Good progress on the clay oven project this week. I have just finished the brick paving base. I decided not to use fire bricks as they’re a lot more expensive than normal clay bricks, so I’ve decided to take a chance and use bricks that I have lying around.
The base has worked out a lot heavier than I anticipated. I really hope that the wooden deck will hold up. That, and the insulation issues are my major concerns. Here is what the base looks like with the brick paving finished.
The design of these clay ovens is over 5000 years old and an interesting fact is that the door height MUST be exactly 63% of the overall (inside) height of the dome. Not 62%, not 64%. No, 63%. Less, and the smoke doesn’t vent properly through the door. More, and the oven doesn’t hold it’s heat. The oven that I am building doesn’t have a chimney. The smoke (what there is) vents out through the door.
The door is traditionally a rustic wooden structure. Last weekend the Child Bride and I, on one of our regular walks to Buffalo Bay, came across a beautiful driftwood beam that I have now cut up into planks to construct a door. I am going to weld (with my new-found welding skills) a metal frame. Here is mock up of the door with a piece of angle iron to show what the frame will look like.
This week, weather permitting, I hope to start the oven proper. It needs to be constructed over a 3 day period with plenty of drying time in between the 3 layers. I have had plenty of interest in this latest project of mine and if all goes well with my prototype, I should be building my first commercial oven for a client soon. Watch this space.