Sunday, February 21, 2010

How many bricks will it really take?????

It's been another fun and exciting week. We gave a bakery tour to some friends last Sunday. Although there is no sheet rock, insulation or ceiling in the bakery we think they shared our vision. This is where our vision is the strongest in my opinion. We work great together in these situations. We both know that it will look like a whole new place in 4 weeks (and counting)! Not that we will be open for business, but we will be closer to firing the oven.

This week, the electricians made an appearance to install the wiring for the heating system. I changed my mind 4 times in the course of 5 minutes on where to install the heaters that will be wall mounted. They should know by now that we make decisions in the moment. The issue for me was...we don't want them on the Main St. wall of the bakery because that is going to be re-engineered next year to accommodate the giant windows that I bought from Habitat for Humanity. Not too close to the pastry case because it is a refrigerated one and not to install them too close to each other or on the side where we have the monster oven that the county won't consider to be a primary heat source, even if it is the largest wood-fired oven in Oregon....whatever Polk Co.!!!! Where do you think the people are going to gather when the power goes out for days?? Issue resolved and happy about it.

I made a trip to Portland this past week to get another 225 firebrick. I believe that brings our total to 1175 straight bricks and 400 arched bricks. And we thought we were ordering extras with 850 straight bricks.

Dale is happy to have the hearth done. It was a lot of work on his knees for a week. He is happy to be standing on the hearth and working at a more desirable height. He finished laying more cinder blocks around the side of the oven so we could finish the concrete pour on the sides between the firebrick and the cinder block. I believe we are 13" thick on the side walls. He laid the side firebrick horizontally instead of vertically. This gave us 9" of insulation versus 3", plus 4" of concrete.

The back of the oven is getting taller! The back wall has to be high enough to reach the first arch of bricks. I think we are almost there.

Tomorrow, Dale and I will rent a saw and cut 50-60 pie shaped bricks that will go on each side of the arches to hold the arch in place. Then we will do another concrete pour down the sides so that there is no slippage. We will start from the back of the oven and work our way forward until we install all 26 arches. If all goes they way we are planning, we should have the arches in within 3 days!

The crew will begin framing in the oven this week. It will make me a little sad because I like folks to be able to see the progress of the oven from the street as they walk and drive by. Now it will only be visible from the inside and Dale and I will work beneath the trusses and framed walls. We have a 10' clearance above us for all of you wondering how this will be done. And we will be out of the rain should it ever appear.

Our next challenge this week is to figure out how to get the epoxy cladding that will surround the firebrick once the arches are in place. Each bag weighs 500# and there are 2 bags on each pallet. I believe we are taking the llama trailer up to Portland and a large truck. That will atleast get us started. They have 30,000# of epoxy and said we could have whatever we want. We are using this instead of the typical concrete insulator because it holds heat at higher temperatures and it will allow the oven to "move" when firing and cooling happens.

Until next time,

Keith and John
The Bread Board
Where food culture and community intersect.

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