Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Facing the Brick Oven

Once the base and core of the brick oven is built, it is up to the builder/designer how the face looks.  In the ovens I've built this is all over the map.

The current brick oven at Pietree Orchard is surrounded by a foot thick stone wall.  But finally we are ready to build the face.  This will be constructed primarily of reclaimed cobblestones from Maine cities and towns where these stones were the streets for more than 150 years.  Unlike cobblestones bought at your local masonry supply or garden center, these cobblestones are of ALL sizes and shapes.

Some years ago, I visited an island off the coast of Maine and found an abandoned quarry.  Stones ranging from huge (3' x 5' x 30') to small (4" square) were left behind when the last whistle on the last shift blew.

Piles of cobblestones seemed to be banged out of stone that didn't meet the standards for monument grade granite or from stone already small.  I imagine groups of workers sitting around hammering the edges of these rectangles.

In addition to the stones that will face the arch, field stone has been used to support the base on the sides and a long piece of split stone was levered into place for the lintel over the wood box beneath.

Some modern and ancient methods were use to maneuver

the stone into place and it will support the hearth front and shelf.

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