The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

My oven build, "It's a primitive oven, just build it".

CascadeDiver's picture

My oven build, "It's a primitive oven, just build it".

I started this project not knowing the magnitude of this endeavour. I love beginning projects and my wife told me I could not start a new one until this was finished, which was sometimes the driving force to keep me going with it.

I have a copy of The Bread Builders book for guidance. My father, who owned a artisan bakery through out my childhood, was also just a phone call away whenever I needed a bit of advice. When ever I would get overly critical of craftsmanship, which was quite often as I am no mason, I would remember a very short story my dad told me. Harbor Bread Co. was the name of my dad's bakery in Gig Harbor, WA. He had hired a guy to build his oven and whenever the builder was stuck or didn't know exactly where to go he called Alan Scott for guidance. "It's a primitive oven, just build it." Alan Scott said. So whenever I screwed up I just thought of that comment and kept on going. I wanted to pass on that quote to anyone who finds themselves in a tough spot or is frustrated if their work isn't "perfect".

"It's a primitive oven, just build it".

I took a slightly different approach to the base of the oven. This cut down on size and weight. Instead of using concrete blocks filled with concrete to support the oven I used 2" square tubing welded to make a frame. Replacing the rebar I used 3/4 steel tubing welded to the frame.

From there everything else was pretty straight forward from the slab to the hearth to the arches.


Dulcilo's picture

Thanks for sharing your story and build pics. What a great legacy you have to guide you.

CascadeDiver's picture



Wild-Yeast's picture

@Cascade Diver,

Beautiful job on your "primitive oven". I like the steel support frame. It's big enough to run a pizza parlor with. I suspect you need a bigger mixer now?...,


CascadeDiver's picture

I have a Hobart 20qt in my kitchen closet. It's big enough I think. I was burning through my wifes KitchenAid... It got so freaking hot one time I had to put it outside inthe freezing winter weather to cool off.

The steel frame has another benifit. If I need to movie it I can just use a tractor with some forks on it to lift it. However I might weld some pieces underneath to protect the slab.

ReneeN's picture

Nice build. I am in Port Orchard. We have a great climate for bread baking. I like that you can move the oven if you wish. 

SpaceBus's picture

As a person who likes to move everything with my tractor and forks, I think you would crack the joints. Tractors are really bouncy and I think it would lead to flexing the bricks too much. Still, awesome oven and I think I will attempt to duplicate this in the future. 

CascadeDiver's picture


You bring up a very good point.  Thank you for bringing that to my attention. 

Now that I think about it, if I rememer correctly, my father donated his oven to a foundation who shipped the oven to somewhere in Hawaii. He rented a carne and a flat bed truck to move it. I bet a crane wouldn't jolt around the oven as much.

The steel tube constriction I definitely this is a winning attribute. Massively cutting down on the weight and footprint.


If anyone in Hawaii knows our old oven I would like to visit it ;) I believe it is The Russell Family Foundation who has it.