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Building a Brick Oven (Part 1)

In 2013 we took on the adventure of building our own bakery.  This revolved around constructing a brick oven which we connected to our attached garage, then made the garage into the bakehouse:

First, right before all the crazy construction started, our firstborn son Reuben Steward McGrath was born on February 6, 2013!

A couple of weeks later the refractory material arrived from Georgia, about 18,000 pounds of firebrick, mortar, and cement.
Digging the footers
Ready to pour
Pouring the footers
Block delivery
The wall going on the north side of the oven, to block the wind at the bakehouse door entrance.
And the building of the oven begins!  8" block that we will build the oven on top of.
Six courses of 8" block on the interior raises it to a two foot starting height.  The 6" block around the outside will later be built up to create the walls around the oven, with insulation between the two layers.
And in the meantime, the oven doors from Germany have finally arrived!

A brace to keep the post square

The first truss
A few more
The gable end is up.
Try putting the water and ice barrier on a roof at the top of a hill with 40 mph gusts!
Filling the cavity under the oven with stone. There is no question that this will hold the weight of the oven now
We filled the main cavity with stone, and then built a frame for the two cavities in the front, the one on the left for the ash dump, and the one on the right for storage.
We framed for the pour, laid plastic down to prevent water from escaping the concrete, and now are tying the rebar together to create a strong mesh.
The final rebar reinforcement mesh - the little wooden blocks were removed right before the pour.
Knock out frame for the ash dump
Shingled roof and slab
The poured slab

We extended the garage a little bit in front of the oven

The poured slab

The damper for the ash dump is installed and a concrete wall to protect the insulation that will go up next.

Cutting the Calcium Silicate boards for our insulation layer.
All our refractory concrete and some cut cal-sil boards
The first layer of cal-sil boards are being glued into place with a thin-set mortar.
Mixing some thin-set mortar
Cal-sil boards are now protected from the repetitive dumping of our daily ashes
The second layer of cal-sil boards out of three.
The third layer gets a coat of thin-set mortar and then cement board is attached to it.
One of the thermocouples we will install in the hearth bricks for temperature readings
Putting the thermocouples in place
Rented a cement mixer for the refractory slab
We had to shovel the concrete up onto the form

Screeding the slab

This was the last step for the day

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