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Masterly Tail oven design builders.

MTo oven design builders

Build your own MTo from the oven building plans distributed or have it built by someone else.

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4 Comments - post your thoughts

  1. Hi Rado,
    I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I cannot get the same size materials that you have drawn plan by in this original masterly tail oven design. Bricks are 7 5/8 x 3 5/8 x 2 1/4. The concrete blocks are 15 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 7 5/8. In trying to rework this I come up with an overall width of 75 5/8″ and 99 1/2″ deep. The hearth slab is 64 5/8″ wide and 70 1/8″ deep. Will this difference in size affect the oven’s performance?

    I was out pricing materials yesterday. Center blocks were $5.90 each. Then I saw at one of the big box stores $1.92 each. They are the same size, look the same but say light weight. Can I use these? Also there is a pic with 2 match sticks between two blocks. What is that for?

    Any reason that I should not use copper roofing on mto? What is the sq footage of the roof? I love the roof on your oven but cannot find it withat profile. Do you know the manufacturer, style and color?

    added by Rado:
    Hi Wanda,
    Thank you for the note. Sorry for my delayed reply I was on a remote job.

    Which blocks did you get, the kind at $1.92 each? If they are lightweight, did they say for what purposes these are being used? The ordinary cement blocks that are being filled with concrete are quite heavy in weight.

    I do not see any reason why you couldn’t make a copper roof. There are different places for roofing material available, with various prices too. Look at this Masterly, it has copper roof – oven covered with copper roof. Tiles I used I described only as terracotta right now, but can find out the exact code if you would like it.

    They are fine measurements for blocks, basically they are the 16 x 8 x 8 inches size. These are appropriate for the build, many people use the same blocks, same size. I reckon in USA it is standard block size is these 16″ x 8″ x 8″ so there isn’t any problem in that respect. But still, let me know in case if you choose a different size and I will send you your slab dimensions according your new block size.

    * Dimensions for the 3G MTo design ground slab, when 16″ x 8″ x 8″ concrete blocks are used is: 66″ x 90″

    ** Focus ONLY on the slab building right now. I think you looked at the whole picture and it seems too big to you. For a better help on that; please read also my PS under signature here. The text just explains how to build more efficiently – keep that in mind always (there is always a way for everything [even if it’s a “F” way, still that is a way too :)]).

    The slab is 4″ thick and in addition the slab has also at least 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide footings around (sized for the weight), this concrete footing/foundation is reinforced with 1 rebar in each side. The whole slab surface is also reinforced with the metal mesh. (In freezing climates it is the best to make the footing below the frost level; as per the usual building practice applied/common in the area.)

    IF YOU would like to have more space on the inner side of the walls while building, so the structure isn’t exactly compact, just add one half block to the total width. The extra width will give you more room internally, after all perhaps more space for insulation layer thickness around the oven as well – you would only add 8″ to the total width.

    More in regards to your 75 5/8″ and 99 1/2″ deep dimensions.
    This is for the original MTo design as I understand. The slab would be slightly larger, however only by ~one house brick length though. So if you made the the slab surface 75 5/8″ and 99 1/2″ it would mean that you would have heaps of room for easy work, meaning space for moving all things around. Plus also a bit more space for the insulation in sides. So you can go with these slab dimensions as well.

    *** PS Building brick oven is not difficult to master, heaps of people who never held a brick in hands before have built nice ovens. Basically here is hot it should go; if building progresses gradually (as it also does logically), focus only on the one stage that you do at the moment. From the detailed photo sequence you will see ahead clearly what will be done, when and in which way. Each step on its own (e.g. the ground pad, block walls, hearth top slab, refractory part made from firebricks and so on.) is small job really and easy. And stage by stage the whole structure will grow nicely. Also, there will not be needed much of measuring with a tape measure; only on the ground slab for the internal and external-deco walls. Pass these lines measuring, the oven will be risen upwards only and all will be done on the count of the initial layer of bricks (it’s on the disk how I go about that. If rocks were used for instance for making the deco walls, then the total width with depth could become 2″ (5omm) further apart, in each side, because some natural stones can be bigger than others, and also larger then the house bricks.)

    By Wanda

  2. Hi Rado, thanks for the fantastic workshops, just downloaded all three designs and I am going through them by sections at the moment. Such a precise and elegant clean work you do. I hope to get the hip level base in before this winter and finish in spring. Wish I had a beautiful climate like you have in Queensland. I have very good memories of sailing the Barrier Reef and staying on my boat in the Brisbane River.
    Cheers. Simon

    By Simon

  3. Trying to find out how long to let the oven cure before the first small fire.

    By Vern Herschberger

  4. Hi Vern,
    I understand that the cooking is desired. After the cladding was finished on the top wait 8-10 days to cure, 7 days in warm summer. Lots of water went in. Also chemical water is present (which gets removed gradually by higher temperature.) After this time start with drying fires, series of fires, start with smaller not too small fires but not too intense either. About 15 minutes for the first one, then 20 and 30 minutes long. What this does, it not only removes water but also firebricks adjust by movement with the cladding. Repeated mild fires expand it just a little and then they shrink back again with cooling. If you for instance fired up high on the first time the hot face firebricks will push on the cladding too much and early. And secondly, the water gets removed; you will see water drops around the flue area, these will collect mainly on the exit, many of them if the dome is still too wet. It is the condensed water which gradually disappears completely. So no steam would build in the mass, steam is powerful (remember the banging wet rocks around camp fires?). You will be fine with this. You can set two fires a day or even three if you had the time, then let it cool down after each of them, normally 5-6 fires do fine to remove all water when the structure is quite fresh/new. Just soak the heat through the dense part. The heat from a small/short fire soaks upwards through the top cladding layer gradually, in one hour. Or also through the floor 3-4 hours after normal firing/cooking.

    It would be wise if the oven was insulated, if not permanent insulation was done yet then at least if it’s temporarily covered at least with some blankets, any heat insulation helps. It’s quite important. It gets hot on the outside of the cooking/firing part. Inner layers get hot fast and expand, while outer layer is still cold. This happens anyway (the hot face inside adjusts with cladding) but temperature differences in the dense material even up quicker when the oven is insulated. If not, especially on the cooling down after firing/cooking, the outer layers start to cool down (shrink) faster and cracks could developed on the outside. However the oven would still be functional after as per normal. You get also less heat climbing up and minimal heat disappearing out to the open air with a good insulation. Plus slower cooling down, it is the same as with rising up temperature but in reverse. Every time when you cook in future and especially if it’s colder outside, close the oven door so it also cools down gradually.

    * Email us your oven photos, for this gallery. Many people from around the globe will look at them.

    By Rado

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