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DIY wood fired pizza oven


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1 hour ago, islandgun said:

Hm cheers OPP, well the picture shows approximately where im up too.  JKD advised that the engineering bricks might crack and low and behold after extensive testing in my multi/coal house stove with half bricks they did indeed crack, at prolonged temp at over 500c, I have now found some solid bricks in Skye and will build the oven with those as i don't want to risk it, Notably the standard sand/ cement mortar turned to dust at high temperature, I will be using fire cement

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Hello, keep us posted on progress 👍

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37 minutes ago, islandgun said:

Will do, I left the half bricks in the coal over a number of days and they simply cracked at the narrowest point's, this was in a very intense heat which I doubt a woodfired oven will reach ?.  but it would be a shame if after completion and covering in render,  bits of brick started to fall onto the base, I will post some pictures when its done, probably in the summer now !

I was only jesting re the bread 😊

Take your time over this 'labour of love', nothing gets done well if rushed 👍 It's great to see the effort going into all these ovens 🙂

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A cousin made one prior to his 60th so we could have all manner of stuff to eat outside in the garden. It looked just like the red brick one on here, and we had a fabulous day; the pizzas were great! 🙂
 

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19 hours ago, oscarsdad said:


Choice now is whether I go fora timber frame from railway sleepers or build a breeze block frame - whilst I can’t currently think of a reason to need to move it, a timber frame at least means I could move it if needed. 

Trust me, you wont be moving it, certainly not without machinery. Its a two person job just to lift the dome and that's before it's insulated and rendered, add the base to this and no chance of lifting it!

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15 minutes ago, stumpy69 said:

Trust me, you wont be moving it, certainly not without machinery. Its a two person job just to lift the dome and that's before it's insulated and rendered, add the base to this and no chance of lifting it!

Agreed. Could hardly roll my barrel the right way up on my own, must have weighed over 200lbs and that's pre insulation which must be another 100 odd lbs easy. 

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3 hours ago, GingerCat said:

Agreed. Could hardly roll my barrel the right way up on my own, must have weighed over 200lbs and that's pre insulation which must be another 100 odd lbs easy. 

Static base it is then! I’ve ordered some bits so will be starting on the dome next week, then will sort base when dome is done and while it’s drying and when I have accurate size for it. 
 

cursing it I know but I’m off stalking first light tomorrow so hopefully will have some venison to try in it! 

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Well there were no deer about despite there being 40odd one field over last yesterday afternoon so I was home by 10am and have cracked on with jig for the vermiculite oven dome.

scrounged the board from a skip and managed to work around a few small holes in it and other than finding some flexible plastic for the entrance and screwing the entrance down jig is complete. 
 

no need to put legs on it as luckily a couple of bricks on top of our fire pit table give enough clearance for the yoga ball to sit perfectly and more stable than putting legs on the board. 
 

next job is to source / scrounge / find a suitable chimney then build of dome can start. 

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On 25/02/2021 at 17:28, islandgun said:

Hm cheers OPP, well the picture shows approximately where im up too.  JKD advised that the engineering bricks might crack and low and behold after extensive testing in my multi/coal house stove with half bricks they did indeed crack, at prolonged temp at over 500c, I have now found some solid bricks in Skye and will build the oven with those as i don't want to risk it, Notably the standard sand/ cement mortar turned to dust at high temperature, I will be using fire cement

 

Island gun  I'm watching your build with interest as I'm looking to use the same method this summer.  I recebtly knocked a chimney breast out and also a wall so I've got a ready supply of solid brick to cut and use for the build.  I'm sorry you've had to have a plan B on your bricks.  How did you find using the rotating arm?  I love the simplicity of that principle and the fact that it was good enough for the Romans and the technology still works today.

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1 hour ago, Jonty said:

Island gun  I'm watching your build with interest as I'm looking to use the same method this summer.  I recebtly knocked a chimney breast out and also a wall so I've got a ready supply of solid brick to cut and use for the build.  I'm sorry you've had to have a plan B on your bricks.  How did you find using the rotating arm?  I love the simplicity of that principle and the fact that it was good enough for the Romans and the technology still works today.

The rotating arm works a treat, I used a caster wheel, with the wheel removed and a steel shelf bracket as the guide to laying, [if you would like a picture let me know,] a good stiff mortar mix is essential the higher up you go, next attempt will be with fire proof cement, I intend to fill the oven with sand to form a dome to rest the last few courses on. Resting the chimney posed a few problems [on a arch] so i cast a concrete lintel with a tapered hole, which stands on a wall [ also is the base for the brick facing arch] I'm sure your bricks will be ok 

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42 minutes ago, islandgun said:

The rotating arm works a treat, I used a caster wheel, with the wheel removed and a steel shelf bracket as the guide to laying, [if you would like a picture let me know,] a good stiff mortar mix is essential the higher up you go, next attempt will be with fire proof cement, I intend to fill the oven with sand to form a dome to rest the last few courses on. Resting the chimney posed a few problems [on a arch] so i cast a concrete lintel with a tapered hole, which stands on a wall [ also is the base for the brick facing arch] I'm sure your bricks will be ok 

Thank you - I think the pic of your arm in this post is clear enough but thanks for the offer.  I just have a couple of jobs to finish off around the house before I can make a strt without facing the wrath from the boss!

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Materials took ages to be delivered and only arrived yesterday but oven dome is now done and is curing. 
 

now just need to cast the base to insulate fire bricks and protect the wooden stand I’m yet to build, make sure the chimney fits and then be patient enough to not try to use it too soon until it’s cured.  Small curing fires to start and then hopefully in a month or so time it’ll produce the first pizza. If it works well then I’ll render the outside for weather proofing and maybe even paint with masonry paint depending on what external temps get to. 
 

Goal is to produce entirely local pizza - local Stilton, tomatoes and basil from our allotment and some local venison I’ve stalked in some form or some squirrel or rabbit. 
 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well it’s pretty much complete now - base finished and today have joined the dome to the base. 
 

Once that’s dry it’ll be time to gently fire her up - can’t wait. 
 

To the guys who’ve made perlite ovens before - how weather proof are they? I am considering rendering it once completely dry, or I may build a roof over it. 

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Edited by oscarsdad
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well it works, but obviously not quite dried out yet as the concrete still steams (but luckily hasn’t cracked). I have had two larger fires going, 350c and then 550c inside, outside of dome still cool enough to put your hand on, 30c so it definitely insulates. I’ve since managed to lift it onto slabs rather than straight on that wooden base just to be on the safe side but I don’t think enough heat gets through to be an issue. 
 

When the weather warms up it will be rendered to make weatherproof as currently under a tarp  

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Edited by oscarsdad
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Well, things are looking very good,,,, especially that pizza 😋

Keep us informed as you progress to the completed article 😊👍

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On 27/03/2021 at 17:58, oscarsdad said:

To the guys who’ve made perlite ovens before - how weather proof are they? I am considering rendering it once completely dry, or I may build a roof over it. 

 

Sorry, just seen this, I put waterproofer in the render mix then painted with masonry paint. My oven has been uncovered all winter, and used on average every second week. The only damage to it is a few small bits of paint (less than 5p size) have come off. This happened the day early February when the official temperature in our village was -18.7°C overnight, the cold also blew the same masonry paint of parts of our front porch. 

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1 hour ago, stumpy69 said:

Sorry, just seen this, I put waterproofer in the render mix then painted with masonry paint. My oven has been uncovered all winter, and used on average every second week. The only damage to it is a few small bits of paint (less than 5p size) have come off. This happened the day early February when the official temperature in our village was -18.7°C overnight, the cold also blew the same masonry paint of parts of our front porch. 

Thanks for that, that’s what I was thinking of doing, plus making sure chimney doesn’t let weather in and making a door to protect inside. 

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Brilliant, this is right up my street.

Im behind a desk for work but cooking food and making things to cook food in is my passion.

I havent got a good place for a pizza oven in the garden but I am looking and making a Tandoor oven that is portable.

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8 hours ago, oscarsdad said:

Well it works, but obviously not quite dried out yet as the concrete still steams (but luckily hasn’t cracked). I have had two larger fires going, 350c and then 550c inside, outside of dome still cool enough to put your hand on, 30c so it definitely insulates. I’ve since managed to lift it onto slabs rather than straight on that wooden base just to be on the safe side but I don’t think enough heat gets through to be an issue. 
 

When the weather warms up it will be rendered to make weatherproof as currently under a tarp  

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18D3CBA8-0DBE-4205-88D0-11657025EC9B.jpeg

brilliant !  Did you measure the temp under the oven and would it be an idea to put a cowl on the chimney to stop rain getting into the oven, The pizza looks fantastic

Edited by islandgun
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1 hour ago, Pangolin said:

Brilliant, this is right up my street.

Im behind a desk for work but cooking food and making things to cook food in is my passion.

I havent got a good place for a pizza oven in the garden but I am looking and making a Tandoor oven that is portable.

got the same idea which i will put into practice in my retirement house.........i have a large victorian clay chimney pot which i will repurpose for the project.....i might lay it on its side...and also use it to hot smoke haddock as well as tandoor use......

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1 hour ago, ditchman said:

got the same idea which i will put into practice in my retirement house.........i have a large victorian clay chimney pot which i will repurpose for the project.....i might lay it on its side...and also use it to hot smoke haddock as well as tandoor use......

I watched a bloke on YT make one with a giant planter and vermiculite.

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14 hours ago, islandgun said:

brilliant !  Did you measure the temp under the oven and would it be an idea to put a cowl on the chimney to stop rain getting into the oven, The pizza looks fantastic

I did measure the wooden base on the underside and it was only about 30C but was damp - I think because of upcycled decking which probably wasn’t completely dry and also steam still coming out of oven base. I don’t think it would have been likely to transfer enough heat but the oven is now sat on slabs with an air gap too so no way the base is at risk. 
 

The chimney is removable so I intend to cover the hole rather than the end of the chimney when it’s not in use. 

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22 hours ago, oscarsdad said:

Thanks for that, that’s what I was thinking of doing, plus making sure chimney doesn’t let weather in and making a door to protect inside. 

Yes, if water gets inside its not the end of the world but takes longer to heat up. At first I had an empty pot on top of my chimney to block off there and the bit of wood used to mould the door to block that off, these are possibly pictured earlier in this thread. I have upgraded to a proper chimney cowl and used the template to make a double skin door made from some steel sheet offcuts.   

The next step is to experiment with different pizza dough! Yours looks good but its a minefield and depends what pizza style you are aiming for, its like arguing over what calibre is best for roe......   

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for the pizza bases we use this recipe, the only thing we do differently is split the bases into 6 not 5 and separate them before setting aside to rise. This makes spreading them much easier also use semolina flour to spread them on. 

https://www.thestonebakeovencompany.co.uk/recipes/stone-bake-pizza-dough/

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37 minutes ago, stumpy69 said:

Yes, if water gets inside its not the end of the world but takes longer to heat up. At first I had an empty pot on top of my chimney to block off there and the bit of wood used to mould the door to block that off, these are possibly pictured earlier in this thread. I have upgraded to a proper chimney cowl and used the template to make a double skin door made from some steel sheet offcuts.   

The next step is to experiment with different pizza dough! Yours looks good but its a minefield and depends what pizza style you are aiming for, its like arguing over what calibre is best for roe......   

yes, I am sure Italian would argue about authenticity. That one pictured was a first go with a simple dough. We will also be trying sourdough base as my wife has got really good at sourdough bread. Plus we need to experiment with different base thicknesses to get the balance of practicality (ie being able to get the pizza on and off the peel) and crispness.

Living where we do with all of the surrounding villages having Stilton creameries in them it’ll be a spicy fallow mince and Stilton pizza with home grown spinach I want to try! 

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