Building the doorway arch

A brick arch in front of the doorway will help protect your oven from knocks.

Brick Archway

My eldest daughter was pleased with the joint effort!

Once the first layer is dry you can set about building it. Grab ten bricks and half a bucket of sand-clay mix. You’ll also need about a bag of sand for a former.

Build the former in the front of the cut door, extending to the edge of the base and then build the arch , alternating sides with plenty of adobe mix to stick them together. Ending with the key brick at the top – don’t worry if it takes a couple of goes to get it looking balanced. We put some bricks in front to help hold the sand form.

Extending to the bricks

Extending to the bricks

Then extend the dome to the bricks. At this stage we left the whole of the bricks showing. I extended the last layer over half the bricks for structural integrity!

After a couple of hours, cut a round hole for the chimney about 5″ diameter. A few days later remove the sand former and do another firing to dry it and also check the chimney hole is right! You can then build the chimney up a little with some clay-sand mix. We used an old length of boiler flue (4″ dia) during the last stage to increase the draw and get the smoke out of my eyes!

Starting the chimney

Starting the chimney

Another firing

Another firing will dry it and give you more practice!

Next Step – the insulation layer