My adventures in building a brick oven in my backyard
November 2004

Monday 11/1/04 Hearth slab without the wooden frame.

Saturday 11/06/04 The firebricks are laid down on a mixture of 1 part fireclay and 1 part fine mortar sand.

Saturday 11/06/04 The middle brick has a thermocouple mounted into it from the bottom. Sorry, no picture.

Saturday 11/06/04 One hundred and fourteen firebricks.

Saturday 11/06/04 Two courses down, two more to go. After that, time to start the dome.
Deviation from the Alan Scott plans: As you can see I did not start with the oven door bricks.  Because the ratio of the door vs. dome height is so important, I thought it would be easier to make the dome first and once I knew the exact height of it,  then mess with the door. In my opinion it's easier to finetune the height of the door vs trying to fine tune the height of the dome.
I also opted not to put the side wall bricks up straight as indicated in the book. Instead, I went with the extra strenght by laying the flat.

Saturday 11/06/04 For somebody who never laid two bricks on top of each other, I would say: Not to shabby!

Sunday 11/07/04 On Sunday morning 2 more courses of firebrick were added.

Sunday 11/07/04 Building up the back wall so the dome can be attached to it.

Sunday 11/07/04 Done for this weekend.

Sunday 11/07/04 I'm the King of the World!

Saturday 11/13/04 A mockup of the dome.

Wednesday 11/17/04 I used old framing wood to brace the outer walls for the dome.

Thursday 11/18/04 Six firebricks were cut at a 45 degree angle so the dome could rest on it.

Thursday 11/18/04 I recycled the firebrick wedges and mortared them into the corners. This will make it a lot easier to remove any ashes from the back of the oven.

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Saturday 11/20/04 Ten o'clock. The arch is started with Car Talk on the radio.
Hey, stop looking at my butt!

Saturday 11/20/04 About an hour later the first arch was completed.

Saturday 11/20/04 Looking pretty sweet.

Saturday 11/20/04 Trying to figure out how to make a smooth transition to the oven door.

Saturday 11/20/04 Top view of the door mockup.

Saturday 11/20/04 Picture of the finished door transition.

Saturday 11/20/04 Top view of the finished door transition.

Saturday 11/20/04 Side view.

Saturday 11/20/04 Satisfied customer.

Saturday 11/23/04 Entryway to the oven wich will also support a red brick arch.

Saturday 11/23/04 An angle iron, a piece of lumber, a bunch of bricks and gravity in perfect harmony.

Saturday 11/23/04 Closeup of my masonary skills...

Saturday 11/23/04 Top view. Tomorrow the side holes will get filled in, somehow...

Wednesday 11/24/04 I decided to close the gap with 3.5 firebricks.

Wednesday 11/24/04 This is how is looks from the inside.

Wednesday 11/24/04 Set in place with fireclay mortar.

Wednesday 11/24/04 A 20" piece of leftover rebar and some leftover firebrick cuttings was all I needed to turn a 45 degree slope into a flat platform.

Wednesday 11/24/04 Taadaa! Now I can lay bricks accros the oven door.

Wednesday 11/24/04 Like this.

Wednesday 11/24/04 It's defenitely starting to look like something.

Friday 11/26/04 Figuring out the correct hight for the front arch.

Friday 11/26/04 Two hours later.

Friday 11/26/04 Continuing to build up for the chimney.

Friday 11/26/04 Woohoo. It's all coming together!

Friday 11/26/04 Bread oven? Nuclear reactor? Time machine?

Saturday 11/27/04 Little by little the entire thing gets covered with more concrete.

Saturday 11/27/04 Three inches of concrete on the side and four inches on top.

Saturday 11/27/04 This will cure for about 2 weeks. Once cured, the insulation is applied.

Sunday 11/28/04 I covered the oven with wet concrete bags for a day or two. Keeping the concrete from drying out too fast makes it stronger.

Saturday 11/27/04 Franklin grabbed his scetch book and started playing around with some facade ideas.

Saturday 11/27/04 Idea one.

Saturday 11/27/04 Idea two. We'll see how it all turns out...

Want more detail? Consider getting the Brickoventampa CD ROM

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