How To Build A Cob Oven - Part Three




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Did this video help you?

IronicallyVague: Caution! - Some fool trickster put cucumbers on your pizza! - caution! I've never built an oven before (although I've fallen face first into campfires in alcohol related accidents) but it seems to me that a two chamber system would be better?, one side for the fire & the other for cooking? No?

Genevieve Mitchell: I am in the process of building an oven to fire pottery. Would this oven be ideal for that? To fire pottery the temp has to be able to reach 1800 degrees.

R Co: Could you scale this up to biuld a shelter/ house using the whole "sandcastle" build method? How much larger can you make this structure without the roof collapsing? Thank you, cant wait to make my own.

cordero martinez: Only if you could do this in the 20-30min shown in the videos

youllregretit: does the manure have to be retrieved from any specific animal?

Jennifer Charlton-Dennis: I think this is great! We're going to be building one of these. And of course it had to be a veggie pizza....

MsLibrazen: thats a great oven.. i am going to make one very soon.. prob in summer. Im in cold weather and i really think that i should wait.. love the video! thanks for putting yourself out there :)

David Devitt: Good grief, I got all happy when they were eating the food. What an awsome project, I always want to see this done and now I know, thank you so much!!!!!

David Devitt: ok, I'm in love with this awsome lady.

southcity34: I see were she gets those great arms from.working that cobb is hard work

halfmoon407: Very impressive, informative videos. I am resurching to build a conventional brick oven and your the first one Ive seen that gives %'s on sizes. My big concern is air flow so this was very helpful. Thanks for the inspiration. Thank You

Tina Golden: at about 5:30 seconds, more detail regarding the construction of the door opening would have been helpful.

Jeffery Dodson: I've read an online book about earth ovens in centeral Canada that showed a brush wood dome instead of a sand dome.

buildnaturally: straw is not just dried out, it's biologically more similar to wood. What I would say is to do a test with the material you want to use before you commit to your whole oven insulation. Worst case scenario is that the knapweed biodegrades very quickly, leaving you with little or no insulation...in which case you would apply a new layer that does have good insulation. (In normal cob, the downside would be elimination of the tensile material in your wall, so worse outcome than for an oven)

Alan Lockwood: What is the widest the door can be? In proportions, the height of the door is 63% the internal height. But what about the width?

jagarza1981: Thats not it! You didn't show how to carve that door in! Damn

vristudios: Really great series of videos building this oven. Thank you so much. On this video around the door I notice the material is very smooth, almost like the surface of brick. Is this the dried internal thermal mass layer that is sand/clay without the straw?

buildnaturally: Hi, and thanks for the great questions! For the door, the width can be anything, as this does not effect the air flow. The height is specific because that ensures that the heat transfer is maximized and that your exiting air will not snuff the incoming air.

buildnaturally: For the layers...lots of people do thinner layers. These thicknesses are for optimal performance. If you make your first thermal mass layer thinner, your oven will heat up faster but it will also cool down faster. If you thin your insulating layer, your heat in the thermal mass dissipates more quickly to the outside (instead of keeping the heat inside). You can thicken the insulating layer on the top and keep it thinner on the sides, as 60% of heat loss is up. Hope this helps!

buildnaturally: I don't know what the music is, unfortunately. The person who edited these for me selected the music and I don't have that info. Sorry!

johnnyook: Very nice video, but I have a question: what music is is on the background and what they playing? Thanx.

buildnaturally: Yes, but the quantities are different depending on the size you are building. That's why I asked about what size. If build the oven in the video, which is 36" INTERIOR diameter (where you bake), you will need about 300-500 lbs of sand, approximately 100 gallons of sifted clay soil with at least 50% clay content, and 3 to 4 dry, mold-free strawbales. Adjust quantities if your soil has different clay content. (If your oven is 24" inside, then divide quantities roughly in 1/2.)

buildnaturally: Hi, sorry, what is your question about the door? I am happy to help you understand whatever was unclear or missing in the video for you.

buildnaturally: Hi Alan, the width can be anything that is functional to you and that still allows you to make a well-fitting door. It doesn't effect the functioning of the oven or the efficiency of the burn like the height of the door does. So make the width whatever size you want your pizzas to be. :-)

buildnaturally: what size oven do you plan to build? (What interior diameter?)

buildnaturally: awesome! So glad you are inspired to build your own!

buildnaturally: So, I would either scale it down a hair...maybe do 48" interior diameter, which would leave you 15" to work with (maybe 6" thermal mass plus 9" insulation). Or yes, you can build the outside shape to be bulbous so you can widen the insulation as you go up. The top has the greatest heat loss, so for sure try to get a lot of insulation on the top. Also, there is a great new book by Tom & Satomi Lander showing a way to do an insulating cavity around the thermal mass (improving energy efficiency)

banq0o: respect! 8-)

buildnaturally: Hi Pauline, I would leave the sand in place, as it will give you strength/support when you add the insulating layer. For straw alternatives, I have seen people using wood chips, but it's not quite as effective as the straw. One idea, however, is that you can build up a second thermal mass layer, just like the first one was, but leave a 3" gap between the two. As you build up, fill the gap with vermiculite or perlite (you can get from a garden supply place). That will give you insulation too.

MIRONCITO1959: Espectacular, te admiro mucho, eres una mujer muy berraca, aquí se les dice a las mujeres que hacen cosas con mucho empeño como tu les decimos verracas, te amo mi hermosa gringa, desde Colombia un beso apasionado y un fuerte abrazo.

hautruong88: would any natural plant fiber work to mix into the cob? If so, what characteristics would you look for (i.e. strength of fiber, fiber length, etc.)? I have fields and fields of invasive russian knapweed where I am and was thinking of using that instead of straw.

TameEnglishwoman: What a fantastic set of videos! I am so impressed by your knowledge, attention to detail and great tips. Thank you so much for sharing all this!!!!!

Cacaponmountain: Thank you for sharing My husband & I have been thinking about building the cob oven. Where can I get the clay? Thank you so much

MazAcadienDuNord: I'm thinking around 36 inches on the outside, similar to the one in our video.

MazAcadienDuNord: I see, thank you. I started my base today. My dome dimension will be 27" diameter and 19" high. Wow, it takes a whole lot more material than I thought! Thanks for the advice.

jiiip96: I like your photo

MazAcadienDuNord: Hello, thanks for posting your excellent video. I am planning on making one. My question is: What quantity of clay and sand is required?

TheTrilnp: Thanks for the tutorial, fantastic, i may try to build one. GREETINGS from the uk,

HarleyDuke1: Best Cobb oven video. Thank you, starting one very soon and you answered ALL my questions and concerns.

SimplyThinkDreams: Thanks for the tips. Maybe I will have to scale it down a bit because the base is already built (6.5 feet wide) and I was planning on going 4.5 feet to give me 12 inches to work with on each side. Instead of scaling it down, do you think it would be ok to only have 12 inches on each side where it meets the base and then build the thickness of the walls as it curves away from the base to 18-20 inches thick??

buildnaturally: I usually use clay soil dug right from the ground where we are building the oven. I have a video here on my youtube channel that shows you how to test for clay content in your soil. If you have zero clay in your soil and no clayey soil nearby, then you can purchase bagged powdered potter's clay from a pottery supply place near you (some also offer online purchase & shipping).

buildnaturally: Thanks so much for the kind feedback. I hope you are inspired to build yourself an oven! I'd love to see pics if you do build one. Also, I definitely recommend Kiko Denzer's book "How to Build Your Own Earth Oven" if you decide to build one. It has everything you need to know, including some inspiring photos. Enjoy!

Pauline Martin: Hi again. Delayed by weather but finally started our cob oven last week. The thermal mass layer is done, but can't find any straw for insulating layer. We live in rural Greece and things are only available according to the season! We have now found a farmer who can supply us, but not until the end of March. Would appreciate advice as to how to proceed. Should we cut out door now & leave sand in place - for strength when we add next layer - or remove it? Are there any good alternatives to straw?

Pauline Martin: Great videos! We have been inspired to start building a cob oven here in Greece. I have a couple of questions. Firstly, you give a ratio between the interior oven height and the opening, but what about the width of the opening? Is there a ratio we should use? Also, we have limited space where we will build our oven, so do the thermal mass and insulating layers have to be 4"and 6" respectively, or could we reduce these slightly? The interior diameter of the oven will be about 24".

buildnaturally: Absolutely, that will work as well. You just need something for the form that you can either burn out or pull out easily as the clay dries. Brush would be in the "burn it" category.

buildnaturally: Wow! That's a really big oven! You will probably want to keep hot coals around the perimeter to keep the heat up, or create a 2-chamber oven with a fire below. You may also want to increase the thickness of the thermal mass to 6" or even 8". And you definitely want to increase your insulation to 8"-10" or more to keep your oven efficient. I'd love to see pics when you are done! :-)

John Hovan: If you do a dvd series for a house, put me down for a copy! Love your simple and straight forward, no bs approach!! Fantastic.

buildnaturally: thanks for the kind feedback! I am working on a DVD of natural building overview, to be followed by informational videos on each natural building topic. Stay tuned...! :-)

SimplyThinkDreams: Thanks for the videos! I'm currently building a pretty big cob oven. It is going to be 4.5 to 5 feet inside diameter so we can bake about 20 loaves of bread at a time.

buildnaturally: Great question! Since we made the door after cutting the opening in the cob, it was difficult to create an exact fit. So I sculpted an arch inside the original opening using the door as the mold. This way we had an exact fit to the door and no heat loss through little gaps around the door. The material is the same mix as the thermal mass layer, so sand plus clay soil only (no straw). Thanks for the question! Hope this answers it.
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How to Build a Cob Oven - Part Three 4.8 out of 5

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How to Build a Cob Oven - Part Three