza on the counter high table. Launch from the wood peel and then put the peel back on the table. I've been keeping the turning peel on the wheelbarrow of wood. I might make get some kind of stand to keep nearby.

I dont fully follow your description of the crack locations. I can tell you that every one wants to build a crack free oven but no one does. I've got a few cracks. I'm probably the only one that will ever notice them and you can only see them when the dome burns clear, but I have some cracks. From a straight structural stability standpoint, I think your oven chamber would be fairly solid just dry stacked. The mortar is added strength.

Very similar to my system, except that I have to build the pizza indoors.  Haha funny because that's exactly where I've been keeping the turning peel in between turns.  I was thinking of using some more partition blocks, and using the holes of them as a holder.  That's reassuring about the mortar in the oven, as I was nervous earlier when firing. 

The only visible cracks so far are in the red clay brick enclosure walls.  You can kind of see it in the middle of the second pic when zoomed in, but the crack is exactly at the bond between the mortar and the brick. It's splitting and opening when fired.  This same type of crack happened when I was demolishing the roof and caused the mortar to crack off.  The difference is that with this, the cracks close when the oven cools down.  The crack is thin and gravity is on my side.  It doesn't seem like it will be an issue as it goes right back down, but it's interesting how it opens up a bit.  I could always fill the cracks with a crack fix.  What is interesting is it is cracking at the same course on both the chimney area and the walls, with one being type s mortar and one being type n mortar and were done months apart!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 11, 2019, 05:08:40 PM
So I realized that Melbourne Firebrick Company uses acrylic texture coating on their perlcrete, so my plan is to use Castible cement or hydraulic cement on the roof and then seal it with the texture coating or a masonry sealer.  I may Also use dry loc crack filler to fill in the small gaps in bricks instead of using cement, but I'm not sure if I should use it where it's a silicone based product.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 11, 2019, 08:04:48 PM
I filled in the small gaps with masonry cement and now plan on sealing or using the acrylic texture coating.  I may have to sand down the entire thing to get it level.  The ATC must be fine with small heat, since the Melbourne Firebrick company uses it over their perlcrete.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 11, 2019, 10:55:30 PM
I filled in the small gaps with masonry cement and now plan on sealing or using the acrylic texture coating.  I may have to sand down the entire thing to get it level.  The ATC must be fine with small heat, since the Melbourne Firebrick company uses it over their perlcrete.
If I am picturing this correctly, it may be easier to skim coat the entire roof with some kind of concrete product or something formulated to bond with the masonry work you have up there. Sanding bricks and mortar to a smooth surface - you are interested in having things on one plane rather than level, I presume - seems almost endlessly difficult.


Good luck. It must be a good feeling to be this close to having it wrapped up and fully useable. And, no, I am not building an oven.  :-D :-D
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 12, 2019, 01:41:38 PM
If I am picturing this correctly, it may be easier to skim coat the entire roof with some kind of concrete product or something formulated to bond with the masonry work you have up there. Sanding bricks and mortar to a smooth surface - you are interested in having things on one plane rather than level, I presume - seems almost endlessly difficult.


Good luck. It must be a good feeling to be this close to having it wrapped up and fully useable. And, no, I am not building an oven.  :-D :-D

Yup you're right.  So I filled in the gaps with the masonry cement, and now I am thinking of doing a skim coat with either masonry cement or maybe even a concrete patching product for added strength, and to get the top nice and smooth sloped.  Then I'll seal it or use the acrylic texture.  The acrylic texture coating says it's breathable, but I don't think it's as waterproof as a sealer.  It must be good stuff though if the Melbourne Firebrick Company uses it on their oven, although theirs is an igloo enclosure. 

Oh yes, it's very close now.  My concern is that cracking that happens along the enclosure walls due to heat.  It's definitely from not using refractory mortar, but most seems to be holding up fine.  It's just one course of the brick on the wall and chimney area (the same elevation on both) that is opening.  I assume I can just patch the crack that opens, but I don't like how it's the bond between the brick and mortar that is opening up.  Gravity does help, but I guess I could always seal it or stucco the bricks together to keep it together.  I also suppose it's a built in weep hole with the hairline crack.  The crack gets pretty big when it heats and then goes back down to barely noticeable after.  It may just be the mortar shrinking.  I'll try to take a video.  The debonded look of the crack is exactly the same as what happened when I used blunt force and caused the mortar to debond from the brick, so that's why I'm a bit nervous.  So far though, it's been strong.

Haha I always get users mixed up!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 12, 2019, 08:12:28 PM
Talked to PPG paints and they recommend a sealer instead of an acrylic texture coating, just from the standpoint of sealers being waterproof.  So my plan is to use concrete or concrete patching to get a nice smooth top with a better slope, and then sealer over that.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 12, 2019, 10:39:47 PM
I'm debating what to use to level the top.  I'm thinking a crack resistant concrete or concrete patcher.  The patcher should be ľ" which may be an issue, but I could do an 1" maybe.  I had good results with using the patcher around 1-2", and it was solid!  There's also concrete leveler mix.  I'd have to make the concrete slab 2" or larger though, but I'm thinking of giving it a slight pitch anyway.  Then my plan is to use a sealer or the silicone roofing Jon mentioned.

Also weighing options with the sealer/acrylic coating.  The acrylic seems less toxic with vapors and Melbourne Firebrick Company coats their perlcrete with it, so it should be safe.  I'm not sure if https://www.valsparpaint.com/system/galleries/download/product_datasheet/82092_Natural_look_waterproofer.pdf is as safe.  I'm assuming Melbourne Firebrick Company expects some heat to get to the Acrylic coating, so I'm sure it's safe if it heats up.  It's not waterproof, but seems good enough if they use it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 16, 2019, 10:20:31 AM
So my current plan is to just hydraulic cement the entire roof and then use a sealer or acrylic texture coat for added security.  The texture coat isn't water proof, but I like how it may be better on the toxicity spectrum since we know Melbourne Firebrick Company uses it directly over their perlcrete layer. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 16, 2019, 11:15:05 AM
So my current plan is to just hydraulic cement the entire roof and then use a sealer or acrylic texture coat for added security.  The texture coat isn't water proof, but I like how it may be better on the toxicity spectrum since we know Melbourne Firebrick Company uses it directly over their perlcrete layer.
You are probably right about the toxicity spectrum but I suggest looking into the facts manufacturers are forced to disclose vis-a-vis the productís MSDS (material safety data sheet). Here is one for a product by ChemMasters that appears to be similar to what you have in mind. Once you have a specific brand and product in mind it would be a good idea to search for ďbrandname productname MSDS.Ē This one seems a little flawed in that I didnít see any info about temperatures above 100į except that ďproduct is not combustable.Ē Certainly, toxic or noxious fumes could be released at some point of being actively on fire.
https://www.chemmasters.net/SDS/TextureDOT-VariousColors.pdf (https://www.chemmasters.net/SDS/TextureDOT-VariousColors.pdf)
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 16, 2019, 11:08:20 PM
You are probably right about the toxicity spectrum but I suggest looking into the facts manufacturers are forced to disclose vis-a-vis the productís MSDS (material safety data sheet). Here is one for a product by ChemMasters that appears to be similar to what you have in mind. Once you have a specific brand and product in mind it would be a good idea to search for ďbrandname productname MSDS.Ē This one seems a little flawed in that I didnít see any info about temperatures above 100į except that ďproduct is not combustable.Ē Certainly, toxic or noxious fumes could be released at some point of being actively on fire.
https://www.chemmasters.net/SDS/TextureDOT-VariousColors.pdf (https://www.chemmasters.net/SDS/TextureDOT-VariousColors.pdf)

Thank you!  I checked one out for the Gaco and good idea to look at it for this product.  I didn't know much about the MSDS, but awesome info.  Thank you for finding this.  It seems like it only has mild symptoms, which is good.  I feel that Melbourne Firebrick Company must have done some research in order to use and sell it, but not sure.  It will resist water, but not water proof though.  I put a thin layer of hydraulic cement on the entire roof.  I'm a bit weary as I had to put it on a bit soupy, but it hardened up the same and my idea is that along with the acrylic, it should be fine.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 18, 2019, 06:04:28 AM
So I got the roof a bit more even with hydraulic cement and now just need to decide on a coating.  The roof is still fairly flat though, so I'm still debating what to use.  I will be running more fire tests, so see how hot the roof gets though, possibly before I use any coating/sealers. 

I'm also a bit weary of the winter with regards to the slab that the oven sits on.  I hope I went down deep enough below the frost line.  I believe we followed Forno Bravos recommendations, but in MA, I probably should have gone deeper.  My friend who did it assured me it was below frost. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 18, 2019, 08:52:45 AM
Seems like we talked about frost lines somewhere early on in this. Where I live code calls for 42Ē depth. Itís rarely an issue here because almost every house has a basement. It comes into play more for detached garages, outbuildings, etc. If I weighed in on this in your thread I probably suggested sinking holes, like with a post hole digger, at the corners and mid-point along each side to whatever the safe depth in your area is. From there I probably suggested running rebar to the bottom of each hole, bending it 90į joining it to the one next to it. That would mean the rebar is continuous and the center holes (if used) would have 2 rebars, bent to join the ones at each corner.


I did not read back through all this. Seems like Jon had good info and suggestions that were a little more local to you. Also seems like your friend came up with something that made everyone happy. If I thought you had not solved that properly I probably would have bailed on the thread a long time ago. If you remember or figure out how you handled this Iíd be interested in knowing. Good luck!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 18, 2019, 10:00:41 AM
I considered doing exactly what Tony suggests but talked to a few people and went a different way. I believe the coded frost line in my area is 48 inches.

I have very sandy, well draining soil under the oven. The area was graded during a patio project. The sand under the oven is topped with a foot of compacted crusher run stone. After talking to a few people, I decided this was enough. I ran numbers, ballparked the total weight of the oven. Averaged it out over the foot print of the bottom slab and it isn't much weight per square foot. Back of the envelope style calculation for compacted crusher run distributes that load by a factor of 4, which is even less load per square foot on the sand. So with minimal water and not much load, I decided that was a good enough foundation for me. Been a few years without issue.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 18, 2019, 11:05:01 AM
Seems like we talked about frost lines somewhere early on in this. Where I live code calls for 42Ē depth. Itís rarely an issue here because almost every house has a basement. It comes into play more for detached garages, outbuildings, etc. If I weighed in on this in your thread I probably suggested sinking holes, like with a post hole digger, at the corners and mid-point along each side to whatever the safe depth in your area is. From there I probably suggested running rebar to the bottom of each hole, bending it 90į joining it to the one next to it. That would mean the rebar is continuous and the center holes (if used) would have 2 rebars, bent to join the ones at each corner.


I did not read back through all this. Seems like Jon had good info and suggestions that were a little more local to you. Also seems like your friend came up with something that made everyone happy. If I thought you had not solved that properly I probably would have bailed on the thread a long time ago. If you remember or figure out how you handled this Iíd be interested in knowing. Good luck!

That would have been a good thing for me to do.  I feel that I didn't do enough, but we'll see.  Your advice along with Jon's has been huge and I wonder if there is anything for drainage I can do right now.  I have sandy well draining soil too, and I wonder if there is anyway I can dig next to it and maybe even under it.  Lot of work but something I've thought about.

I considered doing exactly what Tony suggests but talked to a few people and went a different way. I believe the coded frost line in my area is 48 inches.

I have very sandy, well draining soil under the oven. The area was graded during a patio project. The sand under the oven is topped with a foot of compacted crusher run stone. After talking to a few people, I decided this was enough. I ran numbers, ballparked the total weight of the oven. Averaged it out over the foot print of the bottom slab and it isn't much weight per square foot. Back of the envelope style calculation for compacted crusher run distributes that load by a factor of 4, which is even less load per square foot on the sand. So with minimal water and not much load, I decided that was a good enough foundation for me. Been a few years without issue.
Good to know your oven slab has held up! Definitely should have done exactly as you did but we'll see how it holds up.  I plan on making some chicken in the oven tonight while I test the roof temp again.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 18, 2019, 11:44:23 AM
That would have been a good thing for me to do.  I feel that I didn't do enough, but we'll see.  Your advice along with Jon's has been huge and I wonder if there is anything for drainage I can do right now.  I have sandy well draining soil too, and I wonder if there is anyway I can dig next to it and maybe even under it.  Lot of work but something I've thought about.
Good to know your oven slab has held up! Definitely should have done exactly as you did but we'll see how it holds up.  I plan on making some chicken in the oven tonight while I test the roof temp again.
Chicken in the oven sounds great! My brother does a lot of that.


I would not do any digging beneath the slab. First, try to figure out what you did. Talk to your friemd again if needed. If you are afraid you may have a problem, you could look into burying some styrofoam, amybe a couple 1Ē layers sandwiched together, beside and at least 24Ē below your slab depth. Thatís just a guess, not something I would have recommended originally. You must have had a plan or something that seemed acceptable or I really think I would have given up on this thread.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 18, 2019, 12:28:05 PM
For a structure that small, not attached to another structure, and in sandy, well drained soil, would it really be a problem if it was above the frost line? I tend to doubt it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 18, 2019, 04:34:34 PM
For a structure that small, not attached to another structure, and in sandy, well drained soil, would it really be a problem if it was above the frost line? I tend to doubt it.
Probably not, so long as it all rises and settles at the same rate, which is likely. Itís not going to fall over. Might have some mortar joints crack. This project is more like a sidewalk or a patio, which have no footings, than a dwelling. Still, I would have gotten some part of it below the frost line because 1) I am not sure and donít know any better and 2) I typically like to err on the side of doing things once.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 20, 2019, 04:01:26 AM
Chicken in the oven sounds great! My brother does a lot of that.


I would not do any digging beneath the slab. First, try to figure out what you did. Talk to your friemd again if needed. If you are afraid you may have a problem, you could look into burying some styrofoam, amybe a couple 1Ē layers sandwiched together, beside and at least 24Ē below your slab depth. Thatís just a guess, not something I would have recommended originally. You must have had a plan or something that seemed acceptable or I really think I would have given up on this thread.

Sorry guys! Totally didn't even check this thread, which is not good!  Been so busy with work and the oven, my bad.  So I did chicken and steak in there, but the heat was low since it was early on in the burn.  Really just put them in there for some subtle smoke flavor before frying/baking in the house.  I will say that they both came out very good with the subtle smoke flavor and even beat a Weber steak cooked over the same wood.  I've found recently that the key to tender meat every time is a quick sear with high heat and then a long session of very low heat.  I like to create that crust with steak or sautťed chicken, and then cook it at very low heat usually right in the home oven around 300F.  It's nothing new, I know, but cooking around 225-300F in the deep fryer is a bit outlandish, but has been known to reduce calories and produces tender results every time.  Lately I brine the chicken and then put a brown sugar, garlic, onion, and olive oil glaze (Boston Market copy cat) over the chicken, and the skin along with the drippings are insane.  Then with the wood taste of the oven added, I can only imagine Thanksgiving this year.

Good idea with the styrofoam and I would have given up on it too haha.  So would the stryrofoam go directly beneath the slab?

For a structure that small, not attached to another structure, and in sandy, well drained soil, would it really be a problem if it was above the frost line? I tend to doubt it.
good way to put it, and my mason friend (different one from who built the slab) said it should be fine.  I've been told he's built 300 ovens around here, so that's reassuring.  I've dug down about 1-3 feet and the soil seems pretty good.  It doesn't get to be clay until maybe about 2 feet.  I do know that whenever it rains over that area or I soak it with a hose, the water drains quite fast, and the soil the oven is on is high ground compared to the area around it.  My thought is that water will drain away from that area anyway, as that area never floods, compared to about 10 feet away.

Probably not, so long as it all rises and settles at the same rate, which is likely. Itís not going to fall over. Might have some mortar joints crack. This project is more like a sidewalk or a patio, which have no footings, than a dwelling. Still, I would have gotten some part of it below the frost line because 1) I am not sure and donít know any better and 2) I typically like to err on the side of doing things once.

Always better to be safe than sorry, and I'd be pretty sorry.  For what it's worth, and this may not matter, but right next to the oven, we've had pavers for years.  In about 5 years they have barely moved.  Now I know that they are quite shallow buried, so this probably doesn't matter, but I guess it's good they've stayed level.

Also, I've been reducing my carbs this past week, but still will make pizza  :-D. I guess it's good that I'm obsessed with thin pies lately.  It's good that the oven has plenty of space for two chickens as a time.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 22, 2019, 11:47:35 PM
So I fired up the oven a bit hotter and cooked a pizza in it.  I'll edit this with pics from my phone, but I started experiencing hairline cracks on the outside brick oven enclosure where the heat got to.  The crack on the side opens up and gets bigger with heat, but goes down after it cools down.  I'm guessing water will get in then.  The pizza came out much better and the bottom was better than my Ooni.  The top needed possibly a bit more heat, but maybe not.  I could have closed the door a bit more to achieve this.  The oven was probably around 500-600 temp, but tough to tell.  So I realized since I don't really cook at 900F, do I really have to fully fire up the oven, or will small to medium fires be fine?  I usually start with 5 split logs and then add a log at a time, when the fire has burned to embers.  Since I cook mostly Regina style pies, 600F is all I shoot for, but are there any advantages for the oven curing process by going up to the 1000F big fires?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 23, 2019, 07:37:13 AM
I typically start with a smalish fire in the middle and build it up. I preheat until my dome clears which I think is in the 900s. Then I move the bed of coals to one side and the oven floor where I put the pies cools to around 650. At that point I just keep adding a small log to the bed of coals and I can keep the oven floor at 620-650. I've done it in 2 hours but 3 is better. That's how I've been doing it, but I'm sure there are other paths.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on September 26, 2019, 10:30:54 PM
I typically start with a smalish fire in the middle and build it up. I preheat until my dome clears which I think is in the 900s. Then I move the bed of coals to one side and the oven floor where I put the pies cools to around 650. At that point I just keep adding a small log to the bed of coals and I can keep the oven floor at 620-650. I've done it in 2 hours but 3 is better. That's how I've been doing it, but I'm sure there are other paths.

Thank you!  My process is very similar, but I'm not sure how hot it's getting in there.  My last fire had to be around 600-800 before I moved it.  I wonder if I can stick an ambient temp thermometer in there.  I can usually feel when it's hot enough.  I still need to post pics, I'm sorry!  So I was at Lowes and noticed they have a roof coating silicone that is very low VOC, less than 10.  I may use that on the roof. https://www.lowes.com/pd/BLACK-JACK-Eterna-Kote-3-6-Quart-Silicone-Reflective-Roof-Coating-Lifetime-Warranty/999988928. The safety sheet scares me a bit though https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1426/5084/files/5576-1-30_GHS_2017_v.2_SPH_1c71038f-bf52-4486-8a36-3b0866b00aad.pdf?4937303752329016710

Also, I got a cut from some plant and the cut site bubbled up and I've been breaking out in clear blisters in random spots on my hands and legs.  Can't figure it out!  I was clearing land to store wood though so it's worth it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 26, 2019, 11:23:50 PM
A temp gun is a good tool to have around. Here's a relatively inexpensive option from amazon. There are others out there too.

https://www.amazon.com/Nubee-Non-contact-Thermometer-Temperature-Adjustable/dp/B00JA3BMDW/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=nubee+infrared+thermometer&qid=1569553802&sprefix=nubee&sr=8-3

Sorry to be of no help with this sealer. I have no experience with that kind of material. If you are concerned with fumes, make sure you have a good respirator. I was under the impression that once these types of materials cured there were no more fumes. But again, no experience with stuff.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on September 27, 2019, 09:50:33 AM
Also, I got a cut from some plant and the cut site bubbled up and I've been breaking out in clear blisters in random spots on my hands and legs.  Can't figure it out!  I was clearing land to store wood though so it's worth it.
That can really be miserable. Iíve had bad reactions all my life and usually need the pills and the shot to get over it. Even then it takes 10+ days. Ugh.


Take a look at your firewood and make sure you donít have any suspicious woody vines wrapped around what you plan to burn. You will really be miserable if you get in the smoke of poison ivy or oak, or inhale it, or eat food cooked with it.


Last time I got tangled up with it I had blisters like this covering both arms, part of my neck and chest.

Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on September 27, 2019, 10:01:06 AM
When I did surveying, I found this stuff called Tecnu. If you can wash with it before the oil sticks to you, it gets a lot of it off. I used to practically bathe in it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on October 02, 2019, 10:32:32 AM
A temp gun is a good tool to have around. Here's a relatively inexpensive option from amazon. There are others out there too.

https://www.amazon.com/Nubee-Non-contact-Thermometer-Temperature-Adjustable/dp/B00JA3BMDW/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=nubee+infrared+thermometer&qid=1569553802&sprefix=nubee&sr=8-3

Sorry to be of no help with this sealer. I have no experience with that kind of material. If you are concerned with fumes, make sure you have a good respirator. I was under the impression that once these types of materials cured there were no more fumes. But again, no experience with stuff.

Sorry guys! Took a break outside due to the blisters.  Thank you for the link and the info! Temp guns are probably all that is needed.  You're right as far as regular fumes, but in the safety sheet it mentioned fumes from the stuff lighting on fire or heated :( So I'm still undecided on it and can't make a decision.  I doubt the roof would ever heat up, so I'm sure it would be fine. 

That can really be miserable. Iíve had bad reactions all my life and usually need the pills and the shot to get over it. Even then it takes 10+ days. Ugh.


Take a look at your firewood and make sure you donít have any suspicious woody vines wrapped around what you plan to burn. You will really be miserable if you get in the smoke of poison ivy or oak, or inhale it, or eat food cooked with it.


Last time I got tangled up with it I had blisters like this covering both arms, part of my neck and chest.



I was wondering about the pill/shots.  I didn't want to yet, just because of the immune system hit.  I now have to clean off all my tools and yup good advice about the wood.  I'll throw all that wood out, but it was unseasoned anyway so I don't care as much.  I'm still not sure what it was, but it was probably poison ivy.  I believe it started on my ankle, and itched it thinking it was flea bites, and that spread it everywhere.  I didn't even see any poison ivy, but there were vines all over the trees.  Thankfully, I've been using my blow dryer.  Early ones are starting to dry up, but they look just like yours but smaller.  It's really no different than the 30 mosquito bites I've had at any given time, but they require more repeated hair dryer sessions.  The worst sections are my legs, while my arms have only 6 each, and then one on the palm of my hand!

When I did surveying, I found this stuff called Tecnu. If you can wash with it before the oil sticks to you, it gets a lot of it off. I used to practically bathe in it.

Thank you!  I was just going to ask about the stuff.  I bought some, and I was going to ask if you guys think it's better than just using Dawn.  I plan to wash my tools with it and any future outbreaks.  I'm assuming Tecnu is worth it?  I couldn't find any barrier cream though for when I go back out there to throw stuff away :(
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on October 02, 2019, 12:04:03 PM
I dont think Technu would be worth it for cleaning tools. I believe it is more about avoiding the bond between the irritant plant oil and your skin.

I've got to clear some brush this fall and I'm not looking forward to it. Pretty sure there is some poison sumac in there. Was thinking about getting a cheap harbor freight disposable coverall outfit before wondering back there.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jackitup on October 02, 2019, 02:27:50 PM
The oils from poison ivy and the like are volatile for up to 10 years, clean them up! Soap and water should suffice, lots of stuff online!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on October 02, 2019, 06:53:44 PM
I dont think Technu would be worth it for cleaning tools. I believe it is more about avoiding the bond between the irritant plant oil and your skin.

I've got to clear some brush this fall and I'm not looking forward to it. Pretty sure there is some poison sumac in there. Was thinking about getting a cheap harbor freight disposable coverall outfit before wondering back there.

Thank you.  That's what I thought.  The packaging says that it can be used to clean tools, but I figure dawn would work similar.  In the 5.4M viewed YT video, the guy rubs Technu, Dawn, and Water onto automotive oil, and states that Dawn was the best.  But all needed friction from a towel.   I got some Technu just to have around.  That is not going to be a fun clearing of brush.  That is pretty much how I got mine I'm sure.  That's a good idea with the outfit!  It's so weird though, because the only thing I can think of is the vines in the trees I cut down.  Maybe they were poison Ivy, Sumac, or Oak, but I can't find anymore to reference.  They did have berries, but I thought they were just thorn berries and regular vines.  So I have two small patches of severe reactions that look like the bad leather burns, followed by random bumps over my arms, legs, stomach, hands, and feet.  I do have one place where there are lines, so I'm assuming this is where it brushes up against me, and you can see how my flip flops prevented the oil from getting on most of my feet.  The rash skips over my flip flop tan line  :-D. I even got a bump on the palm of my hand. 

The hair dryer feels amazing on the blisters and takes all itch away for hours or until I sweat on them, or touch them.  I also noticed that cold air from an A/C or walk-in freezer takes away all itch, along with hot water helping too.

The oils from poison ivy and the like are volatile for up to 10 years, clean them up! Soap and water should suffice, lots of stuff online!

Thank you!  I'm going to do it tomorrow.  For power tools I plan on just wiping them down with Technu or Dawn with water, but for hand tools I'll have to soak and then scrub and then hose down.  10 years is scary!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jackitup on October 02, 2019, 07:19:03 PM
I hunt and fish, so I know plenty of others that do. More than a few times I've heard people bitching about how they got poison ivy in the middle of the winter with everything blanketed in snow! I chuckle and tell them to wash their hunting clothes once in awhile and wipe down their boots!!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jackitup on October 02, 2019, 07:24:26 PM
Also......when you KNOW you've come in contact you can eliminate or at least decrease the reaction by washing with soap and water or even just rinsing with bottled water or any water available within the first 10 to 15 minutes. After that just try not to spread the oil to other areas. Washing as soon as possible is still a must. Then steroid creams etc.......
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on October 03, 2019, 12:52:25 PM
Also......when you KNOW you've come in contact you can eliminate or at least decrease the reaction by washing with soap and water or even just rinsing with bottled water or any water available within the first 10 to 15 minutes. After that just try not to spread the oil to other areas. Washing as soon as possible is still a must. Then steroid creams etc.......

Thank you! haha that's such a good tip in the winter and I'm sure many people still have it on their clothes.  I must not have washed soon enough for sure, probably because I had thought it was flea bites at first and most showed up really late.  That's really good advice to wash right away.  Some have dried up and the rate at which new ones are appearing has almost gone to 0.  The on on my palm is still growing in liquid.  I may make a pizza today or tomorrow, so I hope all the oils are off by now. :chef:
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on October 15, 2019, 08:23:40 PM
How are you feeling and how is the oven coming? I hope by now you have been able to enjoy using it. Any finish photos?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on October 27, 2019, 02:36:13 AM
How are you feeling and how is the oven coming? I hope by now you have been able to enjoy using it. Any finish photos?

Sorry!  I haven't checked here in a while.  My bad.  Feeling better, thank you!  I still need to clear some more land for a garden, so I'll have to cover up from the poison ivy around haha.  The oven is very close to done now.  I finished the first layer of stucco and need to do the final layer next week.  I'll post some pics here tomorrow from my phone.  I made two pizzas today for a Halloween party and they both came out good! The second one lacked the heat on the bottom from the oven floor, as it wasn't quite hot enough after cooking the first pizza, but I'm learning, and I could have just moved the fire back over before making the second pizza. How are you doing?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on October 27, 2019, 09:31:43 AM
Doing well. Glad you are healing up and enjoying your oven.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on October 28, 2019, 08:15:47 PM
Doing well. Glad you are healing up and enjoying your oven.

Awesome! Glad to hear it, and thank you.  I have to focus again on the dough side of things.  I also need to learn how to make multiple pizzas.  I found that I'll get my floor up to over 600F and then put the pizza in around 500ish.  Since the pizzas take a while with my method, the floor has come down a bit by the time the second pizza is going in.  I guess I can move the fire back over and then sweep it to the side again for the second pizza, or just make two smaller pizzas if quantity is my goal.  I also made my first 18"-20" pizza and I need to get better at launching the bigger pies.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on October 29, 2019, 09:00:09 AM
Glad to hear you are firing your oven up for pizza. Hope you are enjoying your new toy!
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on December 09, 2019, 03:37:44 AM
Glad to hear you are firing your oven up for pizza. Hope you are enjoying your new toy!

I'm sorry!  For some reason I never saw your post.  Thank you very much.  A little update: so far things have been interesting.  I have had quite a lot of efflorescence on the outside of the oven (which washes away naturally throughout the week) along with some rusting of the ends of the angle irons that protrude out the sides of the roof.  I had sealed these in mortar/hydraulic cement, but the angle of the roof caused all the rain water to wash away the mortar/hydraulic cement!  I guess the roof pitch has been working.  There are only about 4 angle iron ends exposed, so I have to figure out how to deal with that.  Maybe wire brush them and paint them?  Do you guys think the rust has spread inside a considerable amount?

Also, I did one layer of stucco, and I had read to wait 2-4 weeks for do a second coat, but I have also read to not do the second coat in stucco, but rather to paint it because of freezing conditions that will occur over the winter of course.  What do you guys think?  The stucco is doing awesome through 2 minor snow storms.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on December 09, 2019, 09:07:49 AM
I don't think the rust will be bad but I would try to prevent it anyway. I think it would take a lot longer (years) for there to be meaningful section loss to the angles. My only concern, and still a good amount time in the future, would be that rusted steel takes up more space than the original steel. I'm not 100% sure where this steel is, but if there is contact with concrete, the expanding rusted steel will eventually cause a crack. Some rust may have weakened the bond between the steel and hydraulic cement before it washed away. Unlessnthis is steel that gets hot, my guess is that the easiest fix is to wire brush it or maybe there is a good dremmel head to sand the rust off and touch it up with a can of rustoleum. I have never had good luck with spray cans of rustoleum. Seems to go on too thin. The paint will get you through the winter and you can address the problem in nicer weather.

I cant really help with the stucco. Every now and then I read a little about it or watch a video but haven't tried to put any up.

Efflorescence is an alkali salt moving though the concrete with water vapor. When it gets to the surface, the vapor evaporates and leaves the salt. My understanding, which is limited, is that it will stop once all the water vapor that dissolves the salt and moves it is gone -complete concrete cure with no more water being added to the system. If the supply of water doesn't go away, it can continue.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on December 09, 2019, 08:48:42 PM
I don't think the rust will be bad but I would try to prevent it anyway. I think it would take a lot longer (years) for there to be meaningful section loss to the angles. My only concern, and still a good amount time in the future, would be that rusted steel takes up more space than the original steel. I'm not 100% sure where this steel is, but if there is contact with concrete, the expanding rusted steel will eventually cause a crack. Some rust may have weakened the bond between the steel and hydraulic cement before it washed away. Unlessnthis is steel that gets hot, my guess is that the easiest fix is to wire brush it or maybe there is a good dremmel head to sand the rust off and touch it up with a can of rustoleum. I have never had good luck with spray cans of rustoleum. Seems to go on too thin. The paint will get you through the winter and you can address the problem in nicer weather.

I cant really help with the stucco. Every now and then I read a little about it or watch a video but haven't tried to put any up.

Efflorescence is an alkali salt moving though the concrete with water vapor. When it gets to the surface, the vapor evaporates and leaves the salt. My understanding, which is limited, is that it will stop once all the water vapor that dissolves the salt and moves it is gone -complete concrete cure with no more water being added to the system. If the supply of water doesn't go away, it can continue.

Thank you!  Thankfully this is all on the roof and not the side walls, so worst case, I would have to rebuild the roof in the future.  Interesting about the rust taking up more space, I never thought out that.  So I think I should definitely sand or Dremel, and then paint.  Good tip with using a can instead of spray can. 

Same with me and stucco; I'm curious to see how the first coat does in the winter.

Thank you, that's an awesome explanation.  I wonder if it's worse because the air here is quite salty since we're near the ocean.  Does the alkali salt come from the air or is it present on the brick?
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on December 10, 2019, 02:50:14 PM


Thank you!  Thankfully this is all on the roof and not the side walls, so worst case, I would have to rebuild the roof in the future.  Interesting about the rust taking up more space, I never thought out that.  So I think I should definitely sand or Dremel, and then paint.  Good tip with using a can instead of spray can. 

Same with me and stucco; I'm curious to see how the first coat does in the winter.

Thank you, that's an awesome explanation.  I wonder if it's worse because the air here is quite salty since we're near the ocean.  Does the alkali salt come from the air or is it present on the brick?

I've seen it in concrete and concrete block. I suppose it could be in brick too.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on December 17, 2019, 03:34:34 PM

I've seen it in concrete and concrete block. I suppose it could be in brick too.

Oh interesting, thank you!

So unfortunately the hydraulic cement on the roof is starting to crack, as I suspected since it was put on so thin.  So now I have to figure out how to remedy this.  I really am considering putting a roof coating from Lowe's on there, if it will adhere to the surface now that it's so bad.  I suspect I'll have to scrape it off and then apply the coating, but temps will have to be higher I'm sure.  Another idea is to just put plywood up there (thick enough that it won't shift from the wind) and nail some shingles to that, and then fill in any gaps with caulking.  I also should note that I did fill in between every brick with mortar, so I don't think any water will get in, even with the hydraulic cement cracking.  I think I could probably just use a crack filler in between the bricks on the roof, if I see any gaps.  Interestingly enough, the friend of mine who has built hundreds of ovens, has cracks in his refractory concrete roof/dome, and he said when it gets wet, he just dries the oven out with low heat for a couple days before he cooks.  Not the most economical option, but if I'm only cooking once a week it's not bad.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 05, 2020, 12:16:45 PM
So I'm still debating whether I should sand/grind off the rust on the roof support angle irons.  I don't want to ruin the mortar that they're in, so I'll have to be careful.  Also, some mice got into my wood pile.  I don't care about the poop, but my worry is that the urine might be in the wood.  I don't smell any, but I'm guessing it could be in the wood. Do you guys think there would be any issues with burning the wood in the oven?  I'm hoping any urine would evaporate, but I don't want to leave any weird taste on the firebricks.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: foreplease on May 06, 2020, 01:59:47 PM
Good to see you back! I donít know for sure but would think as many fires as you will have no odors from what you describe would be long term problems. They probably had their way with your firewood before you got it.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 06, 2020, 02:21:27 PM
I have had a few nests in my wood pile. I'm going to have to order more wood in a month or 2. Hard to believe I have already gone through a cord. After each bake when the oven is around 250-300 degrees and I'm not using it anymore, I fill it with a wheelbarrow full of wood to toast up and dry out. I don't think anything bad will last the long, slow simmer above 200 degrees.

One thing to watch out for is loading the wood in when the oven is too hot. I have done it and you get some charred wood with a lot of smoke. I thought a neighbor had a fire going in their fireplace, but it was me smoking out the neighborhood.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 08, 2020, 01:50:20 PM
Hope you guys are all doing well and healthy!  Hows the pizza been?

Good to see you back! I donít know for sure but would think as many fires as you will have no odors from what you describe would be long term problems. They probably had their way with your firewood before you got it.

Thank you.  Sorry I took some time off!  That a good point and thank you.  So far the wood seems to have no smell and just some dry poop.  Most poop comes off when he wood is tipped upside down.

I have had a few nests in my wood pile. I'm going to have to order more wood in a month or 2. Hard to believe I have already gone through a cord. After each bake when the oven is around 250-300 degrees and I'm not using it anymore, I fill it with a wheelbarrow full of wood to toast up and dry out. I don't think anything bad will last the long, slow simmer above 200 degrees.

One thing to watch out for is loading the wood in when the oven is too hot. I have done it and you get some charred wood with a lot of smoke. I thought a neighbor had a fire going in their fireplace, but it was me smoking out the neighborhood.
Oh so that's good it's pretty common.  I had to order more too; that's awesome!  That's a good tip about drying out the wood because most of it has moisture.  Yea thank God it's a furnace and not something cold in this case, so I feel it will be fine too.  Thank you.  That's another good tip as I think I've done that a few times too.  I had a few times when it was very very smokey.  I'm very happy I built it last year and not this year.  I think most places are still open, but not sure about metal supermarket. 

Now what do you guys think about the rust of the angle irons sticking though the brick.  I'm nervous that I will ruin the mortar while doing it, but I have some high heat barbecue paint from lowes that seems like it will work well if I get rid of the rust of course. 
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Jon in Albany on May 08, 2020, 02:26:31 PM
All is as well as it can be here. Hope you are well too. On the pizza side, I've been firing up the oven every other weekend. Been making about 20 quarantine pizza for the neighborhood and family. It is fun, but putting out that volume of pizza is tiring. Going through flour faster than I ever have.

Not quite sure what is rusting. In general, I would say rust is bad because it takes up more volume of space. That increase in volume can lead to cracks. I think you have well over a decade before rust would hurt the strength of the angle but it could impact the mortar sooner. If there is a relatively easy way to address the rust, I'd do it. Sanding and BBQ paint or wood stove paint should last. Whenever my dad painted his wood stove, it stuck something awful for the first burn but then the odor was gone. Might get the same with bbq paint. I know a lot of grills have a first fire/curing process  in the directions.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on May 12, 2020, 12:44:59 PM
All is as well as it can be here. Hope you are well too. On the pizza side, I've been firing up the oven every other weekend. Been making about 20 quarantine pizza for the neighborhood and family. It is fun, but putting out that volume of pizza is tiring. Going through flour faster than I ever have.

Not quite sure what is rusting. In general, I would say rust is bad because it takes up more volume of space. That increase in volume can lead to cracks. I think you have well over a decade before rust would hurt the strength of the angle but it could impact the mortar sooner. If there is a relatively easy way to address the rust, I'd do it. Sanding and BBQ paint or wood stove paint should last. Whenever my dad painted his wood stove, it stuck something awful for the first burn but then the odor was gone. Might get the same with bbq paint. I know a lot of grills have a first fire/curing process  in the directions.

Sorry!  Good I'm glad!  I doing good as well, trying to get some veggies growing.  No way, that's awesome!  I can't imagine doing that many pizzas and did you buy a 50# bag?  I didn't even think of the rust opening up the mortar but that's such a good point.  hahaha I'm not looking forward to the paint smell then!  Hmm I'll have to try and scrape the rust off slowly and carefully.  I'll get some pictures first.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on July 05, 2020, 06:39:42 PM
So I added more hydraulic cement to the roof, so fix some of the cracking, and it seems good now.  I still have rust on the end of the angle irons, but I'll have to figure out how t sand that off without harming the mortar.  Made 3 pizzas yesterday, and they came out really good.  I dried out the oven with smaller fires and then gradually brought the heat up.  I did cover the oven with a tarp the other day, just incase any water wanted to get it. 

So far the inside seems to be fine, but I worry a bit about the joints of the ledges hairline cracking a bit from the heat.  There are hairline cracks throughout one course of bricks on the outer brick wall encasement (from the heat).  I worry most about the ledges and ledge supports, because that is what is holding up the brick wall encasement.  I'm sure it will hold though, but it's just the worry of having to do 4 pillars at the corners, instead of just making the base of the oven larger, along with a larger support slab.
Title: Re: Wanting to build a coal fired style outdoor pizza oven
Post by: Pod4477 on October 01, 2020, 02:54:14 PM
So I baked a few more times in the oven, and there are more cracks in the outer brick surrounds.  Interesting how they are all at the same course of bricks.  There are some cracks in the entrance and along the granite shelves.  I may keep the oven how it is until it collapses, but I might actually remodel the oven before winter.  I'm thinking of starting with the roof and brick surround by tearing those down.  Then I might remove the granite shelving and those side columns used for support.  I might leave the corner stones for decoration, but my idea is to essentially take the oven down to the firebrick and redesign it into a Neapolitan oven.  I'd have to cut away the refractory heat mortar that is on the firebricks and then clean the firebricks up.  Then I can make a smaller rounded oven.  Reusing the firebricks is possible to do right?  My idea is to cover the dome with that paint we talked about, and follow the method from the Australian Oven company (I think it's Melbourne Brick Company).