I didn’t want to really post anything until some real progress was made but I saw Erik’s latest blog post and couldn’t help myself.
I am starting my latest oven project today by laying out the footing!
It won’t be another brick oven….only the floor will have fire-brick. No, this time the dome will be made of clay earth. Probably the first type of material used for a WFO, they are still being built around the globe. With material cost rising as fast as the interest in brick oven cooking, I want to give it a try because I have never built one before and clay earth is one material that is everywhere around this part of the country. It’s been 2.5 years since I have left our WFO in CT and to say that I miss using it would be an understatement.
I already have most of the stone and brick needed to start this project.
Salvaged antique brick.
I will use these in the actual vault arch .
Granite from a project in New England.
All this stone will be split and cut down into arch stones for the ribs. The only exception is the large, wide stone third from the left which will be a 1 piece carved arch door for the oven.
Left over stone from a couple projects.
Split and uncut natural fieldstone which will be used in the outer arches, piers and walls.
My goal is to buy as little as possible and use what I have. The challenge is going to make something nice out of a hodge podge of different material.
But why did Erik’s blog post spur me to action?
I am going to try my hand at building a Ribbed Vault. For the pros that may be reading this blog you know that this will be a real challenge. For everyone else I can tell you….this will be a REAL challenge! Here is a diagram of some Rib Vaults. The one on the left is what I intend to build. ( I DO NOT CLAIM ANY RIGHTS TO THE DIAGRAM BELOW. )
Having built many arches and barrel vaults, I feel like this is the next step in pushing myself to the limit. Since I haven’t built an intersecting vault, ribbed, groined or otherwise, this will be a slow process. I have a lot of stone cutting to do – making Quoins ( corner stones ) and Voussoirs ( Arch Stones ). Lay out and forms will be quite a process.
The goal is to finish before cold weather sets in around here, maybe like November. Since I am working on it part time, I think it will be pretty tight considering how technical it is and me never building one before ( did I mention that already?)
Disclaimers aside, I am beyond excited to build this. I think the base is stealing the thunder from the earth-oven, which will be my first also ( I’m repeating myself ). I don’t even have final finishes planned for it yet because the base has occupied all my head space….which is a premium because there isn’t much. The irony of all this is that the ribbed vault will hardly be visible unless you peer up in between the arched opening. I am doing this mainly for the challenge.
I am feeling like this will be a huge success or a colossal failure. I am following Erik’s example by showing you the reader how it turns out . Good or bad, either way you will see the result.
I guess we will know in a few months. Till then, stay tuned for progress updates. Hopefully I can make it through and not end up like this….