Sunday, 5 January 2014

Building a wood fired bread and pizza oven - Soldier bricks

The oven has kept me really busy this weekend, yesterday, fabricating the steel strapping and today laying the soldier bricks.  These are the last bricks to be laid before I can start the brick dome and they need to go off well so I really wanted to get this done before I head the Netherlands this week for work.  This will give the mortar a week to harden before I start on the dome.

The picture below shows the completed soldier bricks, as all the bricks are slightly different sizes I have had to choose which side of the brickwork I want to look good and as the outside is hidden by insulation, only the inside is visible, so the bricks has been aligned on the inside surface.
Completed soldier bricks
As these bricks will be pushed outward by the weight of the dome, they need to be braced by the mettle strapping.  The small gap (0-4 mm depending on the size of the brick) between brick and steel is filled with refractory mortar.

Starting to be able to see what the oven is going to look like, when finished.  Today was the first day that I looked at the oven and could imagine rows of bread baking in there.

It was much easier to work today as I finally installed some overhead lighting in the bakery.  This shot shows the transition between oven and chimney.  

From this angle I can really imagine the fire burning or the bread baking, maybe a pizza or two during the later stages of firing.  Just behind the door opening you can see the arch support bricks for the lower reducer arch.  Just realised I am going to have to write a blog post explaining my design and why I chose this over many other more popular and tested designs. That will be for another day.