Or Cob Oven your choice really, they seem to be pretty much the same thing. Basically it's a wood fired mud oven, you can bake breads and pizzas in. We've been working on this for about 3-4 weeks now, on weekends and some week nights too. It's been mostly fun. And pretty dirty work.
We still want to add one more nice thick coat of mud on the outside but we were worried it was never going to dry all the way before snow. So this morning we decided to fire it up and try to get it dried and then add one more coat later.
The basic steps are: build a platform
-we made it counter high by building a wooden base from wood we already owned, then covering it with reclaimed bricks and sand given to us by parents who bought too much, the this was covered by a layer of cob which is about 1:1 sand and clay, watered a bit and mixed well
cost=labor and sweat
next step build the oven interior
-ours was made out of mounded sand, more of the extra from parents, this mound will be the size and shape of the oven's interior, we covered ours with wet newspaper mailers that came in our box for free, these keep the sand from sticking in the cob and give the cob something to stick to
cost=labor and sweat
then: cover it with cob
-cob is an old fashioned way to make mud bricks, we made ours out of sand and clay from deep under the garden, we ran out of sand and raided the sandbox with promises of fresh sand from the oven interior, we mixed it about 1:1 sand and clay, watered a bit and mixed well, completely cover the sand pile with this mixture, after the first layer is put on the oven add handfuls of straw to the cob and mix in well for structural integrity and add another layer, let dry for a day or two
cost=nothing but child labor HA! they loved this part!!
insert a chimney:
-we used an old piece of chimney, how lucky for us! you can use stove pipe, we set a piece of metal rod through the oven, left to right and set the chimeny on it to keep it from falling through, add more cob making sure to mud up around the chimney and over the support rod
cost=4dollars--came as part of something else
build a door:
use some leftover wood to build a door to the approximate right size to fit in the whole
Dig out the sand:
-this simply entailed a small tool to scrap the sand out and a strong back to haul it
cost=sweat and labor
The final layer:
this one should be a perfecting finishing coat, no straw just clay, sand and water--not done yet but will be up soon
So the total for our oven was four dollars, your costs may vary because we have a couple acres and we tend to hold on to things "we might need someday"
Now it's time to fire it up! Build a small fire in the front and once it's going center it and let it cook your oven inside and out!
We had a hard time getting the fire going, apparently you can't just stuff it full, you really have to build a small one and keep it going, and adding more to build it up.
Don't forget you'll need a good supervisor to watch out for you and make sure your job safety skills are intact!
I'll be submitting this to Southern Hospitality and Apron Thrift Girl for their thrifting and thrifty link parties. SO many great ideas, you should really check them out!
I also linked in to:
Peace and Love--