Monday, September 29, 2014

Guest Post....Being Pink

Come check out my guest post at 
Tuula, the host of The Thrifty Rebel, is a wonderful creative Canadian that I love to follow.
  She crafts beautiful garden art out of thrifted items and I swear she wastes nothing!
I don't really swear...only when I have a hammer in my hand.
 Her home and her yard reflect her creative mind! 
Tuula was brave enough to ask me to guest post at her blog and I am so excited!
I will be showing my pink side......

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rocket Stove / Pizza Oven Part Three

Unfortunately you will not see pizza cooking in this post but something will get cooked!  Luckily for you I will not show you pictures of sweaty armpits or back sweat either, so there's that to look forward to too!
Mario (me, the boss) worked the cement mixer, feverishly mixing concrete, while Luigi, the worker, danced with the wheelbarrow, filling the form.  More pizza points for Mario!

With the foundation complete, next up was the framework.
Pressure treated lumber consisting of 4x4's and 2x6's were used to build the frame.  Concrete fasteners  secured the structure  to the foundation with stainless steel brackets.
This framework needed Mario again.  Back to the mixer I slaved, while Luigi danced his way through a little bit of wheelbarrow opera!   Our special mix was used which you can see here.  Pizza points!!
Building the form for the pour.

Mr. FT welding yet again!

Two ammonites were secured to the front of the form.  They will be visible after the front edge of the mold is removed.

Form  is siliconed, metal reinforcement is added and ready for the pour in the morning.

Concrete sits to cure.  Tarps covered this for a few days and it was sprayed with water at least four times.

Just as you thought you were going to see something cooking, here I am to bore you with all the technical difficulties.  It was truly challenging to stand around, watching Mr. Welding Man do his thing, but I survived it all and am here to tell you his story!
Holes were cut into the top of the keg for heat and flame to escape.  Luckily we had this stainless steel pan salvaged from a few years back.  Can you believe it was within inches of the size we needed.  How lucky was that?  Mr FT used a zipcut disk, cut a circle, and fitted the pan to sit  on top of some flanges that he welded on to the sides of the keg. 

Rocket stove is fitted into the structure, levelled and secured with a few welds.

Stainless steel is added to the top of the pan to close the stove from the base of where the pizza oven will sit.

All done.

A top plate of upside down 5/16 checker plate was used as a cooking surface.  The video below shows us already putting it to use.  Egg pizza!

A chimney is built using an old corny keg.   The chimney cap (not shown) was the top of an old sanke keg.  We were like the ultimate scavengers using all parts of the kegs! 
Again, we means Mr FT....a.k.a Luigi.
But being Mario and the head of concrete mixing department, this entitles Mario to as much pizza as she chooses!  And whatever kind she wants, even if it includes pineapple!

Building the damper for the chimney!

Framework for the pizza oven is secured to concrete base

Two days of rock and brick begin...

A special refractory mix was used to glue the rocks and bricks together.
  You can find the recipe here at

And this is where I got sick!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rocket Stove / Pizza Oven...Part 2

We are in the process of building a wood fired pizza oven for our deck.  That damn Deck seems to be getting all the attention.  Deck wanted stairs, Deck got stairs.  Deck wanted chairs, you guessed it, Deck got them.  I had to run all the way over to the fire pit to drag these chairs to the Deck.   I think Deck is a little bit too needy!

  This won't be the traditional, build your fire in the oven kind, it will be heated from a rocket stove. 
The minute I heard of a rocket stove, I had grand ideas of heating the house, the garage, the barn,  the outbuildings, the sidewalks and the driveway with this baby!  I would never have to shovel again, just light a fire.  Unfortunately, our sidewalk is too long, and the driveway is even longer, and really, after eating all that pizza, a little shoveling would probably do me good!

Off to the scrap yard we went!

   We found enough material to get us started, and headed to the scale for a good wallet beating!!!!

 I use the term "We" loosely throughout this post.  He (Mr FT) is the we , I'm just the helper, but I was busy cutting some  stainless steel tubing for the grate.  I figured  I earned at least two years worth of pizza for that!  

   We used two Sanke kegs to build the burn chamber,
I think someone "busted a cap" in the keg to the right.  It was at the wrong party!

When working with kegs, always make sure they are depressurized before attempting any of this or you might end up at the same party as keg on the the junkyard,
 or like my first episode with a keg, swimming in a beer bath.
Hmmmmm that probably sounds kinda fun to the right person.

 Stainless steel tubing was cut perfectly  to build the grate. 
 (had to add that for pizza points)

   We  also scrounged some stainless steel that was already bent into a U at the scrap yard.  The piece was cut in half, a center platform was added, and the U was welded together to form a box.   This created the wood feeder and the combustion air intake..

Two supports were attached to the inside of the bottom keg for the *perfectly* (more pizza points) fitted grate to sit on.

The top of one keg, and the top and bottom of another, were cut out.
  The two kegs were stacked and welded together.

Mr. FT fitted the box to the burn chamber, and cut and welded it altogether.

And now for the moment Mr FT has been waiting for...

  Oh come a little.  
 It's not one of those 5 minute videos. 
 It's under a minute!  Not even half a minute. 
 In fact it probably took you longer to read this than
 if you would have just watched the video!

I'd say Christmas came a little early for Deck getting all this bling.
You are probably saying to yourself, "That girl is nuts if she thinks those stacked kegs are bling-like." 
I can give you one spoiler: this contraption will be hidden very soon! 
And by very soon, I mean a few weeks later cuz that's how long it took to get to part three, which by the magic of Blogdom, will happen next week.....stay tuned!

Click here for part one.
Click here for part three.


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Building The Framework for a Rocket Stove/Pizza Oven...A New Deck

Deck building 101 will not be taught at this blog, but checkout these abs from our latest construction escapade!

Yep that's me and Mr. FT looking fit!
I'm too sexy for my shirt.....

Okay this never happened.

But this happened....
Of course I forgot to take the before pics which would have consisted of two flower planters, flanking each side of three small steps.

Our son in-law came out to give us a hand!  Thanks Tickle!

Guess I should have pulled the tan in a can out.....
Mr.FT and myself, enjoying a cold glass of H2O.
  32.5 degrees celsius on this day (in the shade)....I think that's like 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  Hot as hell! 

All done the boards

A quick picture just after we put the tools away...

Then this...and it really did happen!
Too bad I wasn't outside for this hail storm.  I think those nuggets could have put some color into those little white legs!

Stay tuned for the Rocket Stove addition to our deck.
   Comes complete with a hand built pizza oven and a pizza chef....Mr FT   hehe.