Friday, May 28, 2010

from Bread Earth and Fire (The Earth Oven)

The Earth Oven con't
 applying stucco
Stucco the Dome
 Our last step will be to stucco the outside of the oven which you can do as soon as you finish insulating it. Make up a mud mixture of 1 part clay and 3 parts sand. To this, Abbott and Nancy added pine needles from the tree that was cut down by the oven. It was a small gesture of thanks to the tree as was firing the oven with its branches.
The stucco mix can be wetter than the mud you used to construct the oven against the sand form. They mixed the clay, sand and pine needles and troweled it over the insulation, also using their hands to apply it. 1/2 inch thickness is about right. If you don’t have pine needles, no problem, because you really don’t have to add anything to the clay and sand except water. Since you already have some straw you might chop up some to use with your stucco. To chop straw, toss some in a trash barrel, and then reach into the barrel with a weed wacker. That should work. Or, you might run over some straw with a lawnmower. If you use straw, chop it fairly fine so that it will spread smoothly on the oven. A stucco alternative is to use surface bonding cement that is fiberglass reinforced. You just add water and trowel it on about 1/2 inch thick. This is what I used on my dry stack brick oven.
Are we done? Not quite. We need to construct a cover for our earth oven. Without a cover, rain will severely damage it, changing the oven back to what it was before we started. Mud. to be con't.

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