Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Extra bricks

I got 60 standard and 20 solid. Hope it will be enough to finish the

Monday, October 29, 2007


This kitchen supplies in Bellevue is not very funcky , but they got a
bare minimum. It is 80 $ but at least I do not have to put pizza in
with my bare hands and use my old rectal termometer :-) it should work
for begining and we will see:-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

To do..,

Oven is not fully done yet. Here is a list of thins I am going to do:

1) fire it up for 5 or more days in the raw to prime chamber. Bringing
temperature higher and higher
2) get tools: peels ( round and square) , brash, termometer.
3) small ash disposal tools and basket.
4) get bricks and more mortar and finish roof
5) make marble table
6) cut out chimney top and install it
7) clean work site
8) see if bread machine good enough or buy dough mixer

In the future I think to make roof under oven and may be put gas
buster. Mario suggest to make side table on right with roof . I may
need extra garden furniture for parties and other staff may be outdoor
speakers ... We will see... That will be done gradualy as I see need .

I plan to have first pizza party , for closest friends on next week
end. Hope Mario can come over again and we will make pizza !!! Pizza
forever :-)

Godfathers gifts

Don Mario brought a few wonderfull gifts to his god child. This is
Pizza DOC dough tray he made himself.

Fake pizza

I made some fake pizza from this Mexican things, but with real
mozarela buffala!

Fire in the hole!!!

:-) he he he we moved fire with my shovel: no tools yet. Now it is
proper in the back. Fire is up straight . Don aproved:-)

Waiting for fire to kick up

... And drinking some italian shampain;-)

Starting fire

First Mario made fire under the chimney. It goes up: good!

Campai!!! Pizza forever!

We opened shampane end even broke some glass and washed oven in it. As
we Russians belive it is a Very Good sign. I think this oven will
bring us a lot of joy and happiness ! Thank you Don Mario:-) Chears!!!

The baby is born!!!

Godfather of all Redmond pizza ovens, Don Mario himself visited my
worksite and started the first fire!!! Woohooo!
He aproved my hard work and was pleased the way oven performed . He
used to say a lot of Italian pizza oven slang I do not understand
yet:-) now I have to condition oven for 5 days to prime the main

Out of brick ... Out of time

It look like I 80 bricks short at least!!!
My wife is right... So I hit dead line and we can fire it up... But
some features like permanent roof and marble tray are droped .. Next
week I will fire oven up and work on service pack 1;-)

Walls are up!

Walls are up but I am still far from hiting 6pm dead line( when Mario
come) I did a bit sloppy job : my skills, hurry and protection glasses
does not let me see a shit;-)

It is never too much insulation

Or is it?


Mario told me that this oven like 25 cm pipe extension. Here we go!

Drill bits used

I got 2 but one did all and survived...


To put nails in concreat one need to drill holes. My old 15$ drill
that served me for years could not make a dent even with titanium bit.
I have to get 60$ hummer action one. I love power tools! New one went
in like knife in butter. Before too long it was over:-(

Nail time

I think you need like 20 of these but we got 10 each. I did my best,
but conections are not perfect so.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fine assembly

I put it ON today. No nails yet... I need to get more of insulation I
think. It should not hurt. It look like oven parts can not be properly
aligned. No matter what there are some gaps. I guess Super Mario IS
right. Italian may be sloppy indeed , go figure. But thus not a bug
deal for pizza oven: it should work perfect.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Italian Picaso :-)

I am at a critical point now. I have to assemble oven heart. I hope that flat parts do not have sides, but I am not sure. Main issue is these roof stones. I wish I had manual. RTFM... But there is none. Italians are too creative or do not like LEGO, do not know :-) Dan has same set as I do : 2 heavy and 2 light and we both got lucky : we have F-M match. Mario, seems to get screwed again. After taking broken part for the team, he said he only have one light arch ! I asked him to weight again :-) Assuming he got same shit 2-2... where lighter arc goes ? Closer to oven mouth or back ? Our favorite theory is light to front, because fire is in the back, so heavier stones get more heat there and both halves should be ready at the same time. Hm... Less popular theory say : do reverse. Heavier stones closer to mouth will help to keep temperature more stable, because heat loss is bigger there. Ideally, company that made oven should tell us what to do... but time is ticking and I want my pizza:-) Should we just ask a woman and do opposite ?! Last minor issue is internal oven mouth gate ( not decoration one). It has some kind of cave , but very small on one side. I wonder if I should put it out or in. I do not know if this is for door, if you do not buy decoration or to create some fine air flow if you turn it inside. :-) I like to do things right... and even if any configuration will some how work and nobody will pay atantion, I do not want pizza god look on my creation from heaven and laugh that I put oven nose on it's ass :-) in Italian Picasso kind of way :-)

Pizza oven floor on base!

I utilized nice weather this morning to mount some insulation and oven
pre-casted floor . That should mainly hide my mistakes and molded
part should look and work perfect. I hope that multiple layers and
cavities as well as reflecting material should provide enough
insulation. The more the better, of course, but I was a bit afraid to
put too much fiber wool under oven: it may allow movement by reducing
friction, so it can potentially shift and crack walls . Even small layer
is some concern: I do not know for sure how much insulation it
provides and how much it reduce stability. But it feels just about
right and I think it us good from many point of view: it is also allow
base stones to better seat of not perfectly flat bricks and should
accommodate shrinking and expansion of base when oven is working, so
foundation bricks should be safer from cracking. I used bricks and
marvel tiles to position thing right and allow enough space for walls,
side and back insulation wool and front table . Front table will be
big, but it should be nice and we will need to use pizza and bread
pilers to work out with fire. It is a bit late to change design and I
still like it. Look on it: it looks good! We will have pizza soon!!!!

Brick foundation is done

I finished this yesterday. It started to be dark and I did a sloppy
work. Main mistake are my design: blocks have holes, I should be
putting some thing to have flat leveled surface. The face corner looks
OK, but I failed to do the rest really straight. In general it is fine
and I oven should hide all my issued:-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Brick and mortar time!

I started to lay bricks. It is fun, but harder then I sought. My wife
laughed: you are so DEV. I am not sure if this meant as negativism or
not, but I am DEV and proud to be one: I love to make things and do
not care if it takes me longer then I thought: it is done when it done
and let marketing guys solve their own issues ;-)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

First raw

Here it is: perfecto!

Work site

I restatyed work. It looks that concreat it solid. I instaled Quick
Shade( that cost me 75$) and work under rain. It is not that bad;-)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Feedback ...

I was working hard this Friday and night before after long wait, but I did not rush:

I designed and counted and "sleept on it" for a few days after I got my Italian stones.

I asked friend's advice: location and design seems to be nailed before I started to dig.

Mario and my kids got all exited about work site in my backyard. :-)

My best part provided some points on the project :

1)Will pressure be too much so it will rip open corner? ( Weight of oven and stones).

I think not: it is distributed over 4X6 and soil should behave much "better" then water ( or gas) for Pascal law, so, even that little pressure increase ( like one man standing on top) will not get fully delivered to wood, that is very massive and should handle much bigger pressure. In any case, if we will see any signs of land slide we should repair : that may happen but as result of general soil movement on our hill area. I any case I would be more concerned about our house then small oven for that scenario.

2)Oven height: oven table will be 16 inch higher then corner: nice height for table, but she is concerned it is too high: we will see about that, I am more afraid that it is a bit low.

3) 2x4 foot marble area seems too big and may run too hot ( next to oven door), but I think it
should be nice , I do not think 2 foot is much for pizza oven front tray, from what I saw.

4) Roof arch is not perfect arch ( as Turkish used to make). May be she is right, but I will just try to do same shape oven stone have to make it visually match. Nobody gona walk on
it (I will kick that person ass if they will try) and any locking shape (bricks locks in this one ) will be more then oven needs. In any case, all red bricks is for look only: it is decoration and I will try to match oven door and front stone shape: round shape will not work with parabolic shape of oven mouth well, I think.

Anyway, if you have any other feedback about design ( location feedback is closed : I put a slab alredy), give it to me ... before it will be MORTAR time ( I will start put first layer after I am sure slab is really solid) :-)

Slab is ... Done ?

I put all 20 bags of 30 min concreat. Two trips. First 10 covered
rebar reinforcment and last 10 covered them flat, but did not reached
top. That is fine actualy. Instead of renting mixer I got nice plastic
borow and got extra shovel for like 10 $. That worked good and cost as
1 day rent if mixer. I am going to use same setup for mortar and then
still keep for my garden. I tried to put more water to last layer and
may be it is not perfectly even and too much . I tried to make it
flat, but some water acumated in some areas. I hope it will cure nice
and will not bite me in the ass!

Roof arch mock up

I could not resist but to aseble this arch :-) nice ... Even if we put
zero gap with mortar, I will only miss 3 such arched full of bricks.
That make me think that I probably should have some extra bricks after
asembly ...we will see

Stones on the diet?

When I was unloading stones I paid attention that some of the side
arch are heavier then others. I atributed to my streatched left hand.
Today I weighted all 4 side arches . While all were diferen 2 was 39
and 38 kilogram, while 2 others like 24 and 25. That is very diferen I
would say. They look a bit diferent too, lighter ones more grainy and
less dence. At least in my case I got 2 pairs so one may be front and
one back. I can only speculate that closer to fire or door you need
diferent termal properties: lighter ones will not retain as much
energy. I would say it may be 2 times diference. It may be that they
have light and heavy oven models or just have a very loosy quiality
control. Mario please ask ASAP: I do not want to monument my mistake
in stone;-) I would also recomend both of you weight at least side
peaces: in ether case most unlikly you want have 2 diferent on each
side: oven should probably be at least symerical in this dention:-)

Mock up is done!!!

That is about it Simple design by Russian space engineer and rocket
scientist. Note that mortar goes between bricks so it will be less
bricks but more chalange to align sizes. Also I will put orange marble
2x4 tiles on front as table for pizza preparation. It may be a bit
hot, but my back yard us not as big as Marios. Also I can use extra
table if needed, but having nice big area in front of oven seems a
nice idea to me anyway ... I still have bricks left: these and what
left after mortar spacing will go for roof. I would like make round
roof just like oven shape . Insulation come in gap and I got some more
for back just in case. I will need to work out chimnay and front
finish as well as may be painting or paving blocks. We will see. I try
to get some extra space by spacing : 4x6does not look like a huge
space: it is all very compact despite almost 3 tons:-)

Walls are up!

Walls up and arch in place... We started to lay table layer.

Base stones

Two layers of material with lot of cavities should provide good
insulation I think. Man... This oven stones solo heavy... No shit!

Finishing foundation

My little helper did a nice job. I said it is his new Lego set:-) he
liked it but said that it is a but heavy...

Rain proofing chimnay

After I returned track I picked this up in Home Deport. Not sure if
that what Mario got but it was only 6'' diameter there. It looks kind
of futuristic. Hope it will work well:-)

Mock up foundation

Stacked in back yard

I did 20 at a time and it took me like an hour or so ...


Finily, I did a math and bought bricks . They sell even fire bricks.
Wow! Now , without fork lift I have to do what Mario did with stones ,
but one brick at a time . I got 340 bricks ( 280 with holes and 60
solid) and 27 blocks. Going for my workout now!

Work site

I worked very hard to put foundation. I did only half. I need to put
10 more bags of concreat. I burned Mario himself on the start as he
admired , but I cheated working at night and taking day off today so I
can do my project without my little hellers and sweet wife. Hope they
will be happy to see end result.:-)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sketch it up !

I try to put it all in Sketch Up to count bricks and materials. Here is a very rough sketch that show a geometry part of my backyard that should host oven and parties. I should actuality go down to sizes and then spend a lot of time designing oven itself: the way it will look outside.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Mozarela Bufala from paralel universe

I know that we shop at the same Costco with Mario, I saw him there
once. What was puzling me is that he was referensing to mozarela
bufala he get there . I normaly buy Mozarela there both fresh and
solid, but did not saw a bufala even once. Not untill today! It look
like I managed to snick in that Costco in paralel universe Mario
shops! All probably because I got an pizza oven in my back yard. It is
not functional yet, but rules of quantum physics does not care as it

Real stone mock up in position #2

I had to move stones from outside where we droped them to backyard.
Instead of just storing I put them together to primary candidate spot
so I can see if it a right place. See for yourself. Main benefits of
these location are:
1)No need to build foundation, just pure in quickcrete and build on top.
2)cemented deck next to it that east to cover with temporary roof.both
are off sight if kitchen and will not hide light, while may improve
projector room if needed.
3) look like good wind protection and goes there naturaly.


1) water tends to acumulate on stone deck suffice: may be a good
problem to address byitself and cover may help.
2) may nor be weather proof enough for winter parties compare to green
house location for example
3) not as cool as idea to build a railroad and mount oven in stylized
steam engeen with green house diner coach;-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oven parts are MINE!!!!!

After asembling mock up in Mario's garage ( next to my favorite
scooter that still remembers me) we loaded two parts on Dan's track
and off we went. My parts unloaded and covered. It is a great moment!
It is a start! Thank to Super Mario!!! ( he kindly took the broken
part and for him game is not over yet: long wait for replacment, but
he still have the father of all Redmond pizza ovens in his backyard) I
belivs I will be the first who will build oven : both Dan and Mario
have complex architectual projects in mind, while I probably just put
oven in position #2 and be done. Pizza forever!!! Viva Mario!!!.


Pizza oven parts landed in Mario's garage!
It was not smooth and could be delayed if Mario not use help of cosa

Today we will try to dispatch it to me and Dan using his track.

Most important step of pizza oven project just begun!


Monday, October 1, 2007

Not Here ... yet ...

My father came and left, Mario got Ebola virus and recovered. Rainy season started again in our part of the globe. Oven bricks from Italy is not here yet. If you want to build pizza oven you should look on my experience and learn. While building oven from fire bricks may be more challenging, you can get it shipped to you for next to nothing and start your project in a week time ( it is USA, baby!). If you want to go trough all the hustle my best pizza oven broker Mario is going , pay thousands of dollars and wait for like 2 years, just walk in my steps :-) ( it is Italy ! bambina sara!)

Do not be scared to use fire bricks : if you played with Lego you should be fine and you will surely beat me in time-to-market . :-)