Community Oven Maintenance & Repairs The Common Workshops

Rebuilding a Beehive (Cob or Bake) Oven

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Rebuild Begins.

The first weekend of May began with our Beehive Oven Workshop.  Ed Murphy, leading the workshop was anxious to get things underway.  First folks sieved the clay to remove any stray bits, then sand and water were mixed with the clay until deemed the right consistency (something about dropping a ball of cob and seeing if it held together…), and rebuilding commenced.

Sand Mold

First there was the cob slurry placed upon the plinth (when rebuilding the riser or plinth we stayed with a wooden frame filled with earth and a stones for the top).  Then the oven mold, made of moistened sand.  Then the placement of snowball sized cob ball round and round, layer upon layer (the first couple of layers were cob balls made of clay, sand and water only; additional layers had chopped straw added to reduced the weight of the oven dome while maintaining the insulating value of the ovenl, until, voila, a beehive appears.

IMG_20130504_141412OK, a slightly misshapen beehive laying upon its side, but there it is.

!cid_DWT181Then another layer of clay slurry to make a pleasing appearance and cover any stray hay.

The Fort’s new;y reconstructed Beehive or Community Oven drying in the sun,

Two days, clay sand, hay water, and many hands, we have a new oven.