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I've finally finished the building of my wood fired pizza oven. It took a while to put everything together however the final outcome has been completely worth it. I started by laying a concrete slab 155cm x 175cm x 10cm. The materials were sometimes tricky to find however generally I found them at hardware and oven refractory places. I placed 12mm rebar steel placed 25cm apart within a frame made out of pine. The rebar needs to be lifted off the bottom gravel with some stones or pieces of brick. I mixed concrete at the ratio cement : sand : crushed rock as 1:1:1. I used this mix as it was recommended to me however upon investigation it appears the recommended ratio is 2:2:3 or 1:2:4 (Cement:Sand:Aggregate) depending on the source. I think it's best to go by what the instructions are on the cement bag. In any event even with my mix I haven't seen any cracks or had issues. I used about 8 bags of cement all up. It's a lot of work mixing the cement by hand so some sort of mechanical cement mixer is really necessary.

Throughout the build I referenced various blogs and forums found via google for troubleshooting issues. I particularly benefited from this wiki started by members of one of the wood oven forums. Pizza oven wiki

Step 1: Lay the Foundation Bessa Blocks

I allowed the concrete to set over a number of days by covering it with plastic and wetting it every 6 hours with a hose. Apparently if the concrete takes longer to dry the end result will be harder. After setting I laid out bessa blocks dry to establish the form of the base of the foundation. I left space at the front top level to place a concrete lintel. I placed 12mm steel rebar in the centers on the bessa blocks and poured concrete to fill the walls. I felt this method would be easier than laying the blocks with mortar.

<p>I have this project on my radar, I have literally looked at hundreds of diy and pro installs, this one is up there with the best, great job, if you not a brick layer, you certainly could be. Thanks for the details about the brick leveling tool and all the nice pictures, I am certainly inspired to use your project as a pattern, well done! I would like to know more about how your brick leveling tool works. Is it set at certain stages to make the dome or is it set it once and it is done. Also, do you plan on using an insulating blanket and cover that with another layer of chicken wire and stucco or not? Realize it has been a year since the other posts, but some of us are just getting the PO fever and can benefit from your project. Thanks for any reply you give.</p>
<p>This looks nice!</p>
<p>This looks nice!</p><p>My dad &amp; I built one based off the Forno Bravo plans. I am not sure if you offset your floor bricks (one photos shows them at 45 degrees the other at 90 degrees..) - I would recommend doing so. IMO it makes it much less likely the peel will catch on the edge of the brick when you are moving pizzas around.</p><p>For cutting up the fire bricks we hired a brick/tile cutter - basically a drop saw with a diamond blade you can plug into a hose. It's a lot easier for cutting up the fire bricks and keeps the dust down quite well.</p><p>When building the done we used sand in the chamber to hold the bricks up, that way we could do them all in a single session. Another alternative I have seen is cut up styrofoam sheet (you just break it up and pull it out when the mortar is set).</p><p>We also accidentally spilt a bucket of water during construction so our heat up/dry out phase was much longer. I was also really paranoid about heating it up too fast and causing a steam explosion (i.e. forming steam from water trapped under the bricks or mortar).</p><p>Finally, we put polenta under the pizza bases - that makes them not stick to the tray and easier to transfer onto/off the peel. You can use flour but that tends to burn very aggressively on the oven bed and not taste that good.</p><p>Some pics: http://imgur.com/a/sJuEF</p>
<p>congrads.....I hope your as good as making pizza as you were making your oven...save me a slice...</p>
<p>Fantastic</p><p>You got to be kidding me... when i compare this to my &quot;Neandertal&quot; build.</p><p>The picture is from the smaller second one i made.</p>
<p>Nice job! I dig the leveling tool....Looks like you have done brick work before. Did you make a door for it? </p>
<p>Thanks. This is the first time I've done any real brickwork. Generally it wasn't difficult and the harder stuff came towards the end so I had a bit of confidence by then. The bessa blocks were laid dry with concrete poured in the middle which couldn't be easier. The dome is again fairly forgiving as there is only one side visible. It's ok to concentrate on the aesthetics of the inside of the dome as the outside will be covered in insulation hiding any mistakes. </p>
<p>great 'ibble! Why did you choose 1:1:1 ratio for the concrete base? The more normal 1:2:4 mix would have been stronger and cheaper imo.</p>
Did you fit a door???
<p>No, not yet. It's definitely not required for cooking pizza. It might help in getting the oven up to the right temperature however once there the pizza takes under 2 mins to cook while in the oven. I need to keep turning it while in otherwise one side burns too quickly. </p>
<p>I used this ratio as it was recommended to me however it looks like you're right. I've edited the article to mention this. I haven't had any issues with strength or cracking however. Thanks.</p>
<p>Looks really nice. Great job; lots of work.</p>
<p>I love the care of the dome you gave it and wish yould do an instructable on the metalguide you used. On the history chanel ive seen similar stuf, but this is an amazing constuction and much better than the commercial units ive seen..great idea flawless execution.</p>
<p>wow - that really puts to shame all those backyard BBQs !</p><p>Beautiful, undoubtedly to be the center of many wonderful gatherings.</p><p>a real &quot;forno per pizze&quot; </p>
<p>8AM in the morning and now I want a pizza...!</p><p>Thanks for that! lol</p>
<p>got some concrete laying t'do first</p>
<p>This is Awesome! I don't know what you do for a living, but I think you found your calling...</p>
<p>looks like a chinese grave</p>
<p>wow, thats great, but looks a bit big just with one pizza ? you need some friends round</p>
Wow, looks amazing, great job.
<p>lovely job very jealous</p>

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Bio: I enjoy writing articles about pizza ovens and DIY in general.
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