How to Build the Base For a Pizza Oven.

Which brings me to my next mess.  I really didn’t want to be staring at sawhorses all summer and winter long, so I knew I was going to  box the entire base of the oven in with barnboard.

Which meant searching out some barnboard.  There was no way I was going to pay for it when there are barns falling down all over the place.  I put a call out on my Facebook page, which led to reader Erin from I Can Craft That directing me to a couple of towns over, where they were indeed taking down an old barn and giving away the wood.

Problem is, by the time I got there this is all that was left.




3 hours, 14 buckets of sweat and one trip to the hardware store for a screwdriver, crowbar and mallet later, I had a car filled with what I hoped was enough barnboard and posts to build my pizza oven base.

I need a truck.  Like … I reallyyyyy need a truck.





Even after I got it home and laid it out I wasn’t convinced it was gonna be enough.




I was at least convinced that it was genuine, old barnboard.  As evidenced by the big square nails.




So I laid out all of my materials, got rid of any boards that were too rotted or too short and started framing in the horrendous saw horses, which if you remember … looked like this.



I wanted two things in my base. I wanted it to look nice and I wanted there to be a large working area so I could prep pizzas.

I started my barnboard base by framing all around the existing saw horses and adding another sawhorse to the right so I could extend out the top of the pizza oven area, creating my work space.




Since the barnboard is 100 years old or so it isn’t what you’d call … structurally sound.  So the barnboard is just acting as the “pretty” and all of the parts of the frame and table were made with new wood and just covered up with the barnboard.

You can see in the picture below I’ve used 2″ thick slabs of wood to form my work area and I’ve begun to frame it in with the antique posts from the barn.




To attach everything I got fancy and used a jig.




And you can’t have a barnboard base without adding actual barn doors can you?  No.  You really can’t.  You also really can’t buy actual barndoor hardware because even if you’re fabulously wealthy you would recognize that it’s incredibly overpriced.

So you make your own.  I made this hardware using flat metal I got from Rona which I bent with a vice and a hammer.  The rollers inside are off of cheap pulleys I bought from Canadian Tire.  To attach the pulleys to the metal, I just drilled a hole in the metal using a drill bit made specifically for metal.




And just like any suspense novel, the story ends here until the next chapter on Monday.

Sorry.  I’ve run out of time.  Who knew writing posts about pizza ovens was more difficult than building a pizza oven.

On Monday I’ll have a slew of pictures of the completed oven and at least one (maybe two) videos of it in action.  Then for the rest of you who don’t care about making a pizza oven, seeing a pizza oven, eating pizza, speaking Italian, moving to Tuscany, and living off the land in a breezy farmhouse with long hair and flowing dresses … things will get back to normal on Tuesday.

Have a good weekend!





  1. Barn wood makes everything better. But still I am sitting here wondering about the differences between the cob, horno and well lets just throw it in, the beehive oven.

  2. Barbie says:

    I remember stuffing all kinds of junk for projects into my car like that before I had a truck! Praying someone just GIVES you a truck! Like what happened to me!

  3. leslie says:

    Hey Karen!
    What do you think about a BIY (build it yourself) ironing board? I’m so so SO sick of wobbly ironing boards that aren’t wide enough for a tablecloth and shake and wiggle, threatening to throw my iron if a stout breeze comes through the room. It would need to fold and hang on the back of a door or wall. Of course it would need a BIY cover and pad as well. Can this be done???
    Last night my husband was ironing his shirts (it happens about twice a year) and he bumped the board, knocked my iron onto the floor, it fell onto and broke the neat little plug (that I had to send away for) on my DIY re-wired floor lamp. It’s making me nuts!! Help!

    • Karen says:

      Yikes! I’m not sure about that, lol. I’m not certain you could build an ironing board that’s sturdy and stable and doesn’t weigh an absolute ton. I think you’re better off just finding a really good ironing board. Have you tried Consumer Reports? ~ karen!

  4. Nikki says:

    Wow that wood is amazing! Know of anywhere else to collect free barnwood?

  5. Kelli says:


    But brilliant. And daring. And amazing. Did I mention brilliant?

    That is all.


  6. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Ok..your dream truck is my dream truck really need to get a truck lady..Also even though I will never be doing this I still find it interesting..I can’t wait to see the finished product!!

  7. Liz says:

    Am I the only one wondering why there’s a shoe under the barn board in your front seat?

    Fantastic job! You’ve convinced me. I’m doing it. It’ll keep me busy (and less impatient) while they’re pouring my slab and framing. I still can’t find a pink tool belt, though.

    • Karen says:

      Ah HAH! Good eye Liz. It was a really hot day so I drove to the site with my flip flops on but brought my work boots because I knew I’d be walking around an area with nails and stuff. That’s why there’s a shoe in the car. I had taken them off to put my work boots on. :) ~ karen

  8. MelanHelen says:

    All week I’ve been drooling over every step of your oven and trying to figure out how I could manage a pizza oven on my 8′ X 10′ apartment patio! (Especially because the “ceiling” is my upstairs neighbor’s wooden balcony.)

    You and your mad skillz are awesome, but you knew that.

  9. Anita says:

    So you just made your own door hardware. Just like that. wow. That instructional should be another TAODS post for you. By the time I finished buying all the necessary tools (mine always seem to grow legs and walk away), and duplicate parts (my young son is determined to “help” me so I usually need to redo things to get it right — but he’s learning), and then paid for either the hospital visit or the new window (remember my “helpful” son) or both, it would be far cheaper and faster to buy the overpriced barn door hardware. God bless you and your metal drill bits, and your drill that stays charged.

  10. Nancy R. says:

    I’m now convinced that you are the smartest, coolest gal ever!! Love the pizza oven! Wish I was more handy with building stuff. LOL

  11. christine says:

    I know it’s not “all about me” but these pizza oven posts are astoundingly not interesting to me. LOL

  12. JeannieB says:

    A jig. Not a dance. i’ve seen those recessed , eliptical holes for screws before, on the undersides of furniture. but I never realized how or why they were made that way. You must have a great tool selection Karen. Your pizza oven and surround is stupendous!

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