Sunday, May 16, 2010

Still on the fence

It occurred to me earlier today, that I have been more of a blog reader than a blogger...again. Since I last wrote, I have become obsessed with wood fired brick ovens. I've read blogs, forums, watched videos on youtube. I've learned about different styles of ovens, their pros and cons, and construction methods. And yes, I have also made a spreadsheet.

I am a co-owner of two lottery tickets. The numbers were drawn last night. On Monday, should one of the tickets turn out to be a winner, I'll be in Schenectady doing paperwork. On Tuesday...well on Tuesday morning I am chaperoning a field trip to Indian Ladder with a bunch of 4 year old kids.  But on Tuesday afternoon, I will be ordering the materials needed to build a Pompeii dome style wood fired oven. They look kind of like an igloo. The problem right now is the cost. If I thought I could build it for under a grand, I think I would. The cheapest I think I'd be able to do it for would be $1500 and that is just a material cost. There are a handful of things/tools I would need to buy or rent. If I wanted the outside finished a little nicer, the cost goes up over $2000.I am also thinking I could enclose it in a few years. Build a working oven now that will look OK, and then build the cool stone faced enclosure down the road. Thinking about this hurts my head.

Irrational voice in my head: "Just think of the awsomeness of the oven."

Sane voice in my head: "You start things and never finish them."

Irrational voice in my head: "You'd be making pizza and bread 24/7."

Sane voice in my head: "The deck need staining. Gonna to start that someday?"

Irrational voice in my head: "Dude, you are totally going to crash the AOA Tournament of Pizza. And win."

Sane voice in my head: "You've never done any masonry. Ever."

Irrational voice in my head: "But I've got a lot of Lego experience under my belt. How different could it be?"

Sane voice in my head: "It's a lot of money and it will take a lot of time."

Irrational voice in my head: "THINK OF THE PIZZA!"

Sane voice in my head: "The pizza would be pretty freaking good, but you might move soon. What a waste of time, energy and money."

Irrational voice in my head: "Alright, that's a good point...but with all the lessons learned building this one, just think how awesome the oven at the new house will be."

This goes on in my head all day. Some days, I am definitely building an oven. Others, it doesn't seem like a good idea.


  1. Sometimes you need moments of irrationality.

    While I have no masonry training or experience, I would be more than happy to lend a hand in the construction phase.

  2. Thank you for the careful, I might take you up on it. Yesterday afternoon, I was in full "I'm quitting my job and going to do nothing else except build this oven until it is done" mode. Then, last night everyone went to bed and I spent about 4 hours reading threads in an online wood fired oven forum. You can follow an over builder from digging a hole to finished oven. When I was done, I was in full "You do not have the skills to build an oven" mode. But this morning, I still want one.

    The lottery didn't pan out on Saturday so the current plan is to learn a little more about how the ovens are built and what materials I would need. Then I am going to make scale drawings of the oven I'd like to build and price it. We'll see what happens from there.

  3. Dude, if I win the lottery I might make you build a pizza oven in your backyard (note to self: play lottery).

    Consider me free/slave labor to use at your whim. I'm a halfway decent schlepper, and really good with aligning things.

  4. For the record, all forms of the word "schlep" are great. I'm going to try and build what is called "The Indispensable Tool" this week. If I can actually put that together, maybe I'll be able to pull this off.

    Still reading other people's wood fired oven stories nightly until the wee hours....