Friday, December 12, 2008

Breadhunter's Brick Oven

It was a Maine morning of slush, ice, snow and general glop, but there was work to do.

After the tarps were pulled off, I insulated the oven with cellulose and then covered the top with a spiffy metal roof.

Where there are some small gaps and imperfections in the oven facade, these will be filled with bread dough. I did say this oven would not need mortar or mud, but I didn't say anything about dough.
There is still work to be done on the tongue, a door must be constructed, as well as a heat shield and something has to be done about the nude plywood. Maybe cedar shingles or simply paint.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Breadhunter's Brick Oven

After asking my friend Chuck lakin for an "oven consultation," not only did he come over to consult, but offered to cut my plywood in his shop. What could I say? Normally, I simply cut plywood with my skill saw, but it's a lot easier and more accurate with a table saw.
Chuck with the cordless drill

My initial reaction so far is that maybe the structure is too monolithic, but to get lots of mass and insulation really does take some space. When the oven is complete, I think it will look a lot better.
What's next? Now I can fill the cavity between the masonry and plywood with cellulose insulation and cover the top with a metal roof. After that, I'll constrict the size of the oven opening, create an overhanging tongue and do something about the dreadful, naked plywood look.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bread Hunter's Brick Oven

It's a rainy day in Maine and the little snow we had is gone. Now I have some time to contemplate my next move. There is a danger that my new oven will be too monolithic for my taste, but I really won't know until it's done.
I don't know how we live with those ubiquitous blue tarps. Although I hate them, I continue to buy them. They don't seem to do anything right. In fact they leak. Some of my cellulose is now damp.
Has anyone done a documentary film on the manufacture of blue tarps, health ramifications of the workers from breathing molten plastic fumes and the tarps environmental impact?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Breadhunter's Brick Oven

The oven interior (all brick) is done. Now I have to decide if I want to square off the outer "heat sink." That would mean adding more brick, but maybe enough is enough. I think I've already used about 100 bricks.
The next major issue is to design and build a wooden shell to enclose the exterior of the oven, but with enough room on the sides and top to contain the insulation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Breadhunter's Brick Oven

Last night I did ponder the squishy cellulose insulation. After considering, foam glass, Skamol, sawdust, and Perlite, I decided to break down the oven (took 10 minutes) and build a 2x4 matrix in the oven base and refill it with the cellulose. My woodworker, insulation guru told me I should not be so quick to give up on the cellulose. After reassembling the oven, it really is looking much better. I believe I've solved the squishy cellulose issue with the matrix.
Tonight I will ponder the sleight sidewall height differential regarding the brick and solid block, and then on to the oven roof.

The Matrix

End Of Day

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Breadhunter's Brick Oven

Last night it snowed a little and today there were flurries. To keep warm while working, I fired up the earth oven. Getting all the new oven elements to fit together without mortar really takes some playing around, but it is possible. My big concern is getting the cellulose to not squish very much under the weight of the oven. I might have to add another joist in the box, and this is just what I'll be thinking about tonight.