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Woodworking and Other Hobbies


Beautiful horse! Your daughter is a lucky girl.


Those pizzas must be quite tasty if you can’t fit in the oven anymore :slight_smile:

One of these days I am going to build a stone oven. A few months ago I was reading about this type, the Cob Oven…

I really like the old school rustic look of the cob oven and the idea that I can source most of the materials needed for it from my own property.


We have some sourdough in our fridge that comes back to life when we feed it. I don’t find the flavor too sour, but, I never though of using in non-sourdough recipes, I think that would be a great way to add unique flavor. The one time I made really sour dough, I added citric acid and it was pretty intense, very sour. I liked it. I have been tempted to start a new sour dough from scratch to see if I like the flavor better. I don’t want to use a culture from elsewhere that I bought off of the internet, because I like to use local things.

We started using starters this year for our pizza crusts. They do make a huge difference. My last 4 loafs (all french bread) used a poolish, and the bread had a lot of character. So, I completely agree.


I was starting to come to the conclusion that some sort of bread “improver” was going to be needed to make the buns I wanted. I was hoping to find a book that could delve into the science behind it. I am also hoping to not have to rely on store bought chemicals or difficult to source ingredients to get the texture I desire.

Thanks for the video, when I get a chance I will watch it.


Yeah, I heard about straw bale gardening. A friend of mine in Colorado does it and seems to be happy with it. If I had a field of straw or hay (I might one of these days), I would probably try it.

I too am into hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, etc. We have wild hogs on our property, deer, and dove. I grew up doing those things with my dad. My wife and I hiked up a peak in New Mexico (Pecos Baldy Peak) a couple of years ago. We don’t get to go on trips much these days because we have a lot of young kids to take care of.

Funny thing you mention panning for gold. I had read there was a mini gold rush near my property. After reading that, I researched about panning for gold in areas like mine. I have a wet weather creek on my property, it flows pretty good for about a week after a good rain. One of these days I want to pan for gold in it.


Hi & your welcome Lorne, I’m not sure if you can buy ‘bread improver’ over there like we can here. There’s chemicals in it, that’s why I stopped using it.

You can probably make nice bread rolls by combining the techniques of both my videos. Make artisan dough by making a poolish over night. When you are ready to form the buns, do it like I did. You probably wont want your hamburger buns to be crusty, so leave the water out of the oven to get a thin crust. If you like a crust, leave the water in the oven. Here’s a couple more videos.



Looked at the cob oven site and it looks very interesting, somewhat similar in ways to mine. You don’t juct cook pizza in them, they can be used for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

Quality Firebricks and insulation is the key. Admitedly, it does take some 3hrs to crank up to the right temp (750 degrees F) and only 2 minutes to cook a pizza. For all that effort, you then need to bake the bread afterwards to make it worthwhile. When I am finished, I close it up with a solid lid and it is still over 150 degrees F the next day, Then it takes no effort to get it back up to cooking temperature.

I engraved 2010 (build year) on the front of the brickwork and I tell anyone who cares that this is how much it cost me to construct, keeping my costs down by sourcing recycled bricks etc. I just brought new firebricks, heat resistant mortar for the internal firebricks and vermiculite insulation for under the ceiling. All the bricks and roof tiles were sourced for free. I did not include the fuel cost in traveling all over Sydney, Australia to source the secondhand bricks.

Once you have such a great oven, you have it for life, or until you move. A very good investment and I say “go for it”


I have to say I never stop building. I’m always into something. Thank goodness for bees as I can build and upgrade the hive/hives. My last big project was and outdoor kitchen with a single pour concrete counter top. A labour of love.


Cool! So, you poured the concrete yourself into a form you built and then installed it?

Do you have to polish the concrete to get a smooth surface?


Nope, formed and poured in place… Then ground to 400. It’s not polished, but it’s very smooth.


Oh my word. Talk about birds of a feather!!!

I am a dabbler too. My family calls me the finagler because when something doesn’t work I am the one who finagles a fix ; -)

There is hardly a thing here I haven’t at one time or another, as life and finances and space allowed, done. I dream of a world where I have all the space and all the tools (that I have lost!) over the years to pursue them all. Of course time is always the bottom line for all of us. But I love tackling projects and gaining competency. When people ask me “how do you do all this stuff” I point out that for instance; plumbing isn’t rocket science, and plumbers are not rocket scientists. It’s not that hard if you just try!

And so satisfying!!


Even better! What are the benefits of pouring it in situ? And… do you have pictures of the process? This is very intriguing to me.


As for the whole project. The attention to details is top notch. The design is very beautiful. The color balance, the wood dimensions, the joinery! Nice job! The mixture of materials!


The advantage to a single pour is to have a continuous flow and wrap the concrete around the grill and burner. The main counter is 2.4m long and 75mm thick. If I tried to pour it elsewhere and tried to move it, I would need a small crane and it would likely break. The concrete portion weighs a quarter of a tonne.
Thanks for the compliments. I can’t take credit for the design. I have a project administrator (wife) that tells me what the final product should look like and then I have to figure out how to make it happen. I have around 50 hours in planning and head scratching and then another 300 hours in the build. Doing things alone takes a lot longer and if I had an extra pair of hands it would likely take less than half that time. I’ll see if I have some decent photos of the build. I never seem to take many.



I feel like that about cooking and emptying the dishwasher. Oh, and doing the laundry! :smile:


I’m domesticated, or as you might call it trained. :wink: My wife gets plenty of help, and she is also pretty good on the tools when she has time. We have a protect house in a couple years that is going to need a ton of work so she’s making sure she is up to the challenge.


Aw that’s one of my favorite views in the world…


Another one of my passions is the native wildlife that turns up, even in our basically suburban environment. I didn’t realize what the kangaroo was doing right at the 2.00 mark:), until I watched it prior to putting it on here:)

The reason for the dolphin as my You tube thumbnail photo is this.

That was a day to remember.


As well as having a vegie garden and a few choocks, my other hobby’s are woodworking, mainly boxes. I’m not that good but I enjoy getting out in my shed and tinkering.
here are a couple of recent examples.

My other hobby is brewing all grain beer, developing my own recipes, brewing and entering my beer into competitions (as well as drinking it.) I have managed to win a couple of gold medals at state championship competitions, as well as hiving 2 beers place in the top 10 of their style at the Australian titles. I was pretty happy with that. :relaxed:


Now you can get in to Mead