My name is Bill and I built this oven in the summer of 2002. I am not Alan Scott of Ovencrafters although I could not have done this project without his help. His book was my constant guide throughout this process of construction.
While Alan Scott liked my site when he was alive and even linked to it, this site is not affiliated with Ovencrafters and is not a replacement for purchase of their plans or book. Using the information on this site without purchasing Bread Builders and blueprints from Ovencrafters may not lead to successful construction of a woodfired oven. This is story of the oven I made and no liability is assumed by me or Ovencrafters. This information was gathered from a variety of sources and does not infringe on the copyright of any publisher.
This page details my construction process of my woodfired oven. If you have questions about building a wood fired oven after reading this page, please read the frequently asked questions.
3-D computer images of the oven made by Jeff Boggess available here. A different set from David Stovall here.
|1. Foundation poured. It is about 4 inches thick and 6 inches thick at the edges. If you live in a very cold climate, you may need a more substantial foundation. The dimensions of this foundation are 76" wide by 92" deep. |
|2. Concrete blocks laid up. I later filled the vertical cavities with concrete and some pieces of rebar. |
|3. Framing for plywood floor. Notice the eight legs holding the 2x4 platform in place. There are two 4x4's holding the center supports up. The front row of blocks are held up by two angle irons. The back angle iron is set in the mortar gap between two 8"x 8" blocks. The rest of the blocks are all 8"x 16".|
4. Plywood floor. This floor can remain in the oven indefinitely. It could be removed if you needed the space under the oven, but it does offer a little support to the hearth.
|5. Vermiculite/ cement insulation layer screed off. It is about 2 inches thick. |
|6. Rebar tied in. Notice notches in concrete blocks. I cut these with a masonary blade, but wish I had used blocks made with the channel pre-made. The wood form will be removed later, creating a space between the hearth foundation and the cinder blocks. The rebar should now be exactly in the middle of the hearth foundation which will be poured next. |
|7. Concrete hearth foundation poured. The metal pole in background made an excellent roller/ screed for an absolutely flat, level surface. |
|8. Sand/ clay bed for hearth bricks. Notice the wood has been removed and now this foundation "floats" in space which isolates it (thermally) from the exterior. |
|9. Firebrick hearth |
|10. Wall bricks laid out. Note: I chose to NOT build an ash drop to keep the design simpler/ cleaner. This makes ash removal a bit messier as the ashes have to be dragged further, but it hasn't been an issue. |
|11. Back wall mortared in |
|12. Arches started. The arch support is described on p. 186 of Bread Builders. ||13. Arches finished |
|14. Laying out bricks to design front arch form|
(not actually the layout I used...but you see the process)
|15. Tunneling down toward chimney. Arch form in place. I used angle iron to help hold the bricks in place. The bottom photo was sent to me by another person and more clearly shows the tunneling down construction.|
16. Front arch- second photo from above sent to me by another person.
|17. Foil and wire grid in place |
|18. Concrete cladding...later to be filled with perlite insulation|
MISTAKE! Alan Scott notes:
Bill, the side walls would have been better if they were 4" block so that there would have been 5" space for the loose Vermiculite insulation. You should not put the concrete cladding right up to the outside walls. You should have built a weatherproof lid on the whole thing so that the vermiculite could be filled up to about 6" over the top as well as the 5" on the sides.
In the commercial ovens Alan recommends cement backerboard sides and therefore 9" of vermiculite on the sides and 12" on top.
|19. Stucco scratch coat and the top of oven finished. I used a wooden template pulled across the top to create the curve.||20. Decorative mosaic/ Italian tiles |
|21. Finished oven. Later I covered this oven with a metal roof to protect it from the elements.|
Cracking was a slight problem during the first few firings. See note on photo #18 to avoid this problem. The cracks were easily repaired and are minimal now but I wish I had more faithfully followed Alan's advice on insulation requirements. Please fire your oven several times before applying stucco to minimize cracking.
His book, "The Bread Builders" was my daily guide to the process of planning and building this oven. (click on the book)
Other books you might like.
Other sites you might like:
Sunset Magazine's Adobe Oven Project
Frankie G's Pizza Oven Project
Brian's Brick Oven Folly
click on "englische Version" at Bannetons & Dough Rising Baskets from Wood Pulp & Cane
Home and Garden TV
World Pizza Championships!