Handbuilt Custom Pizza Oven with Timber-Framed Base and Roof

This outdoor wood-fired baking oven was built on a timbered base with an incorporated timbered roof, hand-built using traditional joinery (no metal fasteners).  The outdoor cooking complex was custom designed to fit the client’s space and objectives as well as work with the materials already available to us on site or easily sourced locally.  The oven facing incorporates recycled antique bricks from the area as well as tiles selected by the client.


The base for the oven and countertops was built using traditional timber frame joinery.




The oven hearth is made up of 2.5″ thick refractory bricks which are dry laid on 3″ of structural insulation.  The insulation boards keep as much heat as possible inside the oven to maximize efficiency and protect the base below.  The insulation sits on 1/2″ cement board which spreads the weight of the oven evenly.


The walls of the oven start to go up.  These are clay bricks laid in a mortar of clay and sand.  Using like materials is important in an oven where rates of expansion and contraction need to be the same.  Mortars with portland cement are not able to take the thermal shock and cycling that an oven undergoes.  One benefit of using clay bricks, aside from affordability, is that they can be cut to size and shaped with a brick hammer.  Every brick in this oven, including the hearth bricks, was shaped without power tools, using brick hammer and brick sets.  This makes for a very efficient (and quiet!) build.

IMG_2300 IMG_2321 IMG_2332


The oven core is insulated with 3 inches of mineral wool, contained by chicken wire and then plastered.


Tiles that the client had on hand were incorporated into the facing.  They represent the seasons, from Winter to Fall, left to right.


A hook I had hand-forged some years ago and gifted to the client.