Earthen- cement oven





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  1. #1
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    Default Earthen- cement oven

    Being interested as I am in various ways of cooking and the history of the methods I decided to try making something called an earthen/ clay/ cobb oven, something that has been constructed and used in different forms for centuries to bake mostly bread in.

    Being loath to do a proper pizza oven like Uys and Dudley have ( due to space and rented property) I decided to rather do one of these, relatively easy and cheap and I can dismantle it if we need to move. The general idea is to make a mold with sand, cover with clay, let dry and remove sand and cook in it.

    Although I have some access to clay it is more effort than I feel like expending to get, so I used a strong cement and sand mortar mix. The idiot I am had me realise too late on Saturday that I didn't have any stone for the concrete mix but such is life and it is what it is. We can always redo it, I suspect crusher run as an aggregate will be perfect for this.

    My son and daughter helped and the oven has been already been dubbed Karlien's Oven. She will decorate it with I don't know what yet in the future

    Anyway- we start with tracing the interior outline in the sand. Making sure that a baking tray will fit as I plan to do not just bread or pizza in here.
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    Last edited by Riaan van Wyk; 2019/11/25 at 03:53 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Nice one RvW. Keen to see the rest of the process.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    We found the sand to have a mind of it's own so we packed the outline with bricks to keep the shape for a while.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Some more bricks packed and wetting the sand helped a bit. I added a "door" area.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Subscribed!
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Added sand, wetting as we went along to get the sort of general shape.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Wet newspaper on next.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Then the mortar mix- added in overlapping patches.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    A beer can was used as the inner mold for a chimney which I added ( so I can close the front with a door and not kill the fire inside) and the exterior a cut 2L Coke bottle. Next level, top tier engineering stuff this
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    A day later, having wetted it a few times. The Coke bottle was removed, but the tin she seems to want to stay, so I'll drill some holes in and let it burn away.

    I now have to scheme a plan for a table, which I am going to assemble tonight with blocks and lintels. Once sufficiently dry, this shell will be moved to the table and we'll give it another layer of mortar mix, was worried it will be too heavy to freely carry about so we'll try that plan.

    Yes it looks like I made it but if it works, it works. If it doesn't, we break it and redo.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Good one, just don't be impatient, easy does it

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Very interesting. Can't wait to see what happens next.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Awesome project RvW

    Great to see the youngstas involved also.
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Shouldn't you have used some chicken wire as cheap reinforcing?
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudleytheplumber View Post
    Good one, just don't be impatient, easy does it
    I will try to not be. Issue however is that it is not drying as quickly as I thought it would. The area is shady so no full sun and also, seeing it was made on the sand which is still moist ( the constant rain doesn't help) I will probably give it a gentle firing up with charcoal tonight

    The sand interior was removed yesterday during the day by the way, lintels and blocks for the table is at home already so we'll do that also soon.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Going to slowly burn a bag of charcoal in the oven tonight to assist this layer's curing.The chimney still has the obstinate tin in it and I will leave as is till we are done, then with drill I'll remove as much as I can.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    Going to slowly burn a bag of charcoal in the oven tonight to assist this layer's curing.The chimney still has the obstinate tin in it and I will leave as is till we are done, then with drill I'll remove as much as I can.
    Rather keep it wet - heat is not the preferred way of curing concrete.

    It is bound to form major cracks if you heat it with fire.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    I have just realised I will have to visit Dudley and steal with the eyes what amatoolose he uses with his pizza oven, been spying his posts

    My go to fosholo I am going to sukkel with I see now.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Wanted to do another slow charcoal burn last night but had other things to do, it seems much drier than it was though, so we will be adding the next step soon
    "Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something, you are not here long"
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Earthen- cement oven

    Impatience of Pizza ovens
    IPOPO....

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