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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. christine says:

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

  5. 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!

  6. Deb Miller says:

    Moving to Tuscany . . . breezy farmhouse . . . flowing dresses . . . YOU STOLE MY FANTASY LIFE!

    • Karen says:

      Wow Janice. It’s beautiful. Really nice work. I’ve seen “shaped” ovens before and they weren’t so … good, lol. And the base of that oven is perfect! ~ karen

  7. Jebberjay says:

    “Pizza” and “here is how to make barn door hardware”? Oh yah. This blog is full of goodness.

  8. Sarah In Illinois says:

    You made your own barn door rollers??? You have taken things to a whole new level… I am in AWE!

  9. Feral Turtle says:

    Your homemade barn door hardware is pure genius! I am going to call you Karen MacGyver!

  10. Ev Wilcox says:

    Karen, this tutorial is really something! Where did you learn how to do all these things? Like “framing”. What an important, scary step in building! Hats off to you!

  11. Su says:

    old barn wood…. sigh… old square nails… NOW you got me interested….

  12. Tara says:

    I seriously never knew how much I needed a pizza oven until this series. I can’t believe you are making us wait until Monday!

  13. Darlene says:

    I work for the World’s Largest spice company and would be happy to share some wonderful spices and herbs to add to your pizza making Just message me!


  14. Tigersmom says:

    PS-I’m ready for a complete house and yard (front and back) tour.

  15. Tigersmom says:

    I was already impressed, now I think you’re just showing off. ; )

    I probably would have just stuck a table nearby for prepping which explains why I’m reading your blog and not interested or capable in having one of my own. And I’m ok with that.

  16. Ramona says:

    Ladies, she didn’t take Friday off, silly gooses! Thursday NIGHT’S post is really Friday morning’s post. If you’re a night owl like me, as I suspect, you’re really just reading Friday’s post early. That’s why we get a ‘Sunday Night’ post. =D

    Karen, when you say you run out of time & space, is it because you are limited to only so many words per post? Cause I certainly don’t mind a “chatty” post, otherwise! As a trainer, I understand ‘information overload’, but I have to admit, you always leave me wanting more!

    • Karen says:

      Ramona – Oh hell no, I can write as many words as I want with WordPress on my blog posts. Like you say, it’s more of an information overload thing. Good eye. If I put all up the information and photos about getting the barnboard by the time I get to the actual photos of the beautiful oven AND a video people are less interested even if they don’t mean to be. ~ karen!

  17. Grammy says:

    I love this so much already, what if I begin hyperventilating over the weekend because if the suspense? Are you going to explain to my husband that you took Friday off without any regard for what would make me happy? Yeah, I’m pretty sure you would do that with a big smile.

    • Karen says:

      LOLOL! No. No I will not do that. Husbands don’t like me as it is because I have all their wives running around with power tools that many of the husbands don’t know how to use themselves. And I didn’t reallyyyy take Friday off. I just didn’t work overtime. ;) ~ karen

      • Grammy says:

        Of course you’re right about the working overtime thing — I keep forgetting that when I get your email on Thursday at 9 p.m. on the west coast it’s really 12:01 a.m. Friday where you are.

        But my husband doesn’t hate you. Thirty-five years ago he married me and was happy that I was the one with the power tools who liked to fix things and make stuff. He’s just a little afraid that since I found this place I might start doing some of my more insane projects again and he thought I’d “outgrown” it because I don’t do so much any more. He may be right…

  18. Deb says:

    Canadian Tire. Saw a giant one in the middle of a city block in Toronto on our recent trip. I wondered how people bought tires there when there was no place to park. Apparently it’s just a big hardware store? We loved our trip to Canada last week. aside from the occasional big-city smell of urine and weed, we found the natives friendly and the amusements plentiful. My favorite thing was the teeny tiny tokens for the subway. Trying to persuade my hub to let me have one of them turned into some kind of jewelry….

    • Karen says:

      LOL. That’s funny because when we were in Thailand we were all befuddled by their skytrain tokens which are actually like credit cards. Canadian Tire usually has a car repair portion and a store portion that’s a hardware store with … more than that. There’s fishing gear, landscaping stuff, kitchen utensils and pots etc., canning jars, rope, tools … now that I think of it … Canadian Tire carries a LOT of stuff. ~ karen!

    • Lynne says:

      LOL – we’re very literal here in Canada. Canadian Tire – where you can buy tires. The Beer Store – where you can buy beer. The Liquor Store – where you can buy liquor…

      Oh, and Canadian Tire has its own money. I think you’d love that since you’re so enamoured of subway tokens.

      • Deb says:

        Dang! Now I’m doubly sad I never went in there. I could have a nice dangly bracelet with subway tokens and Tire money. I did see the Beer Store and I believe they should probably change the name of Tim Horton’s to “The Coffee and Donut Store”

      • Karen says:

        Well Tim Hortons is actually named for the owner Tim Horton .. a famous Canadian hockey player, lol. Which of course is the ultimate in Canadiana. ~ karen!

  19. Cathy Reeves says:

    Hey! Who gave you Friday off?? Does Boss Blog know about this?

  20. Cynthia Jones says:

    Tell me you kept those amazing nails and bolts, or I’ll cry like a big girl.

  21. Mary White says:

    Yes, you really DO need a truck!!

    • Rondina says:

      I agree with Mary. I don’t drive a truck but a Saab SUV. That sounds very gas-guzzly, but it is smaller than the giant ones and I only put 2,000 miles on it a year. If I didn’t go buy tools, supplies, and garden stuff, I could probably cut that down to about 1,000 miles a year. The point is that when I picked out a car, I looked at 1) how fast I could put the rear seats down flat; 2) what length lumber could I get in there; 3) could I get a half a sheet of drywall in on an angle?, and 4) cupholders. I gave up one cupholder and had to make due with a not that great one to get items 1-3. I’m wondering how you have been getting all these supplies to your house all this time.

      I’m enjoying you taking part in ancient building practices.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Rondina – That’s a brilliant idea about making sure you can fit half a sheet of drywall!!! All of my cars (this one included) have back seats that fold down completely and therefore I can fit a LOT in them usually. My previous car was an Acura Coupe which could fit almost anything in it! My dream would be to have a smart car or something like that, and a vintage truck. 1960’s probably. That’s the dream. I don’t dream big, lol. ~ karen!

  22. TucsonPatty says:

    Oh man, I can’t wait to see the barn door! I love them. This is the most interesting tutorial I’ve ever read! I love it.

  23. Laura says:

    Ahhhh!! I don’t want to wait until Monday!!

    • Karen says:

      I know, lol. I’m really sorry. I ran out of time and space in the post! On the upside, the coop cam is almost up and running again. Maybe even this weekend! ~ karen

      • Ruth says:

        In all this talk about pizza, I totally forgot about the chickens. Can you imagine?

        Monday seems so far away though….

      • Karen says:

        Hah! Poor little chickens not getting the attention they deserve. ~ karen!

  24. Auntiepatch says:

    I love old barn wood!

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