Posts Tagged adobe

Lime render


Tiff came over to do the artwork on the lime render. It was a shame we lost so much with the lime render covering the mud render, but I think it looks just as good if not better! Now chunks of the egg rise out of the dome.

I also got a chance to render the base. It’ll look a lot better when white washed and painted!

The lime render should keep the water off and allow the water vapour inside to permeate and escape minimising the risk of the dome collapsing.

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Earth oven version 2

Three days of digging, sand shuffling and sculpting is done. Read more to see the results!

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Oven dome (earth oven pt5)

Finally everything was in place to start the earth oven itself!  We had four bags of sharp sand which was pretty much all we needed – though I did later learn that our oven mix had too much clay and more sand would have meant less cracking!

I started off by making a 22.5″ diameter circle using a tape measure and pencil.  Sand was piled upto and a little over the edges and tamped down.  Fortunately the sand was pretty wet from the bags and we didn’t need to wet it further to keep its structure.

Usually you’d then add wet newspaper, but it was so windy any attempt to stick newspaper to the dome failed.  We put clay directly over the sand, firming down rather than squashing it onto the dome which would have dented the sand form.

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Oven base (earth oven pt4)

Quite by suprise, I had a few more helpers and we ran out of other jobs to do – so we got on with the next stage of the pizza oven which was to add an oven clay base over the top of the insulation level.  I made this with 1pt clay to 1pt sand.

We stomped the base together using boots to start with, but found this was much more difficult than using barefeet.  Boots seem to grab the clay and you end up with platform shoes.  Barefoot seems to be non-stick (apart from between the toes!)

we leveled the clay with the brick rings (three high by this point and still badly made) and put a layer of sand on top.

The red fire bricks were recycled from an old storage heater.  Scrubbed well and layed as flush as possible so sand and ash don’t build up.  I also ensured they were as level as possible.  Almost ready for the dome!

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Insulation (earth oven pt3)

This was the first level of insulation and I’d like to thank the various friends who have increased the number of empty bottles in my collection over the last few days – even my neighbour chucked a few over the fence to help out.

I started making a clay slip the day before by drying out clay on the garden path.  This was then mixed with water to make a cream like consistancy mud soup.

My local timber yard supplied sawdust which I mixed into the clay slip.  The bottles were bedded down on a layer of it which I then backfilled to fill gaps.  This’ll provide airspaces which will trap heat for longer, and insulate it against the cold base.

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Earth oven foundations pt2

Following on from the previous days work, the concrete had set and we were ready to start building.

We decided on a dry stone structure using the rocks we’d dug up from the rockery.  My wife and I stacked them carefully on top of each other using scraps of knowledge I’ve picked up on dry stone walling.

I topped off by laying perhaps the worst built brick circular surround and backfilled it with debris and old tarmac gravel until it was level.  We found that it wasn’t exactly circular, so we used a stone slab we found down the side of our house to make enlarge it back to 48″ diameter.  It does look cobbled together (rustic) but it does look fairly good imho 🙂

The neighbours have become very interested in it and are looking forward to trying the pizza!

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Earth Oven (for bread and pizza!)

The idea of an earth oven is not a new one.  You can cook everything you could cook in a normal conventional store oven and more because of the higher temperatures.

Another advantage is that it has no moving parts, relies solely on the fuel you add to it and no power cuts can cause you to have an uncooked dinner.  It does require more skill and if you’re looking to buy one rather than make it yourself, expect to shell out for it.  You can also add more steam to your oven which won’t affect electrics but will make a crunchier bouncier loaf and it can get to higher temperatures for longer to cook pizzas or slow cook a roast overnight.  It’s very fuel efficient!

Today we built the foundations by digging a foot deep hole 48″ across and added waste brick from one of my recent demolition projects.  We stomped it all down and put steel rebars in which we found in a shed.  The concrete was purchased, but we only used a couple of bags.

PS there is no tiddles buried under the pizza oven, just a bit of quirky humour…

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