Saving money, Saving time, in building brick ovens.
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Thanks again for subscribing to the traditionaloven.com mailing list. Before you start to build your own wood fired brick oven, or more ovens if that was the case, I’d like to share a few tips and ways for saving you more 1. Time and 2. Money plus handy insights about my custom jobs prices.
1. Saving time or energy
THE Best Tip For All Times:
It is not a space rocket science. At its hardest, it is simple putting mortar on bricks or making concrete slab. Should I mention also willingness to work and enjoying it all? Do not be surprised when I say that building brick ovens is not hard to do, without or with an University degree. By now, many people who have never held a brick in hands built nice ovens for themselves and eventually some even for others afterwards. Many people already cook and entertain, evidently so.
Basically; take it by building gradually, always focus only on the one stage that you do at the moment. If you got my plans, from the detailed photo sequence you will see ahead exactly what will be done, also when and how. Each stage/step on its own (e.g. the slab, inner walls, top slab, firebricks part etc.) is little job and easy to do planed segment. This way, stage by stage, the structure grows nicely.
Chris approached it that way:
Here is another beneficial point – Not much measuring goes around. Only make initial lines on the ground slab for the inner and outer-decorative walls. After that the oven is risen upwards and all is done on the fist raw of blocks or bricks count (you can see on the DVD disk eventually, or after downloading our plans online, how I approach this.)
If stones are used for making the outer decorative walls then the depth and width lines for making outer walls can be 2″ – 5cm further apart, on each side, because some rocks might be larger/wider than ordinary house bricks. The photo sequence is detailed. To reach e.g. what is on the picture 355 in MTo disk, it can be done in 7 days but you do not need to do it in this timing. It is a worthy project for the future, in so many pleasing aspects therefore there’s NO need to hurry.
The work with concrete blocks or firebricks is faster, and there is waiting one and half day (or anywhere longer) for curing the ground and upper slab for the cement to cure. If you had a friend/s to help you, e.g. to lift the concrete blocks (these go into 4 rows, hip level) and to mix concrete, it’s only great, you can cook for them pizzas later.
I would help you with lifting of these blocks and mixing concrete for the slab but I could be miles away. You will enjoy doing more thinking over the DVD and clear details on the photos to see how everything fits nicely together. Look into the MTo sequence, especially the firebrick entrance into the oven and also its non refractory features. Notice only very little firebrick cutting is required and the visual and practical effect is the best.
What everything people enjoy doing:
Here is one Mosaic of an artistic looking barrel shaped garden oven: Mosaic on garden oven
And another couple of great designs where lots of money can be definitely saved:
Round contours Round contours on the oven, Antoni Gaudí’s like shapes.
Gaudí like shapes made oven but would fit Mediterranean style architecture as well.
It is not financially prohibitive to build an oven!
There is always a “f….n” great way … for it to be lavish, in every aspect desired. (it is my saying) Do you have a time?! The bare bones (read further below for saving money on material.)
Basically in the material sense it’s the cost of firebricks, concrete, cement, the common blocks and house bricks. I always search for these in advertisement papers, people sell really for fraction of price or give away to get rid off a great left over material from other building projects.
If you could “even gradually” source material this way then for $1K or much less than that a great oven can be built. That is complete oven and with included landscaping around the oven, even with outdoor chunky table with two benches to sit on -> the table you can see in MTo sequence was less than 20 bucks with all bolts.
2. Saving money on material (we always do this.)
Saving money and my prices:
Material cost and custom jobs when I build for clients; the total cost of the material can be reduced by 70% if you buy all from advertisement papers or online eg. from eBay. Here goes how – without or with accounting degree – we do this all the time because simply it is much worthy…
People sell for fraction of price, or giveaway, great left over material from other building projects. Phone early or traders get it (then they sell it for more money!) Otherwise in shops, if ordinary and new material is used the total material cost I have is $1350, but I buy common size firebricks for $2.10 each. Material cost for the whole inner refractory cooking part I have is 550$, as I said I pay 2.10 per one firebrick plus this is around my local area when I do not have -to have them delivered. It’s worthy to mention that even if you source firebricks at 5$ each, having the oven is still huge win, again, in so many practical, economical and pleasing aspects.
As they are, including all material, Swishy is built by me for $6,500 and Masterly Tail oven design (MTo) for 7,500 (only extra 30+ firebricks though if it’s of the original internal size – however this beauty can be done larger or smaller internally easily just by placing in or taking off a brick from a side. If the outside decoration walls are build out of stones instead of house bricks but on the same wall lines, or an unique material, it’s considered as art or crafting and the extra time counts for extra credit. Lately I take mostly crafting jobs or jobs close from home. If also landscaping/paving etc. around the oven is done by me then add 1,000$ if ordinary matters are worked with. The 1K price includes work. For putting together only the firebrick part the cost is $1000 (work only not material), 1-2 day-s maximum.
If needed browse also these pages for house bricks, blocks, firebricks and also wheelbarrows, cement mixers or all other tools and items. It is very common that a large industrial kiln or furnace is being dissembled or demolished, that you can buy firebricks in thousands for example for 10¢ each or even for 1 cent – in such a case GET THEM ALL!
Do your Maths – Always – if we need to spend money to save money the profits come late even with business skills and management degree in hand. It’s that simple. Savings start popping in too late. Take your time to source material first. Build pergola or make something else for what you saved!
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