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Author Topic: My Breadstone 950B Build  (Read 1055 times)

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Offline Mlorek

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My Breadstone 950B Build
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:30:15 PM »
After years of wishing and researching my wife and I decided to pull the trigger and start our build of our WFO.  After speaking with Antoine of Breadstone Ovens we decided to travel from Chicago to Valparaiso to view a similar oven that was currently being used by the Rolling Stone Baker in this awesome little college town.  We absolutely loved the oven, and the pizza at the pie shop, and decided to order the 950B raised option.  Our back yard has a fairly good sized patio and a large berm directly behind it.  We were unsure where to put the oven but both agreed we would probably have to remove some of it to pour a footing and slab for the oven.  We got quotes from several landscapers to do the work.  It seemed to me that almost everyone had little to no experience putting ovens in, and most seemed to steer us towards a kit type oven surrounded with paver blocks.  This was not what we were looking for, as we wanted a stone faced oven.  The next series of posts I will put up will be a timeline of the build, as it is already done.  I meant to post along the way however as always I lost track of time.    I will share some lessons that I learned, and things I would have done different.  In the end I could not be happier with the outcome.  Antoine was a pleasure to work with, answered every question I had in a timely and thorough fashion and never pressured us into anything.  The first picture I will post will be of the beginning of what we had to work with in our back yard. 

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 10:34:57 PM »
We decided to remove this seat wall in the corner of the patio and cut into the hillside to lay the slab and footing for the oven.

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 10:36:34 PM »
Just a closer view of what we were planning on removing.  I also included a cad drawing of what the patio layout is. 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 11:44:14 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 10:45:07 PM »
So we live next to the worlds worst pain in the A#$ neighbor.  She has called the cops and the village on every project we have done around our house.  When we put our patio in we had the village and police out several times based on complaints from her to check permits and distances.  Knowing that she was going to flip when we put this oven close to the lot line, I went to the village drawings in hand and secured a permit for the concrete work.  As with the landscapers the village seemed to not know what to do with our request however after several back and forth emails we were approved.  In all reality I wanted to put the oven on the end of our patio where the charcoal grill is in the first picture and remove the arborvitaes trees.  However that would have put us a foot to close to the lot line with the back of the oven, and I could only imagine the problems that the neighbor would have started.  Excavation of the patio began shortly there after. 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 11:04:11 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 11:07:38 PM »
The excavation of the old patio, footing digging and concrete work took about a day.  We ended up with about a 6-7 inch slab with five footings each 46 inches deep.  The first photo shows only four dug, we had them dig a 5th one in the middle. My kids were super excited to see the cement truck!  The slab cured, but before it did the boys got to leave there mark where the wood box will be.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:18:48 AM by Mlorek »

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Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 11:39:41 PM »
After the slab cured the patio was replaced, our back yard was a dusty mess!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:25:13 AM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 12:34:46 AM »
We let the slab cure for a few days, during this time I went and picked up all the cinder block I would need for the base.  I was in discussion with Antoine as to the height of the oven.  I was not sure if I wanted to go with 4 or 5 courses of cinder block.  In the end I decided to go with the 5 courses and then the top, I guess I am happy with this height, I have nothing to really compare it to but it seems very easy to feed the oven.  originally we made the structure with just a open wood box area with a single course of block on the outside perimeter of the base.  I then chose to have a center wood box area laid inside the original box.  In hindsight now I still would have made this center structure as the original was way to big, however I wish I would have made this center structure a bit bigger than it turns out.  it still holds a bunch of wood, I guess I just underestimated the size a bit and should have made it a bit bigger.  I will also apologize because I have no pictures of this construction just the end results.  You will see the original box construction as well as he second box that we added. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:39:30 AM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 12:58:18 AM »
Ok this was where I got stuck.  I think I made way to big of a deal out of pouring the hearth base.  I guess i just didn't get how to float the slab over these open areas.  I took several weeks to figure this out or at least make a plan on how i was going to attack this.  In the end this is what I did and i think it worked well.  I got some 2X12's and cut them to secure to the outside of the block base to hold the poured cement in and make the edge of the hearth.  I then was planning on laying cement board over the top of the open blocks to create a base to pour the concrete on.  I was worried about the open area over the wood box as well as the open area just behind the wood box.  This was probably overkill but again I think I over thought it all.  I used Tap con screws and 1X2's to make a little ledge on the inside of the wood box allowing me to cut a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to support the weight of the cement board and the cement on top of it.  Looking back at this it was probably a total waste of time but it was good piece of mind when doing it. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 01:03:13 AM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 04:37:56 PM »
Before we sealed this up with the top, my kids thought it would be cool idea to leave a time capsule inside the hollow area of the base that would be sealed off when the top was poured.  They decided to put a newspaper, a picture of our family, a note from each of them as well as some Cubs memorabilia in the capsule.  We placed it in some zip lock bags and  put it inside the area behind the wood box.  We then laid cement board across the top and continued with steel rebar to add some strength. I left the corners open to the cinder block in a plan to fill each void with concrete and tie the base together with the top.   
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 04:41:14 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 04:45:07 PM »
Pouring the top went better and faster than I had expected.  I rented a small concrete mixer which made all the difference.  After each load of concrete was mixed we poured it into a concrete tray and lifted the tray up to the top pouring it in.  I had my little crew then working to level it all out.  It took nearly two hours to get the entire thing done but the end results seemed good. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 04:56:29 PM by Mlorek »

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Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2019, 04:48:26 PM »
We let this dry and cure for a day and removed the outside framing.  The result was a nice smooth level top and square edges.  The top seemed very strong.   
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 05:00:08 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 05:12:40 PM »
So our next step was to order the stone that we wanted to use for the outside of the oven.  We had previously used a stone from Buechel Stone Company for a few of our interior projects and we liked the look.  We decided to go with a thin cut Fond Du Lac limestone from Buechel Stone.  As soon as the stone came the project started to move again.  I used a great mason out of the Chicagoland Area, DeHaan Masonry.  We have used this company before for other projects and they have always done a great job.  This project was no different, they were quick and responsive.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 06:49:06 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 08:01:54 PM »
The oven arrived and we had the shippers place the crate into the garage to keep it out of the weather.  I wasted no time tearing into the box.   I was like the guy in Christmas story opening the leg lamp box as I opened up the crate.  I was amazed at how well made the oven seemed to be however was worried about how heavy it was an how we were going to get it onto the base.  As I went through the items i noticed one of the dome extensions was cracked as well as a small chip in one of the floor tiles.  I emailed Antoine and advised him of the problem and within two days a replacement had arrived at the house. The replacement showed up in its own personally made plywood box that looked like it was prepared to ship the extension through a war zone it was so well built and padded.   On to setting the dome. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 08:09:34 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 08:15:53 PM »
Setting the base of the dome seemed very easy and straight forward.  I used the insulation board provided and set the floor sections.  I set this back off the front of the base about 10 inches to allow a small counter space in the front.  This was another place I wish I would have done a little more research to see if this was the right way of doing this.  From looking at other photos of builds it seems like a lot of people place a small counter top in front of the oven door.  I plan on continuing the countertop around the oven as a drink ledge on the sides also. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 08:23:06 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2019, 08:30:16 PM »
On to the lifting of the oven tops to the base.  I went to a tool rental company and rented a engine hoist to lift the tops, however once i got it assembled and rolled up to the base i came to the realization that we would not be able to lift with it as the wood box was not wide enough to let the hoist legs roll into it to get close enough to the top.  After thinking about it for a while I came up with this plan.  The top of the oven has these metal loops that are used to secure the two tops together once set.  My plan was to place a 4X4 through each loop and then lash another 4X4 across this support and have four of us lift the dome one person on each side, one on the front and one on the back kind of shoulder pressing the oven up all together.  This worked out perfectly and was very easy to get it into place. We repeated this with the second half of the dome and what I thought was going to take us hours to do took only around a half hour.   
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 08:36:25 PM by Mlorek »

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Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2019, 10:21:55 PM »
Once the top was set I struggled to find the right look of how we wanted to finish the top.  I had an idea in mind however putting it together with the pitch of the roof, the layout of the chimney stack, and the height was all in my head and i wanted to see it before we started laying brick and block closing up the upper area.  I used some scrap wood from the garage to make a rudimentary layout of what we were looking for just to get the proportions correct.  We also placed the flue cap on the oven.  We were forecasting heavy rains at this time, hence the tarps.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 10:25:32 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2019, 10:30:03 PM »
I was then able to install the blanket insulation over the oven.  I wish I would have recruited another person for help on this as it was a lot to do so high up off the ground but I got through it.  After covering the oven with all the layers I covered it in foil.  I now the pictures don't show it but it was rather windy out and this step was a real pain again by myself.  Once all the foil was on I wrapped the whole thing in chicken wire to sort of contain the insulation and foil, it seemed to work very well. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 10:33:21 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2019, 10:43:43 PM »
Construction of the top when pretty much identical to the bottom.  We used 4 inch block for the upper area rather than 8 inch block.  I did not want a real steep pitch on the roof of the oven so we ended up going up only those three courses of block. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 11:13:24 PM by Mlorek »

Offline Pazzo

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2019, 11:05:51 PM »
Great pictures. Thank you for sharing. Can't wait to see more.
"I would never win an award for not loving pizza!" -Dwayne Johnson

Offline Mlorek

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Re: My Breadstone 950B Build
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2019, 12:09:48 AM »
Thanks Pazzo Ill keep the story rolling here.  In the background of those last photos you will probably see a pile of steel studs.  I had attempted to build the upper structure with steel studs and then cement board.  I regretfully did not take a picture of this as i wish i would have.  I spent two days framing the structure in, it actually came out great, but in the end I felt like it was going to be to thin to hold the weight of the stone and the snow of Chicago winters.  After the fact and from researching this more I have learned that I would have been fine, but I ended up tearing the whole thing out.  This was a royal pain because I had used one inch ram set concrete anchors to anchor this in.  It took me and  crow bar about a half hour to rip just the bottom plate out. 

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