Location: Pete’s Castle, Dunster, BC
Date: June 2012
This 22″ cob oven was built over a few weeks.
Everything except the firebrick and stove pipe were collected from within 5 minutes of the house. (And both of those were reclaimed)
The foundation is constructed from dry stacked rocks, sitting on top of that is a cob/rock layer to bring the oven upto a comfortable working height for Pete.
After a layer of insulation, there is the fire brick oven floor.
The fun part was creating the heavy mud dome to contain the fire and baking.
First we created a sand form and then invited some friends from McBride to come and stomp some cob with us!
We had a great time dancing on the sand/clay mix to the sounds of children’s songs. When it was all mixed and ready we built the mud up around our form. Once to the top a hole was cut for the door, and we celebrated with a beer!
The dome was left to dry for a day then I carefully pulled out the sand. The dome held so we built a small fire to dry the mud – then a big fire to cook some pizzas!
Once the dome was completely dry, a layer of chip/slip insulation was added, then finally a coat of earthen plaster to finish the job!
I made the roof structure from maple & willow, using mortise and tenon’s and lap joints. A neighbor came to see the project and offered some metal roofing to finish the job (Thanks Brian!)
I love the transformation that happened when the final coat of plaster went on, tying the whole oven together… but most of all I loved the cooking of pizzas and bread! (The pizzas cooked in 5 minutes and 4 loaves cooked in 10!)
The design and finer points from this oven build were learned from Kiko Denzer’s excellent book Build Your Own Earth Oven”