Saturday, June 12, 2010

Getting Started

Before you begin you'll need to think about:


  • I prefer a simple dome design with an internal diameter of 1100mm. This seems to be the best size for average back yard use.

  • My first oven was out in the open, so a flue was not necessary.
  • However Mark II will be partially under the cover of the back patio, so I will have be make up a smoke chamber with a flue stack.

  • I prefer to use found or recycled materials where I can. For the base of my first oven I used straw bales that I later rendered.
  • The floor of the oven was made up of a 100mm layer for concrete with two layers of paving bricks on top (beveled side down so as to provide a smooth, flat cooking surface. I used about 50 pavers.
  • The bricks for the dome where what we call 'recycled reds'. These bricks had been a house, then a drive way, and are now an oven. I used about 50 full bricks.
  • The mortar that I used was a basic brickies mix. No special additives or secrets.

Tools for the Job
  • I made up a 'jig' for setting the bricks of the dome in the right places.
  • It was a piece of rod the length of the radius of the oven (i.e. 550mm) with a small piece of angle iron welded on the end.
  • A brick bolster and small mallet is the perfect combo for splitting bricks into just the right size.
  • Mortar can be easily mixed in a wheel barrow with a shovel. If you have access to powered cement mixer it may make it a little easier.


  • I simply covered the completed dome in rockwool insulation, a layer of chicken wire and a couple of coats of sand/cement render.

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