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Outdoor Wood Fired Oven
Building Workshop

May 27 - 28, 2000
Little Stream Bakery, Perth ON

See also: Backyard Pizza Oven Workshop with Pat Manley
Superior Clay Oven Workshop
Le Panyol Oven Workshop

Note: Plans for building this oven are in The Bread Builders

A concrete pad was poured 3 days prior to the workshop.
Concrete block base was built the next day and concrete sub hearth
was poured. Little Stream Bakery is in the background.

Centre lines are marked out on the concrete sub hearth and the
hearth is laid out. Useable hearth size is 32" X 36"

Hearth is set with 4.5" wide firebricks. A mortar bed of 1:1 fireclay:sand
mortar is used. Dry joints are used between the firebrick. Firebricks are
carefully levelled and nudged into place with a deadblow mallet.

Scott Miller, Chris Affre and Christoph Altehoefer put the finishing
touches on the hearth.

The sidewalls are laid out dry and the mortar joints are marked. Recycled
firebricks from an earlier Little Stream oven were used. 1/4" mortar joints were
used to take up irregularities in the recycled bricks. New bricks could use
thin fireclay mortar joints.

Side walls are in place, and back gable wall is up. Scott Miller washes
the bricks.

Layout for arch template. Nail at bottom centre of arc and a string are used
to establish the arc by trial and error until a whole number of bricks fits.
Rise of the arch is 7" for a total vault height of 16" above the hearth.

Ron Karson lays up a course of skew bricks that will restrain the
sides of the vault..

Chris Affre cuts out the arch template with a Sawzall. A jigsaw would
work well also.

The arch form is nailed up.

Instructor Norbert Senf lays up the front apron of the oven using clay
bricks and regular brick mortar.

(Next Day): The course of skew bricks has cured.
The sidewalls are temporarily braced to take up the side thrust of
the vault.

The vault is started. Mortar mix is 1 part fireclay,
1 part calcium aluminate (fondue) cement.

View of the arch form. The vault is laid up one ring at a time. The form is
removed and slid forward as soon as each ring is in place.

Mortar joints are filled in and the bricks washed before the next ring
is started.

Chris Affre starts the next ring.

A 2x4 is used to temporarily hold the closure bricks in position.

Necking the vault down to the door opening. Five sets are laid as shown.
(Centre): Workshop participant David Trithart.

The tricky part. Laying out bricks to close off the vault corner. Fit is by
trial and error. We used a diamond wetsaw for cutting A skilsaw
with an abrasive blade could be used also.

Completing the vault

Two layers of 6x6 reinforcing mesh are cut and bent into shape to
cover the vault. The mesh is spaced 1" from the vault. The mesh is only
in place temporarily at this point. Before the concrete
cladding is poured, a layer of aluminum foil will be installed under the
mesh as a bond break.

Plywood formwork for the concrete cladding (partially complete)

View of the mesh cage wired together. Temporary wood spacer behind
mesh. Whole mesh cage lifts off easily as a single piece.

Update: April 21, 2001

Chris, Scott and David are members of the Potsdam Food Co-Op in
Potsdam, NY. Here is a photo of the 4' X 6' oven that is almost
completed for their new bakery.

  • View of the earlier 48" X 72" Little Stream oven, before it was replaced with a 72" X 108" oven. This oven was producing 1800 loaves per week for 5 years.
    Click on images for enlarged view.

    Oven at Little Stream Bakery

    View of side hearth and side walls before construction of vaulted ceiling.

    Oven at Little Stream Bakery

Little Stream has become very successful. This is their new oven with a 6 ft. X 9 ft. hearth. and a 6 ft. wide loading door.

A 100 kg. load of wood currently bakes about 900 1.75lb loaves.

Little Stream Website

Ovencrafters Ovencrafters - simple, high efficiency insulated design developed by Alan Scott. Proven in a range of sizes and applications including home, restaurants and bakeries.

Click on Alan to join him for a seminar.
Ovencrafters website

The Bread Builders, by Daniel Wing and Alan ScottClick here to order.

Definitive work on authentic hearth breads, including a description of building the 32 X 36" backyard bread oven above.
Your webmaster rates it a 10.

"Wing and Scott do more than get the details right: they get the right details. It is difficult for me to imagine any baker, amateur or professional, coming away from this book without having learned something significant, even profound, about the art of bread baking."

-Thom Leonard, author of The Bread Book

Retained Heat Oven Data - now available in the book.

Heat-Kit Gallery Library The Brick Bake Oven Page - most popular spot on this site Brick Oven Page


Current Projects


Contact Bookstore Links

Masonry Heater Mall

This page last updated on May 26, 2007
This page created on May 29, 2000

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