Make Your Own Pizza Oven With a Cheap Pilates Ball
Love pizza? Then why not make your DIY pizza oven?
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If you like pizza but are sick of ordering out, why not make your own pizza oven? While this might sound like a titanic task, it is actually a very easy project.
Read this short guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Plywood sheets
- Lumber (reclaimed or new)
- Exercise ball
- Cling film
- Ingredients to make a pizza
- Pizza peel
- Plastic sheets
- Staple gun
- Various screws, nuts, and bolts
Step 1: Mock-up the basic design
The first step is to sketch the rough dimensions of the pizza oven. Add a nail to a length of wood, and attach a pencil to the other end, and secure it to a piece sheet of timber.
Sketch out a circle slightly smaller than a regular exercise ball.
Next, drill a hole close to the outer perimeter of one part of the circle, and cut out the circle using a jigsaw.
Take the remaining sheet of wood and secure four leg posts to each corner. Then add your exercise ball into the circular hole in the wooden sheet.
Next, take a regular bike pump and inflate the ball until it fully fits the hole.
With that complete, take a smaller length of wood and make an arch shape the size of the pizza oven opening you want. Mark out and cut another piece of wood to the same dimensions.
With that complete mount the two pieces together with short lengths of timber at regular intervals to make a toaster-shaped frame.
Next, cut a slightly larger arched piece of wood and secure it to one side of the "toaster" you just made. Once complete, place it in front of the exercise ball.
Step 2: Begin to make the oven
With the basic shape of the pizza oven mocked up, you can now begin to make it for real. Take the toaster frame and cover it with plastic sheeting.
Take the plastic sheet and staple it to the frame, as shown below.
Next, take the plastic sheet-covered entrance of the oven, and push it up against the ball. Once there mark out the curve of the ball so that the plastic-covered assembly can be connected to the ball to make a sort of igloo.
With that complete, cut down the plastic tube, and adjust until it can sit flush with the surface of the ball.
Step 3: Make the body of the oven
With that complete, remove the tunnel and cover the entire ball in cling film. Replace the tunnel and cover that with cling film too.
Next, mix your perlite, cement, and just enough water to bind them together. To do this add small quantities of water until the mixture is a very thick paste.
Once complete, then begin to add the mixture around the exercise ball. Keep building it up until the ball, and tunnel, are completely encapsulated with the perlite/cement mix.
Start at the base (obviously), and apply the mixture all the way around the oven. Once complete, you can then begin to build up the walls and ceilings.
You'll want the walls to be a few inches thick, so apply it liberally. If you run out of the mixture, make some more and carry on where you left off.
Once you reach the arch of the entrance, place a tube in the middle (covered in cling film of course), and continue to apply the mixture. This will form a funnel later.
The final piece should look like a cement-covered igloo. Keep adding the mixture, and once finally covered, look for places that look a little thinner than others and add spot add some more mixture in those places.
With that complete, take another sheet of wood and mark out another circle the size of the exercise ball, as before. Then build up some walls of cardboard around the circle, and add a rectangular addition to make a sort of mushroom shape.
Tape the cardboard into place. Once complete, fill the mold with more pelite and concrete mix until the mold is filled. Smooth out the surface as if you were making a concrete foundation.
It needs to be the same footprint as the main oven as it will form the base for it.
Leave the mixtures to cure fully.
Step 4: Remove the ball and frame and complete the oven
With the perlite and cement fully cured, remove the air from the exercise ball. You can either burst the ball (if you won't use it again) or just pull out the plug from its valve.
Eventually, its diameter will shrink enough for the ball to simply fall out of the hole it is stuck in. Once complete, remove the ball entirely.
With that complete, remove the screws in the wooden frame to the oven's tunnel and then remove each piece of wood one by one.
You may need to bang the frame a little to loosen it up from the surrounding cement/perlite walls. Eventually, you should be able to simply pull out the rest of the frame by hand.
Once complete, lift up the perlite/cement igloo, remove any remnant pieces of cling film, and cement it to the mushroom base using some more perlite/cement mix.
With that complete, you can now burn a small fire inside the belly of the pizza oven. This will help to fully cure the perlite/cement mix and give a strong, heatproof bond.
Step 5: Make some pizza!
With that, your DIY exercise ball pizza oven is effectively complete. Now you can actually test it out.
First, create a small fire on the far side of the oven. While it's getting started make some pizza dough and form a rough circle to make the pizza base. Then add some tomato sauce, and any toppings you want on your pizza.
After that, place your pizza on a pizza peel, and place the pizza inside the mouth of your pizza oven. Wait a few minutes, and you'll have a freshly-baked, and delicious, pizza.
Sit down and enjoy your meal!
If you enjoyed this fire-based project, you might like to build your own ring from an old nut?
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