How to make a high efficiency clay oven

Next, we will explain how to build a clay oven, with low economic cost and high performance. Invite friends over and do it in a weekend.

This specimen is entirely made of rock, dirt and sand from the cabin’s property. The only items purchased were the firebricks, the flue for the woodstove and a bale of straw. Our design is based on the methods described in Kiko Denzer’s book, “How to Build a Clay Oven”.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

The beauty of this oven is that the high performance system of the Rocket range has been brilliantly integrated into the design. Instead of the traditional way of lighting a wood fire on the oven floor, the fire is located below in a combustion chamber. The firebox operates more efficiently using very little wood. A full day of cooking used only four medium sized hardwood logs. Once the fire is started, it burns really cleanly, there is no smoke or creosote. You end up with white ashes. Nothing is wasted. The black soot you see is from earlier tests of lighting our fire. After a few days of adapting to our oven, we finally learned to cook by touch.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

1. The first thing to do is to test the strength and shrinkage of the floor.We are lucky to have perfect soil, the proportion of sand and clay remains without shrinkage.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by stepHow to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

Luckily for us, the bricks dried without any shrinkage. No shrinkage means a solid soil mix.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

3. Start with a solid base that won’t move and keep your oven off the ground and dry. You don’t want the moisture to soak up the floor and cause the oven to crack.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

What you see is the combustion chamber of the high performance design, Rocket. There is also a cleaning outlet on the back which you cannot see. The pipe forms a kind of “T” joint.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

The heat will rise and exit through the top into the oven. It’s mostly steam and very little smoke coming out of it.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

4. Continue building your base; the interior is filled with old bricks from a neighbour, surrounded by rocks.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

5. I leveled with a layer of sand in preparation for the firebricks used to line the floor of the furnace.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by stepHow to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

6. The light-colored bricks form the floor of the oven. Wet sand is mounted on top to form the vaulted walls.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

7. Wet newspaper is applied to the finished sand form. The first layer of mud (thermal layer) will retain most of the heat from the oven.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

Full thermal layer! The mud was a bit wet and started to sink to the bottom from all the weight.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

8. The door opening has been cut, exposing the sand inside.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

9. The preparation is a mixture of mud and straw. Provides resistance and insulation.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

The girls help mix the mud. The mixture does a good job of insulating and is remarkably incombustible.Interior temperatures can reach 650°C, but the exterior is barely warm to the touch.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

10. The rolls of the mixture are rolled up using thick plastic.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

11. Press down, instead of hitting against the sides.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

There’s nothing more satisfying than creating something with your hands.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

11. A final layer of clay is applied. Termination or fine.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

12. Scrape off the sand once the mixture has had time to harden.Do you remember the cover of the newspaper? Keep scraping until you get to this layer.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

The door was cut from a piece of very thick old pine and lined inside with a sheet of galvanized metal.It is fixed on all sides with screws and washers in the middle to create an air gap. This helps prevent the metal from heating up the door.

I love the cedar driftwood door handle, reclaimed from the lake.

There are mud constructions that are still standing after hundreds of years. Maybe this oven will repeat that story.

How to make a high efficiency clay oven - step by step

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