The Fresh Loaf

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Final Layer - Earth Oven

DiogoC's picture

Final Layer - Earth Oven


I've built an earthen oven with two layers only, both around 10 cm thick.
- the first layer is a mix of clay and sand (1:4) that i let curing for 4 weeks before applying the second layer;
- the second layer i included some straw in the mix and the result is as you see it.

After the first couple of firings i started noticing some cracks (2-3mm wide) in the outer layer but didn't see anything on the inside of the oven.

To address this cracking and finish of the oven i am planning to place some chicken wire all around the oven and then plaster it with a mix of hydrated lime putty and sand (1:3) and after it is completely cured apply linseed oil all around.

What do you reckon of this system?
I also thought about using a cement based render to coat all around but i haven't been able to find anyone on the web who's done it - Probably not a good idea!!

Any thoughts, suggestions?


David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I have no thoughts or suggestions. It looks like a giant coconut.  Can't wait to see what comes out of this when it is put to use!

dabrownman's picture

Depending on where you are, the cracks may not be an issue but if it is not covered and you live in cold climes, water will get in the racks, freeze and expand making bigger cracks.  If it is the latter, then I scratch coat the cracks and would go with the chicken wire and do another scratch coat of a stucco like material but put some vermiculite in the mix for added insulation.  If the outside gets hot when firing, this will shrink the top and cause cracks.

If the top is properly insulated from the heat another stucco coat should do the trick.

Happy oven building