The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Saturday, January 2, 2016

How to build a back yard pizza oven: Base/Pedestal Construction

One of the goals of pedestal was to try and make it look like natural rock just stacked on top of each other.  I did not want any concrete or mortar visible.  I accomplished this to a degree by using large rocks on the outside of the pedestal and with smaller pieces and concrete filling the inside. 

We started with the foundation to make sure the pedestal would sit upright and not shift over time.  

The other nice thing about all the concrete in the inside where you cant see it is that is does not have to be pretty.  I let my kids take this part of the project on.  Just make sure you have lots of mortar where you need it.  

We tried to cover the foundation completely.  We layed the rocks in a circle trying different ones until it was basically level and the gaps between the rocks were small and manageable.  
We filled the center with gravel, concrete and rocks that were not nice enough to be visible for the pedestal. 

We layered mortar and concrete with each layer of rock to insure it was stable and not going to move.  We used a total of  eight 90 pound bags of mortar for the pedestal.

We layered the gravel into the cracks them filled them over with mortar.  We tried to use the same methods we used in the foundation so it would be stable.  

I want to note that we did not use dirt.  We only used rock.  Dirt wicks moisture from the ground and will cause issues with the clay.  It also settles more than rock does.  By using various sizes of rock we created a moisture gap and and mad the entire structure more stable.

My kids commented that this was a real life game of tetris trying to get the rocks all to fit.  There was lots of trial and error to get them to work.  Once we cover them in concrete going back and changing things gets significantly more difficult.  

Here is the second layer of rock.

Here is the 3rd layer after we got the fill gravel put in place.

Here are a few shots of the completed portion.  The top is not perfectly level but close.  I expected that and have a plan to correct it in the next phase.

My other reason for having a pedestal this high is so that I will be able to cook at waste level.  I did not want to have to kneel on the ground to cook pizza.  

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