The form that supports the concrete from inside the block stand, before being shimmed to level with the top of the concrete blocks.
My prototype of a guide for splitting firebricks with the chisel pictured. This design fails to allow for clearance for the chisel's handle.
Hearth slab form ready to receive another batch of concrete.
The forms were oiled (including the plywood in the middle) and the white synthetic rope was stapled to the horizontal forms.
This slab that is 72" X 85" X 4.25" took 34 bags (in Canada our bags are 66lbs) of concrete mix.
Impromptu rain protection.
The staging gazebo, oven in the background.
Rough layout for soldier course of the dome. Ours will sit on top of the floor.
Testing our Indispensable Tool that was welded together by my mechanical genius cousin.
The hearth-supporting slab covered in tools and ready to go.
Insulation board cut to fit and floor bricks dry-laid and ready to be cut to size.
The plywood protects the floor bricks from dropped mortar. The newspaper keeps the first (soldier) course from bonding to the floor.
First course mortared in place.
Second course in.
This was our progress after one day of bricklaying.
View upwards through the oven's opening.
And down through the opening.
This tool helps guide the bricks into right position.
Five courses up. End of day 2.
The gazebo in the background was our staging area.
Start of Day 3.
Me with the brick chisel.
A bit of unevenness where we spanned the door opening but that's to be expected.
Where we started on weekend two, day five of bricklaying
Eight courses in place on the morning of day five
The Indispensable Tool still hard at work being assisted by bent fence post wire hooked over the outside of the dome.
Smoothing the top of course nine in preparation for course ten.
An old sheet suspended awning-style barely reduces the chance of heat stroke.
One of the last views through the top of the dome before it is closed.
Course eleven in place.
Half of the keystone that closed the dome.
Supporting the top courses while the keystone is pounded into place.
Covered in a tarp in case of rain.
Closed dome covered in mortar from above looking forward.
Inside of dome will never be this clean again.
Beefy angle iron supports for chimney.
Chimney we rebuilt from locally-sourced, reclaimed bricks. Obviously, it will eventually go all the way to the top of the flue.
First wine. 2007 Coyote's Run Red Paw Cabernet Franc.
Cambanzola on crackers. A sort of tester pizza.
Norm Hardie Chardonnay for the white wine drinkers.
Blueberry and peach cobbler, pre-cobbler.
High-tech insulating blanket to keep all that precious heat in.
Soot-covered dome. When the fire gets hot enough (about 800F) this will burn off.
Mesh installed over the castable insulation. The yellow stuff is there for bulk and to support the mesh.
Cleaning mortar joints on the chimney.
Early cooking. Pork roast here.
Second coat of stucco.
The chimney just needs a header and then the spark arrestor and cap.
The decorative arch held in place while the mortar sets by a form.
The oven with the decorative arch and protective coating on the dome was finished by Labour Day weekend.
Wide shot including the vegetable garden in the foreground (behind the yellow flowers) and the outdoor kitchen in the gazebo at the left.
The oven on Thanksgiving weekend. Last fires for the year.